Type: Sport, 220 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Bret Ruckman, Steve Annecone, 2012/2013 (pitches 1 and 2), Spring 2016 (pitch 3)
Page Views: 8,242 total · 110/month
Shared By: Steve Annecone on Apr 5, 2013
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details

Description

This route works up to and follows the striking, wildly hueco'd wall up the middle of the south face of the Maiden. Pitch 1 starts just right of a large juniper tree, directly below the "Stone Oven Belay" (top of 1st pitch of the South Face route). Look for the juggy holds over a small roof, with a bolt above, and start there. Though we initially thought this pitch was new terrain, it turns out this start, or some variation thereof, may have been done earlier by David Light and Greg Miller as part of the free Kor-Dalke. Pull the roof low, step up right onto a slab, and work up to a ramp, following it up left and then straight up to a red/chocolate roof, moving right over airy ground to the belay ledge (5.9 or 10-).

The second pitch fires up the continuously overhung, bullet-proof, patina’d wall. The first 5 bolts travel through juggy 5.10+ or 11- terrain to a stance just past the 5th bolt. From there, power up sustained 5.12 moves to a break above the 8th bolt, then finish it up to the top via one more cruxy section. This is very sustained and pumpy, with reachy and powerful moves in a spectacular setting.

In the spring of 2016, we added a third pitch (5.13b) that tops out on the east ridge not far from the summit. From the top of the 2nd pitch, move right over airy terrain past the first two bolts. From there, power through the crux moves up to the 3rd bolt, and continue up the gentle overhang through fairly sustained 5.11/5.12 climbing. The redpoint crux may be hanging on long enough to get through this section, and it's not over till you get to the 7th bolt. From there, 5.10 or 11- climbing past bolts 7 to 9 take you to the anchor. The crux section is tricky and crimpy, with a few gastons, a sloper or two, and major pump management required. Best to do this pitch in coolish conditions if possible.

During the process of establishing this route, we'd frequently hear wild turkeys gobbling away or coyotes howling nearby, and recently I was treated to some fresh mountain lion tracks in the snow. The environment here is wild and beautiful, so tread lightly.

The location and particularly the Stone Oven Belay are surprisingly warm. The spacious belay ledge is in a wind-sheltered, concave area on the wall that tends to bake when the sun is out. Consider this a winter route, though great conditions can also be found on the cooler fall or spring days.

A 60-meter cord is sufficient for both leading and rapping off each pitch. However, if lowering or especially if rappelling off either the second or third pitch, be sure to kick out hard and keep in contact with the rock on the way down or you get left hanging in space. A longer cord will be needed if combining pitches 2/3 into a longer, uber-lead.

Location

Follow the same approach as for all Maiden south face routes. The start of the first pitch is directly below the big belay ledge at the top of the 1st pitch of the South Face route, which is about 20-30 yards further uphill than the start of that route. Belay next to the juniper tree under a small roof.

Protection

Only a very light rack is needed for the first pitch, from small nuts/RPs to a #1 or #2 Camalot. Bring 3 or 4 long slings to minimize drag. Both the second and third pitches have 9 bolts leading to 2-bolt anchors.

Photos

Adam Brink
on the road
Adam Brink   on the road
Way to go, Steve and Brett! Apr 5, 2013
Peter Beal
Boulder Colorado
Peter Beal   Boulder Colorado
Is there a third pitch planned? Apr 6, 2013
Pinklebear
  5.13b
Pinklebear  
  5.13b
Superlative rock climb. Great work, Bret and Steve. The good huecos on the lower half will make you feel like a superhero...until you encounter their evil, sloping, widely spaced cousins on the upper half. The problem is, they all look like good huecos from below; so you just won't know until you know, and then...you'll know! Apr 15, 2013
Margo Hayes
  5.13a
Margo Hayes  
  5.13a
Such a fun route! =] I thought that it was a stiff 12d, maybe even 13a. Thank you, Steve, for taking us up there!! Apr 28, 2013
climbinzs
  5.12d
climbinzs  
  5.12d
Great route! Make sure you’re wearing a knee-pad for two locker left knee-bars. One at the seventh bolt, just before the crux. Harder for anyone under 5'’8”" due to its reachy nature. Nov 16, 2013
Bart Paull
Golden, CO
  5.12d
Bart Paull   Golden, CO
  5.12d
This route is awesome! Feb 6, 2015
Brett S.
Colorado
 
Brett S.   Colorado
 
This route is incredible. The position is just fantastic. An adventurous sport route of the highest quality. Sep 7, 2015
Stephen Felker
Boulder, CO
 
Stephen Felker   Boulder, CO
 
Pitch 1 requires nothing larger than a #0.75 Camalot and couple of key medium/large nuts. There is a bolt low and a pin up high. A #1 Camalot backs up the tat belay. A 70m rope easily reaches from the ledge atop pitch 1, through the pitch 2 anchors, and to the ground. Feb 10, 2016
Phil Lauffen
Innsbruck, AT
 
Phil Lauffen   Innsbruck, AT  
 
I check in at about 5'8+" (5'10" if you're of the female variety), and I found some alternate beta that just involved sucking up the left hand to a worse sport on the side pull before going big. I also did it with a cross-dyno that didn't feel toooo bad. All I'm saying is I don't think it's 13a, at least at my height. Feb 21, 2016
Steve Annecone
boulder
  5.13b
Steve Annecone   boulder
  5.13b
Kudos to Phil Gruber and Lynn Hill who recently sent a linkup of pitches 2 and 3! They were able to belay at the Stone Oven belay and lower back with an 80m rope. If you have a 70m rope, you could belay from same nice ledge, lower to top of 2nd pitch, then rap or lower from there back to the belay. Jun 9, 2016
Matt Lawry
Louisville, CO
  5.13b
Matt Lawry   Louisville, CO
  5.13b
I think the link-up of pitches 2 and 3 is solid 13b. Pitch 3 on its own, maybe 13a? The link up is definitely the way to go though. Put a double length runner on the last draw of pitch 2, skip the anchors, double length draw on the 1st and 5th bolt of pitch 3 and the rope drag isn't too bad. Also a good thing to note - both ends of an 80 meter rope will reach the ground from the top of pitch two with rope stretch. Knot the ends though! Mar 5, 2018
Renaud
Boulder, CO
 
Renaud   Boulder, CO
 
Here's my "beta" for belaying on the 2nd pitch: if your leader is significantly heavier than you, you will fly up when they take the whipper going for the final crux jug. I did, slammed knees first into the wall, and hurt my knee pretty badly. I would recommend clipping into the pin above the anchor slings (back it up with a cam, it's not the most solid looking pin) and then clipping short into the anchor slings below you to prevent you from flying up. Oh and also, bring your shoes up with you on that ledge, you won't regret it. Apr 9, 2018
Patrick Vernon
Estes Park, CO
 
Patrick Vernon   Estes Park, CO
 
Amazing route, one of the best in the Flatirons. I am 5'8", and I had to throw for the jug at the crux, but it felt reasonable, and I hate throwing for stuff on lead. Felt like .12d. Can't wait to try the third pitch! Apr 26, 2018
Andy Hansen
Longmont, CO
 
Andy Hansen   Longmont, CO
 
What a tremendous route! The rock quality on the 2nd pitch is incredible, and the movement is spectacular! Oct 13, 2018
Pinklebear
  5.13b
Pinklebear  
  5.13b
Good eye, Steve and Bret, on sorting out pitch 3, which is complex and technical in its own right. The monster link is the way to go if you want a long, very pumpy journey. Drag is manageable with a double draw on the last bolt of P2, then clip the first bolt on P3 and reach back and unclip the anchors. I also hung long draws on bolts 2 and 5 on P3, which seemed to help. This is a very special climb in a very special place...so good! Nov 2, 2018
Dr. VARMENT
Boulder, Colorado
 
Dr. VARMENT   Boulder, Colorado
 
Incredible route! I wish there was more rock like this in the Front Range! Mar 17, 2019