East Face of Knife Point

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 37.63898°N / 107.5946°W
Additional Information Route Type: Scrambling
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Some Class 3
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: Class 3
Additional Information Grade: II
Sign the Climber's Log


Knife PointThis shows the route from Noname Creek to the saddle quite well. The easiest line starts nearly at the right edge of the picture and angles below the cliffs onto the grassy slopes to the left of Knife Point, then climbs up to the saddle. Photo by Steve Conrad.
This is the standard route on Knife Point. Although the peak looks daunting from the campsite in Noname Creek, there are breaks in the ledges, and the ascent can be made largely on second class terrain.

Getting There

Start from the camp at 11,000 feet described in the general section for Knife Point. As noted there, this is generally a two day backpack in from the highway, or a full day if you use the train.

Route Description

Knife Point from the NorthWestThe easiest ascent is to head up the valley almost to where the narrow strip of snow descends from the direction of Knife Point's summit. At this point, ascend up and to the left along the grassy slopes angling back to the north and below the steep cliffs above
From Camp, follow a faint path that meanders along the north side of the stream through some fields (crossing at least one side brook) then into timber. As you progress up the valley, you will turn in a more southerly direction. When I made the climb, I cut out of the stream and headed for an obvious right angling ramp that breaks through some cliffs below the broad slopes leading to the saddle north of Knife Point. This caused me to thrash through lots of think underbrush and isn't recommended. Instead, follow path along the now east side of the stream until it breaks out of the trees beneath the peak's steep cliffs. Here, it is possible to turn up the slope to the East without encountering so many willows. As you continue up the slope cut back to the left (North)crossing a gully or two to reach the broad grass and scree slopes to the north of the peak. There is a trail up this section if you can find it. Continue along the trail steeply up to the saddle. An alternative that gives slightly better footing is to ascend on rock to the right of the trail. Once at the saddle, turn south and traverse the ridge for a couple hundred yards where it is possible to turn back to the West and climb sandy dirt and tallus to the summit.

The Eastern facing slopes can also be easily ascended from Sunshine Lake if you have managed to backpack into that beautiful area. There is a picture (below) by Attm that shows the East side of Knife Point.

Sunlight Spire and PeakThis is the view South from the slopes just below the summit of Knife Point. Sunlight Peak is on the right with Sunlight Spire to its left.

[img:357969:alignright:medium:Detail of picture on the left showing the East side of Knife Point.]

Essential Gear

You need no special gear for the climb other than what you would always bring for a high altitude hike. In mid June I did not need to use an ice axe, although it is possible that in a snowy year you could encounter a few steep snow patches.

[img:357639:aligncenter:medium:This is the view South from the slopes just below the summit of Knife Point. Sunlight Peak is on the right with Sunlight Spire to its left.]


I would like to thank attm and Steve Conrad for generously allowing me to use their pictures for this page.



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.