Type: Trad, 1050 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: Sokol, Erb, Jacoba, 1970 FFA: Ferguson, Revery, 1973
Page Views: 6,527 total · 57/month
Shared By: Aaron Martinuzzi on Sep 9, 2009
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Access Issue: Season raptor closures Details
Access Issue: Sundance Buttress is seasonally closed for raptor nesting but is NOW OPEN. Click for details. Details


The Nose, like its sister route, Idiot Wind, ascends the southeast edge of Sundance Buttress via fun cracks and exciting face climbing. The two climbs run parallel for the their first two pitches, sharing first and second belays and about 40 feet of climbing on the third pitch, but separate here and follow distinct lines to the top of the buttress.

P1: The immense Dalke-Covington Flake rises out of the wall 40 feet off the ground above the southeast corner of Sundance; climb up low angle rock as if approaching the bottom of this flake, but work left through/around some bushes (optional belay at this ledge) to the right side of a large pillar, jamming and liebacking a crack (initially wide, 5.9) in the corner. Belay at the top of the pillar on a ledge, or stretch the rope up 20 more feet to a nice stance at a right-facing corner. A long pitch - up to 200', 5.9.

P2: Climb up the crack in the corner right off the belay, passing through an A-shaped roof. Trend a little left and climb a crack to a small belay stance with bolts. 75', 5.8.

P3: Get off the belay and climb up thin cracks to a roof. Traverse left beneath the roof to a small corner and make a heady step out left over the huge ceiling and lots of air. Face climb up from here (5.9+) to an exposed stance at a horn (optional belay). Follow a thin crack rising from the stance to a bulge with a thin slash headed up and left; face climb along the slash through the bulge (5.10b, possibly protect with RPs) to a reasonable stance. Plug gear in at your feet and head up and right on runout 5.8 face climbing 25+ feet toward a groove that passes the right side of a roof band. Belay at a bolt and fixed pin, back up these pieces with small nuts and cams if desired. 150', 5.10b.

P4: Follow the groove as it passes the roof, and continue along the steep, well-featured crack until a good belay stance can be had. ~200', 5.8.

P5: Continue up the easy face, protecting in seams and flakes, to the large shoulder beneath the summit of the buttress. ~120', 5.7.

From here, one can rappel down the northeast face of Sundance into the standard descent gully (five rappels off natural anchors with a 50 or 60m rope, 4 rappels with a 70m - three with doubles) or...

P6-7. Continue up 300' of easier climbing to the top of the formation and follow the standard Saddle Descent.

Eds. note, at one point both The Nose & Idiot Wind were combined onto 1 page. To help with organization & clarity, we have split these into 2 separate pages. Thus, some comments, photos, ratings, stars do not follow the page separations. Thanks for your understanding.


Approach as normal for Sundance Buttress, heading downhill once the trail reaches the base of the formation. Walk through the cave formed by a huge flake leaning against the main wall, reaching the southeast corner of the rock, where the Dalke-Covington flake rises high above. P1 climbs low-angle rock as if one were approaching the base of the flake.


A rather full rack is recommended for this climb. The crux pitch and subsequent belay take micro nuts nicely, and the crack on the right side of the P1 pillar accepts bigger cams. You can protect the lower wide section with a well-earned marginal nut and a #3 Camalot that can be walked up several moves, but most leaders will want a #3 (maybe two) and a #4 Camalot; a standard span of bigger Friends (#3, #3.5, #4) with an extra #3.5 or #4 would also do the job.
Some comments about the Nose:

P1 We did 100ft of 5.6ish rock on the right and belayed below and to the right of the obvious rf dihedral with the wider crack. P2 Used a 3 Camalot and a 4 Friend on the layback crack. I did some squeezing, laybacking, some ow, and some fist to get through it. I slid the 4 Friend up a couple times. A group coming up behind us on Idiot Wind linked the first two pitches on the left and raved about it. P3 The 5.9 crack on the right is really nice, but too short. Call it 9-. The face moves back left are the hardest part, I think. P4 Climb up to the roof, go left, then up to a small ledge. Belay here for rope drag reasons. P5 The crux pitch - go up the corner to the crack shooting up to the left (the first one). There was no fixed wire here 8/01 - but I got bomber hand sized cams at my feet and a decent RP and 00 TCU at head level. Head left, then up, call it tenuous 5.10. Follow the crack up about 25 feet or so to some jugs, this is where you head back right. I wanted to head right too early, but it was harder than 5.8. Belay at a bolt and piton, backed up with nuts. P6 is probably the best of the climb - skirt the roof on the right and follow the crack system to a sloping ledge. P7 Head left on no pro 4th class, then back right on the big ledge system. P8 I climbed 5.6 rock up an obvious crack/flake, then headed straight up the easy face (no pro) for 120 feet or so to the summit. Aug 21, 2001
For an easier descent:

When one reaches the large, slabby terrace that is about 80 feet or so above the upper roof, scramble to its eastern terminous and look for rap slings, which are a bit hidden. Rap 165 feet to broken ledges and do some careful scrambling to get to a second 60 foot rap, and then another 160 foot rappel.

These raps deposit one very near the bottom of The Nose, so one will only have to hike down a trail for a minimal distance to get back to the base. Also, it is much quicker and safer to take this option than to climb the last two 5.6 pitches to the top and then down climb the steep 4th class off the summit - especially when a typical Lumpy storm is rolling in! I wish I would have known this when I did the route. Oct 3, 2001
Just a couple of comments on this route.

Pitches 3 and 5 (crux 5.10 if you split the 4th pitch in two) and 7 (called 4th class in Rossiter topo, more like 5.4) have some serious run outs.

On pitch 6 (5 according to Rossiter) after you turn the bulge, you start climbing the left crack and eventually traverse to the right crack when the left one petters out (8+). If you traverse too early you will be faced with a 5.9 OW that narrows to thin fingers...

We did the rappel descent and had no problems finding the anchors. The so called 3rd/4th class scramble after the first rappel was more like 5.6...

WT Jun 10, 2002
Terry Gill
Terry Gill   Boulder
One comment on the 5.8 runout above the 5.10 crux: it's really scary. I have done it two ways. First, wander up an incipient crack, place a cam, then go up about 20 feet on thin sloping holds to a sloping ledge. traverse right into a shallow dihedral and an old bolt and pin anchor will be at foothold height. Second, you can traverse right from a sloping ledge above the cam but the holds are smaller and the shallow dihedral is hard to protect. Either way, this section seems worse than the crux which has nice but thin pro. Jun 10, 2002
Brian Milhaupt
Golden, CO
Brian Milhaupt   Golden, CO
If doing the rappel decent, bring replacement webbing. Most was well weathered (7/12/02). I found it easy to access each rappel, one 70m works. Jul 18, 2002
Stefan Griebel
Boulder, Colorado
Stefan Griebel   Boulder, Colorado
This is a great route. The only reason I give it 2 instead of 3 is because of the non-sustained nature of the climb, the crappy 1st pitch, and the sorta loose quartzy stuff on the pitch after the crux. I did not do the Idiot Wind variation. Jun 23, 2003
Climbed The Nose last Saturday 9/27/03 under stellar fall conditions. No weather to speak of but sun and a mild breeze. For replacing existing bolts I'm all for it, on the third belay which has two old ones, albiet there is a good crack there for natural pro. You could rappel from here to get off in weather and it would make it safe to be on new steel instead of an old buttonhead, and 1/4 in. spinner. The belay above has a new bolt so why not the one below ??Also on the second crux roof do not be fooled into the upper roof where there is two fixed nuts, avoid them and continue up the lower roof. You will know which roof it is, as you will never forget the first roof with it's great exposure, and the second is the first one you encounter after ascending the crack. Great route with some unforgettable pitches of climbing. If you plan to rap off the North side of the rock, bring two ropes, or continue up to the summit and walk off with a one rope rap. Oct 1, 2003
Great Route (The Nose). After doing the 4th pitch, (I would advise breaking 4 into two pitches for rope drag reasons), the runout 8 feels really solid and casual. Overall 5.10a; relax on the 9+ leftward traverse above the roof, commit and pull through. It's all there. Jun 15, 2006
Boulder, CO
tooTALLtim   Boulder, CO
Only had to rap twice with two 60m ropes. Didn't see other rap stations, but I didn't look extra hard for them. Jun 6, 2010