Climber on the first pitc of the East Ridge of the Maiden. Photo taken from mountainproject.com
The first route that sticks out in my mind is the East Ridge of the Maiden. My friend and I did this route this spring. Many formations in this area are closed due to falcon nesting. It may be because of this, but we were the only ones on the formation that weekend. The guide book says it is 5 pitches. We strung together pitches 1 and 2 as well as 3 and 4. We were climbing with a 70m rope, which made it nice. Pitch one is a beautiful crack and pitch three involves some wild face moves. After topping out two single rope rappels bring you back to the ground. The first rappel involves a free hanging rap down to the “crow’s nest”. The second rap is down the south face. A quick scramble back to the base brings you back to your packs and the trail to head out.
Climber starting the wild 3rd pitch of the East Ridge of the Maiden. Photo taken from mountainproject.com
The crazy free hanging rappel off the Maiden. Photo taken from mountainproject.com
Climber starting pitch two of Fat City. Photo taken from mountainproject.com
The second route that sticks out in my mind is Fat City (5.10c) at Lumpy Ridge. This route is on the Book formation. Although the hike up to the Book can be a bit of a hump, this route is well worth it. Plus when you add in the route Cheap Date, this is a route that shouldn’t be missed, and that is what we did. When I first moved to Colorado, this is the route that I took my first trad lead fall on. That fall happened on the first pitch and I couldn’t even get through the second pitch. This time, 5 years later, I made it through the first pitch without any problems. The second pitch is the crux. Thin fingers lead to a bit of a chimney, followed by and overhang. Really work the feet for the finger sections and you’ll do fine. For the chimney section make sure you rack your gear on the right side of your body. For the overhang I threw my right hand up with a thumbs down jam and tossed my hip over the lip and kind of scummed it on the wall. The third pitch has a bunch of great lie-backing. It is a fairly long pitch and will bring you to the cave. From there you can finish up on Cheap Date or do other various exit routes. Once you top out, hug the wall to your right and you’ll end up back at the base of the formation. This route has a little bit of everything, and because of that I recommend you put this route on your to-do list.
Pitch 4 of Rewritten. Photo taken from mountainproject.com
The third route that sticks out in my mind is Rewritten (5.7) in Eldorado Canyon. This route is situated high up on the Redgarden Wall. My climbing partner and I started the route with the first pitch of the Great Zot (5.8). By doing this, you get to climb a great crack through a little bulge. Really fun. After two more pitches of fairly easy climbing, you come to another amazing pitch. A traverse out left brings you to an airy and exposed hand crack. After this pitch you get another amazing pitch up a knife blade arête. From the top of the arête one more final pitch brings you to the top. Overall, these six pitches are amazing. A walk off brings you back to your packs.
There are many more routes that where a blast. For whatever reason these routes just stick out in my mind. I recommend everyone doing them. If you don’t feel comfortable leading them, the guides at the Colorado Mountain School can guide you up anyone of these routes.
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