Perpetual Change

Route Name: Perpetual Change

Rock Formation: The Maiden

Number of bolts to be placed:  17 lead bolts + 2 bolt anchor

Route Difficulty: 5.12+


 Route Description:

The proposed new route is another beautiful departure from the ordinary, and blasts up a steep and wild scoop that ultimately leads to the summit ridge. This route begins at the start of the first pitch of Hasta La Hueco (HLH), though immediately breaks hard to the right before heading directly up to the Stone Oven Belay (same belay ledge as for HLH and the South Face). This first pitch is a steep and well featured face that goes at about 5.9 or 5.10. Three bolts are recommended to supplement the natural gear available on this approx. 70-foot pitch. This pitch crosses the South Face route about 15 feet before the end, and no bolts will be placed near the section that crosses that route.

Pitch Two is the business and entails heading up a large scooped out face to the right of HLH all the way to the skyline in a long, 135-foot pitch. A steep and thin section is encountered about 40-50 feet above the belay getting to a diagonally trending ramp feature, and then more steep/bulging terrain (crux, estimated at 5.12+) is encountered working up to the final arete. The final arete to the anchor is steep and wild 5.11 climbing with great position. This pitch will require about 14 bolts to protect adequately, and no reliable natural gear is present.

The name, Perpetual Change, refers to the ever-present geological transformations occurring at all times, including the wearing down and weathering of the ancestral Rocky Mountains that resulted in sedimentary deposits that ultimately produced the Flatirons.

The following topos show the proposed first pitch (3 bolts) leading to the Stone Oven belay ledge, and then the second pitch (14 bolts) leading up to a proposed 2-bolt anchor. The lines in red are the proposed route, the yellow line on pitch one is the South Face route, and HLH is the blue line.

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 south face of the Maiden has numerous traditional and bolted existing routes. Starting on the far right (east) side of the south face, The East Ridge is a traditional 5.10c route that goes to the summit in 4 pitches. Next, about 50 feet uphill is South Crack, a trad 5.11 pitch that goes to a set of rap anchors. Heart of the Sunrise 5.11b is a newer sport climb (two pitches) that starts about 25 feet uphill from South Crack. Left and uphill about 50 feet is Hasta La Hueco, a 3-pitch mostly sport route to the top (5.13b). The first pitch is a trad 5.9.  Starting with the same first pitch as HLH, Kor-Dalke goes up then leftward across the south face to the Crow’s Nest, before traversing back far right to the east before heading to the summit. The newest route, The Queen Line (5.13c), starts about 60 feet left (uphill) of HLH and is a mostly bolted sport climb that goes for 3 pitches to the summit. Gates of Delirium (5.11c)  is the next route to the left, about 70 feet left of The Queen Line. It’s a 100-foot long sport pitch that ends at the Crow’s Nest. From the Crow’s Nest, the Maiden Voyage is a 5.12c sport route that goes up the southwest arete to the summit in one 100-foot pitch, and the West Overhang 5.11c starts at the same place but goes left of Maiden Voyage and to the summit in two trad pitches.

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.  

Approach from the South Mesa Trail trailhead.  Follow the Mesa trail North until the water trough directly East of the Maiden.  Turn left on the Shadow Canyon connector trail looking for a turn off into an old quarry.  Follow the old quarry road North until a cairn marks the gully that leads up to the toe of the Maiden.

Where you leave the Shadow Canyon connector trail into the old quarry:

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.):

The descent will entail reversing the approach from the base of the climb. The terrain is mostly rocky and/or durable trail as for the approach. Two rappels are recommended to get to the ground from the top. The first rappel is about 135 feet and will require an 80-meter rope or two 60 meter ropes to get to the Stone Oven belay. The next rappel is 60-70 feet to the ground.



Staging area:

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.):

The staging area for the rope and belaying is flat duff and rock squeezed between a juniper tree and the rock face. However, a larger and more comfortable rock for general staging and hanging out is located immediately south and adjacent to the start of the route.

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

No, large portions of the route are inaccessible due to the overhanging terrain and lack of available natural pro for directionals. However, some small flakes have been removed and the route has been closely inspected on rappel.

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

Yes, the upper 25 feet of the route has been top roped, as has the whole first pitch. Some loose rock was removed, and more removal of small flakes will be required. The second pitch is very overhanging and difficult to top rope without directionals.


Any additional notes:

The proposed route is aesthetic and appears to be of high quality. It should be a nice addition to a number of very good routes on the south face of this formation.


9 replies
  1. Michael LaDue
    Michael LaDue says:

    This route looks great! I have top roped the lower half and can confirm it is 5 stars. I vote yes!

    It would be great if the applicants could add a 2-bolt anchor to the stone oven ledge, instead of relying on the old tat anchor that is currently in place. Ideally something higher up and right of the existing tat anchor, so that it can be used for either HLH or the proposed route, and would facilitate rappelling back to the ground.

  2. Matt S
    Matt S says:

    Yes but put in the anchor on the ledge as suggested, since parties will now stack up for this, HLH, and South Face. It would be nice to have two anchor options.


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