|Shirt Tail Peak
BETA PHOTO: Shirt Tail Peak, high above Eldorado Canyon.
Viewed from the southwest, the picturesque summit of Shirt Tail Peak rises over Eldo Canyon as the culmination of the Redgarden wall. Its flat summit commands 360 degree views of the plains to the East, the divide to the west and Eldorado Canyon State Park to the south. The peak's image cuts the skyline with sharp, serrated aretes falling steeply away on its south and west sides. The mountain has a high mountain feel to it, as if it should be 20 miles west on the Divide instead of rising above the plains.
Shirt Tail Peak's rock is variable with classic Eldo sandstone interspersed with loose rock. Take caution as the ledges contain a lot of loose rock.
To descend from the summit:
Option A - Scramble down and to the North 50 meters to a pine tree, which sits down below the ridge crest on the west. To get to the pine tree you will need to do an exposed downclimb that is mainly intimidating because of the threat of loose rocks. The dicey rappel off this tree may be compounded in that a retrieved rope may become stuck in cracks below the tree. Be careful when pulling the rope. Two more rappels are required, the last with a 60m rope will JUST make the shelf where you can scramble off to the gully between Shirt Tail and Rincon.
Option A1- Continue past the first rappel tree for another 100' or so. The slings on the alternate rappel tree are easy to spot, on a 10'-wide ledge about 10' down from the top of the ridge. The downclimb to the tree is a bit easier, too. The first rappel (85') drops you on a narrow dirt-covered shelf, where you pull the rope, and then walk climber's right about 15' and down 10' to the second rappel tree. Or you can rappel 100' to the anchor. The second rappel (95') leaves you on a big ledge. From here, scramble uphill a bit, then down to the main gully. A loose but easy descent leads back to the packs. Or you can rappel 60' from the 2nd rappel point to a tree with a sling and rap link. Then, a 100' rap puts you on the ground. It takes about a half hour to do this descent. This is probably the best descent option.
Option B - further north scramble down loose class 4 into the gully between Rincon and Shirt Tail.
Option C - if you have the choice, for safety and ease, take all your belongings with you up Shirt Tail and hike further north, descending to the north of the Rincon wall.
The easiest approach is to use the Rincon cut-off trail off the Eldorado Canyon Trail. Once the trail has passed the boulder field and reaches the Rincon wall, near the Center Route, angle to the right along the base of the Rincon wall and find a very primitive (loose) trail climbing the steep gully between Rincon and the North Buttress of the West Ridge. The trail is steep, loose and undefined, but the route is obvious - Shirt Tail Peak will tower above the gully to the east.
Browse More Classics in Shirt Tail Peak
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Shirt Tail Peak:
Featured Route For Shirt Tail Peak
: Eldorado Canyon SP
: Shirt Tail Peak
Gambit shines like a rough, uncut diamond. Interesting climbing gets increasingly better with each pitch, as one gains the majestic Southwest Face, finishing on the highest summit in Eldorado Canyon State Park. A very fun climb. Due to the loose rocks on the belay ledges, it is NOT advisable to follow another party up Gambit - 120% vigilance is required at the belays, and most of the time you're lost in the views instead! But luckily, you should find Shirttail quiet; mostly due to t...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
BETA PHOTO: Some of the major formations on the north side of ...
BETA PHOTO: Shirt Tail Peak as viewed from the top of the West...
Joseffa Meir tops out on the lower right summit of...
Cool view of Shirt Tail and the Potato Chip.
Nice view from the top.
Bathed in fading sun, the dihedral of Gambit radia...
Shirt Tail from the Potato Chip.
Shirt Tail from top of Rewritten.
|Comments on Shirt Tail Peak
|By Justin Compton|
From: Longmont, CO
Mar 15, 2013
The trail up to Shirt Tail is very difficult at the moment, it appears a bigger rockfall than the previous post took out many trees and has now covered/blocked the trail. Now you're forced to make the upper approach on a loose, talus nightmare for the majority of it and traversing fallen trees. Use caution if you're headed up that way!
|By Mike McHugh|
Apr 13, 2013
Yep, it's a doozy.
I'll be up there in the next few weeks figuring out a plan for reconstruction. Between a big saw, some good tools, and the BCC trail crew, I think we can get it workable pretty quickly.
|By Kevin Currigan|
Dec 15, 2002
The rap described as option A above is quick, easy and safe providing nobody decides to descend after you. If someone does appear at the rap the same time as yourself, you might ask them to give you time to descend and clear the fall line or let them go first. You may not knock something off purposely, but pulling your rope could do it for you. Yesterday we were bombarded by four or five small rocks while packing up at the bottom of Gambit. It would have been dicey had we still been on rappel or at the bottom of the face under the rap route. Also, almost every rock in the approach gully sports an impact scar and many of the big ones are ready to roll. You can avoid much of the loose stuff by climbing the slabs which are on your left going up.
|By Ernie Port|
From: Boulder, Colorado
Oct 10, 2003
The trail leading up to Shirt Tail is as loose, unsettled, and in need of work, as any I've encountered in Eldo. Last month, a massive boulder let loose somewhere up high near Shirttail and travelled all the way down the gully over the lower West ridge connecting trail, where it struck a huge tree, dead center, and snapped it like a twig, continuing on down the hill... Earlier in the summer, while descending Shirttail, I slipped on loose rock, dislodged a small boulder, which painfully glanced off my shin. I realize there's loose rock most everywhere in Eldo, but just want to warn folks to tread lightly when travelling in this area as it seems potentially a bit more dangerous than others...
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 18, 2006
With a 60m rope, you can do Option A with only 2 raps. On the first rap, just continue past the next tree and you can make it to a huge ledge, where you go off rappel and then scramble down a slab about 50' to the last tree.
There is a lot of loose rock lying around near this rap line. When pulling the ropes, be wary of rocks pulled off by your rope.
|By Luis Barandiaran|
From: Longmont, CO
Jun 13, 2007
Shirt Tail - 6/9/2007. Of the descent options, descent A1 seemed best, scrambling and shuffling around ledges to the north 50 ft. PAST the first rappel tree (this first tree requires the exposed downclimb and can easily be seen from the arete on ascent). TIE KNOTS ON YOUR ROPE ENDS!!! One rappel with a 60m deposits you at a small ledge. An easy 40' scramble down and south takes you to the final rappel. TIE KNOTS ON YOUR ROPE ENDS!!! (as always!). Rappel to the ends and do an easy 30' scramble to the ground.
The summit and descent, while loose like any Eldo ledge, was not as bad as some descriptions. That said, be very, very careful, and watch for parties below you. Like George says, watch out for pulling rocks onto yourself!
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 20, 2008
Shirt Tail peak was one of the earliest recorded features climbed in Eldorado Canyon. From the 5th Edition of High Over Boulder (Ament, McCarthy):
'In 1925, Charles Morris, poet/philosopher from Chicago, along with an unknown friend, is said to have climbed Shirt Tail Peak - high above Eldorado Canyon to the northwest. Morris reported that the ascent went "straight up the face" and that devices he called "pitons" were placed during the ascent. The name of the rock was derived when they posted a wooden stick at the top and tied a shirt to it.'
From: Boulder, Colorado
Mar 28, 2010
Thanks to the Eldo Action folks. The gully up to Shirt Tail has had huge improvements over the past year and will hopefully continue again this summer. Near the top of the gully as approaching climbs such as Gambit two new ladders have been placed to help with safety and to ease the scramble across loose rock.