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Montezuma Tower

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Montezuma Tower Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 6,035'
Location: 38.8764, -104.88113 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 27,102
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Andrew Gram on Nov 30, 1999


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Looking down Montezuma's Tower, Garden of The Gods...

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Montezuma Tower is the obvious skinny tower in the middle of Garden of the Gods. The North Ridge is one of the best moderate routes in Colorado, and it has some old aid routes Harvey Carter did as practice for the Fisher Towers. This is a pretty wild tower to have so close to a city.

Getting There 

Park in the main parking lot and Garden of the Gods, and walk between the Gateway Rocks past the Twin Spires. Montezuma Tower is the obvious skinny tower next to the smaller Three Graces.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.7 miles from here

3 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Montezuma Tower

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Montezuma Tower:
North Ridge   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Montezuma Tower

Featured Route For Montezuma Tower
Rock Climbing Photo: A different perspective of the North Ridge of Mont...

North Ridge 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b  Colorado : Colorado Springs : ... : Montezuma Tower
Super classic. This is one of the best 5.7 climbs in Colorado aNd ascends the narrow North ridge of Montezuma's Tower, offering up good moves on reasonably solid conglomerate sandstone, tremendous exposure and short cruxes. Usually it is done in two pitches, although it is possible to do it in one pitch with a 60m rope. Keep in mind that you still will need two ropes for the rap off.Begin at the base of the North ridge, climbing unprotected but moderate rock to the first of three giant eyebol...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Montezuma Tower Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Climb it before it falls over.
BETA PHOTO: Climb it before it falls over.
Rock Climbing Photo: EJ leads pitch one of Montezuma's Tower.
EJ leads pitch one of Montezuma's Tower.
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbers on the tower.
Climbers on the tower.
Rock Climbing Photo: Profile of the Tower and the Three Graces.
BETA PHOTO: Profile of the Tower and the Three Graces.
Rock Climbing Photo: On top of the tower.
On top of the tower.
Rock Climbing Photo: 1 out of 2 pitch. If you have a 70 rope, you can c...
1 out of 2 pitch. If you have a 70 rope, you can c...
Rock Climbing Photo: photo by Dave Fiorucci
photo by Dave Fiorucci
Rock Climbing Photo: Trial by fire.  Montezuma turns out to be my broth...
Trial by fire. Montezuma turns out to be my broth...
Rock Climbing Photo: Airy.
Rock Climbing Photo: The tower in late August.
The tower in late August.
Rock Climbing Photo: AMac following the ridge.
AMac following the ridge.
Rock Climbing Photo: General view of the route with a climber on the to...
General view of the route with a climber on the to...
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting the second pitch.
Starting the second pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Rappelling of the side.
Rappelling of the side.
Rock Climbing Photo: West Face, Montezuma Tower, GOG.  Climbers on Nort...
West Face, Montezuma Tower, GOG. Climbers on Nort...
Rock Climbing Photo: Montezuma Tower.
Montezuma Tower.
Rock Climbing Photo: Having fun on Montezuma Tower.
Having fun on Montezuma Tower.
Rock Climbing Photo: Montezuma's Tower.
Montezuma's Tower.
Rock Climbing Photo: Topping Out!
Topping Out!
Rock Climbing Photo: South Ridge, East Face - Montezuma's Tower.
South Ridge, East Face - Montezuma's Tower.
Rock Climbing Photo: Montezuma Tower. A sick climb!
BETA PHOTO: Montezuma Tower. A sick climb!
Rock Climbing Photo: Another beautiful day in the Springs.
Another beautiful day in the Springs.
Rock Climbing Photo: The start of the climb.
BETA PHOTO: The start of the climb.
Rock Climbing Photo: Montezuma Tower.
Montezuma Tower.

Show All 27 Photos

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Comments on Montezuma Tower Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 9, 2017
By Barrett Cooper
Oct 26, 2001
This climb is a moderate two pitch climb along the spine of the 150' tower. It is a well climbed route in the Garden and provides some of the best views of any climb in the Garden. The first pitch provides most of the good climbing to the first belay station and you can rap from there with a 60m rope. Or climb the short second pitch to the summit which has several chopped steps remaining from the early hoards of Garden climbers. Bring two ropes for the descent off the west side of the tower.
By Barrett Cooper
Jan 25, 2002
As a correction to the above, I should have said I have been told you can rap from the first set of anchors with a 60m rope as I have never cause to test it out. If anyone knows for sure please post a response.
By Anonymous Coward
Feb 24, 2002
It is possible to rap it with one 60m if you swing far right (as you're going down) and land on top of a boulder. If you miss, its a 15-20' drop to the ground so I wouldn't recommend it unless you have to and even then be sure to tie a big knot in the end of the rope. - Tom
By Sean O'Dell
Mar 6, 2002
I've rapped from the 1st anchors (obvious ledge about half way up the spline of the north ridge) without any problem. As I recall, the rope reached the deck with a foot or 2 to spare. Tom - you sure you aren't talking about a rap with a 50m rope? At any rate, the point is that it CAN be done if you need to bail, but the 2 rope rap from the top is by far the best way off.
By Joshua Lewis
Mar 18, 2002
Humorous side note on this climb (potential Urban Legend): Fergie--the Dutchess of York climbed it in 98 or 99. It was right after she lost all the weight and did her "big adventure" tour of the states...probably negotiating her deal with Weight Watchers, as well. The climb was led for her by a blind climber whose name I can't recall. --Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.
By Sean O'Dell
Apr 9, 2002
Just did this route with Barrett again last night - it appears that time and climbers are beginning to take their toll on this ol' rock (see barret's comments on the north ridge route). That said, I'd forgotten just how wild and blood-pumping the exposure on this thing is. If you only do one route in Garden of the Gods, hell, if you only do one route in the Pikes Peak region, it MUST be Montezuma's Tower.
By Anonymous Coward
Apr 25, 2002
In response to Cooper's post, I have succeeded in rappeling down from the first anchors with a 60m rope, so it's safe.
By Bryson Slothower
May 29, 2002
This route is easily done as 1 pitch......
By David Danforth
From: California/Colorado
Oct 2, 2002
Does anybody know anything about the TR's on the west face?
By David Danforth
From: California/Colorado
Oct 31, 2002
You can rap off of the first anchors with a single 50m rope. You dont need a 60. To rap off the second pitch, ide recommend two ropes, 50 or 60m, doesnt matter. It might be possilbe to do it with a single 60.... using that boulder as a good stopping point like somebody said earlier, but it would be pushing it VERy thin. It's weird down at the bottom; my rope got hung up on that boulder once and i fell from about 5 ft up and it hurt. A fall from that boulder would be rather painful. So two ropes is the wisest.
By David Danforth
From: California/Colorado
Feb 5, 2003
Yeah, so the ridge can be done as a single pitch if you use a 60m. I did it with my partner like that, and it is doable. However, the drag gets really bad as you climb the last 20' or so. So, it is probably beter to do it in 2. Also, a cam/big tricam can be placed at the last move; it is worth taking it up to the top for that extra psyche help. Finally, the boulder at the bottom is getting pretty loose. If you stand at the base of the north end looking south, down the tower, the small round one on the left is loose. The big one on the right isn't loose. However, if the one on the left happened to fall, it is a possibility it could change the state of the right one, too...-Cheers
By Charles Danforth
From: L'ville, CO
Oct 7, 2003
Regarding Joshua Lewis's comments above (Urban Legends) and such. Both are partially true! I climbed this one last weekend just ahead of a party lead by Richard Gaiman (sp?). He lead the Dutches s up the North Ridge and the blind climber (who's name I also can't remember) on a separate occasion. After cleaning the pitch, the blind climber came back and lead it providing detailed beta for his second. Amazing stuff.

North Ridge is spooky and wonderful and more exposed than anything I've ever climbed. Wow.
By Dan Russell
Oct 9, 2003
Yeah, I was out there the day Fergie, Ric, and the blind guy climbed it, pretty cool stuff. We watched them from the top of Three Graces across the way for awhile. We scored some sodas off their camera crew!
By Anonymous Coward
Apr 27, 2004
What's on top of the tower to set up the belay?
By Anonymous Coward
Apr 28, 2004
Cement-in eyebolts.
By Dylan Scott
Jun 1, 2004
A few quick notes. You can safetly rap off the top of the second pitch with a 70 meter rope. A fun but somewhat loose climb can be done setting up a toprope from the top of the first pitch. Climb the west face up. I'd rate it around a 5.9 or so.
By Stich
From: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Oct 23, 2004
Just climbed the route today with a friend. A 60 meter rope works just fine to get you down from the summit in one rappel. I was only two feet off the ground when the ends pulled through after I untied them. Make sure your rope is an actual 60, though. Sometimes you end up cutting off frayed ends and forget. You can swing to the boulder if you are a little short.

Nov '07 update: Lo and behold, we did the rappel with a supposed 60m rope that was in fact a 50m! To get down I ended up making an anchor on the ledge about 20ft above the ground directly below the rap line. From there, I lowered my partner down and then draped the rope over the ledge. The saddle here provided a relatively smooth surface to do a counter weighted rappel down the groove behind the flake. My partner served as the counter weight.
By Pete Elliott
From: Co Spgs CO
Jul 28, 2006
To the beta above... I was on Montezuma's about 2 weeks ago, and the loose boulder at the start below the first bolt shifted a couple of inches when I weighted it. Geological time is now. Maybe, start on the east face at the base of the ridge, and avoid it altogether.
By Nathan Hoobler
Oct 2, 2006
I was just at the Garden this afternoon, and we found that the loose boulder that people have often discussed here has finally fallen! (Hope nobody was on it at the time.) It must have happened fairly recently, judging from the remnants of the boulder at the base. I doubt that it will change the stability of that section of the climb too much, but it could very well change the grade. The hardest part of Montezuma's (for me, anyway) has always been those first few moves to the first pro. The whole shape/method of those moves has now changed. Curious if anyone's climbed it since the boulder fell?
By Legs Magillicutty
From: Durango
Nov 27, 2006
Climbed this again yesterday for my 3rd or 4th time. This was the first time I climbed it since the boulder fell. To me the opening moves didn't feel as difficult. It's not to terribly far to the first bolt. This is probably a silly question but is the upper section chipped or are those steps natural? They are definitely in the most ideal spots.
By Nathan Hoobler
Dec 10, 2006
Interesting. We climbed it a few weeks ago, and all three of us thought it was a touch harder now. Maybe it's because we've climbed it a number of times the "old way" and so those opening moves are hardwired in our brains. It's still definitely a 5.7 at the beginning with a lot of 5.3/5.4 in the middle.

It seems like half the holds on the Tower are cut somehow. Ah well. It's still a terrific climb.
By Pete Elliott
From: Co Spgs CO
May 15, 2007
Seems fine with the boulder gone. Nice soft landing either way. A question... has anyone tried the aid route that starts at the top of the big flake on the southeast corner of Montezuma's. The pitons (manky???) start about 30 feet of the ground and there are maybe 15 that go to the top. Just curious if they are any sort of solid or no.
By Stewart M. Green
May 18, 2007
I did that bolt ladder up the east face back in the late seventies. Those pins were pretty manky then...I hate to think of them now. Do it in 2 pitches. First pitch up to a stance below the ladder. Second pitch is clipping bolts in aiders. I remember it as kinda fun, but also scary.
By Danimal Jones
From: Colorado Springs
Jun 4, 2011
Just climbed the tower today. It is still a great climb. Easily raped from the top with a single 70m rope.
By Tom Ashley
Apr 18, 2016
Completely doable in one pitch. If you manage it well, the rope drag isn't worse than any other 40m pitch, you save a ton of time, and you don't have to risk a factor 2 getting to the first bolt on the second pitch. A 70m is easily long enough for the rap.
By Marsh.king
From: Olney
Jun 2, 2016
Will a 70m rope be enough to double belay down the west side of the tower?
By Byrne
Jun 3, 2016
To repeat others, yes, a 70 meter rope will get you down the west face.

Edit: not sure what you're referring to with "double belay down?" If you meant double or tandem rappel down, then yes, that is definitely ok. If you're planning to lower someone from the top, then I'd recommend against it. Rappel is the way to get down.
By rayshoots
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Feb 20, 2017
Just to keep the posts relevant: I climbed this 2-17-17 with my buddy Ross. It's essentially a runout sport climb. While you can place gear after the first pitch, there are eye bolts to anchor into. It's essentially a sport climb that can be a little runout.

Only bring a 70m and rappel down. We brought a 60 and a 70, quickly realized that a 70 would have been just fine.

  • edit* - spelling
By Nick Crews
From: Colorado Springs
Apr 9, 2017
If you left your water bottle at the base today (Sun. 4/9/17), I have it. Let me know.

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