Avg: 3.5 from 338 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||unknown by me|
|Page Views:||94,475 total · 366/month|
|Shared By:||Steve Merschel on Jul 21, 2001 · Updates|
|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.
General NPS climbing regulations for RMNP posted here.
From the Andrew's Glacier trail, you will see the Sharkstooth to the south. Hike up the Gash, which is the large boulderfield between you and the rock. As you get near, there will be a long fin of rock coming off the northeast ridge and heading, guess which direction...northeast. Climb to the east of that and scramble up on some large ledges for the first pitch.
P1. The first pitch can start in several places that are all about 5.4-5.6. I'd say we ran about 160 feet of rope on the first pitch. There are probably several places you could rig a belay.
P2. The second pitch was similar to the first 5.4-5.6 climbing, about the same distance and straight up the northeast ridge. Not a lot of zigzagging on this route. After some initial 5.5 climbing a long section of 5.easy climbing leads to a crux layback flake (<10ft). Belay on top of the flake. On this pitch the terrain gets easier if you stay left, but avoid the temptation and go straight up. You will eventually see the flake. Alternatively if you veer left a bit you can find a good belay stance on a dirt/grass covered lege below and left of the flake about 30-50 feet and save the flake for the next pitch.
P3. The third pitch goes 5.6 in the guidebook. Startup up a left-facing dihedral, and go more or less straight up, or possibly slightly right along a system of left facing dihedrals. The crux is just before the belay. 100-150'.
P4. Go up and slightly right along 5.easy terrain. Just before the end of the pitch there's a nice right slanting finger crack. Reach the first ledge/bench on the route and build the belay on the far side next to or in the wide crack. This pitch could likely be linked with the next with a 60m.
P5. Pitch 5 starts up a wide crack, but I hung out on the face for most this, because I think offwidths are about as fun as getting beaten with a rubber hose. The climbing is a lot easier on these last two pitches. Also, the route is completely obvious here as well. The 5th pitch ends on another, somewhat smaller ledge. More people on the Petit...if only they knew what they were missing over here.
P6. On the 6th pitch, there was little more loose rock and hollow holds, so be a little more cautious. From the top of #6, it's a very simple scramble to the summit. Ok, I was roped up, so what?, but honestly, it's probably Class 2 to the top from here. So, some may consider it 5 pitches.
The top has a great view of the surrounding area. Also, a little less comforting, look down through the boulders on the summit on the west side. I swear I saw daylight through there. Anyway, head southeast from the summit and down a little gully to rap rings. There are 3 50-60 meter raps to the top of the Gash here. The rap rings looked pretty good. Don't forget to bring a second rope or you'll be downclimbing. Also, there seems to be a lot of loose rock that gets knocked down when you toss your ropes on each rappel so be prepared to shout "ROCK!!" often to the people below and watch for more of it when you pull your ropes. That's it. Down the Gash to the trail. Hope you enjoy it. Also, I gave this a grade III, because it took us 13 hours, but we took a 2 mile detour by going to the south side first and then backtracking around to the north side. It's probably somewhere between a II and a III.
For an efficient party:
Base to summit time: 4 hours.
Approach: 3 hours.
Descent from summit to base: 90 minutes.
Slow or inexperienced parties should increase these by 50%. Experienced parties should shoot for better time.