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East Face/Arrowhead 

YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c

Type:  Trad, Alpine, Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 2,625
Submitted By: George Bell on Sep 3, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (2)
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George Bell leading the first (and probably best) ...


This is an interesting route but involves more scrambling than actual climbing. We also got off route somewhat and ended up climbing up to 5.7. I am not sure where this route lies relative to the other 3 routes on the site (Rain Dance, Refugium and Watership Down) as I do not have the latest version of Gillett's guide, and these routes are not in the latest Rossiter guide.

This is the farthest right route on Arrowhead's South Face, and your goal is actually to hit the East Ridge at the level of a huge ledge about 400' below the summit. There is a reasonably good photo showing the route line on p. 170 of Rossiter's latest guide.

From Black Lake, follow slabs up and right to the route, which starts as a series of slabs alternating with tree covered benches. We climbed near the crest of a buttress, slightly left of the line shown in the photo, to the huge ledge mentioned above. This avoids traversing some ledges covered with trees which do not look pleasant (shown in the photo).

Follow the huge ledge right to the East Ridge, and then follow this ridge (or the face to the right) to the top. This upper section is only about 5.2 and somewhat loose.

A fun continuation of this route is to continue West over the summit of Arrowhead, then drop down to the Arrowhead-McHenry's Col and climb the East ridge of McHenry's (called "Arrowhead Arete" by Rossiter). This continuation is only class 4 and we did it unroped.


Light alpine rack.

Photos of East Face/Arrowhead Slideshow Add Photo
S Face (right) on 9/3/01
BETA PHOTO: S Face (right) on 9/3/01
Mark Oveson scrambling up slabs above Black Lake.
Mark Oveson scrambling up slabs above Black Lake.
George Bell approaches the rope-up point on Arrowhead's East Face (off to the right).
George Bell approaches the rope-up point on Arrowh...
Looking east to the summit of Arrowhead from the Arrowhead-McHenry's Col.  This ridge is like a giant granite wave about to break.  The route "Airhead" climbs the steep face on the right.
Looking east to the summit of Arrowhead from the A...
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By David Neckels
Apr 2, 2002

The continuation from the col on to McHenry's was one of my favorite scrambles last year. Lots of fun class 4 climbing. The route looks pretty scarey from the col, but things open up and the route is pretty obvious up to the summit. A definite must for any class 4 scrambler.