Type: Trad, 5 pitches
FA: Aid: Johnson, Robertson, Huston 1953 Free: Wunch, Hunter 19
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Shared By: Mike Sofranko on Oct 21, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details


Yet another slabby east face route in the Flatirons. Yawn....


This exceedingly cool route climbs the narrow eastern profile of the Maiden. Rack up at the low point of the rock.

P1. Either step in from the right, or scramble up from below, and engage the obvious crack a couple feet left of the sharp NE arete. Climb the crack for about 60 or 70 feet to a ledgy blocky stance. The crack is steep and sustained and skill in jamming will definitely increase your chances of success. Call it solid 5.10, and slightly awkward in spots. This is a really nice pitch.

P2. Climb up the obvious detached flake, and step left onto the face. Head up past two bolts, with the crux (5.7) above the second bolt. Pull onto a sloping ledge thing, and clip the bomber two bolt anchor. This is a pretty short pitch.

P3. Make a dicey move right off the belay to reach the first bolt. Stand up, clip the second, and head due right. Be careful of the crunchy footholds. At the arete, make a move up to the horizontal crack, and head back left. Clip the third bolt, then keep heading left (ignore the pin above). Pull around the left arete, then head up and find a belay on the slab above. This pitch is quite funky and a fall would be somewhat interesting. It's about 5.10-, and slightly strenuous. Another short pitch.

P4. Follow the strata up and left, clipping a pin or two, then head up and right to the obvious saddle and another bomber 2 bolt anchor. This pitch is easy (5.4), exposed, and 100 feet long.

P5. Go right around the obvious roof, follow the strata and huecos up across the north face, intersect the North Face route, and head for the summit. A 60M rope will put you comfortably on top. This pitch is super exposed 5.5.

It would be easy (and recommended) to combine the first and second pitches. It would also be possible to combine the second and third pitches. The benefit of this would be that you wouldn't have to do those dicey moves right off the belay on pitch 3. This route was rebolted in 1999. There are many bolt studs and sleeves and patched holes visible. This route must have been a real mess before the rebolting: It is fantastic and pretty safe in its current condition. Thanks to Darran Bornn and the ASCA for the new bolts.

Now that you're a hotshot 5.10 climber, you will probably be unfazed (bored, even) by the rappel off the summit. Whatever you do, don't ruin your onsight by scoping the West Overhang route on the way down.


Cams TCUs to #3 Camalot. 1 set nuts. QDs.


Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
For a more interesting second pitch one can also traverse left from the belay above the hadncrack and climb the face the whole way up to the second belay. In this case a bad #7 stopper and a small ballnut are your protecion for some 'somewhat' interesting moves getting into the low angle part of the slab after a short bulge.

It should also be noted that the first bolt on the third pitch can be clipped from a reasonable stance if you are tall and have very long arms. I am 5'10" and 6'5" across the arms and I could ALMOST reach the bolt, but had to boulder to it afterall. If you are short, this is hairy, because the rock that you move up on is very poor and you will thump the ledge or the belayer. I think the move is 5.10 at 5'10". Oct 29, 2001
Very good route description. For me P1 would have been easier to lead with 2 red Camalots, not necessary but less dinking with pro hanging off a hand jam. Bring tape! P3 I would consider "s" for both the leader and 2nd on the crux moves. A locking biner in lieu of Q/D at the second bolt may help a bit. I would not consider crux move 10- unless you are tall, felt more like 10C s to me. I also used a 3.5" piece 2 times. Great Route! Nov 5, 2001
Mike Sofranko
Mike Sofranko  
Thanks to everyone for correcting my slightly botched description. I usually try to account for the fact that I'm sorta tall, but I messed up this time.

As has been noted, the third pitch is quite exciting. I would have liked to see the first bolt a little lower (by the other chopped bolts). The traverse right, move up, then traverse left could be dangerous - a shorter climber (leader or follower) will be looking at a nasty pendulum fall while making some difficult moves up to the hand traverse. Indeed, my (shorter) second didn't see the point and just pulled straight up the bolts. This pitch is definitely the crux of the route. Nov 5, 2001
Casey Bernal
Wheat Ridge, CO
Casey Bernal   Wheat Ridge, CO
Does anybody know if it is possible to directly ascend the final headwall just after the belay in the saddle? It looks short and the pro might be good(?). It would be an excellent way to end this route. Also, if you are not above 6', the bolted crux on pitch 3 will be very very difficult to free climb. On the rappel it is possible to reach the ground with a 60m double rope rappel. However, there are a couple of rope eating teeth/flakes on the crows nest that might make a mess out of the end of your day. Might be better just to break it into two rappels. This is one of my favorite routes in Boulder. Apr 1, 2002
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Casey: We finished the route as you suggested a few weeks ago, we went straight up the ridge above the saddle belay rather than doing the usual (pitch 5) traverse onto the north face.

This variation involves first getting to, and then climbing, a rotten offwidth crack which breaches a roof. There really isn't any good pro on this entire section as the rock is very poor. Once you get to the crack, you crank desperately on a small chockstone, and the hardest part is over when you get your feet onto this chockstone. Bill Wright led this variation - an impressive performance. We agreed to a rating of 5.10a S, and harder if that chockstone falls out. This is NOT a recommended finish to the East Ridge, but it may be of interest if you have done the route 5 times and are bored.

I will attach a photo of this variation below. Apr 29, 2002
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
It appears as if the roof could be climbed from the left side of the OW crack, about 5' over on buckets. Did you give that a try?

PS- Nice pants Bill! Apr 29, 2002

I don't think you could climb this roof further left. Actually, what I mean to say is that I couldn't climb it further left. I'm sure someone could climb this thing about anywhere.

It is actually non-trivial to even get to the base of this offwidth. Once there the rock isn't so good. Too bad. This would be a very nice finish with solid rock.

Yes, these running tights aren't very fashionable. To make matters worse I had a big hole in them. George fixed the whole via some digital shenanigans.

We call the variation Satan's Minions' Offwidth after our morning group. We did this climb before work (we approached via the South Face, not the East Ridge).

Bill Apr 29, 2002
I just climbed this route two days ago and wanted to add my two cents. For me the crux of this climb is certainly the first pitch. This crack is awkward and funky and there are some big reaches from marginal jams. It feels 5.10+ to me. The pro isn't foolproof either as the crack is wider deeper into the crack, so pro takes a bit more effort to place. The pitch is steep and sustained. I didn't place anything larger than an orange Alien on this pitch. It is a thin, sharp crack, mostly, with some hand jams to place gear from.

The third pitch feels much easier to me. I'm 5'11" and I can easily make the reach after the traverse. My ape index is probably negative. The hardest move on this pitch is the move off the belay. This feels like maybe a 10b/c move. Unfortunately, you can't clip the bolt before doing this move. If one was worried, I think you could stand in a sling clipped to the belay, clip the first bolt and then step back down to free it. Once this move is done the rest of the pitch isn't that hard, as once you get the rail above, it is quite good and gets better the further you go left. If you can't reach this rail, then I'm sure the move is quite hard.

Going straight up to the piton looks hard and I opted to traverse further left instead - not wanting to blow it. The final move is a cool iron-cross type move from one jug to another, but marginal feet. Fun stuff. I'll try the straight up version next time.

A 60-meter rope rope works great on both rappels. May 20, 2002
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
This is an awesome route!! The first pitch seemed harder than 10a to me, quite strenuous and not so straightforward. It is possible (although less aesthetic) to go around this pitch at a much easier grade by climbing one of the cracks to the right of the prow (see Rossiter).

Most of the moves on the third pitch seemed easier to me than those on the first pitch, but I am 6' tall. The move off the belay I thought the crux move, it didn't seem possible to clip the bolt from a free stance below this crux, Tony. However, I believe one could clip this bolt simply by standing on a sling attached to the belay bolts. It is not a long fall without this bolt, but it is right onto a sloping ledge and the belay. May 20, 2002
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
OK, I think the first pitch was easier for Jo and I, because we have small hands that help us on P1. Furthermore, being a shave short, P3 was even harder. At 5'10" tall and 6'5" across the arms, (maybe I climb like I am 6'0" after all) I found myself 2" short of clipping the bolt from a reasonable stance. That "reasonable stance" was not from the good stance below the opening moves of the crux, but was before pulling onto the broken sloper feet above it. I'd hazard a guess that guy who'd 6'2" or taller should be able to reach that bolt from the stance I tried to do so from.

6'0" isn't what I ment by 'tall', it's in the average range, for the climbing partners I've had.

I guess in the end it didn't matter. I got it without getting hurt and it sounds like you guys both flashed it too. Seems like a solid 5.10 leader should do well on it. May 20, 2002

This route is open if accessed from the east. It was not closed at all this winter/spring. May 21, 2002
Yes, this is a problem with how the database is structured on this site. I don't think the Maiden has ever closed for bird nesting. The closure usually includes Shadow Canyon, which is over the ridge from the Maiden. The Maiden doesn't quite reach the ridge so all routes on the Maiden remain open. May 21, 2002
Guy H.
Fort Collins CO
Guy H.   Fort Collins CO
I would give the first pitch a 5.10c rating. The jams are off fingers in the hard spots, the crack bulges in a couple spots, and the stances for placing gear are pumpy. The "crux" 3rd pitch felt like 10a, but I am tall. Oct 12, 2003
I thought the first pitch felt like 9+, good jams and locks the whole way. What is the direct start with the sportily placed bolt protection? The rock was a little grungy, and felt difficult enough to be an alternate crux to the route. Nice moves and a little devious. Jun 26, 2005
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
I believe the bolted direct start left of the regular start is "Rowland's Horn" 10.something. It is in Rossiter's guide but I've never been on it. It has brand new bolts replaced by the ASCA in 1999. Jan 18, 2006
  5.10+ PG13
Dpurf   Superior
  5.10+ PG13
My partner and I did this route then rap to the Crow's Nest to do the West Overhang. This made for a great day of climbing. We did the East Ridge in 3 pitches. The first pitch up to the 2 bolt belay for the start of the orig 3rd pitch. We both thought this was the crux pitch of the climb. I would say 10+ on this pitch. The jams are sharp and painful and not on all that great of feet. It was warm out, too, so that made thing a little greasy. The start of the orig 3rd or our 2nd pitch I believe is the head crux. I am 6'2" and had to make a high step and a pull on a crimp to make the clip to the first bolt. After that, some good, fun climbing, but keep your head you still need to make some solid moves 10-. We took this pitch up to the saddle to the 2 bolt belay. For the 3rd pitch, we went right around the headwall and up through the huecos and right to the top. This took all of the rope to get to top and a little more. After doing the West Overhang, we did one single rap down to the base of north face on 2 60m ropes. Jun 9, 2007
Shane Zentner
Shane Zentner   Colorado
Agreed with Dpurf. 5.10+ on the first pitch, .10- on the third pitch. I followed the first two pitches (which can be easily linked) and led the third and fourth pitches (again, can be easily combined). Following the first pitch was more 'heady' than leading the third and fourth pitches. Jun 16, 2007
This is a stout 5.10 (crack), and a damn-freaky and very poorly protected "traverse" around the north before the easy summit push.
And not to forget the south side traverse. . . .
Lots of exposure available on this route!
A great route and lots of fun, but I'm glad my heady partner had the PG13 traverse on pitch 4 (north side). Mar 27, 2010
Is it possible to rap from the top of the Maiden using only a 70 meter rope? Jul 20, 2010
Jay Eggleston
Jay Eggleston   Denver
You can get off with a 60m but just barely. A 70m will work fine. Jul 20, 2010
Boulder, CO
tooTALLtim   Boulder, CO
We climbed the Satan's Minions' Offwidth, and we found it to be dirty, loose, and runout. Excellent, short, adventure climbing! Sep 13, 2010
Jason Killgore
boulder, co
Jason Killgore   boulder, co
Awesome climb! It is great that the 5.4-5.7 bits are just as good as the 5.10 bits.

Should have read the beta closer for what to do at the P3 pin. Straight up looked obvious. Going up with right hand on the crimp, I found myself fishing for holds that weren't there. Grabbed the draw, lowered back to the hand rail, then started left hand on the crimp, to a right hand undercling side pull thing. Way easier. Still exits straight up the pin but no harder than any other moves on the pitch. It is a bit tricky to read the moves, but with this beta, this "direct" finish is still only 10-. Would have been nice to know about the left exit.

Is there a free line straight up the bolts? looks hard. Oct 31, 2010
Kevin Dahlstrom
Boulder, CO
Kevin Dahlstrom   Boulder, CO
Great route with an adventure feel to it. I consider myself a solid 5.10+ leader and the first pitch thrashed me. It's in your face from the first move and the steepness doesn't leave room for error. I have big hands and the crack was mostly wide fingers for me. The flash pump from no warm-up didn't help either. If you have impeccable technique, maybe it's 5.10, but it felt harder to me.

The P3 crux felt about 10b to me, but I'm 6' 2". For shorter folks, it's got to be way harder.

We did the route in 3 pitches (lined 1 & 2 and 3 & 4), but I'd recommend doing it in 4 (link 1 & 2 only). Jun 26, 2011
Thought this climb was amazing, had a blast, the rap down was by far the coolest rap I have done yet. I was glad that my partner led the harder pitches, but I thought every pich happened to be a lot of fun. Before rapping down the second rap, we set up a top rope and climbed what we were told was an 11. I thought it was a lot of fun. I was wondering if anyone else has done that and what their thoughts were on it. Aug 16, 2011
Jeff McLeod
Jeff McLeod  
What an adventure! Although for me (5'8"), the third pitch crux getting past the fixed pin felt much harder than anything on the first pitch crack, which went quite smoothly and felt 5.10a/b. The third pitch is spicy in general with (beta ahead) the weird underclinging/hand traversing between 2nd & 3rd bolts. A fall would not be fun at that part at all. In general, an excellent climb with strange green pools at the summit and a crazy/wild rappel off the top! Jun 3, 2013
Mika H
Cuenca, EC
Mika H   Cuenca, EC
Awesome route, definitely a must-do. I would say 1st pitch is soft for 10c and third pitch is sandbagged for 10-. Link pitches 1+2 & 3+4 for quicker 3 pitch ascent (can be done with a 60m). Mar 23, 2017
Boulder, CO
michalm   Boulder, CO
The position and adventure are excellent, but the climbing and rock quality are good to middling. The climbing is awkward and discontinuous, and the rock is less-than-solid in places. A route to do once in my opinion and that of my partner's. The West Overhang, on the other hand, is spectacular. Nov 20, 2017
The chopped bolted anchor on top of South Crack was replaced with OSMP and FHRC approval. The anchor is easily accessed from the East Ridge immediately after the bolted 5.10 section by traversing straight left on the rail above the bolts and pulling around to the left side of the arĂȘte (which is the easiest way to finish this bit, anyway). A single 70 meter rope will get you down. This would be a good place to belay if you wanted to help coach your second through the 5.10 face climbing. Otherwise, just run the pitch all the way to the saddle. May 7, 2018