The steep east face of Neva is mostly chossy but has one narrow strip of relatively solid golden granite. Happily, this good rock forms the longest route on the face. Paul Gagner and I climbed it in four long pitches, followed by a short bit of steep snow to the top. Neither of us was wearing climbing shoes, but the difficulty on our line seemed to be around 5.6 or 5.7. Harder variations are possible. Or, one could skirt most of the harder passages by deviating right or left onto chossy ledges and gullies. We stuck as close as possible to the central rib and found some lovely face and crack climbing, including a cool arete section on the third pitch. There's definitely some loose rock, but it's not bad at all by Indian Peaks standards, and it would clean up with traffic.
The 1974 AAJ describes a route just to the right of our line, up the "southernmost of three dihedrals." Undoubtedly there have been other ascents. Mountaineers who enjoy moderate alpine-y routes like the Spiral Route on Notchtop or the Inwood Arete on Quandary would love this climb. It's climbable anytime from the road opening until early fall, but probably at its best in June, when there's still lots of snow around to give it an alpine ambiance and to cover some of the junk left and right of the rib. However, a large cornice may loom above the face in early season. We felt this would fall to the left of our line if it broke, but make your own judgment.
To see more photos, visit themountainworld.blogspot.com/2008/06/hooky-on-neva.html.
Follow the trail to Arapahoe Pass until about half a mile below the pass, then cut left across the basin below the Lake Dorothy cirque, turn the corner, and ascend to the base of the face. There is much snow in early season.
Light rock rack. Ice axe and maybe crampons through snow season.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up P4 which was the steepest and best on t...
BETA PHOTO: A foreshortened view of the route and how my partn...
BETA PHOTO: Mt. Neva's east face in early June 2004. There was...
BETA PHOTO: Myself belaying atop the final bit of P2 and under...
BETA PHOTO: Looking down the last half of P3. Bhoto by Brian ...
Gina Matranga cruising P3's dihedral. Awesome, sus...
|By J. Fox|
From: Black Hawk, CO
Jul 19, 2008
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Easy Snow
This climb was a nice find. I enjoyed the lack of beta and the option to take/make any route you want. Lots of exploration can be done. Did it in 4 pitches with scrambling between them. We moved the belay between P1 & P2 by simul-climbing for a bit in order to decrease rope drag.
P3 has the longest sustained climbing up dirty dihedrals. P4 is the money, but its short...dang it! Most of the pitches we took were short. Climb it when there's snow! That gives it a unique alpine feel in that you climb snow to get to the rock, then have to climb snow again to reach the summit after the rock pitches.
|By Andy Hansen|
From: Longmont, Colorado
Jul 28, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Easy Snow
A few thoughts on the route:
Overall, this is a decent route because of the situation it's in: the solitude and the opportunity to summit a mountain. The rock quality is not great, but there are a few spots where the rock quality is quite good in fact. It's just unfortunate the good rock doesn't come in until higher up.
The route is not a grade III and could easily be done in under 12 hours car-to-car. I would dare to say even under 10 hours wouldn't be a stretch. No simul-climbing necessary but would definitely increase the pace of the overall climbing. Some scrambling in between belays, nothing technical.
Single rack to 3" would suffice though I had double 0.75 and #1 Camalots with me, and they proved useful at belays.
The descent is straightforward, easy and fast. Head southwest along Neva's ridge and gain a saddle. At the saddle, a screefield descent is encountered that dumps you between the two unnamed lakes. Take this all the way down and back to the Boulder Creek drainage and then back to Arapahoe Pass trail. 1.25 hours.