Type: Trad, 140 ft (42 m), 2 pitches
FA: D. Mabe / C. Bernal, March 2004
Page Views: 14,579 total · 69/month
Shared By: Darren Mabe on Mar 15, 2004
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures/CDOT Road Work Details


The dark and ominous Mission Wall is home to many hard 5.11-5.12 routes. This route provides a linkup with Gneiss Roof allowing a fun 4 pitch 5.8, 5.9, 5.9, 5.9+ climb up this intimidating wall. All of the pitches are unique and challenging for the grade and the climbing quality improves from ok to stellar as one ascends the rock. Each pitch has sections that look much harder than they turn out to be. It is relative easy to rap from any of the first three belays. Pitches 1, 2, and 3 can be combined with the generous use of slings and rope drag for a long pitch. One can climb only the two pitches of Ride The Snake with a few QDs, but continuing with Gneiss Roof creates a stellar Clear Creek classic, and it sizes up to other 5.9 classics in Eldo and Boulder Canyon.

Ride The Snake starts at the top of a small, left-angling ramp ~20 feet to the left of the start Gneiss Route.

P1. 5.8+, 70 feet, 7 bolts. The first 25 feet is on sharp crimpers that lead up to a roof. Angle up and right to a huge jug that allows you to pull around the roof. Continue up a short slab to a two-bolt anchor.

P2. 5.9, 70 feet, 6 bolts. The intimating roof above the snake's head is reasonably tamed after the climbing is figured out. The first 30 feet is up steep rock with big and hidden holds. After turning the roof, continue up easy rock to another two-bolt anchor at a nice stance.

You can rap here using the P1 anchors by carefully swinging/climbing right.

To join Gneiss Roof:

Rack: 9 QDs (few mid and shoulder slings), micro to med nuts, Aliens (green, yellow, red), Camalots (#0.75, #1, #2).

P3. 5.9, 40 feet, 3 bolts and gear. Stem up a short dihedral to the roof, clip the black bolt with a long sling and traverse left placing the red Alien in the middle of the roof. Pull around the left side of the roof and climb up to the plush Ashtray Belay placing an optional small nut or two on the way. It is possible to rap from here using the anchors on Ride The Snake by carefully swinging/climbing right.

P4. 5.9+, 120 feet, 6 bolts and gear. Big exposure, challenging and sustained climbing and good protection. Stem up to the roof passing a bolt. Using the roof crack for pro, traverse the rail and place the #1 cam as high as you can reach. Make an airy mantle at the lip of the right side of the roof, stand up and clip a bolt. Continue up slabs, bulges and nice face climbing to Surette Ledge.

Once on Surette Ledge, one can a) scramble off the left side of the wall and hike down a loose hillside, b) rap 3 times down Gneiss Route with a 70m cord or c) rap Rocket Man with two 60m ropes.


7 QDs only. Trad gear is needed to continue up Gneiss Roof.