Sunny and warm on the trail, but cold up high, with conditions exacerbated by very high winds. Can you say the phrase "biting spindrift" as your cheeks get wrapped around your ear lobes? Ascended the frozen couloir on thin, slippery snow. We were glad that most of the otherwise loose rocks were glued in place. Topped out via SE chimney on snow and a little ice. 5:00 up. Rapped the chimney with 30m to avoid slippery downclimb.
Sunny all day, with some high gusty winds while going up the gully; which made going by the airplane wreck eery as is sounded like it was trying to take off once again. There must have been some snow fall up there in the past couple days as the gully and summit was sprinkled with snow, most of which was melting quite fast by that afternoon. Glad to have gone up and down with gully without anyone ahead or below me.
A beautiful day in the IPW - that is once all the clouds were cleared out by the high winds!! We waited for the clouds to clear out and it was worth the wait. We had a spectacular fall day. Great visibility from the summit and a fun climb up the chimney.
This was my second alpine rock climb. Super fun-similar to the north ridge of Toll, some fun climbing between sections of scrambling. Several fun variations to the summit block- worth playing around on if the weather is holding. The loose descent down Airplane Gully is worth forgetting aside from the wreckage itself-something somber to reflect on as you curse the ground slipping out from underneath oneself.
This route almost killed me. Our attempt was late in the season, when the snowfield was down to alpine ice in many spots. A loose crampon and a shitty grip on my axe sent me sliding several hundred feet. The only thing that saved me was a desperate decision to dig in my frontpoints as a last ditch effort to stop. The resulting tumble changed my trajectory just enough to land me in the only patch of soft snow amongst dozens of huge boulders. Pure dumb luck. I had a puncture wound in my calf and a high ankle sprain that took months to recover from, but I'd trade that any day for knowing what it sounded like to break both my legs.
One of my first alpine routes.
Excellent beginner mixed climb, lots of fund. Descend via Airplane Gully
My climbing partner Pete and I got up on the peak via Airplane Gully on a beautiful day. The airplane wreckage is both fascinating and sobering. What an amazing bonus to have on a climb. I almost forgot we were there to get Navajo for a few minutes! Great climb with a beautiful approach.
Awesome ridgeline to do along with "Niwot Peak". Navajo is my favorite in the Indian Peaks! The summit block is amazing. Climbed it again in July 2004.
After climbing Apache Peak and descending its south ridge, we climbed Navajo's exciting West Chimney. We descended the Airplane Gully route. What a great day in the IPW! A trip report is available here.
Navajo Peak is a superb mountain. I climbed it on a day that forced me to race inclement weather. The route was fun and much easier then I anticipated... (I always expect third class to be hard and it realy isn't... under most conditions). The only downside is I only had a view of thick grey clouds when I was on the summit. This was the only mountain I climbed all year with out my dogs...
Definitely my favorite Peak in the IPW as an ascent requires all the tools of the trade...steep snow, rock etc. A great climb any time of the year!
Fantastic climb! Climbing amoung the wreck is a very somber event. We started at the trail head at 7:30 AM and reached the summit at 12:30 PM. Coming down was not much easier, we did not get back to the trail head until 4:00 PM.
Navajo Peak and Elk Tooth are the best climbs I have been on in the IPW. The setting is special. Believe me when I say that this climb will forever be stamped in your memory as a great day. The view of Apache Peak and the Shashoni rock wall will blow you away. Also, the view of Arikaree Peak willonly make you cry for it is in the Boulder Watershed and climbing it may get you a substantial fine!
As far as Indian Peaks climbs go and Front Range climbs for that matter, this is truly a classic. 3 of us climbed this, making a early bird alpine start, reaching the gate at 4:45 A.M. The gate to Brainard was still closed so we did the bike thing. The road was fairly clear up until Brainard Lake. We locked the bikes and trekked in by foot from there. The snow was still pretty firm in most spots at this early time, however, it softened quickly. The hike in to Navajo snowfield is kind of grueling but beautiful nonetheless. We made it to the base of Navajo snowfield around 8 A.M and climbed the southern side (being a little steeper and adding a little zest to the climb) the snow seemed pretty firm most of the way up and there was no need for belays. Excellent snow climb, by the way.
Climbed the normal route of Dicker's, tucked away in the saddle on top of the snowfield, highly recommended, fun climb. There are some fairly new slings on top along with the bolts previously left up there and a chock and a few biners to rap off of. It was real nice of whomever left those there. Definitely appreciated it and we left them for the next party.
The north face of Navajo cone is a little bit of class 4-5.0 scramble. We roped up for one little 10 ft section that was kind of dicey, right below the ledge that skirts around to the west.
We then opted to climb the 5.7 crack up the North Face to the top. One guy in our party led it. Rock shoes highly recommended for this undertaking. Two of us did finish that route due to mountaineering boots. probably about a 30 ft pitch.
We then opted for the 5.2 crack on the West and summited from there.
Descent was made via Airplane gully. Glissade this if the conditions are right. it's wild.
And out we went into post holing hell as the day and heat progressed. About a 9 hour day round trip
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED CLIMB! Have fun
I've climbed this excellent peak 3 or 4 times. The best mountaineering route is the Navajo Snowfield, then to the North Face. This year of low snow the moderatly steep (45-50 degree?) snowfield has a band of ice running across its entire length. We had no ice gear so belayed in the rocks on the right to cross the ice. Snow pickets were useful in the firm snow sections.
The crux of the North Face is a 15-foot high 5.2 crack. Mostly it is solid and fun 4th class, which we climbed unroped. You could get by with a half length of rope and a minimal rack, if you stay on route.
Airplane Gully is recommended best as a snowclimb. It's loose and rotten and tiring to descend, at least to my legs.
I've also soloed a 4th class / steep snow route on the NE Face between Airplane Gully and Navajo Snowfield. There is a prominent water / ice fall to the right (west) of airplane gully. I climbed above it on rock, then ascended the steep snow to the summit.
This is a great mountain!