The Start of the Summit Ramp

This is what you see on the Summit Ramp Route to the Arrowhead when you look up from where you leave the access ramp. The actual climbing starts directly to the left of the fissured slabs. Rocky Mountain National Park, August 2005.

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eazyelion

eazyelion - Feb 17, 2006 3:43 pm - Hasn't voted

Something New

I am intrigued by this route. I've never heard about it before. Roach has only the route from Solitude Basin. This looks exciting and more direct. Ya say only class 3? Doesn't seem possible, but hey if that's the case I'd be more than game to give it a try. Glacier Gorge is my favorite area so Arrowheads perspective would really give me a new vantage point. I can't wait to tell my climbing buddies about it!

brenta

brenta - Feb 18, 2006 3:19 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Something New

It doesn't seem possible, and it's very exposed, but the technical difficulties are Class 3 or maybe Class 4. (Gillett rates it Class 3.) If you look at the Arrowhead gallery, you'll find pictures of Mountain Jim of this same spot. He refers to it as the "roped pitch." This is also where that party I alluded to in my previous reply turned around because they didn't feel safe without a rope. So, exposure is a factor to consider.

I still think the Ramp is easier than the ascent from Solitude Lake, though when we did the latter, there was enough fresh snow to make things a little tricky. For sure, the quality of the rock is better on the south side. If you ignore the exposure, I think getting to the access ramp from Black Lake is the real crux, because you have to carefully pick your route to avoid krummholz and cliffs.

It's only my conjecture, but this route started as a descent for the south face routes. It has become well known only rather recently, which may be why Roach does not talk about it, and Rossiter describes a variant that is quite different in the lower part and is rated 5.4.

eazyelion

eazyelion - Feb 26, 2006 11:49 pm - Hasn't voted

Approach

I'd assume from Black Lake you take the same type of approach you would for McHenrys bushwacking and climbing the cliffy area to gain the upper shelf. Eventually turning right towards Arrowhead instead of McHenrys. Being I've heard the route is difficult to find the start of I thought I'd ask.

brenta

brenta - Feb 27, 2006 2:51 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Approach

Yes, keep right (north) to avoid the cliffs until you gain the shelf. See the route description for a bit more detail. You need good routefinding in that section. Even more if you come down to Black Lake that way, because it's easier to end up in krummholz or to cliff out than on your way up.

ALaGow - Oct 2, 2012 12:07 am - Hasn't voted

Approach

From Black you have to go up thru the broken cliffs to the high grassy ledges, then traverse way left to get to the base of the access ramp. People tend to keep going straight up and into harder scrambling.

ALaGow - Oct 2, 2012 12:12 am - Hasn't voted

Pillars

I also think it is much easier and safer rock to just go up the pillars. 3rd class or easy 4th but very solid rock. Left of pillar I pulled a 500lb slab off and went back to the face.

_alpha - Aug 24, 2015 12:37 pm - Hasn't voted

Pillars

Climbed 8/22/2015. I'd have to agree with ALaGow. I took a look at the "easier" terrain left of the slabs but it looked quite loose. Coupled with the exposure down to the gully I opted to go straight up the pillars. I'd put them at solid 4th class but with plenty of hand and foot holds. Plus there are multiple sections on the way up where it levels back off briefly to provide an area to stand to rest, assess next moves, etc.

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