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Routes in Shelf Cirque

Shelf Cirque Traverse T Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c

Description

The stunning Shelf Cirque is formed by 4 mountains and their connecting ridges. Clockwise they are: Arrowhead, McHenry's Peak, Powell Peak, and Thatchtop. Within the cirque lie Solitude Lake and Shelf Lake (and a bunch of ravenous marmots). You must pass through Shelf Cirque to reach McHenrys Notch Couloir, Hourglass Couloir, and is also the easiest approach to NE Ridge or Arrowhead Arete of McHenry's Peak.
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Getting There

Approach as for Black Lake, but approximately 1 mile after Mills Lake, look for a small meadow with a faint trail heading west. There may be a sign here now. Cross the creek and follow the faint trail straight up the hill to Shelf Lake.

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Photos

mark felber
Wheat Ridge, CO
mark felber   Wheat Ridge, CO
No sign for the trail up to Shelf Lake, but the trail is pretty obvious. There are quite a few downed trees on the trail once you start uphill. Since this is a user trail and not a trail maintained by NPS, I would expect the down trees to be a fact of life for a while. Aug 23, 2012
jeremy long
BOULDER CO
jeremy long   BOULDER CO
I think there may be good FAs in the back of this cirque. Has anyone heard of anything back there? Check it out on Google Earth. From the top of Arrowhead, you can see a wall in the back that looks awesome from that perspective. May 19, 2011

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