Type: Sport, 265 ft (80 m), 2 pitches
FA: Phil Gruber
Page Views: 527 total · 34/month
Shared By: Phil Gruber on Feb 21, 2022
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details


This route climbs the massive and imposing headwall at the top of the Matron's South Face. The main (second) pitch climbs just right of a large white scar (visible from CO Hwy 93) through what seems like an endless sea of rock. This long and intimidating pitch has a lowering anchor at mid-height allowing for it to be worked in two separate sections. However, it should be led in one continuous effort for full effect.

The ledge at the base of the second pitch makes a large and comfortable camp that is well suited for resting or even napping (recommended) between burns. With no other routes on this section of the wall (other than the South Face which traverses the ledge itself) and views across the mountains and plains, the beauty and serenity of the setting is unmatched.

P1. Trend left around a couple of corners and then up two steep sections at the top that are split by a shallow ledge. As a warm-up, it might feel a bit harder than the given grade, 5.11+, 30m.

P2. This pitch is slightly overhanging for 50 meters, climbs through many bouldery sections linked by juggy yet pumpy climbing, and is capped off with a final roof. Start up some broken rock to an arete under an overhang. Climb left of the arete to a gaston, and move into position under the overhang at the third bolt (difficult and tricky climbing... a stickclip might be nice for the first 2 or 3 bolts). From there, the rock gets better and the climbing more straightforward, but it stays on you until just before the mid-point anchor (for lowering) where the holds get a bit bigger. Get a shake, and then climb through a bouldery section above the anchor. Bigger holds on overhanging rock lead to another boulder problem that starts at an obvious, downward-pointing rock tooth. The pitch then stays pretty continuous, traversing right, then left and back right across the face to a stance under (and slightly right of) a large overhang. Get one final shake before climbing through the roof and clipping the chains, 5.13, 50m. (This has not had a repeat, so I will update the grade once there is a consensus.)

A 70m rope will JUST make it to the top of the second pitch and back down to the mid-station. BE CAREFUL, AND TIE A KNOT IN THE END OF THE ROPE.

Soten was Chip Chace's Buddhist name and means "Blue Sky". Through dedication to his practices of climbing, Buddhism, and Eastern medicine (which he taught both locally and internationally), Chip had a profound impact on many. Two of my most memorable climbing trips were on separate occasions that Chip visited Australia when I was living there.


Locate the Matron, and walk under the South face and up a steep incline until you are directly under the big headwall at the West end of the South face. At a tree, head back East for 20' across a narrow ledge to locate a line of bolts. The route starts 10' left of "Direct Start South Face".

It's convenient to park in Eldo and hike up the Old Mesa Trail, but be careful not to cross private property.


P1: 12 bolts (and an optional fixed stopper) plus top anchor. P2: 20 bolts plus mid-anchor and top anchor. Bring lots of runners to reduce rope drag on the massive second pitch.