The Matron is an eloquent formation that reigns over the southern Flatirons. It soars above Shadow Canyon and is clearly visible from most of the area. It is the last major Flatiron formation before reaching the nearby climbing mecca, Eldorado Canyon and hosts several classic routes. Although the east face is similar to other Flatiron routes, the Matron has steep walls on all sides that guard access to the easier climbing above. Even though it is a popular climbing spot by Flatiron standards, the Matron sees only a fraction of the traffic that the mega-classics (i.e. Third, First) have on a regular basis. The longer approach and seasonal closures make the Matron a lonely place most of the year. Check the closers, pack some extra water and get up there!
A few routes.
The Matron is best accessed from the South Mesa Trailhead. Although not nearly as confusing as some of the other formations, there still are several trails in this area and it helps to check out a map if you've never been there before. Here is one way to get there...
Click to see larger version.
From the trailhead, cross the bridge and look for signs for the Towhee Trail. Follow this until you reach the intersection with the Shadow Canyon trail. Head toward Shadow Canyon and take in the excellent views of the Matron. When the trail reaches a point closest to the formation and makes a sharp turn north, look sharp for a climber's trail heading up into the brush. The path starts easy to follow and becomes fainter as you close in on the rock. With careful route finding, the trail will take you under the east face and turns up under the north face. I will leave the final bit to the route pages.
|You know you're getting close to the climber's path when you get this view. |
|Final bit of the approach.
The Matron is included in the annual raptor closures. Is it almost always closed every year from February 1st to July 31st. Check HERE
to double check the formation's status and see if the closure has been lifted early or extended. Please be respectful of the closures.
Only use clean climbing techniques so leave that hammer at home. This may seem obvious but I have discovered new pitons on routes recently.
There is no camping
allowed in the Flatirons.
Here is a great interactive MAP
of the area.
Here is a LINK
to NOAA's weather site.
The OSMP website provides a ton of good information and can be found HERE