OverviewThe Beaver route follows the southeast ridge of Long's Peak from the Loft up to the Notch and then up to the summit.
Getting ThereStart at the standard Long's Peak trailhead Ranger Station. Please reference the excellent directions on the Long's Peak main page to learn how to get to the station.
The start of the Beaver is accessed from the Loft. Two excellent ways to achieve the Loft can be found via the Standard Loft route or via Lamb's Slide.
Once on the flat expanse of the Loft, turn towards the summit of Long's Peak and you will see the broad shoulder of the Beaver stretching out in front of you. Just start picking your way across the boulders, never harder than class 2, towards the high point in the photo. You won't reach this high point as it is actually Long's summit and you will be stopped by a large gap which happens to be the Notch.
Scout around along this ridge line for a small pillar of rock slightly detatched from the main ridge line. There should be a small ledge to its left that you can scramble down into. Scramble down onto the ledge and you should see the rap station slings. The rappel is approximately 30m to the top of the Notch couloir.
From here the route goes up the southeast ridge of Long's via the Stepladder route. Traverse to the east for about 10m until you find the obvious crack system heading upwards. One pitch of approximately 5.5 (maybe 5.4) gets you to the class 4 ledges above. From there it is an easy scramble unroped to the top. There are other variations in this area if one feels like leading up slabs for instance. The following two photos 'sort of' show the route...turns out I turned my camera onto a setting that took a crappy shot of the route (sorry, if someone has a good shot, please attach it).
The one on the left shows the top end of the route and the scramble to the top; the one on the right shows part of the route going from the bottom to the mid-left part of the photo.
Alternate RouteAn alternate route off the shoulder of the Beaver exists as well. From the Notch rappel station above, head west and then southwest along the ridge; you'll drop down 15m or so. You are looking for the northern most of two couloirs that drop down west into Keplinger's couloir. There are supposed to be cairns marking this, but none were seen as of September 2006. (could've been missed)
The first 30m or so can be downclimbed across scree and choss, it is fairly angled and rated around class 3-4. You will pass a rock rib on your left and want to go left underneath that to a rock flake and ledgy area as the difficulty on the right (looking down) increases at this point.
There is a crack system one can potentially downclimb to the next ledge system. However, on the left wall behind the rock flake is a good place to sling a horn/flake for a rappel station. NOTE: a 60m in half (good for 30m) will not make it all the way down to the next ledge system. Two 50m ropes (for a full 60m rappel) should do the trick. The author only had two 30m ropes and needed to downclimb the last of the crack system. You'll end up on a chossy, inclined area, so be careful. Scout around for a horn/flake to sling another rappel station and head down to the easier ground of Keplinger's couloir.
From here you can scramble up to the Notch or finish Clark's arrow route (which you are now on) up to the Homestretch and thus the summit.
Essential GearEnough rope to do a full 50 meter rappel if you are thinking of going down the west side of the Beaver. Otherwise a single 60m should be sufficient to rappel into the Notch and climb the Stepladder route.
Light rock rack: set of nuts, mid-range hex, two or three cams (tri-cams preferred), slings.