Type: Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine, 400 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Don Doucette, Larry Hazlett
Page Views: 10,335 total · 51/month
Shared By: Julian Smith on Jun 1, 2002 with updates from Larry Hazlett
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Blind Assumption climbs the icy chimney system on the left side of the Corinthian Column. Overall it is more sustained and harder than its cousin, Total Abandon. For 400 feet, it makes its way up 3 pitches before finally relenting on the summit snowfields.

For the approach, see Total Abandon. Once at Total Abandon, keep going across the snowfield to the other side of the Corinthian Column. Turn right and go uphill.

Pitch 1 - Begin at two fixed pitons on the left side of the gully. Climb up into the gully as it turns into a chimney and turn the giant roof on the left. There is a possible belay at the very back of the roof, but it looks like more of a retreat anchor. Continue up lower angled ground to another belay with two pitons of the left side of the gully.

Pitches 2 and 3 - Continue up the chimney system for two more pitches. The hard stuff finishes with a tough mixed move off of a flake. Continue up to the summit or break sharp right and cross over Total Abandon and traverse to the ridge to begin the descent to the car.

Alternatively - If the chimney system is running like a shower, break right at the top of the first pitch. A fine crack system goes for 250 feet to the top of the Corinthian Column before meeting at the top of the chimney system. Choose which top out is desired.

This route is tough to catch in good condition. Either the road isn't open to the top or the route is melting in the summer heat, or it is way too thin for normal folks to want to do. Keep trying, like Necrophilia, in the right conditions, this one is a classic; otherwise it can be just a myth.

[Eds. This submission had been previously listed under RMNP/Alpine then non-RMNP/Alpine and now here by request & for better organization.]


Double ropes would be nice on this climb. The lower part wanders a bit under some roofs. Otherwise, bring a selection of all size ice screws, emphasis on the shorter side. A standard rack with maybe a few Lost Arrow and Knifeblade pitons would be nice to have.

FA tidbit

From Larry Hazlett: "I was Don's climbing partner on the FA and have images of the climb. I led the third pitch. We climbed using Chounard 55cm ice axes and hammers. The climb was in great shape for us. Steve (Muff) Cheney met us as we topped out! Great day."
Do not underestimate this climb! Nearly killed a few years ago by rock fall! Apr 7, 2004
The other way to approach the Bottomless Pit cirque (for those of us who are poor but determined) is to hike the Barr Trail out of Manitou Springs up to Barr Camp (about 7 miles?). Continue past Barr Camp about a mile and follow a sign for a trail heading north to the Bottomless Pit. Traverse the mountainside as it rises slightly while winding up and around into the cirque. It's a long approach (you'd need to camp), but it makes it feel more alpine and I think you get more out of it. It's a satisfying feeling to return to your car knowing that you just hiked 20 miles while lugging rock and ice gear along with camping and cooking supplies. [This comment has been resubmitted here due to database issues.] Aug 21, 2005
Shane Zentner
Shane Zentner   Colorado
Attempted Blind Assumption today and failed. Thin, rotten ice and very wet in the couloir. The seriousness of this climb should not be taken lightly (then again, I'm not much of an alpinist, so take my advice with a grain of salt). My friend and I found the route out of condition and scary-both of us backed down while attempting the first pitch. Jun 7, 2008
Boulder, CO
Lordsokol   Boulder, CO
Climbed with Phil Wortmann on Halloween, 2008. This a very serious climb when dry like we found it. The first pitch was solid with only one hard move left around a block. The second pitch was desperate. The ice on the right side of the huge, overhanging chockstone was so thin and sublimated it wouldn't have held a fart. We went to the left up a weird dry crack system, shimmied on our backs above a boulder and below and overhanging roof, tiptoed out on top of the thin, creepy "ice" and up through a window to get above the gigantic obstruction. Hard part over right? NOPE. Remember it was Halloween, so it had to be scary. The next pitch was almost as thin. The ice toward the bottom of the second chimney was very clear, and very chandelier-ed. Tapping it sounded like hitting a huge, empty propane tank. And it kind-of felt like it could actually explode at any second. We started at the very back of the chimney and then left again on the somewhat dry stuff. Once high enough - about 20 feet, we stemmed out onto the ice (above the curtain). Once above, it still sounded odd, but this time more like tapping deep organ pipes. Very creepy and cool. This pitch ended by climbing out of a small window. From there, it was just dry 4th class scrambling to the top. We went up and left and came out right at the road where some very thoughtful Texans gave us a ride down to our car.

It needs to be noted that since I was VERY hungover from a bachelor part the night before, I was pretty much useless as a lead climber. Phil took the Heroic role of leading through all the desperate stuff. I made a good cheerleader and belay slave. Huge props to Wortmann for a fantastic lead up a climb that for most normal sane people would be considered a death route. Nov 1, 2008
Route is in well. Crux sections are well formed with nothing dripping. Overall, it's probably more mellow than years past since it's formed thicker. I suggest short screws as the quality of the ice was so good. Needed no pins, rock gear was minimal but possible, rack was fairly trimmed down. Largest piece I took was BD #2, full set of stoppers, and 6 screws.

Our traverse to its base was a well formed soft slab 30 cm deep sitting on well formed 3 MM Facets. This due to shallow snow and cold temperatures over the past week and a half above 12,500. We were able to skirt around it safely-advise skirting around as much as feasible and avoid walking straight across slope as season progresses. Run out is very rough if one was to take a slide.


Jamie Oct 15, 2009
phil wortmann
Colorado Springs, Co.
phil wortmann   Colorado Springs, Co.
FA: Don Doucette. Oct 29, 2012
Kevin Gillest
Arvada, CO
  WI5 M5+
Kevin Gillest   Arvada, CO
  WI5 M5+
Climbed Blind Assumption 11/24/2012.

We belayed at 110 ft due to rope drag, red sling on chockstone, right after making move up and right off ice around first chockstone.

Small amount of ice leaving belay, up under huge chockstone, anchor under overhanging (did not use), follow ledge out left, straight up to edge of chockstone, belay up in flat area 2 pins.

Detached curtain WI5+, Good rock gear opposite wall of ice, 1 pin.

Looking down Pitch 3, standing on chockstone rest.

We finished the 3rd just below the top out due to rope drag, belayed on a short 4th pitch, 40 ft M4. This route was spectacular, overall not too sketchy, rock gear and rock quality great. Nov 20, 2012
Hanson Smith
Boulder, CO
Hanson Smith   Boulder, CO
We climbed this yesterday, Saturday, April 27th, and I dropped a glove from the belay after the second pitch. It is a Black Diamond dry tooling glove. If found, you can email me at hanson.smith1@yahoo.com. Also, conditions are dry but really fun. The third pitch has just enough ice. Apr 28, 2013
These pictures remind me of the time I barely survived my own stupidity. I soloed it one day long ago and was very surprised by the lack of ice about halfway up. I probably should have reversed it, but at the time, that seemed the harder option. Fortunately, for my future children I made it, but since then I have carefully avoided that kind of "do or die" situation. Apr 17, 2015