Memento Mori


Route Name: Memento Mori

Rock Formation: The Matron


Number of bolts to be placed:  16 lead bolts, 2 bolt anchor

Route Difficulty: 5.13


 Route Description:

The proposed route takes a steep line up the north face of the Matron.  It begins with about 10 feet of easy climbing to reach an overhung prow.  The route will climb directly up this steep prow on immaculate rock using holds on both the left and right sides of the arete, finally moving onto the headwall after passing several bolts.  This lower section will likely be the crux of the route at 5.13 but the headwall consists of about sixty feet of 5.12 climbing capped by another crux section as the rock angle lessens at the very top. 

The name Memento Mori is a Latin phrase that means “Remember that you die”.  It came to mind after rescuing three climbers who got in over their heads on the North Face route just to the left. 


A description of existing routes on the same face of the rock formation, including the number of routes, route names, route grade, type, and approximate distance between routes (a photocopy or diagram of the existing route(s) is also required):

The north face of The Matron has about 11 routes. Starting from the East:

East Ridge 5.5 trad, No Stranger to Danger 5.9R trad, Quiche on a Leash 5.10 trad, Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche 5.11 trad, North Face 5.6 trad, North Face Right 5.5 trad, Memento Mori the proposed route, Nordwand 5.7 A3 Aid, In Spite of Love A2 Aid, Northwest Crack 5.10 trad, Serpentine Dreams 5.12 sport, Soul Survivor (Father Knows Best) 5.11 bolts and gear.  See photo above for relation to existing climbs.




A description of the approach (include approximate distance from the designated trail system, existing “social” or undesignated trails leading to the climb and condition of the trail, and state whether there is a durable surface, such as rock.  

Since The Matron is a well-established climbing area, a trail already exists to the base of the climb.  This trail begins at the South Mesa trailhead and follows the Mesa trail until turning left on the Shadow Canyon trail.  The climber access trail begins below the east face where there is a sign indicating a seasonal Raptor closure. This trail meets the wall on the east end of the Matron’s south face after several hundred yards.  From here a trail leads around the east face and up along the north face, following the standard approach to the north face routes, which is also the standard descent after rappelling from the top of the formation.



If different from the approach, a description of the descent, (include approximate distance from the designated trail system, existing “social” or undesignated trails, a description of the trail condition and whether there is a durable surface, such as rock.  Include photographs of the descent.):

Descent is from fixed anchors at the top of the route. The hike down is the same as the approach.


A description of the area at the base of the climb (include existing levels of soil compaction, existence of a durable surface such as rock, and existing soil erosion.  Include photographs of the area at the base of the climb.):

Staging area: The base of the climb is mostly solid rock and large boulders.



Has all reconnaissance work that can be reasonably done, short of placing any hardware, been done?

Yes. The entire line has been inspected on rappel and top-roped.


Has the route been top roped?  Is there loose rock?  Is it extremely overhanging?

The route has been top roped on two occasions to confirm that it is possible to climb, high-quality and free of loose rock.  There is minimal cleaning required beyond small loose flakes that can be removed by hand.  The lower section of the route is moderately overhung and is likely to be the crux. The rock on that section is immaculate and it has been toproped extensively to determine the best line and bolt count.  The upper section is slightly overhung to vertical.  



Any additional notes


A Note from the FHRC:

There are two applications for routes on the Matron, Only One can be approved.

5 replies
  1. Dean
    Dean says:

    Will this share any bolts with the other proposed route? I think only one route on a formation can be sent to OSMP per application cycle. I’d like to see both routes go in, no preference as to which.


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