Powell Peak is a somewhat non-descript mountain to the west of Thatchtop on the south side of the Sky Pond Cirque in Loch Vale. It does, however, play host to Vanquished Buttress, the North Face Icefield, and North Gully. Views of the Cathedral Spires, the Grepon, Sharkstooth, and others are unmatched.
Park at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead (or Bear Lake) and approach via Loch Vale and Sky Pond.
This is the long, jagged ridge connecting Thatchtop to Powell Peak. This ridge traverse starts out easy but becomes very exposed for a hundred meters or so. Steep on the northwest side and near vertical on the southeast side, make for some interesting class 4 and 5 slab and crack climbing in a spectacular, remote alpine setting. The position and length of ridge here are hard to beat....[more]Browse More Classics in CO
Approach BETA for Solitude Lake cirque: The approach leaves the trail at a clearing about .5 Miles past Mills Lake. Turn 90 deg. R and cross Glacier Brook on two large, flat, boulders. Follow a faint climber's trail up some steep and very well-irrigated hillside, generally sticking right when faced with a choice (especially if a log handrail is present -see FOTH for explanation re: handrails as navigation devices). Eventually you'll pick up the cairns.