Sharkstooth Rock Climbing
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.
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.
: as of 6/4/16, the traditional descent seems to have changed. The second station is no longer 150' right on grassy ledge.
Rap 1: rap from 3 fixed pins with a backup stopper ~140' to grassy ledge.
Rap 2: go ~40' below and rappeller's left of landing from rap 1, there is a fixed pin with a slung block; ~180' down gully to another ledge. Look for station 3 on rappeler's right.
Rap 3: rap off a fixed pin, stopper, and chockstone in the right wall of the gully; ~75' to top of East Col.
Weather station 8.5 miles from here
4 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Sharkstooth
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Sharkstooth
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Sharkstooth:
South Prow 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 950'
Featured Route For Sharkstooth
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
The Sharkstooth and Saber bask in the glow of the ...
Bonnie Von Grebe about half way up the classic Nor...
Looking north from the top of Sharkstooth in RMNP....
Sharkstooth on May 15, 2012.
Approach from the lower portion of The Gash.
BETA PHOTO: From Andrew's Glacier.
Sharkstooth as seen from The Gash.
Laura on the third rappel (July 19, 2009).
BETA PHOTO: The Northeast Ridge is in the center of the format...
Probably the best bivy site in The Gash, just look...
BETA PHOTO: Ralph, Phil, and Laura on the summit (July 19, 200...
Silhouette of the Sharkstooth lit by the supermoon...
Tony Bubb & Sarah Shull on the summit of Sharkstoo...
Laura approaches the 2nd belay station (July 19, 2...
Sarah Shull lets her feet relax on the summit of S...
Sharkstooth as seen from snowfield on the approach...
BETA PHOTO: Sharkstooth from Petit Grepon.
BETA PHOTO: 1st rap station as of July 15, 2012 - we added 2 n...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up the Gash at the North and West faces.
Sharkstooth, as viewed from the summit of the Peti...
BETA PHOTO: Ralph on the first rappel (July 19, 2009).
An absolutely beautiful day approaching Sharkstoot...
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