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North Face of Pike's Peak

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
66 Years of Fun 
Blind Assumption T 
Blind Luck T 
Ole 6, The T 
Right Couloir of Three Little Pigs (Flying W) 
Total Abandon T 
Y Couloir 

North Face of Pike's Peak 

Photos: Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 14,110'
Location: 38.8406, -105.044 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 67,110
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Julian Smith on Jun 4, 2002
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Will as we begin the Hero Traverse.


Pike's Peak towers more than 7000' above the town of Colorado Springs. Plainly visible from US Highway 24 on the way up to Woodland Park is the tantalizing north face. Rising out of the Bottomless Cirque, the north face offers a plethora of snow climbs, mixed routes, and descents for skiers and riders. The good news is that access is easy, but the bad news is [that access] is expensive. Fork over $12.00 each for a ride to about 13,000' or the last big bend in the road before it climbs to the summit. Park on the west side of the road in the howling wind and make your way east for 75 to 100 yards. Find a likely spot to descend onto the Hero Rock Traverse and feel the wind die away (results may vary). This area can be creepy, but keep at it. It's not too bad. Make a descending traverse to the southeast, working your way around snow gullies and a spur. A broad amphitheater announces your arrival at the Corinthian Column. The fine mixed routes, Total Abandon and Blind Assumption, adorn it on either side.

Keep traversing to reach the snow gullies of the Railroad and Y Couloir for a climb or descent.

The gate is run by very non-climbing oriented people. It opens at 7:00 AM and closes at dark from May through September. Winter means the gate opens at 9:00 AM. As to be expected, they don't allow cars to be parked overnight.

In Spring, watch out for avalanche conditions. Most anywhere on the face could and probably has been climbed. This is a very cool place (see Rock and Ice #[85]).

Eds. This information had been listed under the rock section under RMNP/Alpine then non-RMNP/Alpine and now here by request & for better organization.

Getting There 

From Colorado Springs, take US Highway 24 west (past Manitou Springs) to the Pikes Peak Highway exit on your left. Signs show the way to where you have to fork over the cash and then follow the above directions. Expect 40 minutes of driving to get to the parking for most of the ice. Enjoy.


As of 11/11, the fees are $12 per person, $50 for a car with up to 5 people. The late fee for missing the 5pm closing is $100 per person!

Climbing Season

7 Total Routes

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

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for North Face of Pike's Peak:
Y Couloir        Alpine, 2000'   
Total Abandon   WI4+ M6     Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine, 3 pitches   
Blind Assumption   WI5 M5     Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine, 3 pitches, 400'   
Right Couloir of Three Little Pigs (Flying W)   M2-3 Steep Snow PG13     Mixed, Snow, Alpine, 4 pitches, 600'   
The Ole 6   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c WI3 M6+     Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine, 4 pitches, 450'   
Browse More Classics in North Face of Pike's Peak

Featured Route For North Face of Pike's Peak
Pete Lardy on P2, under the chockstone.

Blind Luck WI4 M5  CO : CO Ice & Mixed : ... : North Face of Pike's Peak
I decided to add this to the data base, because it's just too good a line to be so obscure. I find myself recommending this one to local climbers, then I proceed to give them horrible beta that leaves them more confused about the route's whereabouts than when I started.Blind Assumption can be very thin in the fall, causing a high number of folks to bail after the first pitch. If that's ever the case, Blind Luck is a great way to salvage that day and tick off a damn good route.P1. WI...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of North Face of Pike's Peak Slideshow Add Photo
An early morning on Pike's Peak.
An early morning on Pike's Peak.
Fall colors, '06.
BETA PHOTO: Fall colors, '06.
Time to get down.
Time to get down.
Slade approaching the Corinthian Column on Nov. 9th, '08.
Slade approaching the Corinthian Column on Nov. 9t...
Working across the Hero Traverse. It's much less difficult to do unroped than this may appear.
Working across the Hero Traverse. It's much less d...
Nancy working through the Hero's Traverse.
Nancy working through the Hero's Traverse.
Base of the Corinthian Column.  You can see the ice dribbling out of Total Abandon and Blind Assumption.
Base of the Corinthian Column. You can see the ic...
The Corinthian Column, October 2013. Definitely some splitters.
The Corinthian Column, October 2013. Definitely so...
Comments on North Face of Pike's Peak Add Comment
Show which comments
By Dan Russell
Jan 12, 2002

The other way to approach the Bottomless Pit cirque (for those of us who are poor but determined) is to hike the Barr Trail out of Manitou Springs up to Barr Camp (about 7 miles?). Continue past Barr Camp about a mile and follow a sign for a trail heading north to the Bottomless Pit. Traverse the mountainside as it rises slightly while winding up and around into the cirque. It's a long approach (you'd need to camp) but it makes it feel more alpine and I think you get more out of it. It's a satisfying feeling to return to your car knowing that you just hiked 20 miles while lugging rock and ice gear along with camping and cooking supplies.

By Greg Sievers
From: Estes Park, CO
Nov 6, 2011

That's a typo: you'll want to reference Rock & Ice issue #85 (not 65).

By erik rieger
From: Gold Hill, CO
Nov 21, 2011

In keeping with the ethic set forth and maintained on the peak, not sure if these climbs should be posted in such detail.