The Noddle Heads area a collection of 4 rock pillars that are just a bit NW of Devils Head, off of Highway 67. They have seen some development of rock climbing routes, but the potential for much more exists. Additionally, the highest one (according to topo maps, anyway), South Noddle, can be scrambled up with some 5.2 moves with some exposure. Of the four, North and South are by far the most prominent. South Noddle is the ranked summit (per the map), and North Noddle has about 170' of prominence, at least until an official survey is made and it is verified that North is higher (which I think it is). The other two Noddles, 2nd and 3rd, are not ranked, and have less than 100' of prominence.
North Noddle's easiest line (that we found) was a 5.8 2-pitch gem. See above.
All 4 Noddles have a few routes on them, described in Peter Hubbel's book, Rock Climber's Guide to the South Platte.
Coming hopefully next year, 2012, a new climbing guide book from Fixed Pin Publishers will encompass both the North (Vol. 1) and the South (Vol. 2) areas of the South Platte. The Noddles would be in Vol. 2, I think.
The South Platte.
Since they are in Douglas County, they are included in some local list junkies quest to climb all of the named and/or ranked (300'+ prominence) peaks in the county. North Noddle (according to maps, but not according to my observations) is lower, with a given elevation of 8224'. Per interpolation of topo lines, South Noddle is 8660'.
Of interest, there are 2 survey pins on the summit area of S. Noddle. When we were on the summit of North Noddle, there was no evidence of previous ascents, although with the local climbing history, we find it unlikely that someone hasn't stood on top of it before.
For some background, the entire South Platte area received a lot of attention during the late 70's and through the mid 80's, and even some development in some areas into the 90's. Devils Head continues to provide plenty of routes and potential for new routes. For whatever reason (45 minute approach?), the Noddle Heads have received little attention, and still have a lot of potential. The majority of the rock is good solid Pikes Peak Granite, and only a few spots here and there are decomposed. They are not overly licheny, and they do have plenty of protectable cracks, as well as potential for face climbing. I would guess that the majority of the routes are 1 to 2 pitches at max, but possibly a few 3 pitch routes exist. If there are any bolts on any of them (excluding the 4 rappel station bolts we installed on North Noddle), I would guess they are more than 20 years old, and likely 1/4" pins, possibly with the recalled Leeper hangers.
Getting ThereFrom Sedalia, head west on CO 67 until you get to Sprucewood, turn left (south), and drive about 7 miles on the curvy road until you get to Trail 677 (ATV/motorcycle/etc.). You can take this, or drive another mile or so south and pull out to the right (west) on a forest road access (used for thinning) with a green gate. Hike west and then north on the path of least resistance, using old logging/thinning roads and eventually crossing TR 677,
heading north until you hit the South Noddle (4th Noddle). You more or less walk along the ridgeline. This route, while a tiny bit winding, provides easy passage, mostly class 1, with minimal elevation gain/loss. Approximately 4 miles along this soft ridge to North Noddle. Expect 45 minutes minumum to get to S. Noddle, a bit longer to get to 1,2, or 3rd Noddles.
Red TapeNone. The area is in National Forest.
There is private property to the NE of the area, but it is easily avoided.
There is no water available near the Noddles. Bring plenty with you during the summer.
External LinksSome other info exists on a very few routes on mountainproject.com.
Please add beta here and on MP.com if you know any.
North Noddle Head
South Noddle Head
CampingCamping is permitted in many locations throughout the area.
Pretty sure you can camp anywhere in NF, so if you wanted to spend the weekend climbing on the Noddles, you could just camp at the base area. Plenty of soft, level ground to sleep on.