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Montezuma Tower

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Montezuma Tower 


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Elevation: 6,035'
Lat, Long: 38.8764, -104.88113 Map Incorrect?
Page Views: 47,087
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Andrew Gram on Nov 30, 1999
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BETA PHOTO: Climb it before it falls over.
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Description 

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.


3 Total Routes


['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',1],['5.8',1],['5.9',0],['5.10',0],['5.11',1],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

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

Featured Route For Montezuma Tower
A different perspective of the North Ridge of Montezuma's Tower.

North Ridge 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b  CO : Colorado Springs : ... : Montezuma Tower
Super classic. This is one of the best 5.7 climbs in Colorado 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 eyebolts (...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Montezuma Tower Slideshow Add Photo
Profile of the Tower and the Three Graces.
BETA PHOTO: Profile of the Tower and the Three Graces.
photo by Dave Fiorucci
photo by Dave Fiorucci
EJ leads pitch one of Montezuma's Tower.
EJ leads pitch one of Montezuma's Tower.
Climbers on the tower.
Climbers on the tower.
Montezuma Tower. A sick climb!
BETA PHOTO: Montezuma Tower. A sick climb!
View from the top.
View from the top.
Rappelling of the side.
Rappelling of the side.
Montezuma's Tower.
Montezuma's Tower.
Montezuma's Tower.
Montezuma's Tower.
Another beautiful day in the Springs.
Another beautiful day in the Springs.
Trial by fire.  Montezuma turns out to be my brother's initiation into Colorado climbing.
Trial by fire. Montezuma turns out to be my broth...
The start of the climb.
BETA PHOTO: The start of the climb.
South Ridge, East Face - Montezuma's Tower.
South Ridge, East Face - Montezuma's Tower.
Airy.
Airy.
Comments on Montezuma Tower Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 4, 2011
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: Littleton
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
Jun 4, 2011

Just climbed the tower today. It is still a great climb. Easily raped from the top with a single 70m rope.