REI Community
The Hand

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Back in Slacks S 
Back in Yaks T,TR 
Cardboard Cowboy S 
East Face/Hand T 
Father on Fire T,S 
Handy Warm Up, The S 
Lackin' Slacks (aka The Full Monty) T 
New Saigon S 
Perfect Kiss (P1 of Rock Atrocity), The S 
Power Bulge S 
Quest for Balance S,TR 
Rock Atrocity S 

The Hand Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 6,912'
Location: 39.9738, -105.2894 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 10,614
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Kristo torgersen on Nov 30, 1999  with updates from Carl Schaefer


59° | 43°

56° | 36°

55° | 40°

66° | 41°

46° | 26°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
If you've ever wondered why these formations were ...

  • New Emergency Closure & Subject to Seasonal Closures MORE INFO >>>
  • Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>
  • Seasonal Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    The Hand, so named for its resemblance to a mitten, is home to a "handful" of difficult sport lines. The steep lines on this formation are comprised of hard crimps and flakes on the upper sections of the wall, and gentle huecos at the bottom. Routes ascend the south and west faces of the formation and receive sun from late-morning to mid-afternoon. All the best lines finish at two bolt anchors for easy lowering off. The classic line Power Bulge (5.12c) takes a line up the steep south face of the formation, and the ever impressive Rock Atrocity (5.13d) takes the severely overhanging blank face high on the formations southwest corner. The south face is closed seasonally for bird nesting, but the west face remains open all year round.

    Update from Carl Schaefer
    : The upper routes (from the left end to Cardboard Cowboy) are at the top of a slab that's best climbed by hugging the face and using the gritty but positive pocket handholds where the slab meets the wall. The slab feels to me like awkward 5.6 R, especially with a pack on.


    A. Quest for Balance, 11, 1p, 60', bolts.

    B. The Handy Warm Up, 10-, 1p, 60', bolts.
    C. New Saigon, 11- R, 1p, 60', bolts.
    D. Cardboard Cowboy, 11, 1p, 45', bolts.
    E. Father on Fire, 10+, 1p, 50', bolts & gear.
    F. The Perfect Kiss (P1 of Rock Atrocity), 11+, 1p, 60', bolts.
    above F. Rock Atrocity, 13+, 1p, 50', bolts.
    G. Lackin' Slacks (aka The Full Monty), 11- R, 1p, 65', gear.
    H. Power Bulge, 12, 1p, 70', bolts.
    I. Back in Slacks, 11, 1p, 50', bolts & missing pin.
    J. Back in Yaks, 9 R, 1p, 55', gear.

    K. East Face/Hand, 4, 3p, gear.

    Getting There 

    Park at NCAR Mesa and hike the Mallory Cave trail uphill for approximately 30-40 minutes. After passing the Der Zerkle formation, there is a faint climber's trail that skirts up the left side of The Hand's east face (slabby) into a rocky and wooded gully (if you find yourself at Mallory Cave you've gone a little bit too far). Continue up the gully, The Hand's south face should become aparant on the north side of the gully after several hundred feet. It is recognized by two sport lines that start on fifteen feet of enormous huecos. The west face routes can be found on the backside of the formation just uphill from the west face. Across the gully is Frankenstein's tower and Der Freischutz.

    Climbing Season

    Weather station 2.8 miles from here

    12 Total Climbing Routes

    ['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

    Classic Climbing Routes in The Hand

    Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Hand:
    East Face/Hand   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 3 pitches   
    New Saigon   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
    Cardboard Cowboy   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   
    Back in Slacks   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
    Power Bulge   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
    Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Hand

    Featured Route For The Hand
    Rock Climbing Photo: Ben entering the crux of Power Bulge.

    Power Bulge 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b  Colorado : Flatirons : ... : The Hand
    This route is on the south face of The Hand, just to the (climber's) right of Rock Atrocity on the very overhung southwest face and to the left of another slightly easier bolted line....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

    Comments on The Hand Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By doug rouse
    From: Denver, CO.
    Jun 24, 2008
    Greetings, wasn't there a route on the south-west corner called "The perfect Kiss"?? Is it still there? I remember it being a pretty fine line..back in '89....
    By Jason Haas
    Jun 24, 2008
    Doug, yes the route Perfect Kiss is an 11d that leads up to Rock Atrocity. The route is a little sharp and has some epoxy on some of the more fragile flakes.
    By doug rouse
    From: Denver, CO.
    Jun 24, 2008
    Right on. Thanks for the prompt response. Rock Atrocity...another route not listed? Not that I am trying to complain or anything, I think you guys do a really good job with the website. Funny how much Yapping goes on though!
    By Pinklebear
    Jul 24, 2010
    Two new applications have come in so far for the September 15 cycle (close of the deadline) for the Flatirons Fixed Hardware Review Committee; one is on the Hand. Others might come along in the next month or two, as well.

    Please go here to leave comments: flatironsclimbingcouncil.wordp...

    Date of the public meeting/vote to be announced in September.

    Mountain Project

    The Definitive Climbing Resource

    MTB Project

    Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

    Powder Project

    Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
    FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About