Elevation: 10,638 ft
GPS: 40.2655, -105.64137
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 440,830 total · 2,727/month
Shared By: Richard Rossiter on Oct 19, 2009
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC
Access Issue: Closures Details

Description

The west slope of Long's Peak drops 3000 feet into a rugged basin at the head of Glacier Gorge known as the Black Lake Cirque. Some of the most impressive walls and spires in Rocky Mountain National Park are found here towering above fields of wild flowers, ice-scoured slabs and jewel-like lakes comprising an alpine paradise of exceptional beauty (except for the mosquitoes). The rim of Glacier Gorge is formed by Half Mountain, Storm Peak and Long's Peak on the east; Keyboard of the Winds, Pagoda Mountain and Chief's Head Peak on the south; and by McHenry's Peak, Powell Peak and Thatchtop Mountain on the west. Spearhead and Arrowhead are satellite or island peaks within the rim of the gorge.

Getting There

Begin from the Glacier Gorge Bus Stop (Trailhead) and follow the Glacier Gorge Trail to Black Lake. A useful shortcut branches right from the main trail just after the 4th stream crossing (about .55 mile) and regains the main trail just east of the Loch Vale Junction. As soon as you cross the log bridge over Icy Brook, you are in Glacier Gorge. This great trail continues to Mills Lake, Jewel Lake and eventually to Black Lake. From Black Lake the trail climbs along a beautiful cascade SE into the basin above Black Lake. From here, cairns indicate the line of least resistance into the upper cirque.

There is also a steep path that leads to Shelf Lake and Solitude Lake. This trail (never built) breaks right from the Glacier Gorge Trail after about 4 miles in some old avalanche debris. Cross Glacier Creek on large flat boulders and the find the start to the trail in the trees. This is less than obvious.

81 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Glacier Gorge

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c
 11
Shelf Cirque Traverse
Trad, Alpine
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 19
A Walk In The Park
Trad, Alpine
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13
 28
Crescent Ridge
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 342
North Ridge
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 40
North Buttress
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 21
Glacier Gorge Traverse
Trad, Alpine
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 233
Sykes' Sickle
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 302
The Barb
Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
 69
Birds of Fire
Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 50
Arrowplane
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 19
Cowboys and Indians
Trad, Alpine
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13
 17
The Kingfisher
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 23
Airhead
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 60
Spear Me the Details
Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
 35
All Two Obvious
Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Shelf Cirque Traverse Shelf Cirque
 11
Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c Trad, Alpine
A Walk In The Park A Walk in The Park
 19
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad, Alpine
Crescent Ridge Pagoda Mountain
 28
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13 Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
North Ridge Spearhead
 342
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
North Buttress Pagoda Mountain
 40
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
Glacier Gorge Traverse Arrowhead
 21
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine
Sykes' Sickle Spearhead
 233
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
The Barb Spearhead
 302
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
Birds of Fire Chiefshead > Chiefshead Northwest…
 69
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
Arrowplane Arrowhead
 50
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Cowboys and Indians Chiefshead > Chiefshead Northeast…
 19
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad, Alpine
The Kingfisher Spearhead
 17
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13 Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
Airhead Arrowhead
 23
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Spear Me the Details Spearhead
 60
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
All Two Obvious Spearhead
 35
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
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