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RMNP/Sharktooth question. Is the East Col passable? Map?

Original Post
David Kay · · Springfield, MO · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 55

I have an idea to climb the sharks tooth first day then pass over the East Col to climb PG day 2.  Is this reasonable or is it better to hike around?

Ryan Marsters · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 1,181

I would personally prefer the hour-long camp move from the Gash bivy to the Petite bivy. That seems better than lugging your overnight crap up the col/climb and dealing with the annoying raps.

Malcolm Daly · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 380


I think the way I would do it would be to stash your gear at one of the campsites below Andrews Glacier then climb the Sharkstooth. The descent is simple but there will be a lot of snow in the gully so you need to be pretty skilled in snow climbing/descending techniques. Then retrieve your gear and hike around for a bivy at the base of the PG. Then the next day, climb the PG.

Better yet, do the linkup. Bivy at the base of the PG so you can be first on the route. Blast the PG, rap off the back, climb up the saddle then descend down to the start of the NE Ridge. In total it’s about 11-12 pitches of moderate climbing and if you have simul-skills, can move efficiently and can deal with some alpine-fuckery, you should be able to summit between 10-11. Alpine-fuck your way back to the base of the short rappel off the top of the PG then you’ll be back on the main rap route off the PG.

Good luck and climb safe.

Alex Styp · · Eldorado Springs · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 75
Malcolm Daly wrote:
"Alpine-fuck your way back to the base..."
Thanks for the new verbage Malcom! Didn't know that one, love it.


wes calkins · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 339

In the Rossiter guide there is a topo description of a Gully to the east of the Owl called the SE descent gully that leads from the North side of the Saber to Sky pond. I have been up and down this gully several times to climb the Sharkstooth from the Sky pond bivy. It requires some 4th class scrambling over scree and talus. Rossiter describes descending on skiers right and this is not the best way that I have found. if you go that way you can expect 4-6 rappels off of alpine trash. If you descend and ascend on the east side of the gully its fairly pleasant with only 1 rap of about 60'.

It takes anywhere between 1-2 hours to ascend from Sky pond to the base of the sharkstooth. IMO a better solution than moving camp....

Andy Nelson · · Fort Collins, Colorado · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 326

I suppose too you could go "big pack little pack" style and camp at the Andrews Creek site (if its available, but might not be).  Although you will need a bear canister. That site is not really that far from the base of PG but a little farther for the Gash approach.  The upside in my mind is having a central location to store overnight gear, rest comfortably, bring better food, and you are closer to something like Zowie if you need to adjust the plan.  

I've never bivied at Sky Pond, but in my experience in the Park is even if you bivy - you still need to get up early if you wanna be first or get a jump on any weather.  I've walked past lots of folks bivying who are nice and snug in the bags, not getting up.  Crawling out of the bivy is hard for me personally, YMMV.  By the time I wake up, make coffee, drive up, drink coffee and hike in- I'm cruising and ready to go at the base.  When I bivy, I'm cold, tired, haven't pooped, etc. which can lead to some bad time wasting alpine fuckery.  

Andy Novak · · Bailey, CO · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 370
Andy Nelson wrote:  haven't pooped, etc. which can lead to some bad time wasting alpine fuckery.  

I've never shat into a wag bag in under 15 mins, and I've practiced!  Between the aiming and inevitable clean up after, I might as well have driven up from Denver.  

David Kay · · Springfield, MO · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 55

Thank you all for the beta! We have decided on Sharkstooth + Zowie to save a little time since we have an 8pm flight to catch on Sunday.

Spencer Verdon · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 0

Photo looking towards Andrew's Glacier taken on Zowie last Wednesday (7/10) for an idea of conditions if you plan on going up or descending.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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