The steep east face of Neva is mostly chossy but has one narrow strip of relatively solid golden granite. Happily, this good rock forms the longest route on the face. Paul Gagner and I climbed it in four long pitches, followed by a short bit of steep snow to the top. Neither of us was wearing climbing shoes, but the difficulty on our line seemed to be around 5.6 or 5.7. Harder variations are possible. Or, one could skirt most of the harder passages by deviating right or left onto chossy ledges and gullies. We stuck as close as possible to the central rib and found some lovely face and crack climbing, including a cool arete section on the third pitch. There's definitely some loose rock, but it's not bad at all by Indian Peaks standards, and it would clean up with traffic.
The 1974 AAJ describes a route just to the right of our line, up the "southernmost of three dihedrals." Undoubtedly there have been other ascents. Mountaineers who enjoy moderate alpine-y routes like the Spiral Route on Notchtop or the Inwood Arete on Quandary would love this climb. It's climbable anytime from the road opening until early fall, but probably at its best in June, when there's still lots of snow around to give it an alpine ambiance and to cover some of the junk left and right of the rib. However, a large cornice may loom above the face in early season. We felt this would fall to the left of our line if it broke, but make your own judgment.
Fourth of July Trailhead. Follow the trail to Arapahoe Pass until about half a mile below the pass, then cut left across the basin below the Lake Dorothy cirque, turn the corner, and ascend to the base of the face. Much snow in early season.
Start at the lowest point of rock and climb directly to the summit ridge, staying as close to the central rib as you can. Many variations possible.
Light rock rack. Ice axe and maybe crampons through snow season.
External LinksSee more photos here.