Skywalker Couloir

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 40.02670°N / 105.649°W
Additional Information Route Type: Ice climb OR Mixed snow/rock climb
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: III-MI2 OR Moderate snow + cl. 3+ rock
Sign the Climber's Log


The most common trailhead is the Fourth of July trailhead, described in the main mountain page. Begin by following the signed and well-beaten Arapaho Pass Trail for approximately 1.5 miles. At the Fourth of July Mine ruins (11,250'), double back to the northeast on the Arapaho Glacier trail, which is also signed and well-beaten. After roughly 1/4 mile, you can spot the start of the climb.

Route Description

The lower two-thirds of the climb is non-technical "moderate" snow, in the 45-degree range. The crux is the finish. Three common choices, of varying difficulty, have been identified. Refer to Theron Welch's photo for all three routes.

  1. Princess Leia - The hardest ice of the three, and the one that gets the MI2 rating that I gave. This is the direct ascent up the couloir. Slope is sustained at 65-degrees+ for the last two pitches.
  2. Han Solo - The hardest of the two mixed routes. Avoid the Princess Leia section by climbing the steep rock bands to the right (east). From kisters_0: "Climb up the rock for two to three pitches. Do not attempt if there is snow on the rock. Route finding determines your class of climbing." Expect class 4 climbing.
  3. Escape - The easier of the two mixed routes. At the base of the Princess Leia section, climb rocks to the left (west). Expect class 3 or greater climbing.

After completing one of these three variations, you will end up a hundred yards or so northwest of South Arapaho Peak, along the connecting ridge between it and North Arapaho Peak.

Essential Gear

Required: Ice Axe(s), crampons, helmet. This is not a trivial ice climb. If you decide to ascend the Princess Leia section, you may elect to protect climb. If you choose Han Solo, you had better be comfortable freeing 4th class rock, else bring a rope. The "Escape" route is the easiest route up the mountain.

Note: all climbs can (and should, out of respect to fellow climbers) be descended via the standard route, which is to make the short climb to the summit of South Arapaho Peak and descend to the Arapaho Glacier Trail, as described in the Arapaho Peaks Traverse route section. Linking up a Skywalker Climb with the Arapaho Peaks Traverse combines two classics.


Thanks to kisters_0 for info on this route. I also found Theron Welch's trip report quite useful.

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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