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Areas in Glacier Gorge

A Walk in The Park 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Arrowhead 24 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 24 / 24
Chiefshead 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 2
Chiefshead Northeast Face 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 4
Chiefshead Northwest Face 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 4
Half Mountain 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
McHenry's Peak 10 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10 / 10
Pagoda Mountain 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6 / 6
Rain Delay Crag 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Shelf Cirque 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Spearhead 13 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 13 / 13
Access Issue: Seasonal 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.

67 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
 8
Shelf Cirque Traverse
Trad, Alpine
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 11
A Walk In The Park
Trad, Alpine
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 210
North Ridge
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13
 13
Crescent Ridge
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 34
North Buttress
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 13
Glacier Gorge Traverse
Trad, Alpine
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 166
Syke's Sickle
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 180
The Barb
Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
 53
Birds of Fire
Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 30
Arrowplane
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 12
Cowboys and Indians
Trad, Alpine
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 11
Ithaca
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 15
Airhead
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 42
Spear Me the Details
Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
 29
All Two Obvious
Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Shelf Cirque Traverse Shelf Cirque
 8
Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c Trad, Alpine
A Walk In The Park A Walk in The Park
 11
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad, Alpine
North Ridge Spearhead
 210
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
Crescent Ridge Pagoda Mtn
 13
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13 Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
North Buttress Pagoda Mtn
 34
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
Glacier Gorge Traverse Arrowhead
 13
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine
Syke's Sickle Spearhead
 166
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
The Barb Spearhead
 180
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
Birds of Fire Chiefshead Northwest…
 53
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
Arrowplane Arrowhead
 30
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Cowboys and Indians Chiefshead Northeast…
 12
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad, Alpine
Ithaca Arrowhead
 11
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Airhead Arrowhead
 15
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Spear Me the Details Spearhead
 42
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
All Two Obvious Spearhead
 29
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Glacier Gorge »

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