Avg: 3.7 from 274 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||FA: Fricke & Logan, 1970. FFA: McClure & Gulley, 1975|
|Page Views:||50,606 total · 200/month|
|Shared By:||Mike Sofranko on Dec 31, 2000|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC|
For additional information about raptor closures, please visit the Rocky Mountain National Parks area closures website.
The Barb is a fantastic route, a great first 5.10 alpine climb. Nearly every pitch is a gem. It has a boulder problem crux with lots of sustained 5.9.
P1. Start up a left facing flake, 5.6. (Per Doug Haller: near the top, step right into a v-grove and continue up the face across blocky round to the middle earth ledge. Many parties combine pitches 1 and 2 or 1-3.)
P2. Scramble up to Middle Earth Ledge, and move left, 4th Class.
P3. Wander up the face and find a left-leaning slot. Follow this to its end, step left across the face, climb a right facing corner, and belay as high as possible, 5.6. (Per Doug Haller: the slot is not obvious or required. Many parties belay at a fixed anchor with a quicklink and continue up a series of flakes, some more loose than others, to the base of the right-facing corner. (The Rossiter guidebook suggests climbing the corner and setting up a belay. The ledge is good, but the gear is sparse and small, so there is a benefit of belaying from the base of the right-facing corner.)
P4. Finish the corner, then follow an amazing left-leaning crack at 5.9, ~120'.
P5. Starting on the left, climb through an A-shaped roof, and follow a beautiful crack. Find a belay in a shallow, left-facing corner, don't go too high. This is a shorter pitch. (Or per Doug Haller: from the alcove, follow a left-facing and left-leaning corner for about 30 feet. The crack and wall "turn" vertical. Follow the crack up and then along right to gain a ledge below the A-shaped roof. Climb through the roof, and belay at one of two locations: 1) a ramp with some small pro or 2) 20 feet higher with larger gear but a semi-hanging belay, 5.9, 110 to 130 feet or less.)
P6. Continue in the crack system until you see a (seemingly solid) pin to the right in a right-leaning crack. Climb past this (5.10 crux) and up to a belay. (Or per Doug Haller: make a relatively long reach, and step left to join a near parallel sided crack. Climb a few more feet up, and look right to spot a pin in a right-trending crack. Make a long reach with delicate footholfd to gain a stance below the pin. Make a couple of more bouldery moves to gain a wider crack with solid gear. Follow this to where the headwall slopes back to a slab. Belay here, 10a/b, ~120 feet.)
P7-9. Work your way over to the North Ridge, and follow that route to the top.
I called the route 10- because of the short crux, but it is graded as high as 10c in other guidebooks. The crux is only 2 or 3 moves, but the feet are kind of insecure. I've heard P4 compared favorably to P2 of Over the Hill in Eldo, and I have to agree. It is easy to climb too high on P5 in search of a better belay stance. This is my favorite route (out of a pitifully small sample size) that I have done in RMNP, and I would definitely repeat it. It is lots of fun. If possible, don't forget to scramble to the summit. It's wild!