The showcase climb on this remote Wind River gem is the 10 pitch 5.6 North Ridge. The route features 1,500 feet of consistent 5.5 - 5.6 rock with excellent face climbing, memorable cracks, long pitches, plentiful ledges, inspiring exposure, and an intricate descent, all in a spectacular alpine setting. Ellingwood is comprised of classic Wind River granite, but expect occasional loose sections on account of the gentle gradient of the peak's ridges.
Ellingwood Peak is part of a cirque that lies just east of Titcomb Basin. This cirque is represented by Fremont Peak, Jackson Peak, Knife Point Mountain, Ellingwood Peak, and Elephant Head (clockwise from the north). The Harrower Glacier, sitting on the northeast slopes of Ellingwood Peak, is a remnant of the sculpting forces of this steep valley (now called Indian Basin due to the area's native history).
Other opportunities in the vicinity include some decent, shorter climbs on the north side of Elephant Head, an enjoyable hike up Fremont Peak (the Winds' second highest), moderate ice couloirs on Jackson Peak (on the other side of Indian Pass), the spectacular long routes flanking the east side of Titcomb Basin proper, and Wyoming's highest point, Gannett Peak.
The peak known as Ellingwood to climbers as a tribute to the prolific Colorado climber Albert Ellingwood (who claimed the first ascent of the peak in 1926 via the Northwest Couloir) is known as Harrower Peak on the USGS quadrangle that covers the area (the Fremont Peak South quad). The namesake Mr. Harrower, a past mayor of Pinedale, died in 1967 and his ashes have subsequently been placed on the 13,052' summit through the combined efforts of multiple parties. Regardless of what you call it, this is an impressive peak in an amazing setting, with lots of high quality rock at a moderate grade.
The most direct route to the Indian Basin area and the north side of Ellingwood is via the Elkhart Park trailhead near Pinedale, Wyoming. It's going to be about a 12-15 mile hike in, depending on where you camp.
As with all Wind River climbs, I strongly recommend that you consult Joe Kelsey's Climbing & Hiking in the Wind River Mountains and also carry the relevant topographic maps.
The North Ridge of Ellingwood is one of those Rocky Mountain alpine adventures that is familiar-sounding to many, but few actually put in the miles required to climb it. You'll find significant sections of 5.5 - 5.6 climbing on almost all of the 10 pitches on this route. The crux will vary a bit depending on the exact path chosen, but expect all manner of 5.6 climbing, including face, cracks, and overhangs. The rock is overall of very high quality, but don't forget that it's still the mountai...[more]Browse More Classics in WY