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Pilot Knob

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Lower Tier 
Second Tier 

Pilot Knob  

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Elevation: 6,200'
Location: 40.1735, -105.3621 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 3,043
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Tony B on Aug 24, 2011
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Lower Tier of Pilot Knob from the nice little area...


A primarily shady crag, Pilot Knob faces Northwest. With that aspect comes some of the usual suspects: vegetation, lichen, moss, etc., on some of the crag. Other parts of the crag are clean, strikingly good stone, and good climbing. This applies particularly the upper tier. Despite the short (and presently dry) approach, lack of ivy, and solid stone, and moderate grades, this crag hasn't seemed to have gotten popular. I suppose it is still waiting to be discovered by the masses. Perhaps the lower pitches that gate the best climbing above keep the masses away, but it is, nonetheless, a great crag for a pair of climbers to dedicate a day to.

The better climbs there were the following moderates:

Stress Fracture (5.7)
Touch and Go (5.7+)
Scoop Up a Little Sky ("5.8+" (+++))
Ejector Seat (5.9+).

Getting There 

Drive 7.3 miles up canyon to mile 25.8. Park in a long paved pullout on the left and look across the creek to see the 'Stewardess Convention Crag.' Just downstream of that, back down the hill to your left, is an obvious pinnacle around which the stream bends Southward. That is the Pilot Knob.

While the traditional approach is to wade the stream below Stewardess and then walk down a ways to Pilot Knob, presently there is a very large tree that has fallen across the stream and one can climb into its end, then walk "down" the tree to cross the creek completely dry. From there, it is a 3 minute walk to the base of the crag.

Climbing Season

For the South Fork of St. Vrain Canyon area.

Weather station 9.3 miles from here

14 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',4],['1 Star',10],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Pilot Knob:
Scoop Up a Little Sky   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   Second Tier
Browse More Classics in Pilot Knob

Featured Route For Pilot Knob
Approximate routes for Cockpit, 5.7- (blue); Fligh...

Autopilot 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  CO : Lyons : ... : Lower Tier
Begin below the large roof on the right side of the first tier of Pilot Knob. Look for a single bolt under the roof; clip that, pull the roof, move up toward a little tree and continue pretty much straight up past another two bolts and a piton. Anchors sit just below the smaller, further right of two trees on a nice ledge. You may top out just to the left of the anchors.Variations:A. Between the second and third bolts, skirt around left for a 5.9 line.B. Traversing to the right just af...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Pilot Knob Slideshow Add Photo
Tree crossing from the "other" side of t...
Tree crossing from the "other" side of t...
Chris Parks on a 6am crossing to Pilot Knob.  That...
BETA PHOTO: Chris Parks on a 6am crossing to Pilot Knob. That...

Comments on Pilot Knob Add Comment
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By J Marsella
From: Berthoud, CO
Jun 30, 2013
In his excellent guide from Sharp End Publishing, Gillett offers the advice that, if you wish to climb the "Third Tier," you can, but it's not worth the time; and he suggests eschewing the rap bolts for the 4th-class downclimb.

Also of note: Parking GPS coords: 40.173458,-105.362147
By Justin Brunson
From: Broomfield CO
Jul 28, 2013
As of July '13, the tree crossing is still bomber.
By Eva Raphael
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 12, 2015
It seems the bomber tree bridge did not survive The Flood. Now we wade across the river. There is also a small pullout closer to the crag than the paved parking area with the above coordinates.
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