Type: Trad, 400 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: Chris Reveley and possibly Jim Michaels, circa 1973
Page Views: 7,058 total · 35/month
Shared By: Brian Milhaupt on Aug 31, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

14 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closure Details


This route is on the right side of the Sunshine Wall's south face. To get there park at the large parking area and follow the old logging road past a switchback and across the mostly dry streambed, then start looking for a cairn and a faint trail on your right. This will lead straight uphill to the left side of the Sunshine Wall. Hike right until directly under the multiple large overhangs. Equinox's first pitch starts to the left and ascends a 3rd class ramp that leads to some 5.9 R, and a belay at slings. In my opinion, it is better to start with the first two pitches of Deception Past (5.10b). The Trout guidebook has a much better topo of this wall and describes these pitches as the first two of Equinox. Both pitches are quality 5.10, and make a good warm-up for the intense roof ahead.

Pitch 1: Start in a crack directly below the large, right-facing dihedral on the left side of the first overhang. The start is a finger crack in a thin left facing dihedral between two trees. A hard start eases to 5.9 before the belay in a pod with new Metolius rap rings (hidden).

Pitch 2: Start up and step left to a ramp with a thin crack above it. Straight up to the dihedral, stem the dihedral with good holds out left. Belay at the slings, which may need to be replaced.

Pitch 3: Climb right from the belay and fire up an exposed move to the slab and up to the finger crack. Crank through steep finger locks to a pod. From here, it is obvious which way to go. Set a belay on the shelf after the roof crux. A two bolt anchor is shown on the right in Hubbel's guide, but I didn't see it. In my opinion, this pitch was a sandbag at 5.11a.

Pitch 4: 5.8 to the top.

Descent: Walk down the gully to the east between Poe Buttress and Sunshine Face. With two ropes, it may be better to rappel the Standard Route.


Standard rack up to #3 Camalot, extra small cams, possibly some Ballnutz.


Kevin Stricker
Evergreen, CO
Kevin Stricker   Evergreen, CO
The Equinox roof is in my opinion one of the coolest pitches in the Cathedral Spires. From the ground this feature looks 5.12, and will feel almost that hard ( good old South Platte 11a sandbag). There are new rap anchors at the top of pitch 2 of Fallen Angel but none above that as shown in Hubbel's most recent guide. A better finish is to traverse right and end on the Standard Route's last pitch. If you start this route via Deception's past or Fallen Angel this is a 4 star route! Oct 20, 2002
I believe some Ballnuts could protect the dicey moves from the ledge stance in the midle of the roof crux. There appear to be some knife blade scars that could take them. Otherwise, it's relatively unprotected (gear below your feet with nasty fall potential) after you leave the comfort of the stance, an orange Alien fits nicely just above this portion of the roof. Probably 11+ for Platte standards.

Starting via the 10 variation from the ground is a nice way to go. The start is rather tricky and powerful. You can climb all the way to the top of the first roof/ dihedral in one pitch- excellent. There are nice rap bolts here, so if you don't want to do the "monster" sandbag roof, you can rap from here. There is another set of bolts lower, so one rope will do you fine. Sep 7, 2004
Golden, CO
Monty   Golden, CO  
You can squeze a grey C3 (the "aid" piece) in comfortably from that stance below the roof, don't worry you sink a bomber 0.5 within one move, but the C3 definitely helps the head a little bit. Feb 17, 2009
Dustin B
Dustin B   Steamboat
Trout's guidebook gives this one 10+...awesome. Oct 24, 2009
Jason Haas
G1 Climbing + Fitness
Jason Haas   G1 Climbing + Fitness
As mentioned earlier, a grey triple 0 C3 (the smallest one) fits in great below the main roof, as does a #1 Camp Ballnut. Both can actually be placed together if you want the added security, though it's not really necessary as the move to the bomber cam has a good piece near your feet and this C3/Ballnut placement at your waist. If you don't own the Ballnut, the cam works just fine.

The crux pitch is super fun, weird, and technhical, making it a proud onsight for anyone, no matter the grade they climb. Aug 10, 2010
dameeser   denver
I was able to get in a RP in the roof before the crux that seemed to be pretty good. I also used a ballnut, but there is possibly more opportunity for other RP placements. Great climb! Dec 18, 2011
Andrew McLean
Eldoorado Springs, CO
Andrew McLean   Eldoorado Springs, CO
That grey C3 held my partners fall. He also place the ball nut and clipped the currently fixed RP just below that. Sep 29, 2013
Did this route in the late '80s with my daughter Carrie, and to this day, I still think it's the best route I've done in the South Platte. Sep 29, 2013
Jordan Moore
Berthoud, CO
Jordan Moore   Berthoud, CO
Stiff 5.11. I did this twice and got beaten up pretty good on my second ascent. You can, in fact, aid through the crux if necessary! Ballnut and/or 00 C3 in stemming corner, then BD 0.75 fits in the crack just after the stem.
Enjoy. Jun 16, 2014