Type: Trad, 300 ft, 4 pitches, Grade III
FA: Harvey Carter
Page Views: 5,026 total · 44/month
Shared By: Tim Stich on Aug 27, 2009
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

13 Opinions

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After scaling the lower slabs, head for the main dihedral in the center of the West side of the pinnacle. Note a crack with a bolted chain anchor over to your left at the level of the start of the dihedral. There is also another crack with some old bolt hangers on the slab higher up on the left as well. Keep to the main dihedral. The only fixed gear on the route are pins left from the FA.

The 5.9 finger crack is within the first 100 feet of the wall. Gear placements may end up making this section more difficult for the leader, but once removed much easier for the follower. Go up and to the right on a very narrow ramp with a crack in it and end on a wide ledge below a roof. A wide crack is on the left. If taken, this crack will strand you on a sub-peak and make it necessary to rap off of. This way will keep the climbing under 5.9 however.

A harder 5.10c variation climbs up and around the small roof to just below the final summit pitch. This has yet to see a clean ascent from recent visitors, so the rating is speculative at best.

Once at the large ledge with treees, climb up a wide crack far right with a keyhole that has a view to the other side and then vere left up a short slab section to sneak past the boulders that make the summit ridge.

To descend the route, simply scramble North along the ridge line until it becomes obvious where you can move down and to the right (East). Some large, twisted trees are along the way. A small creek flows in this drainage and leads the way down to the hiking trail, but the water disappears underground at some point.


See the topo.


Full set of cams with one set of nuts.
Tim Stich
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Tim Stich   Colorado Springs, Colorado
This is an excellent just under a half day outing on good rock with a mountaineering feel to it. The first two pitches comprise the best climbing. It can turn into a grad IV if you have trouble route finding, however, but not too bad. Aug 27, 2009
colorado springs co
loc   colorado springs co
I need better topo. Do you have the GPS for it? Sep 3, 2009
Lauren D. Hollingsworth
Colorado and Kentucky
Lauren D. Hollingsworth   Colorado and Kentucky
Loc, it's accessed from the crags trail on the west side of Pike's Peak. It's on the way to Cripple Creek, just after the east side of Mueller State Park, left side of HWY 67. I believe there is a brown sign pointing the turn off the highway. Sep 12, 2009
phil wortmann
Colorado Springs, Co.
phil wortmann   Colorado Springs, Co.
Great topo, Stich! especially for as confusing as this route can be. The crack to the left is a good 5.9 alternative as well. Jan 20, 2010
Darren Mabe
Flagstaff, AZ
Darren Mabe   Flagstaff, AZ
The alternate pitch 2 is one of the best granite 5.9 pitches I have done. Jan 20, 2010
Tim Banfield
Calgary, Alberta
Tim Banfield   Calgary, Alberta
Thanks for posting this climb, Stich. I thought it was a bit sand bagged at 5.8. There seemed to be a couple sections of 5.9 to me. We tried to turn the roof but couldn't do it. We ended up going up the wide crack to the left, then rapping down about 30ft to continue the climb. We used a 70m rope and made it to the ledge under the roof in one pitch. Aug 25, 2010
Keith B. Ives
Washington, DC
Keith B. Ives   Washington, DC
A couple of things from my recent trip:
This is not 5.8 - no argument about it. I am not an amazing climber, but I can't remember falling on anything less than 5.10 is the last few years. The cracks require some crack skill to make them 5.8/5.9ish. However, when you get to the roof...it will take some more advanced moves. The pro is smaller, and the crack on the top of roof has some suspect smaller rocks in it. It held for me, but I don't know if that will always be the case. You will want small cams here. I normally climb with a lot of passive gear and use cams for the bigger stuff. I didn't take any C3s & regretted it at the roof. I ended up aiding the roof. The moves through the roof were finger-size but fine. However, I for the life of me could not pull the move out of it. I was leading the whole thing & was prob a bit tired, but I could not pull myself out of the roof on the small finger crack above it (#6 BD nut). Further, if you fall - there is a really nice, pointy, detached flake to land on....

The hike off is easy and fairly straightforward. Great description for this section.

For the approach, I didn't really find a trail, I just cut over once I was close the the tower & walked straight uphill. I am sure there is a better way, but nobody has posted it yet.

I ended up doing it in 5 pitches. Mainly because of rope drag. This is a great climb & a hidden gem for those of us in COS. I plan on doing it again soon with a more experienced partner to see if it feels any easier when I know I have another solid leader with me. The main point is, do not be fooled by the 5.8 rating or 5.9 consensus. There are some tricky parts to this climb. Nothing a pair of 5.10 climbers can't knock out (even if you have to aid the roof). However, I think the 5.8, half day climb description is a bit irresponsible. Jun 11, 2012
Keith B. Ives
Washington, DC
Keith B. Ives   Washington, DC
Here is a map I made on Google. Take it for what it is worth.

My Google Map. Jun 11, 2012
Casey Graham
Colorado Springs, CO
Casey Graham   Colorado Springs, CO
Did this route with Keith (above) today and was pleasantly surprised at the quality and length of the route. A nice moderate - exciting 4 pitch climb that close to home is a great resource and the surrounding area looks great too.

We scrambled up the due west side to get to the first belay station on 5.4-5.5 rock for about 150ft which I am sure can be navigated another way, but we didn't see any obvious path. If you are comfortable with 5.5 granite slab, don't bother with roping up as it is way quicker and not really exposed to get to the belay ledge.

I agree with earlier comments: The first two pitches are definitely the most cruiser with great crack moves and good pro. We got to the base of the roof on a fantastic ledge in two pitches, one long and a second short one because we had a 60m rope. You can definitely link the two together with a 70m, but you will have some intense rope drag, not from placements, but from the nature of the route and rock you go over.

I agree with Keith, the roof is definitely sandbagged at 5.8. That is easily a 10c-11 move out from under the roof with a serious potential for injury if you fall. I'd also suggest a helmet for this move as a leader and a follower as the footing is slick and a fall by either end up with your head swinging into the roof edge. The crack that circumnavigates the roof on the left is certainly easier, maybe 5.8 big hands and fists, but it is my understanding this is not the actual route. Either way, it looked great and for those who don't want to deal with the roof moves, its a great alternate route.

The top was traversy but easy and protection was great. All in all a fantastic climb, one I will definitely revisit, and we were car to car in just under 6 hours. Bring a #4 and #3 for sure and some C3s #00-2 for the roof. Jun 22, 2012
Phil Raymond
Minneapolis MN
Phil Raymond   Minneapolis MN
I found this climb to be top notch for the Springs area! Fun and varied climbing with spectacular views. However, I have climbed this route twice now, and I am glad to see the consensus going up. I found the move out of the roof to be very, very tricky. Even after I trained and came back at it in better shape, I still had to pull on a piece to get it. There is certainly potential for a dangerous fall onto the flake below the roof, but as long as your pro holds (unlike mine), you shouldn't hit it (like me). The roof move I say goes at 5.10+, but the rest of the route is more like 5.8/5.9 unless you are not used to crack climbing, in which case it will seem harder. The trickiest part is not placing pro where you want your hands to be.
Unless you are a fast hiker and very efficient multi-pitcher, I would budget a full day for this one, especially if you want to avoid any chance of hitting the afternoon storms that frequent this elevation. Jun 24, 2012
Keith B. Ives
Washington, DC
Keith B. Ives   Washington, DC
Phil, this weekend was my second time too. I completely agree with you. I have worked my ass off on that roof twice now. Getting out from underneath it with the one worthless finger hold is impossible(at my skill level). I have pulled on gear both times now. I have also had my gear come out both times now. I have also decked both times now.... I emailed a moderator to encourage an update on beta for this climb. Listing it as a 5.8 half-day event is irresponsible. Casey & I went door to door from the higher parking lot (the pay one) in six hours. We were trying to hurry though as I had an appointment. This is a fantastic climb, but budget all day so you can be confident & not have to worry storms or the sun setting.... Jun 25, 2012
Legs Magillicutty   Durango
One of my favorite CO Springs area climbs. The rock was bomber and every pitch had some burl to it. Thanks, Tim! Jul 31, 2012
Jordan Hirro
Colorado Springs/Carbondale
Jordan Hirro   Colorado Springs/Carbondale
Amazing, adventurous line. We attempted this climb last March but were harshly shut down just shy of the top of P1 and ended up bailing on a few nuts due to severe winter weather and ice/snow filled cracks (which, if you found, they're Metolious Offsets and I think we left 4 up there, I'd really like to see again!).
So, we went back yesterday, and finally sent it! We did in 5 pitches due to the extreme windy conditions in which I couldn't hear my partner at all, so we pitched it out a bit extra. Bring a full rack up to 4, plenty of the small stuff. Also, we accidentally got my new orange Metolius #3 Mastercam stuck in the P1 finger crack near the top. It would be greatly appreciated if somebody fishes that out can get it back to me!

P1: Classic. Bring up to a 4 on this one (a 3 actually can work, too) along with small nuts and finger sizes for the upper finger crack leading to the top of P1.

P2: Crank up the .10 roof with small small gear or work left to the wide (#4) crack. If you choose the wide crack, the top of the thumb is where you do a short rap 30ft(?) where you'll see numerous slings and 2 biners. Make sure that when you pull the rope you stand back about 10ft so it doesn't get eaten by the overhanging crack.

P3: We scrambled up following the left-facing wall until we reached a void, and then shot up on the slab following a wide crack out left behind the boulder. I'm sure there are numerous variations to get up to this. The trees offer great pro and can act as a guide alongslide the cracks working up to the boulder. (We pitched this section out since getting over the next small headwall would make hearing a mess.)

P3/4: Work over the small headwall either chimneying/stemming or by following the thin hand crack directly up to another, final ledge. Here you traverse a bit left until you get to one last little alcove with either slab leading up to it, or a #3 crack working L -> R.

P4/5: Work outta the alcove over a small roof left and the top is in your sights! Choose your crack to the top.

Have fun! Nov 16, 2013
Andrew Krueger
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Andrew Krueger   Colorado Springs, Colorado
I hiked here today with my girlfriend at her suggestion, and of course drug her up to the base of the climb as soon as I saw the pinnacle. It seems like there would be lots of harder, more vertical cracks just left of the 5.8 P1 corner? Are there documented variations? I'm going to snag a partner ASAP and try to investigate all the options. Such a striking formation!!! Oct 31, 2014
Matthew Jerousek
Colorado Springs, CO
Matthew Jerousek   Colorado Springs, CO
I'd like to echo what others have said in the past and say that this is a cruiser 5.8+/5.9- that protects well and has some good moves on the first pair of pitches. The exception to the advertised grade is the short roof pitch, which is tenuous but also a little scrappy and asks for trickier pro due to the rotting rock in the seam. 5.10+ seemed fair. Trail your pack or make your follower carry it. Aug 16, 2015
Alex Hesler
Hollywood, FL
Alex Hesler   Hollywood, FL
Bringing a 3rd, especially lesser experienced, makes for a long day indeed. Get out there early! Quite an amazing place to watch a sunrise/set. The varied climbing is nicely broken up, and you get a little of everything. Nice upper belay ledges. We used A LOT of stoppers and some hexes and cams, mainly small-mid TCUs to size 3. We even found a few places to put the 5 we brought! Protects well, 4 stars for a Springs' gem! Jul 19, 2018