BETA PHOTO: A pic of The Temple of Tao and a "nice" ...
This is a gerat wall with awesome rock. The hike is a bit burly and involves some scrambing. My first visit involved Class 5 scrambling. The pic I've included is like class 2/3 depending on how you stay on the rugged "trail." It can be hot in the summer. There are two routes here that are well worth the effort if you are solid on 5.11 crack and corner climbing.
All the routes are accessed along the same large ledge. I call it Duncan's Ledge, because my dog spent so much time hanging out on it. To get to Dragon Enters the Corner, walk around ledge to the west and duck under a large pine followed by walking a little exposed rock takes you around corner to the route.
D1. To descend from the top, you can walk to the east down little gully between Temple of Tao and crag above for 100 yards or so and around to the south across some cool little ledges and under a small, steep, short wall with nice cracks and back to where the approach trail leads to Duncan's Ledge.
D2. You can also 4th class down the far right side of the south-facing portion of the crag. Look for a large pine sticking out from the wall about 20' down as you wall the top edge of cliff. Climb down to a huge flake and work your way straight down till you can walk west and join the approach trail. This can be scary if you get off route. The walking way is recomended, but don't go to low. Stay out of the valley or you'll be climbing and bushwhacking to get back to the access ledge.
Hike up towards Skull Rock staying on the ridge out of either gullies and break out right about 200 yards down the hill from Skull Rock and head around the east side of the crag up the rocky gully. Work yourself over to the east of Skull Rock below the first short wall in gully. Move to the east side of gully, and move up and left onto top of first little wall. Hoof it up zig-zagging your way around little cliffs to the Temple of Tao. There are a couple cool spots towards the top where some narrow mildly exposed walking ledges will be navigated.
It is a solid 45 minute to 1 hour hike.
Climbing Season For the Palisade Mountain area.
Weather station 6.1 miles from here
5 Total Routes
['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For The Temple of Tao
Dragon Enters the Corner 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
: Estes Park Valley
: ... : The Temple of Tao
The first pitch is 4 stars with outstanding friction stemming. The second pitch has a little dirty, spicy funk for 20' or so and then becomes 4 stars as well. Outstanding rock quality on this one.P1. (10d) Climb up a left-facing corner and clip a bolt out right. Work your way up into the corner. Friction stemming (10+) with bolt protection takes you up the first half of the corner. The second half of the corner is laybacks and finger locks (10+). The angle of the corner eases and takes you to a ...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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Duncan sleeping in his favorite place on the ledge...
Duncan on the home stretch.
Sep 8, 2011
Nice work, Rob, I need to check these routes out!