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Routes in Zowie

Green Chili T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Magic in the Middle T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
One for the Red Team T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
South Face T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
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Type: Trad, Alpine, 700 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: Ken Duncan, Dede Humphrey, 2016
Page Views: 2,283 total · 78/month
Shared By: Ken Duncan on Jun 21, 2016
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

13 Opinions

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details


Magic in the Middle has a moderate approach, good alpine rock, minimal lichen, high quality climbing at a consistent grade, big belay ledges, a spectacular summit with great views and a straightforward descent. What more could you ask for? Several of the pitches look intimidating from below, but gear placements show up. This is arguably better than the Petit Grepon and one of the best moderate routes in RMNP.

P1. 5.6. Start on a pedestal at the low point of the south face. Head up a black streak to the right move left then continue up and right on easy but runnout slab climbing heading for the left side of the long overhang. Belay on a large ledge at the base of a steep face, 115 feet.

P2. 5.9. Climb the face and arete up to the level of the roof, then step right into the base of the hanging, left-facing dihedral. Climb the dihedral, step right onto the face then head up a right-facing dihedral and face to a large ledge below a steep face with imposing overhangs. Consider carrying prussiks on this pitch, as a fall from the dihedral may leave you hanging in space, 115 feet.

P3. 5.8+. Head up and slightly left then slightly right to a band of smooth white granite. Traverse up and right across the smooth face to a sloping belay below another obvious, left-facing, hanging dihedral, 115 feet.

P4. 5.9-. Climb the dihedral past a seemingly solid detached block, step right onto the arete, and head up to another big ledge, 50 feet.

P5. Continue on easy climbing up and left to the base of a steep red wall, 115 feet.

P6. 5.9. Head up the center of the steep wall aiming for a small, right-facing dihedral capped with a roof. Turn the roof (crux), then climb easily to a large ledge at the base of the offwidth that is the final pitch of the South Face route, 90 feet.

P7. 5.8+. Diagonal up and right, climbing the thin crack variation to the final pitch of the South Face route, 50 feet.


Climb the center of the south face of Zowie starting at the low point of the face (left of the "flatiron") and between two chimney systems.


Cams from small TCUs to #3 with doubles from 0.5 to 2, a full set of nuts including a few RP size and alpine runners. Tricams were very helpful. A single 60m rope will get you up and down.
Mike dF
Mike dF  
This was a stellar route, with the real gems being P2 and P6-7. I thought that the crux was on P4, pulling through the detached block and the roof immediately after. The climbing is about as difficult as the P2 and P6 cruxes, but the rock is somewhat suspect in this area; the detached block does, in fact, seem solid, but I sure wouldn't want to fall on gear that relies on it not moving. I also did not think that the hanging dihedral that begins this pitch was very obvious, as there are several steep corners in the vicinity that begin off a sloping ledge. Look for the detached block - about one foot tall and 2-3 wide - that is underneath a roof, a few feet left of a left-facing corner, and maybe 10-12 feet above the sloping ledge.

Finally, no pitch is sustained at the grade, and you'll rarely go ten meters without finding a suitable place to build an anchor. We managed to finish this in four pitches, going ~55m for pitches one and two, then to the top of the original description's P4, then to the summit with some simulclimbing (always with the follower on easy ground - mostly 3rd class with very short sections of easy 5th). If linking, mind your drag on P3 and P4. Aug 28, 2017

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