Arrowhead is the name given to a collection of spires in the Spearhead Cirque attached to McHenry's via its northeast ridge, directly above Black Lake. Up until a few years ago not many routes had been put up here, probably due to the long approach and relatively short climbs (most are 4 to 5 pitches in length). Recently, however, the abundance of clean, aesthetic lines compacted into a relatively small area has drawn droves of first-ascentionists looking for virgin rock in an otherwise mostly climbed-out Park. The rock here is quality granite, and if the entire formation were picked up and moved to a place like Lumpy Ridge there would already be 100 named routes on it.
To get there, park or take the shuttle to the Glacier Gorge lot and follow the trail that goes to Black Lake via Mills Lake. Once at the lake, skirt around the right side and scramble up directly underneath the long prominent fracture which leads straight upslope to the base of Arrowhead. Once at the beginning of the fracture, work your way diagonally left up grassy ledges until you're up in the cirque near the base of the rock. From here, you can either head up and left to access routes along the ridge connecting Arrowhead to McHenry's, or scramble up and right for the routes above Black Lake. You can also head up the left side of Black Lake as if you're going to Spearhead, but it's farther and takes more time. For routes on the far right side of Arrowhead, bushwack up and right from Black Lake.
21 Total Routes
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Arrowhead:
Shelf Cirque Traverse Easy 5th 1+ 3 I M 1c Trad, Alpine, 19475'
East Face/Arrowhead 5.4 4a 12 IV VD 3c Trad, Alpine, Grade III
Glacier Gorge Traverse 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b Trad, Alpine, 5000'
Artemis 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 300'
Warhead 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 700'
Rain Dance 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a Trad, Alpine, Grade III
Watership Down 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches
Ripsaw/Northeast Ridge 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches, 1300'
Shoshone 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 400'
Sidewinder 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 400'
Full Metal Jacket 5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches, 320'
Bequeathed 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b R Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 850'
Arrowplane 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 800'
The Godfather 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c PG13 Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 800'
Airhead 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 600'
Ithaca 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 800'
Featured Route For Arrowhead
Ithaca 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a CO : Alpine Rock : ... : Arrowhead
Ithaca climbs the huge arching corner system just right of the plumbline of Airhead (5.11d) and a bit left of Warhead. Start off a long ledge system reached after some easy scrambling.Pitch 1: Climb straight up the beautiful slab below the arch with no gear but good holds. Belay in some ledgy stuff below a nice clean right facing corner. Delightful 5.8X, 160feet.Pitch 2: Climb the [L-facing] corner to a nice stance below a left angling roof/arch. Excellent. 5.11a, 75fee...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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