Snake's Head

Page Type: Route
Lat/Lon: 34.89920°N / 99.3312°W
Route Type: Class 5 - Solo
Time Required: Less than two hours
Difficulty: 5.5 RX


Snake's Head is one of the primo classic routes of Quartz Mountain. It is intended to be a solo route and it's classic status is based upon this fact. In other words, if it had bolts, it would not be a classic. The jump is the crux of the route and the thought of it is usually more intimidating than the actual feat.

Although the route is climbed during the day, your metal is tested while doing it (and the jump) in the dark. Snake's Head has also been done with feet hands.


From the parking lot, take the trail next to the information kiosk. The trail immediately forks....take the left fork. At the first set of boulders, look to the right and take note of the plaque which honors Ted and Margaret Johnson. At the plaque, head north between the boulders and climb class three terrain about 30 feet until reaching the beginning of the traverse. Change into your rock shoes and leave unneccessary gear here. This is where you will end up after your rappel.

Route Description

Traverse to the west under the snake's head formation. After the traverse, begin climbing class 4 boulders and faces until reaching a chimney system on the north side of the ridge. If you want, sack up and climb directly up the face instead of doing the entire traverse. The face goes at 5.7RX or so.

Otherwise, negotiate the chimneys until reaching the Snake's Head face proper. Once at the top you will notice two anchor bolts if you want to belay someone up the route. Move a little to the east until reaching the jump point. Jump across. Look directly east for the rap anchors. Rap 200 ft to your starting point.

Essential Gear

Rock shoes, harness, belay device and two 60 meter ropes. You only need a harness, etc. for the rappel. Or......... forego gear and and downclimb the route.