McHenrys Notch

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 40.26580°N / 105.6642°W
Additional Information Route Type: Mountaineering, Scrambling
Additional Information Time Required: A long day
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: Class 3
Sign the Climber's Log


This route starts at McHenrys Notch, which is the dent in the Continental Divide that separates Powell Peak from McHenrys Peak. The divide runs in the west-east direction at this point. The notch therefore has north and south sides. It can be reached in two ways. In both cases, the approach to the notch is the hardest part of the route.
  1. Downclimbing from the top of McHenrys Peak. (Class 4; see this page.)
  2. Ascend the couloir to the north of the notch. This is a steep snow/ice route that Gillett rates II AI 2. Access to the couloir is from Lake Solitude. See the Arrowhead page for how to get there.

Route Description

From the notch follow ledges to the left (south) of the cliff that falls from Powell Peak's short east ridge. Do not get as far left as to reach the rubble-filled gully that goes down towards Lake Powell. Gain about 300 ft of elevation to reach the summit plateau.
If traversing from Powell Peak to McHenrys Peak, keep to the left (north) of the aforementioned gully, without staying too high on the ridge, which cliffs out in sometimes spectacular ways.

Essential Gear

Standard hiking gear is sufficient for the ascent to Powell from McHenrys Notch. The approach though the couloir is a technical ice climb and should be approached as such. One may want to rappel part of the downclimb from the McHenrys Peak's side of the notch. There are some runners in place, but you should not count on finding them, or at least finding them in good state.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.



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