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
WI4+ M6 CO
: CO Ice & Mixed
: ... : North Face of Pike's Peak
Total Abandon is a stellar route in an awesome setting. It is the gully/chimney system that is located on the right side of the Corinthian Column on Pike's Peak's north face. With deluxe access from the Hero Rock Traverse, what more could you ask for? OK. How about 300 to 1000 feet of mixed climbing?From 13,000 feet on the troll road (yuck, I hate paying trolls), park at the last major curve before the road heads up to the summit. Cross the road and head east until you can drop off into the v...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
Local Information for North Face of Pike's Peak
Latest Regional Forum Messages
Nancy working through the Hero's Traverse.
BETA PHOTO: Fall colors, '06.
The Corinthian Column, October 2013. Definitely so...
Working across the Hero Traverse. It's much less d...
An early morning on Pike's Peak.
Base of the Corinthian Column. You can see the ic...
Slade approaching the Corinthian Column on Nov. 9t...
BETA PHOTO: A very helpful topo from hikingtherockies.com.
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: Bozeman, MT
Nov 6, 2011
That's a typo: you'll want to reference Rock & Ice issue #85 (not 65).