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Routes in North Noddle Head (First Noddle Head)

Beau Knows T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c PG13
Original Route T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Sounds of a Desperate Man T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Type: Trad, 200 ft, 2 pitches
FA: ? ? ? us? I doubt it.
Page Views: 101 total, 1/month
Shared By: Jeremy Hakes on Jul 21, 2008
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Begins on the prominent, south side of the massif. Climb the large blocks on their east side (broken dihedral) with a few fun moves, around 5.6. Climb up 30m +/- to a new 2-bolt rap/anchor station. From the station, climb straight up the last block, then head left to the first crux (5.7) - an exposed step over to good hands in a crack that goes left and ascends as it goes. Follow this as it leads you to a big ledge (1-2' wide). You will see a pocket about chest high just left of a soft arete. Take a BIG step up to get onto the face. Go straight up the soft arete (5.8R) up thin face holds to a growing V-shaped groove on your left, just below the 2nd ledge. At the 2nd ledge, slot a nut or clip the likely rotten fixed hex/cord and then immediately slot a nut in the crack above. This is another big step up, but with great hands (5.8-/5.7+). Follow this fun crack (the funnest part of the route) up until it grows into a bigger crack and turns into 4th class terrain. There is a large block in the crack, which you can girth hitch. It seems solid enough, but we didn't yard away on it. You can set up a belay in this body sized trench before you finish. Likely a few ways to finish the last 10' of climbing. We went to the east side, where the last crux (5.7) is another committing step, but puts you in bomber handholds, and then it's over - you're on top.


The route seems fairly obvious from below - when you walk up to the North Noddle from the south, it follows the right hand side of the large blocks to the anchor. From there, the crack heading left (west) is also obvious. Get down with 2 rappels with a 60m rope. A 50m will not get you down, but a 70m is not necessary.


Tri-cam or #2 (yellow) C3 Camalot for the hueco/pocket. Cams up to #3.5/4 to set up a belay on top in the big trench. Medium-sized nuts for the crack. Cams from 0.75-2" for the rest of the route. Bring a few long runners to minimize drag. 60m rope to do 2 30m rappels from the summit.
Hey guys,

Just wanted to add a note to the discussion. I live just below the Noddle Head you are describing and have been climbing up there since the early 1990s. I've done that route a number of times (it's a nice one). The local critters do like to chew up any slings, webbing, etc., that is left behind, so there would be any evidence of them. There are a number of old pitons on many of the different rocks up there, so I would be surprised if anything of a moderate grade has not been climbed any number of times. By the way, the locals refer to the furthest north Noddle head as Nighthawk (hence Nighthawk hill, the road down to the South Platte River). Thanks for the summit bolts, it's always been a chore descending. Sep 8, 2011
Jason Haas
Jason Haas  
The second pitch is Sounds of a Desperate Man, which to descend, downclimbed a bit off to the left (jump across the chimney) and then down, but the summit bolts are a great addition. I also wouldn't recommend belaying at the first set of bolts on P1. Instead, do the traverse left and build a belay on the ledge. This will avoid unnecessary rope drag.

In terms of who did P1 first, I don't know of anyone else, although there is an undocumented/lost route on the east face IDed by a half dozen fixed pins that was first done in the 1950s. That doesn't necessarily mean they did your route as well, but it isn't any harder. With much of the Platte, who knows? Regardless, fun route. Apr 26, 2011
Jeremy Hakes
Golden, Colorado
Jeremy Hakes   Golden, Colorado
If you are or know who the FA party might be (or if there was - I'd be shocked if there wasn't), please let me know any info so I can properly identify as such.

We did not find any evidence of anyone being on top of this rock - no bolts, no webbing, no trash, nothing. Still, we find it hard to believe SOMEONE hasn't been up here before. The only issue for us was that there is no way to get down without bolts or possibly terrifying downclimbing. There was one fixed hex at the bottom of the crack, about 75' below the summit area.

We installed (2) new 2-bolt rap stations on the summit and south face area to facilitate rapping off with 1 60m rope. The anchors, webbing and rap ring are brand new as of 7.19.08. Jul 21, 2008