Avg: 3 from 67 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||Gillett?Jeff Bevan, '70 or '71?|
|Page Views:||9,406 total · 41/month|
|Shared By:||Mike Sofranko on Jul 13, 2001|
|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.
This route was just recently published in Bernard Gillett's new guide to the High Peaks. This book and its companion volume to the Estes Park region are well worth getting. Both provide previously unpublished routes, up-to-date descent info, grade indexes, and nice presentations. They are very professional and polished books. I like carrying both Gillett and Rossiter route descriptions along, sometimes a 2nd opinion is welcome.
Gillett certainly talks this route up, so I felt I should go and check it out. While I didn't think that it was as great as Gillett obviously does, it would make a good alternative to the well traveled Culp-Bossier (which undoubtedly motivated Gillett's assessment at least partially.) I'm not sure if it's better than Love (haven't done that one), but it's about as good at Culp-Bossier.
From the start of Love Route and Culp-Bossier, step up left to a grassy ledge (left of the huge, right-facing corner). You will see a couple right-facing dihedrals above. OR, per Doug Haller: before reaching the base of Culp Bossier locate a large flat roughly square grassy patch. The patch is down and lookers left of the start of Culp Bossier by about 75 feet. Locate the left most large, right-facing dihedral. It does not look like much. At the top, or skyline will be a second right-facing dihedral in sharp profile. This is the upper corner on pitch 2.
P1. Climb/wander to the bottom of the left right-facing dihedral (5.6). With a 60m rope, you should be able to reach the base of the second pitch. The only indication of past climbers are some flattened grass and an old piton at about 160 feet. Belay in the corner below the roof where the dihedral angle reclines.
P2. Climb the dihedral above. Avoid the roof by climbing the thin face on the left or a second more vertical corner system with somewhat strenuous moves midway. The upper half is nice stemming and a dirty crack. After exiting the corner, climb up and the hard left below a steep headwall. Look for the second of two trees above which you'll find slung block. Belay here. This is a great pitch (5.8).
P3. I tried climbing the headwall directly, but after ripping off a pizza pan-sized flake, I got a little freaked, backed off, and stepped left to bypass the steep stuff. I recommend the latter (5.5). OR, climb up ledges passing three trees along the way. Look for a forth tree with an old button head bolt at the base or belay at a convenient spot.
P4. Climb a shorter easy pitch up to a ledgy area, and set a belay at a comfortable spot (5.4) at the left side of a pillar.
P5. Above you should see a large pillar (~100 foot high) on the face. Climb the left side of this to a small ledge at a right-facing and -leaning corner/flake. Look for a single button head bolt on the right side of ledges and belay here. This is another fantastic pitch. (5.7)
P6. Things get a little confusing here. Climb the flake/corner above to where it bends back left. From here, break out right across the face and belay wherever you can get a good anchor. This is a shorter pitch. OR climb a wide face consisting of knobs and intermittent cracks for about 100 ft. Aim for the skyline where the angle of the cliff decreases and several flakes are visible. Belay here or with a longer rope, continue up to more comfortable stances and better gear on P7 (5.7) P6 and P7 can be combined with a 70m rope.
P7. This is the mental crux of the route, and is something of a route-finding challenge. From my partner's A5 belay, I ran it out straight up mostly unprotected and steep 5.7+ ground towards an obvious roof/overlap. I didn't protect the step over the roof because I didn't trust the rock that much. Shortly past this, you will reach a small ledge. Follow a right-leaning corner/ramp up to the bottom of an obvious, left-facing corner. (5.8ish, standard Hallett death pitch). OR continue up the face following the line of least resistance and best gear. After about 30-40 ft the angle reclines and a small tree or two appears on the ledges to the left. Continue up to gain a ledge below a large flake. Right of the flake locate an old pin in a thin crack. Belay here. (5.7) You can combine P6 and P7 with a 70m.
P8. Climb the corner, run it out across a nice 5.8- face, trend left, then hop up a steep left facing corner to the right. If rope drag hasn't stopped you yet, go to the summit. Otherwise, belay, and do one more brief scramble/pitch to the top. OR above, locate a roof ending in a dark black corner at the right. Aim for the corner where the roof and the right wall intersect. Climb the slab placing gear in cracks and flakes to reach the right side of the exit corner. Here look for a small, steep, right-facing corner with several pins. Make technical face moves, and step left to the end of the roof. Place gear or clip ancient fixed pins. Climb the last few feet below the roof up and right to gain the exit of the roof-corner system. Pull out and over the roof to gain a ledge and slab. Follow the slab upward or stay right in an arching corner. Pass a short headwall to gain the summit. Watch for loose rock and use long slings to avoid rope drag
You will cross over the Love Route on P6. The Gillett topo doesn't show the pillar on P5, but the belay point is accurately depicted. His written description of P6 didn't jive with our experience, but our climb pretty much matched the topo. Also, Gillett and Rossiter describe somewhat different lines for the Love Route.
Once on the summit, head east down the ridge for a couple hundred feet. Stay close to the crest, and near the east side of the First Buttress (the route is on the Second Buttress) you will come to a bolted rappel (could use a modern bolt). One rope will get you to a second short rappel, or a 60m rope will get you to easy scrambling terrain. Scramble down the gully for a few hundred feet. Then, head left over a rise, and aim for a scree gully. Follow this to the base of the Hallett Chimney (between 1st and 2nd Buttresses.) If you racked up here in the morning (near the mossy area) you won't need to walk the couple minutes back up to the base of the routes.