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Routes in Lazy Squaw Spire

Lazy Squaw Spire T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Squawk T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
Type: Trad Fixed Hardware (5)
FA: Mark Pell, Jeff Williams, 1994
Page Views: 2,735 total, 14/month
Shared By: Leo Paik on Apr 5, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route


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State Park; Fee Required. Details

Description

This is an intriguing, 80-foot, twisted, little, granite spire that invites you to check it out as you drive around the upper parts of Golden Gate Canyon SP. It seems fairly unique in Colorado in my wanderings. Done a long time ago based upon the ancient bolt on top. This is the obvious line, but there are others if you linger. From Panorama Point, continue on the dirt road to the Lazy Squaw Ranch. Find this obvious spire on the hill behind the Ranch. Get a bearing. Hike up through a forest 20-25 minutes.

This is the path of least resistance:

Start on what seemed to be the SW face. Follow a line of 3 bolts up a face (crux), angle right and curl around to the SE face up easy, broken rock, pass an ancient bolt, and find yourself on top.

Rap 80 feet from a fixed anchor. Because this anchor is basically centered on top, the rope pull can require a bit of a pull.

Per Greg Barnes: with the new rap anchor going directly down the route on the southwest side, it's a 95' rap.

You can extend your day with a wander (bushwhack) left to the second buttress of Mt. Thoridin as we did that day.

Protection

We used a blue Alien, small wire, #2 Friend, another Alien, 3 QDs, 1 longer sling, and 50m rope.

Parking

Another reminder: figure out legal parking before you head up to do this climb.
I did the FA of this route on the SW face of the Squaw pinnacle in the Fall of 1994 with Jeff Williams in a ground-up push. The three protection bolts on that face, the second one on the halfway ledge, and the second ones on top were 3/8" Rawl Self-Drils (not 'drop-ins'); a type of self-drilling anchor fixture that screws to a drilling handle, similar to the currently-available kits by Petzl and others. They are quite strong when installed properly, and the job of the seemingly short 3/8" x 1" Grade 5 capscrew is simply to attach the hanger and transmit loads to the hardened steel of the threaded insert fixture, which is locked in place by action of a hammer-driven cone at the rear of the hole. The screw does not provide/maintain operating torque, as is required to lock a mechanically-expanding sleeve anchor (5-piece, etc.) in the hole, so it is not necessary for it to be as long as the sleeve itself. However, thanks to the well-meaning climbers who went to the considerable trouble to replace these anchors with stronger and more modern equipment, and I hope this encourages others to go out and enjoy this unique climb. When power drilling sport climbs, I use monster bolts drilled deep, but the point of this climb at the time we did it was adventure, and the only way up was on the lead, so our technology was appropriate and more than adequate. We added the belay chains on our next visit after topping out on the actual FFA. In my opinion, the original 1/4" bolts with Leeper hangers should have been left in place as artifacts, since they were probably installed by Layton Kor on the actual FA of the pinnacle many years before. We chose our style to honor that, and I'm sorry that modern re-bolters feel the need to remove every old bolt they come across, because they are not all bad and many deserve to stay put out of respect for those that came before us. Anyway... I placed my protection bolts on the Squaw on lead from direct aid, reverting to free climbing between placements, since drilling from free stances was not feasible. Bolts 1 and 3 were placed 'sitting' on Chouinard and Leeper hooks balanced on edges and protruding feldspar crystal knobs. The middle protection bolt was placed from a Tricam under a shallow, downward-facing flake. No falls were taken, thankfully. Kor's ascent was rumored to have gone up the east side of the pinnacle to the midway ledge where I converged from the left with his original line. He followed cracks and blocks that permitted pitons to be used for protection. Oct 24, 2015
Just a note - if you rap directly down the route on the southwest side, it's a 95' rap. Since a 60m is a "short" rope these days, it won't affect many people! Aug 25, 2015
Lenny Miller
  5.9+
Lenny Miller  
  5.9+
All lead and anchor bolts have been upgraded to 1/2" stainless - courtesy of The ASCA. Please consider donating to keep our climbing areas safe - thx! Aug 24, 2015
The Lazy Squaw is like a Rock Siren calling me up the gullied trail created by her tears of mourning from the loss of her fallen warrior.

I can still see her soft, youthful beauty classically aged. As we got near, she drew away in a shy sort of way, deceiving us with her position. An hour later we were passing by the same two ant mounds, this time I look up! She is in front of me; she has learned her native skills well.

I went straight to her feet and flaked out an offering of blue/black and white herring bone pattern. I asked, “Could I be by your side?” She looked at me with those dark brown eyes and gave me ever so slight of a smile. With a trace amount of native blood in my veins, I thought she had accepted me over all-the-other rock warriors who came before, leaving silver but now rusted stains on her buckskin dress.

A cool breeze passed over my body, and I was sure she approved. I clung to her dress making my way to her ornate belt that her fallen warrior had given her on the day of their union. Soon I was upon her shoulder and worked my way around the right side where I whispered in her ear; “You’re still a lovely lady”. She was pleased with my offering and my words of kindness that allowed me to stand on her summit.

I returned to her feet, gathered what I had brought and we parted ways. My climbing partner, Kevin, left his knife as a gift. Jul 31, 2015
Joey Wolfe  
 
One star climbing to a 3 star summit. Really cool feature to stand on top of. Jun 28, 2013
NickP
Golden, CO
  5.9
NickP   Golden, CO
  5.9
Probably would have given it more stars if the climb wasn't cut short by the rangers to get ticketed. Make sure you park in the parking lots (not on the road) and approach the climb by going AROUND the ranch. Dec 14, 2009
J. Fox
Black Hawk, CO
J. Fox   Black Hawk, CO
Do NOT park at the Harmsen Ranch and then walk up to the spire...I just received a $50 ticket for parking here from the rangers. I didn't block the gate even, but they decided to ticket my partner and I anyway...great way to end a great day of climbing! NOT! Mar 1, 2009
Ken
Ken  
Bolts are somewhat difficult to spot from the base - look carefully along SW face for slab that is maybe 20' above an overhanging section. I started right of the overhang and traversed left towards the bolts - protected well but there was an unfortunate amount of what I assume is bat shit and piss which made this less than desirable. A little ways past the 3 bolts there are 2 more on a ledge that can be used as a belay if you do it in 2 pitches - which will reduce rope drag and make it a little easier to hear your partner. Sep 29, 2008
Bryson Slothower  
  5.9+
The crux seemed to be before the first bolt to me, protected by good TCU. There is a chain on the anchor at the top that makes pulling the rope easy, it seems some of the bolts may have been recently replaced as well. May 28, 2003