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Clip It or Skip It (aka Skip It or Clip It)

5.11a, Sport, 200 ft (61 m), 2 pitches,  Avg: 1.5 from 6 votes
FA: Fred Aschert, 1989
Colorado > Colorado Springs > Garden of the Gods > N Gateway Rock > Southwest Face / Fing…
Access Issue: 2020 Seasonal nesting closures Details
Access Issue: Lifted: 2020 Seasonal Closures Details


The crux of the route is trying not to aid it as you slip and slide your way up the sandy, breakable, dime-size ledges. Luckily there are about 16 or so pitons on the first pitch, and it is great for your head until you reach the last one with a healthy 30' runout to the anchors. If you decide to continue on, it is probably better to skip the anchors and head to the top on much more brittle terrain with standard Garden protection of spaced out, manky pitons.


Go up the Tourist Gully to the second eye bolt and/or just below the bomber set of 3 anchors and look right. It is the line of pitons just all a few feet apart.

This is just right of Chatters.


Pitons. Lots of them on the first pitch.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Bill Olszewski
Colorado Springs, CO
[Hide Comment] According to Mark Rolofson, Soft Touch III: Skip It or Clip It, FA Fred Aschert, 1989. Feb 26, 2012
Kris Kemp
all over the place lately
[Hide Comment] Don't recommend this route. Sandy, sandy, sandy. Not worth the hike up. Sep 25, 2012
Mark Rolofson
[Hide Comment] This route description is a bit confusing. I don't remember any 30 ft. run-out. After 14 closely spaced drilled pins, the route joins Dust To Dust at the 15th pin. It is possible to escape left to an anchor & lower off 80ft. Or continue up Dust To Dust (.10a) for 4 drilled pins. Step right to an anchor below the bulge. There may well be a 15 ft. runout. If it is really 30 ft., then a pin is missing. Above this upper anchor is the upper pitch (5.8) of Dust To Dust, which only has one drilled pin & requires placing hexes (1.5"- 3.5") in potholes for protection. This might involve a 20-30 ft. runout without placing gear. The description seems to be referring to skipping this anchor below the bulge & continuing in one long pitch over the bulge up the 5.8 potholes & to the top. I certainly wouldn't recommend this, as it would probably put you out of communication with your second.

As for the rock quality, the route is on the Finger Face in the Garden Of The Gods. It's soft rock with some fragile holds. If you're looking for solid rock you're on the wrong face. Nov 11, 2019
Hans Webster
Colorado Springs, CO
[Hide Comment] Mark is correct in describing the route. This route also makes an excellent practice low angle aid ladder as the first 12 or so pitons can be clipped while standing in an aider on the previous piton. If you are looking for a place to do some exercises from Chris McNamara's book, you found one. Jan 4, 2020