This fall we had the chance to climb in Colorado. We started in Cheyenne Canyon, near Colorado Springs. We climbed The Army Route, which is on The Pinnacle formation. This was a 5.5, 4-pitch climb that was supposedly bolted by the US Army in the 1940’s. The original large steel bolts are still there. The first two pitches were typical granite crack climbing, though a little run out.
The granite on the top two pitches was loose and crumbly, unlike any rock I’ve climbed in the east. Once at the top of the Pinnacle there is a short down climb on the other side and the walk off down a scree gully.
I would recommend this climb to anyone looking for a great view of Colorado Springs or the rest of Cheyenne Canyon, just be mindful of the rock quality near the top.
Next we went to Garden of the Gods, a nearby sandstone formation. We climbed one of the more popular routes in the area, the North Ridge of Montezuma’s Tower. It is a 5.7, 2 pitch, bolted, thin sandstone fin that stretches out of the ground above a popular foot path. It was fun to climb up and out of the crowd of people and end up high above them. I enjoyed climbing with an audience, but some might not like the attention.
The climb started off with a couple of vertical moves and transitions into a steep ridge line. The fin ranges from 2 feet to 5 feet wide, which made this one of the most unique climbs I’ve done. The sandstone was a bit crumbly in some areas making some holds less positive.
The top of the climb was crowded for our party of 3 but gives an awesome view of the rest of the park. It was a fun 50 meter rappel down the side of the fin off of the top bolts.
I’d recommenced this climb to anyone looking to get a feel for climbing easy sandstone, with the security of bolts. It was a very unique climb that earned its reputation as the best 5.7 in Colorado.
After this we headed up to Bolder, which you can read about in Part 2, and Rocky Mountain National Park in Part 3.