North Face of Pike's Peak
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 #). 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.
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!
Weather station 3.3 miles from here
8 Total Routes
['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',5],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in North Face of Pike's Peak
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for North Face of Pike's Peak:
The Ole 6 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
WI3 M6+ Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine, 4 pitches, 450'
Featured Route For North Face of Pike's Peak
: CO Ice & Mixed
: ... : North Face of Pike's Peak
Two years ago, Erik Wellborn, Phil Wortmann, and I jumped on it. We only made it 30 feet up and bailed due to the moss and intimidating nature of the first couple pitches.This has got to be one of the best alpine "mixed" routes I've done, and that's not because I'm partial. It really is classic, as good, if not more so, than the The Ole 6 to the right.Three Dragons takes the steepest line (so far) straight up the middle of the Corinthian Column. The route has it all, from roofs, to technical...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
Local Information for North Face of Pike's Peak
Latest Regional Forum Messages
An early morning on Pike's Peak.
BETA PHOTO: Fall colors, '06.
Slade approaching the Corinthian Column on Nov. 9t...
Working across the Hero Traverse. It's much less d...
Nancy working through the Hero's Traverse.
Base of the Corinthian Column. You can see the ic...
The Corinthian Column, October 2013. Definitely so...
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).