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Hallett Peak

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Better than Love T 
Center Route T 
Collins Donn T 
Culp-Bossier T 
Direct Second Buttress T 
Englishman's Route T 
Finch Route T 
Great Dihedral T 
Hesse-Ferguson T 
In Between (aka Right Dihedral) T 
Jackin' the Johnson T,S 
Jackson-Johnson T 
Kor-Van Tongeren T 
Love at First Sight T 
Love Route T 
Northcutt-Carter T 
Point Five Buttress T 
Second Buttress Tour T 
Standard Route aka 1st Buttress Route T 
Storm Riders T 
Unsorted Routes:

Hallett Peak  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 12,713'
Location: 40.3033, -105.686 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 241,570
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Charles Vernon on Jan 1, 2001
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Photographed just after the first snow of 08/09 se...

Getting There 

Drive to the Bear Lake parking lot, follow signs to Emerald Lake (about 1 and 1/2 miles), and scramble up to the cliff. Most of the climbs are on the second of three buttresses which make up the face.


This is a somber, 1000 foot, north-facing wall which looks the part of a classic, craggy alpine face. It feels like it, too. The Culp-Bossier is probably the best route. The standard classic, the Northcutt-Carter (formerly 5.7) has been partially erased by rockfall and is now reportedly much harder.

Descent: from any route, the easiest descent requires hiking up the talus on top of the wall (but well shy of the hidden summit) until one reaches a steep, loose gully which bears NW. Head down it, bearing up and to your left 2/3 of the way down to avoid getting cliffed. Then walk back to the base of your route. It is potentially a very dangerous descent if others are in the gully.

Within this subarea, you will find only the rock routes.

For a quick link to Hallett mixed/ice routes 

Hallett Peak mixed/ice routes.

Climbing Season

Weather station 8.2 miles from here

21 Total Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',11],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Hallett Peak:
Great Dihedral   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches, 400'   
Northcutt-Carter   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches, 900'   
Better than Love   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches   
Englishman's Route   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 800'   
Culp-Bossier   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches   
Jackson-Johnson   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches, 1000'   
In Between (aka Right Dihedral)   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches   
Love Route   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches   
Hesse-Ferguson   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 1000'   
Direct Second Buttress   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches   
Second Buttress Tour   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches   
Storm Riders   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 1000'   
Jackin' the Johnson   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, Sport, Alpine, 8 pitches, 900'   
Browse More Classics in Hallett Peak

Featured Route For Hallett Peak
Laughing at the runout before the final roofs.

Hesse-Ferguson 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a CO : Alpine Rock : ... : Hallett Peak
This is my favorite route on Hallett Peak. It is demanding both physically and mentally. The run-outs epitomize what climbing on Hallett Peak is all about, and it has some burly, physical cruxes. It shares the same start as the Love Route and the Englishman's Route. As with all routes on Hallett Peak, route finding and intricate gear placing skills are important. See the big white spot with the obvious roof at the top in the picture below. The Hesse-Ferguson goes up the wh...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Hallett Peak Slideshow Add Photo
Cool clouds over Hallett Peak. Photo by Blitzo.
Cool clouds over Hallett Peak. Photo by Blitzo.
First ascent of "Lost in the Woods" Hall...
First ascent of "Lost in the Woods" Hall...
Hallett Peak from Emerald Lake.
Hallett Peak from Emerald Lake.
Hallett from the Flattop Trail.
Hallett from the Flattop Trail.
Hallett Peak above Emerald Lake.
Hallett Peak above Emerald Lake.
The definition of a good morning on Hallett Peak. ...
The definition of a good morning on Hallett Peak. ...
Perfect morning.
Perfect morning.
Great early morning route highlights the features ...
BETA PHOTO: Great early morning route highlights the features ...
Below Hallett Peak.
Below Hallett Peak.
Second buttress on Hallett.
Second buttress on Hallett.
Sunrise on the apph into Hallett Peak.
Sunrise on the apph into Hallett Peak.
Clouds closing in on Hallett Peak, late afternoon ...
Clouds closing in on Hallett Peak, late afternoon ...
Hallett and Flattop from Dream Lake.
Hallett and Flattop from Dream Lake.
I'm hungry!
I'm hungry!
Hallett looms imposingly as the dark sky closes in...
Hallett looms imposingly as the dark sky closes in...
View of the second buttress of Hallett.
BETA PHOTO: View of the second buttress of Hallett.
Emerald Lake, far below the Second Buttress routes...
Emerald Lake, far below the Second Buttress routes...
Hallett Peak at sunset in June.
Hallett Peak at sunset in June.
Emerald Lake and Hallett Peak. Photo by Blitzo.
Emerald Lake and Hallett Peak. Photo by Blitzo.
Taken on Bear Lake Rd near the Beaver Meadows Entr...
BETA PHOTO: Taken on Bear Lake Rd near the Beaver Meadows Entr...
Hallett Peak.
Hallett Peak.

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Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Hallett Peak Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 25, 2011
By Mike Sofranko
Jul 16, 2001
The descent described above is the upper descent. An alternative descent is as follows:

Once on the summit ridge, head east down the ridge for a couple hundred feet. Stay close to the crest, and near the east side of the First Buttress you will come to a bolted rappel (could use a modern bolt). One rope will get you to a second short rappel, or a 60M rope will get you to easy scrambling terrain. Scramble down the gully for a few hundred feet (heading NE). Then, head left over a rise (NNW, cairns), and aim for a scree gully. Follow this to the base of the Hallet Chimney (between 1st and 2nd Buttresses.) If you racked up here in the morning (near the mossy area) you won't need to walk the couple minutes back up to the base of the routes. You can scope out the lower half of this descent before your climb.

I've done both descents, and the descent I just described (from Gillett's new guidebook to the High Peaks) is vastly superior.
By Kurt Johnson
From: Estes Park, CO
Dec 18, 2001
The thing I love most about [Hallett] is the short 2 mile approach. With no need for an alpine start, you can drink more beers the night before, sleep late, and still get back to the parking lot in time for a late breakfast.
By Brian Milhaupt
From: Golden, CO
Mar 13, 2002
The Norcutt-Carter route is about 10c now. However, the biggest difficulty comes in route finding. The climb was indescript at best before the rockfall, now it's even more fun. A great place to find booty! Whichever of the two descents described you take, make sure you follow the ridgeline, DO NOT head away from the cliff or you will be promptly cliffed/lost.
By Anonymous Coward
Jul 1, 2002
There are new bolts & a chain for the rap off the east end of the first buttress. The chain is set too far back from the lip & is likely to make pulling your rope impossible from below. On 6/29/02 I found a party stranded at the bottom of the rappel unable to pull their ropes. They were lucky I showed up or they would have had to climb back up to the rap anchors. I left a sling & biner in order to correct the situation but it would be nice if the rap station was equiped with chains that went over the lip in order to keep ropes from getting stuck. Jim Berg
By Malcolm Daly
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 24, 2002
Interesting rec.climbing post on someone hand-drilling on [Hallett]...

By Adrian Hill
Aug 20, 2002
The sling and 'biner referred to by Jim Berg [were] gone by Aug 10th. I added a doubled 1" tape sling and two rap rings. I hope these last longer than Jim's sling! What the hell are people thinking, stealingfixed gear from a rap anchor? Kudos to the ASCA for placing the bolts, even if they are a little far back.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 25, 2002
We had no problems pulling the first rap, I don't think there is any problem with the chain length. However, rap with only one rope, it may be that doing the 2 rope rap makes pulling much harder. The second rap anchor is a solid horn, but rodents have been chewing through the slings, check them carefully! It would be great to put a cable or something more permanent here.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 26, 2002
[Hallett] is made of some of the coolest rock I've ever seen. It is generally quite solid and has lots of face holds. Does anybody know the geological name for this rock?

Every time I do another route on it, I'm amazed by all the face holds. It is a lot of fun until you realize that cracks are not that common and you just ran it out 20' to what you thought was going to be a placement. Great climbing, but it tends to be a bit runout in spots.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Aug 26, 2002
I agree George, this is very gneiss rock!
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 28, 2003
The rap chains on [Hallett] seem fine. We did a two rope rap that worked great. I suggest moving the knot well over the edge as the ledge and the face of the wall are full of features that may catch the knot.
By Jim
Sep 4, 2003
[Hallett] has gneiss rock, but don't take it for granite!!
By Martin le Roux
From: Superior, CO
Jul 19, 2004
If anyone is planning to climb here mid-week, the trail from Dream Lake to Emerald Lake is CLOSED for reconstruction (as of July 2004) on Tues, Wed, Thurs and Fri from 8am to 4:30pm. Scheduled completion is September 2004. The trail is open before 8am and if you want to come back down before 4:30am you'll be allowed through.
By Paul Crowder
Jul 18, 2005
Based on our experience on the [Northcutt-Carter] the other day, the route goes at 5.8 these days. Start right of the white scar, ie right of the point where the first 2 pitches fell off the cliff some time ago. Climb up and right for about 40 meters and belay. (I may have forgotten an intermediate pitch here). Then climb up and left around a short, steep, somewhat loose arete, and join the original route at the bottom of the 5.8 crack (variation) on the 3rd pitch, at a now-hanging belay. Beware - it's not clear why the flake, around which this belay's fixed slings are draped, did not fall off with the rest of the first 2 pitches. The 5.6 climbing to the left of the 5.8 variation fell off with the first 2 pitches, and the 5.8 variation is now mandatory, resulting in an upgrade of the route from 5.7 to 5.8. There is another belay stance, with room for 2 climbers, above the steep section that lies at the top of 5.8 crack. From that stance, traverse up and right, fighting your way past 2 small shrubs, and climb up and left at a small arete, then back left to a comfortable belay when the angle subsides. There is a direct line between the stance above the 5.8 variation and this comfortable belay, but there is little protection, apart from a fixed wire, and this line seems to be about 5.9. The balance of the route follows the original line. I use the term "line" loosely. There are several really long runouts while slab climbing on steep ground in the middle of this route, and the line wanders quite a lot. Keep an eye out for widely spaced old fixed pins, which show the way. This route is not a reasonable objective for the average 5.8 climber. I recall that there are fixed stances, consisting of slings around flakes, at many of the belays.
By Benjamn P
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 16, 2007
Found an old white Petzl Ecrin helmet today in Emerald Lake near the climbers trail to Hallet Peak! Contact me through my account here for its return.
By James Beissel
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 19, 2010
High resolution panorama of Hallett Peak (2,315 megapixels).
You'll need to have Adobe Flash to use the GigaPan Viewer.

By Dan G0D5H411
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jul 25, 2011
The relatively short approach is both a blessing and a curse. On a bluebird, summer day, on the weekend expect Eldo-like crowds (or worse...Gunks-like crowds) leaving the parking lot shortly before sunrise. Either be at the base at sunrise, risk storms arriving later in the day, have a backup climb planned or expect to wait in line for the popular climbs. Be aware that many of the alternative routes on the second buttress either start in the same place, end in the same place or cross each other at some point. Rockfall can be a very serious and likely hazard.
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