Type: Sport, 450 ft (136 m), 6 pitches, Grade II
FA: Team effort (Gillett and Foster on redpoint day 2009)
Page Views: 19,272 total · 112/month
Shared By: Orphaned User on Jul 31, 2009 · Updates
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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This ascends the all of the southeast face of Mary's Bust from the left corner at Proud Mary going right to the base of a cool, 4-foot wide brown dike. The dike continues up much of the wall, receding into the fabric of the cliff at times, but prominent at other locations -- the route chases this dike. This fun climb has 6 pitches of bolt protected on great rock with great position.

The Brown Palace is the famous hotel in downtown Denver built by Henry Cordes Brown (begun in 1888 and opened in 1892).

A labor of love by its first ascentionists, who include Bernard Gillett, Paul Bodnar, and Jim Bailey did the FA of P1; Mark Ronca and Gillett for P6 (part of ?There's Something About Mary?); and Gillett, Paul Foster, and Ronca for the middle pitches. The FFA of the entire route was completed by Gillett and Foster.

P1. Start at the left edge of the main wall next to a pine tree. Clip the first bolt on Proud Mary, and then traverse upward and right to a ledge. Move right to a bolt on Deceiver, and continue up and right past two bolts and a delicate move to a two-bolt belay on the right side of the brown dike, 9-, 70 feet, 6 bolts.

P2. Climb the brown dike (or a little easier on the right) to its top, then move right to a flake, place an optional #2 Camalot, or do two more moves to the next bolt. The climbing gets harder (10): stem a corner, move left, and finish with a great jug to a bolted belay at the base of a prominent rib (with chains), 10, 9 bolts, 85 feet.

P3.  Ascend the rib (brown dike) with bolts to a chimney. Stem (note a big, hollow flake at the base), and then move left onto overhanging rock. Delicate climbing goes left and up around a bulge (11-) to a ledge with two bolts, just right of the last pitch on Proud Mary, 11-, 9 bolts, 85 feet.

P4. Climb straight up a discontinuous column (part of the brown dike formation) to a small overhang. Decipher a crux, easier for the tall. Belay at two bolts in a pocket above the overhang, .11-, 4 bolts, 40 feet.

P5.  Angle right to a easier, nice slab. Pass two cool chickenheads. Go up to an overhang, and crank over (10- to 10+). Climb past a rappel station (long sling) and one more bolt to a good ledge with two bolts at the base of a headwall, 10, 12 bolts, 120 feet.

P6.  This pitch overlaps ?There's Something About Mary?. Climb past bolts to the top of the wall (with a late crux),  10d, 9 bolts, 70 feet. Avoid the iffy flakes on the left at the start of the pitch. The blocks resting on the belay ledge if pulled off might reach the road, beware!

Per Kurtz: the toaster-sized, unattached rock is now gone.

Rap the route (95', 90', 40', 85', 85', 70'). The first rappel goes past the last belay ledge to a station that you used as pro on the 5th lead. Knot your ends!

To avoid rapping over other parties:

1. You've done the first 3 rappels and are atop the 3rd pitch, with the bolts of Proud Mary to your left. Swing left on your next rappel to find the rappel station for Proud Mary (it is not on the route; read its description). Then rappel straight down to the anchor on top of Deceiver, and then to the ground.

2. Scramble off the back side to the rappels on The Devil's Backbone. Begin by roping off to the NE (40 feet of 4th Class), and then head for an obvious pine tree. Go through a notch to its left, and carefully downclimb the 3rd Class slabs on the back side of Mary's Bust. These lead to a saddle between Mary's Bust and a short gold wall behind it. Turn left, traverse beneath the gold wall, shimmy down the far side of a big boulder, and switchback left to the edge of the cliff that sits immediately west of Mary's Bust. Rap The Devil's Backbone (3 raps, a 60m rope is required).


Start at the left edge of the southeast face of Mary's Bust, beneath the first bolt of Proud Mary.


15 quickdraws, a few long slings, a #2 Camalot (P2 & P3), and possibly a little more gear.

You can combine pitches, but rope drag may dissuade you. P4 and P5 can be linked with 17 quickdraws.