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The Matron

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East Ridge 
Father Knows Best 
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Quiche on a Leash 
Real Men Don't Eat Quiche 
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The Matron 

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Page Views: 37,205
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Andrew Wellman on Jan 1, 2001
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The Matron with November snowcover.
  • Subject to Seasonal Closures MORE INFO >>>
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  • Description 

    The Matron is a tall spire that sits along the ridge above Shadow Canyon.

    Getting There 

    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.

    9 Total Routes

    ['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

    The Classics

    Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Matron:
    East Ridge   5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a     Trad, 3 pitches   
    North Face   5.6 4c 14 V S 4b     Trad, 3 pitches   
    West Face   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c R     Trad, TR   
    Father Knows Best   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 5c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
    Browse More Classics in The Matron

    Featured Route For The Matron
    West face of the Matron

    West Face 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c CO : Flatirons : ... : The Matron
    This is an excellent route but unfortunately bears the scars of one of Boulder's first bolt wars. It is also closed from Feb 1 to July 31 due to raptor nesting. The protection on the first pitch consists of three bolts with nuts only (no hangars) and a few stopper, RP, or tiny cam placements on the upper half of the pitch. I am not sure if the nuts on these bolts can be unscrewed, but if so, it would be great to put hangars on these bolts (or much better, replace them entirely).The route begi...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

    Photos of The Matron Slideshow Add Photo
    Bill Wright plays air guitar on the way down.
    Bill Wright plays air guitar on the way down.
    The Matron.
    The Matron.
    Fia checking out the [Matron].
    Fia checking out the [Matron].
    The Matron as seen from the North East, high on Jamcrack Spire, in Shadow Canyon.  11/6/10.
    The Matron as seen from the North East, high on Ja...
    View from Shadow Canyon trail. <br /> <br />Photo: Dave Fiorucci
    View from Shadow Canyon trail.

    Photo: Dave Fioruc...
    Eldo approach to the Matron.
    Eldo approach to the Matron.
    Sunrise on the Maiden from the approach on an autumn morning. Photo by Tony Bubb, 10/07.
    Sunrise on the Maiden from the approach on an autu...
    Profile of the Matron, with its East Ridge and North Face routes, from the Fatiron's summit. October 9, 2010.
    Profile of the Matron, with its East Ridge and Nor...
    Bouldering a new, Matron East, Flatirons.
    Bouldering a new, Matron East, Flatirons.
    The 2nd rappel.
    The 2nd rappel.
    Bouldering around the Matron, on the Matron Boulder.
    Bouldering around the Matron, on the Matron Boulde...
    Summit view.
    Summit view.
    10/20/2002 from Towhee Trail.
    BETA PHOTO: 10/20/2002 from Towhee Trail.
    Rodger Raubach and Alan Carlson on the way to climb the North Face Route, Fall, 1959.
    Rodger Raubach and Alan Carlson on the way to clim...
    Comments on The Matron Add Comment
    Show which comments
    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.

    By JenLH
    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.