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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.
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:
Glacier Gorge Traverse 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b Trad, Alpine, 5000'
Rain Dance 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a Trad, Alpine, Grade III
Warhead 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 700'
Arrowplane 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c Trad, Alpine, 6 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
Airhead 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a CO : Alpine Rock : ... : Arrowhead
It's hard to believe that Airhead, which climbs the plumb line dihedral and crack system up the center of Arrowhead's south face, isn't an RMNP mega-classic. Not only is the line itself the most obvious directissima on the wall, but the climbing is really good and the crux pitch is one of the gems of the Park. After approaching via any of the methods listed for Arrowhead, begin climbing from the highest of a series of ledges below the obvious, hanging, left-facing dihedral. This feature is se...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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