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Sharkstooth

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Sharkstooth  


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Elevation: 12,630'
Location: 40.2808, -105.674 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 120,356
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Steve Merschel on Nov 30, 1999
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Description 

Sharkstooth is big tower of quality rock located near to the super-popular Petit Grepon. You can get at some routes on the south side by the same approach as the Petit, but the north side requires a somewhat hidden split in the trail a little above Loch Vale along the Andrew's Glacier trail. Then you have the boulder field from hell that goes up the Gash to the base of Sharkstooth.

The descent from the summit is not bad, but we did it with double ropes which always makes the raps quicker. If you head east from the summit you will find a little notch and some rap rings. They don't look terrific, but they were good enough for us to simurappel off of them. About 50 meters down we found some grassy ledges and a slung horn with more rap rings. Another 50 meters or so and more grassy ledges with rap rings. The third rap is short and then your at the top of the Gash. Hike down the unstable boulders, pick up the gear you left at the bottom of your route and then trek out the same nasty boulder field you came up.

All right, after all that negativity about the approach, let me just say that the rock is awesome. It was probably the best alpine route I have done in my limited career. The rock is pretty solid and there were great views. We were in the sun the whole way up. The Sharkstooth is a great day and well worth the approach.

Getting There 

Start at the Glacier Gorge trail head in RMNP. To get there, enter RMNP from Estes, take your first left and it's about 10-15 minutes from there.

From the trailhead, head towards Loch Vale. You'll go about 2 miles and then split off to the right and up some switchbacks to Loch Vale (0.7 miles). Then about another half a mile past Loch Vale, you see a sign for Andrew's Glacier where you split off right. We missed this the first time because the trail split isn't obvious and it's actually about 10 meters before the sign (right after the creek crossing). Take the Andrew's Glacier trail for about half a mile and you will see the Sharkstooth on your left. You'll also see The Gash which is a big boulder field that goes up to the base of the Sharkstooth. It's about half a mile to the rock from there. Exit the same way you came.

You can get to the south side of the Sharkstooth by skipping the split onto Andrew's Glacier trail. I'm not sure what routes are over here, but this is also the way to the Petit Grepon.

Climbing Season



Weather station 8.5 miles from here

4 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',2],['5.7',2],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',0],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Sharkstooth:
Northeast Ridge   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches   
South Prow   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 950'   
Browse More Classics in Sharkstooth

Featured Route For Sharkstooth
Here's a pic of anchors on top of Sharkstooth.  <br />Three old pins backed up with a chock stone.   <br />Rap station is on N.E. side of the summit.

Northeast Ridge 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b  CO : Alpine Rock : ... : Sharkstooth
From the Andrew's Glacier trail, you will see the Sharkstooth to the south. Hike up the Gash, which is the large boulderfield between you and the rock. As you get near, there will be a long fin of rock coming off the northeast ridge and heading, guess which direction...northeast. Climb to the east of that and scramble up on some large ledges for the first pitch. P1. The first pitch can start in several places that are all about 5.4-5.6. I'd say we ran about 160 feet of rope on the first pit...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Sharkstooth Slideshow Add Photo
The Sharkstooth and Saber bask in the glow of the comet Hale-Bopp. <br /> <br />1997 photo by Glenn Randall.
The Sharkstooth and Saber bask in the glow of the ...
Looking north from the top of Sharkstooth in RMNP. <br /> <br />Andrew Speers topping out the last pitch.
Looking north from the top of Sharkstooth in RMNP....
Bonnie Von Grebe about half way up the classic Northeast Ridge route on the Sharkstooth.
Bonnie Von Grebe about half way up the classic Nor...
Sharkstooth on May 15, 2012.
Sharkstooth on May 15, 2012.
Sharkstooth as seen from snowfield on the approach up.
Sharkstooth as seen from snowfield on the approach...
Laura on the 1st rappel (July 19, 2009).
Laura on the 1st rappel (July 19, 2009).
Self portrait in the couloir on the west side of Sharkstooth as seen from The Gash.
Self portrait in the couloir on the west side of S...
Ralph, Phil, and Laura on the summit (July 19, 2009).
BETA PHOTO: Ralph, Phil, and Laura on the summit (July 19, 200...
From Andrew's Glacier.
BETA PHOTO: From Andrew's Glacier.
Sharkstooth as seen from The Gash.
Sharkstooth as seen from The Gash.
Sharkstooth from Petit Grepon.
BETA PHOTO: Sharkstooth from Petit Grepon.
Looking up the Gash at the North and West faces.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up the Gash at the North and West faces.
On the summit.
On the summit.
Ralph leads P1 (July 19, 2009).
BETA PHOTO: Ralph leads P1 (July 19, 2009).
Laura on the second rappel (July 19, 2009).
Laura on the second rappel (July 19, 2009).
Ralph on the first rappel (July 19, 2009).
BETA PHOTO: Ralph on the first rappel (July 19, 2009).
The Northeast Ridge is in the center of the formation painted by the sunrise.  It turns into a bit of a flying buttress.
BETA PHOTO: The Northeast Ridge is in the center of the format...
Laura on the third rappel (July 19, 2009).
Laura on the third rappel (July 19, 2009).
1st rap station as of July 15, 2012 - we added 2 nuts and a rap ring, replaced webbing, and equalized. The pins and old deformed/ovalized rings are pretty scary.
BETA PHOTO: 1st rap station as of July 15, 2012 - we added 2 n...
Second rap.
Second rap.
Sarah Shull lets her feet relax on the summit of Sharkstooth after an ascent in 1996. <br /> <br />Photo by Tony Bubb.
Sarah Shull lets her feet relax on the summit of S...
Tony Bubb & Sarah Shull on the summit of Sharkstooth in 1996. A storm has passed below which we waited out from above. Self-portrait taken with a timer.
Tony Bubb & Sarah Shull on the summit of Sharkstoo...
Sharkstooth, as viewed from the summit of the Petit Grepon.  Climbers on the NE Ridge.
Sharkstooth, as viewed from the summit of the Peti...
Laura approaches the 2nd belay station (July 19, 2009).
Laura approaches the 2nd belay station (July 19, 2...

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Comments on Sharkstooth Add Comment
Show which comments
By Alex Young
Sep 30, 2011
CONDITION REPORT 
Does anyone have conditions on the route? Is it climbable/covered in snow/etc?
By tooTALLtim
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 5, 2010
Bivy site for The Gash side, as per NOFF;
"When you get to the Gash, keep going almost like you are going to continue up the valley. Stop about halfway through the entrance to the Gash, then looking up the Gash you will see a steep talus gulley to the left heading up into the Gash. On the right will be jumbles of rocks that if climbed over, also head up into the Gash. In the center of these is a small cliff band. The good bivy is above this cliff, and slightly left as you head up the Gash towards Sharkstooth. If for some reason you miss it, just keep heading up the Gash, turn around, and you will be able to see the largest boulder no problem. Great bivy spot there. Another good one up and to the right if facing the big bivy. And another good cave about another five minutes up the Gash on the right in some larger boulders. "