The Matron is a tall spire that sits along the ridge above Shadow Canyon.
Per Tony B: the Maiden is a relatively undervisited rock. It seems that it's remote location and long hike in may be a hurdle when it comes to popularity, but the variety and quality of climbing would otherwise justify more attention.
This relatively large and unique Flatiron is hundreds of feet tall and offers a moderate and accessible sunny East Ridge, an adventurous, old school, and sunny South Face at a moderate level, and a variety of routes on the shady and cool North Face ranging from 5.5 to 5.11. Some of these are actually quite good. The view from the top alone N/NE into Shadow Canyon and over the south end of Boulder merits at least a single ascent.
The North Face, North Face Variation, and North Face Right are all moderates in the 5.6 to 5.7 range there. To step it up a notch and stay in the shade, the climb Pasta Man comes in at 5.9 and has an element of adventure to it. If you want to step it up a little further, then the twins Quiche On A Leash and Real Men Don't eat Quiche are hard 5.10-easy 5.11, and both deserve a few stars and an ascent.
If you need to climb a little harder, then try out Father Knows Best for a hard crux and a sustained challenge beyond that, or in at 5.12, the route Warlocks.
For fans of the routes on the West Face of the Goose and other slightly lower angle edging and face climbs, the W/SW face of the Matron has a few routes as well in the 5.8-5.10 range. While these, Sunday Comix and West Face present gear and protection challenges, they are easily top-ropeable from the rap anchors.
It's easy to reach by parking at the South Mesa Trailhead near Eldorado and hiking the South Mesa Trail to the Shadow Canyon trail. Follow the Shadow canyon trail around some switchbacks until the tall and proud Matron is obvious on the ridge above you. A climbers trail leaves the main trail and ascends to the Matrons South Side. To descend, there are bolted rap anchors on the summit.
12 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',4],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in The Matron
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Matron:
Featured Route For The Matron
North Face 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b CO
: ... : The Matron
This route is listed in Gerry Roach's book as one of the top ten routes in the Flatirons. It has been a popular route for a long time and is quite historic. To reach the bottom of the climb, hike around to the North side of the Matron and follow a climber's trail up until you reach a large block. Chimney up between this block and the Matron and start on the bench immediately afterwards. The climb is roughly four pitches long - about 1.5 pitches of steep 5.6 on the North Face, and then easy scram...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
Local Information for The Matron
Latest Regional Forum Messages
|By Anonymous Coward|
Nov 21, 2001
My buddy who lives in Golden and (correctly) assumes I am a gumby because I live in the flatlands of Texas, took me up the Matron in early November. This is definitely a "take the wife and kids" route and was easy, airy and beautiful. The highlight was a closeup fly-by of a Peregrine Falcon.
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
Jan 28, 2002
The fastest approach to the Matron is actually to park in Eldo and hike up the "Old Mesa Trail", which joins the Shadow Canyon Trail (Road) on the hill before the Matron. The Old Mesa Trail is not marked and is difficult to find going up, your best bet is to take somebody who knows where it is, or try navigating it down (north) the first time.
|By shad O'Neel|
Jan 21, 2004
the [Matron] is probably second only to the [Maiden] in terms of a spectacular flatiron summit. Should be a must do for [Boulder] climbers, although it seems to rarely be visited by most....
|By Martin le Roux|
From: Superior, CO
Jul 28, 2004
Now that the raptor closure season is over, the friendly folks at OSMP have attempted to obscure the start of the climbers' access trail by cutting down some branches and dragging them across the trail. Exactly what this is meant to achieve escapes me.
|By Anonymous Coward|
Aug 15, 2004
This formation should be called "the foot" or the fis. That's what it looks like. It doesn't look like any ding dang Matron. Whatever that is.
|By Jamie Princo|
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 15, 2011
Yeah Mark, I just spoke with leah at OSMP about The Matron, and she said go ahead and climb.
|By Rodger Raubach|
Oct 15, 2012
BITD (1960s) the Matron was frequently visited by rock schools for graduation climbs. The East Ridge for the gumbies, and for the more talented, North Face. I myself once led a 24 climber conga-line up (UCHC) the East Ridge. After finishing the route, I also did the South Face and still was able to watch climbers still starting!
|By Tim Fleming|
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 17, 2012
I agree wih George that the "old Mesa Trail" is the faster (and better) way to access the Matron. You don't need to have someone who knows the location, since it's easy to see from a satellite view in Google maps. It begins in Eldorado off the most northern bend of Baldwin Circle. Then it cruises straight to the Shadow Canyon trail/road just a few hundred yards east of the access trail to the rock. Hiking the Mesa trail is slow and annoying due to recent closures of sections of the Towhee Trail that had been the most direct way when taking the usual approach.
Aug 18, 2013
Found several pieces of gear left up on a first pitch at the Matron on August 17th, 2013. Contact me if it's yours. Must provide name of route you left it on and description of what gear you left.