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Airhead T 
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Godfather, The T 
Ithaca T 
Lost Arrowhead T 
Rain Dance T 
Refugium T 
Ripsaw/Northeast Ridge T 
Shaft, The T 
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Shoshone T 
Sidewinder T 
South Ramp T 
V-Free T 
Warhead T 
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Elevation: 12,642'
Location: 40.2683, -105.65 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 64,298
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Kurt Johnson on Dec 22, 2001
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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.

Getting There 

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.

Climbing Season

Weather station 7.8 miles from here

21 Total Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',8],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Arrowhead:
Glacier Gorge Traverse   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 5000'   
Rain Dance   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, Grade III   
Warhead   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 700'   
Arrowplane   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 800'   
Airhead   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 600'   
Ithaca   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 800'   
Browse More Classics in Arrowhead

Featured Route For Arrowhead
The crux: Pagoda's West Ridge.

Glacier Gorge Traverse 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b  CO : Alpine Rock : ... : Arrowhead
This is the MEGA-COOL Ridge traverse of the Glacier Gorge cirque.Starting with Arrowhead and cruising the ridge crest all the way over to Long's. It's a great long day at altitude, with some wonderful and exposed scrambling/climbing. It incorporates a few classic routes, including the North Ridge of McHenry's (5.4?),the West Ridge of Pagoda (5.7), and the Southwest Ridge of Long's (5.6).There are several ways to run this ridge.I like to start at Arrowhead, and go counter-clockwise, ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Arrowhead Slideshow Add Photo
Arrowhead East Face on 3/3/05
BETA PHOTO: Arrowhead East Face on 3/3/05
Arrowhead from the Arrowhead Arete on McHenry's.
Arrowhead from the Arrowhead Arete on McHenry's.
Alpenglow on the Arrowhead.
Alpenglow on the Arrowhead.
Seeking info vs. possible FA.  We climbed a direct...
Seeking info vs. possible FA. We climbed a direct...
S face of Arrowhead, seen from Dog Star on McHenry...
BETA PHOTO: S face of Arrowhead, seen from Dog Star on McHenry...
Possible FA? Looking up the prominent LFD on pitch...
Possible FA? Looking up the prominent LFD on pitch...
From left to right: McHenry's, Arrowhead, and That...
BETA PHOTO: From left to right: McHenry's, Arrowhead, and That...
Arrowhead from the top of the valley on the approa...
Arrowhead from the top of the valley on the approa...
S Face (right) on 9/3/01
BETA PHOTO: S Face (right) on 9/3/01
Proposed new route.
Proposed new route.
Arrowhead from Long's Peak's Keyhole Ridge.
Arrowhead from Long's Peak's Keyhole Ridge.
[Arrowhead] near Black Lake.
[Arrowhead] near Black Lake.
Morning mist.
Morning mist.

Comments on Arrowhead Add Comment
Show which comments
By L. Hamilton
Nov 5, 2004
Yep, that's McHenrys at left and Arrowhead in the middle. The right-hand "mountain" in Ernie's photo is actually two mountains, I believe -- a low ridge descending from Thatchtop, at far right; and the higher, snow-streaked summit behind it, which is Powell Peak (see Powell Peak and Snark descriptions for photos of the E face of Powell).
By Josh Janes
Aug 29, 2008
The two raps from the low point on the McHenry's-Arrowhead saddle can be done with a single 70m rope (despite the recommendations for having two 60m ropes in the descriptions for Ithaca, Airhead, and Arrowplane) and a little bit of very easy down climbing after the second rappel.
By Greg Sievers
From: Estes Park, CO
Jan 24, 2011
I'm seeking some input before I dare suggest we did an FA up here. Scott Kimball and I climbed a 3 pitch route (8-1-10 up a fairly plumb LFD on the shortest part of the Arrowhead south-facing wall. It's about 200' right of the rap line. It's such an obvious line that it seems hard to believe it wasn't already done. In fact, we thought we heard rumor that maybe Pete Takeda had done something in this area?? See photo for route. Most of the climbing was 5.9 with a few short moves of low-5.10. Community comment is welcome.
By Alex Shainman
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 4, 2011
I second the recommendation that one 70m rope does work well for the "low-point" raps starting under the big visor block, which is marked by a large cairn.

Be advised you will have to downclimb maybe 5.5ish terrain after rap #2.
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