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Routes in Sharkstooth

Cathedral Traverse T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
East Gully T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Northeast Ridge T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
South Prow T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Valhalla T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
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Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details

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. Some miss 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, at which you will come to sign labeled "Andrew's Campground". The trail to The Gash takes a hard left and goes uphill directly before this sign. The trail is hard to see in the dark. After hiking a bit on this trail, 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.

Descent

Per nonames: 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.

5 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Sharkstooth

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 210
Northeast Ridge
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 12
South Prow
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Northeast Ridge
 210
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
South Prow
 12
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
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tooTALLtim
Boulder, CO
tooTALLtim   Boulder, CO
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. " Aug 5, 2010

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