Peak(s):  The Maiden - 7,386 feet
The Morning After - 7,250 feet
Date Posted:  07/30/2013
Modified:  02/20/2014
Date Climbed:   07/24/2013
Author:  Brian C
Additional Members:   metalmountain, Glen

 The Maiden and The Morning After - Flatirons  

July 24, 2013

The Maiden via North Face (5.6S)

Crew: Glen

Approach: The approach to the Maiden is a beast and is miserable in hot weather. Start from the South Mesa Trail parking lot and follow the Mesa Trail. Several other trails are possible, but staying on the well-marked Mesa Trail is the easiest. Hike until you pass under the Maiden then look for a spur trail that turns off to the west. This is marked as Shadow Canyon and there is a small water trough that makes a good landmark right at the turnoff. Follow this new trail for a 100 yards or so and keep a sharp eye out for a very faint trail that leads up towards the Maiden into a talus field. A cairned trail will appear and follow the easy-to-follow path up straight to the base of the Maiden's East Ridge. Travel up under the formation's south side all the way up to the west side of the Maiden. Harness up underneath a small triangular wall.

P1 - 5.4S - Run it out up the narrow face and follow the path of least resistance. Basically a solo. 40'
P2 - 5.2 - Down climb the exposed knife-edge and be carefully to protect the second. Belay at the "Crow's Nest" below the impressive summit. 170'
P3 - 5.6+S - Follow ledges down onto the north face making for a ledge with a tree. When a short vertical wall blocks the way, look for a path upward. Clip an old piton and move precariously upward then left across the face. These moves are 5.6, but the easiest way isn't too obvious and the gear is finicky. 80'
P4 - 5.4S - Move the belay up to a nice stance above the tree. Traverse downward on a small ramp that leads across the north face while be careful to find the easiest way. After arriving at a small alcove, step out onto the face and work upward on pockets to reach a nice belay in an alcove. 80'
P5 - 5.3 - Squeeze up onto a nice ledge with a tree then ramble up the east face to the summit. 180'

Descent: The moment you've all been waiting for! Move to the west edge of the summit and make an spectacular 90' rappel back to the "Crow's Nest". A 60M will barely reach this ledge with zero wind. Locate a single eyebolt and make a 110' rappel down the south face back to the approach trail. The last rappel requires two 60M ropes but could likely be done with a single 70M.

TCUs: 0 - 4
C4s: 0.5 - 4
Single set stoppers
2 60M ropes (or tagline) are required for the rappelling descent. Probably could be done with a single 70M instead.

Thoughts: This is one of the best summits in the Flatirons. The formation is outstanding, and unlike anything else around and should be considered a must do for all Flatiron climbers. Make sure that both the leader and the follower are solid at the grade as there is a lot of down-climbing and traversing where a fall poses a threat to both climbers. The traversing pitches generally lack protection and the exposure is fierce so take advantage of the opportunities you're given. The icing on the cake is the summit rappel and this will not be a climb you soon forget.

The Morning After via East Face (5.7)

Crew: James, Kate

Approach: Hike the Royal Arch trail all the way to the top of Sentinel Pass. At the pass, leave the trail and work more-or-less uphill while attempting to find
the climber's trail that leads up toward Green Mountain Pinnacle. Stay on the north side of both the Hammerhead and the Last Flatironette and keep your eyes peeled for the Morning After through the trees. Angle over toward the formation until you arrive at the base of the east face. The distinctive overhang on P2 will be very obvious from the ground.

P1 - 5.4 - Friction up the face and belay at a tree below the obvious overhang above. 80'
P2 - 5.7 - Make a few tricky moves through the well protected overhang then ramble up to a ledge with a few trees. Follow the fun and unique wide crack up to a hanging belay from a sappy tree. 180'
P3 - 5.4S - Run it out up the left side of the face to the summit. Roach calls this 5.2, but it seems too thin for that. 195'

Descent: From the summit arch, rappel 60' south from a threaded tunnel. Hike around the west side of the formation and descend the north side back to Sentinel Pass. Hiking down the south side is not easy to do.

Gear: This could easily be done with a single set of cams from 0.4-4 and a set of nuts.

Thoughts: The Morning After is also known as the Thing and sometimes called the Eye of the Needle. It is a distinct Flatiron formation and is made memorable by a small overhang on the lower face and a unique arch in the summit. The 5.7 crux is short, well protected, and generally much easier than many 5.7 routes in the area. This would be an excellent route to try as a first 5.7 climb.

More photos can be found here...


 Comments or Questions

The Maiden
07/31/2013 03:25
Is one sexy bitch


Fear of heights
07/31/2013 14:21
I thought I had conquered my fear of heights until that rappel. Spinning in the air as the wind blows you got my heart pounding. About a unique a formation as it gets though!


Is Glen
07/31/2013 14:41
wearing jorts?

That rap looks SICK!


fun climb
07/31/2013 16:20
On the traverse pitch I recall thinking about the FA party and how ballsy it would have been leading off into unknown rock in 1944!

If you like the rappel you should do something on the Matron.


I am
07/31/2013 16:30
wearing jorts... I wish


more downclimbing
07/31/2013 16:54
than upclimbing, it might seem? This has to be one of the most unique flatiron routes, I would think. Nice work!

Was wondering--the piton you mention on the 5.6S traversing pitch (3)--is that actually above the route? I've read about a pin that you can clip out of the Crow's Nest that will protect the thin 5.6 move to the tree ledge from above....does that sound at all right?

Brian C

07/31/2013 21:44
Pali - Agreed!

Polok - I completely agree. There is a lot of air all around you!

Brian - His shorts paled in comparison with that shirt! Haha.

Husky - The FA was amazing for the time it was done and the gear they had. Defintely in the back of my mind while climbing. I've done two routes on the Matron and remember the rappel being ok but not amazing. Did you do the big double rap down? Maybe that's what I was missing.

Joe - Much more down that up and makes for a weird route. I counted 3 pitons on the crux. One is higher than the crow's nest, one right before the crux moves, and one high on the left side of the crux wall. The first time I climbed this I climbed up and clipped the first pin then went back down. It was a pain for my second and didn't really protect me at all so I skipped it this time. There is a pin you're able to reach up and clip from the ledge before committing to the crux moves and it looks in decent shape. The final one was up and left of the crux wall and I think it may be on the 5.7 variation. I clipped then climbed back down a small ramp to the tree. Glen didn't want to go that way and thought that it would have been easier to go straight left, but had to since the rope went that way. Hope this helps!

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