The South Ramp ascends the south west face of Arrowhead and begins at the same point as Refugium and Rain Dance. It makes a very handy descent route for routes on the south west face. Otherwise, this would be a very enjoyable scramble to the top of Arrowhead.
From Black Lake, skirt the right side of the lake to the open boulder field and grassy slopes that ascend to Arrowhead from the back of the lake. Work up the grassy slopes using an intermittent trail that is found on the right side. Work up to a prominent left facing break in the slabs above. Once at the break, traverse left along grassy ledges to the valley between McHenrys Peak and Arrowhead. Make the traverse slightly rising, but avoid going too high on the slabs.
Use one of two options to get on the route. From beneath the main South face, scramble up slabs until reaching a long ramp that angles up and to the right. Follow this ramp until just beneath the summit. Continue following the ramp around the North side of the summit and climb to the top. Descend the route.
Alternately, approach as for the start of Refugium and Rain Dance. Crank up the loose gully on the right until the ramp can be reached on the right.
The gully is probably 5.4 and the slabs are probably 4th class. Either way is good, but the gully is definitely loose. The gully can easily be down climbed on the left to reach gear stashed at the bottom of Refugium or Rain Dance. Enjoy.
This route is primarily a scramble. If so inclined, take a rope and the slightest of racks with mainly smaller stuff.
The 4th class section of the South Ramp.
A small buttress near the summit of Arrowhead.
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 3, 2002
Is this the same route called "Summit Ramp, 3rd class" in the latest edition of Gillett's RMNP guide? We scrambled up that route last July and found it to be an enjoyable, and somewhat improbable looking route. We followed the zig-zag line in Gillett's topo, where you follow a ramp/ledge LEFT nearly to the gully you mention, then head up perfect granite (4th class, I would rate it), and then up and right on the ramp you mention. This line does not look this easy when you are scoping out this face from below.
|By Julian Smith|
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Sep 4, 2002
This is indeed same route. Thanks for the clarification on the name. Doesn't the Gillett Guide makes the distinction of the slabs to the right of the gully being third class and the gully being the original line of ascent that gave it a 5.4 rating? In any case, the slabs look infinitely preferable to the loose gully.
|By T Bauck|
Jul 21, 2008
rating: 5.0 2- 4 I MM 1c
This is a reasonable descent off Arrowhead.
Be careful, there are a few places where a slip would be bad.