|By Richard Rossiter|
Aug 15, 2007
The features pictured in this photo are from left to right: South Face Right (just right of the left skyline), the summit, Arrowhead Spire (the obvious pinnacle), the East Buttress (with the solemn Rorschach face) and the Northeast Ridge (the right skyline, which rises in a continuous crest from the east end of Solitude Lake).
The actual east face of Arrowhead, as in the name of the old route described in Richard DuMais guidebook (1981), is the large triangular face of the East Buttress, seen here divided into upper and lower halves by sunlight and shadow.
The slabs below the first big brushy ledge are moderate. The higher you go on the east face, the harder is the climbing. The magnificent wall above the second long ledge is dead vertical and perhaps 300 feet high. Any route resembling 5.4 will have to move right to the Northeast Ridge early in the ascent. Even then, the upper ridge crest is a stretch for such a modest rating.
Three or four routes do ascend the east face of the East Buttress, though the "East Face" route is not among them. See Manic Laughter, Independence, Tommy Caldwell's Outside East Buttress and Alpha Elk.