Type: Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: unknown
Page Views: 10,044 total · 47/month
Shared By: Guy H. on Jul 30, 2001 with updates from doug haller
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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12 Opinions

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details


This route follows the standard descent route, so get an early start. You will want to be on the last pitch by the time the folks on the northest ridge route finish. There is some loose rock at the end of the first rap. To get to the start of the climb, scramble up the east side of Sharkstooth. There are great views looking down at the Petit Grepon from the start of the climb.

Locate the start of this climb by hiking to the saddle between Sharkstooth and the Petit.

P1: Scramble up the start of the gully and work out a belay on the right side of the headwall. (easy 5th class).

P2: Make a rising traverse to the left through the headwall. Continue upwards, and belay above a 25 foot, right-facing dihedral. (185ft, 5.4)

P3: Scramble up through some lower angle rock and belay on the right side of the next headwall. (~100ft, easy 5th class)

P4: This is the best pitch of the climb. I think that there are other varitions, but this is how we climbed the route. Angle left through the headwall and end up on the prow. Peek over the edge and check out the amazing exposure. Head straight up the arete with steep face and crack climbing. There are a few fixed pitons on this pitch. This pitch gets three stars. Make sure you let your partner get the first lead, so that you can lead P2 and P4. They are the best pitches on the climb.

Descent:  A single 60 m rope will provide 4 rappels to reach the start of the climb.


Light rack to 2 inches.
As of 9/20/03, the left side of the bottom of E gully is caked in ice and snow, with minimal sun exposure. Also, there is scattered snow in The Gash (from 1" to 3'), making the approach slick and dangerous in spots, especially near the top. On the other hand, the marmot activity is low...our lunches were left untouched. Sep 20, 2003
The description of the last pitch is exactly right, if every pitch on this climb was like the last it would be megaclassic. Unfortunately, the lower pitches are mostly easy scrambling over broken, loose, ledgey segments with occasional short, steeper quality 5.4 spots. It is hard to recommend this as a destination climb with longer quality routes close by, but it is fast. On a day when we intended to do the NE ridge but found it occupied, we were up and down this route before they reached the ridge crest. A loooong hike, but a great summit and marmots got our lunch. Sep 26, 2003
Did this route a couple of weeks ago. Decent mellow climbing to a great summit. Couldn't stay on the summit very long due to impending doom of potential electrical storm. Apparently my hair was standing straight up at one point and we heard a disturbing buzzing among the rocks. Freaky!! Aug 10, 2004
Kurt Johnson
Estes Park, CO
Kurt Johnson   Estes Park, CO
It may not be megaclassic, but 5.4s don't get much better than this...I'm giving it 3 stars. Nov 1, 2006
John Hegyes
Las Vegas, NV
John Hegyes   Las Vegas, NV
We climbed the Northeast Ridge of Sharkstooth and descended the East Gulley rappels to the saddle behind the Petit.

Since our bivy was at Sky Pond we descended the gulley that is to the east of the Petit Grepon, with several rappels. This way was not so bad, but thankfully we were the only party in the gulley, as it was real loose with some rockfall. Aug 9, 2007
Matt Schroer
Logan, Utah
Matt Schroer   Logan, Utah
This was my first serious alpine climb that involved technical rope work. A great introduction, for sure. This route has it all - a long beautiful approach, loose rock, moderate run-outs, route finding, semi-sketchy rappels, and an incredible summit. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Took a rack to 3 inches with doubles from 0.5-2 and a double set of nuts. More than enough (although TCUs would have made life a little easier). Sep 10, 2012
Dom R
Bend, OR
Dom R   Bend, OR
Great first alpine climb. took us around 12 hours C2C, but we were able to spend a good half hour on the summit. Route finding isn't hard really, and the climbing is real easy. It was nice to not get into anything too heady for my first alpine route. Climb to the first headwall, climb the headwall, climb to the second headwall, climb that headwall. Pick the most fun way you can see on each pitch. If you stay left on the final pitch, the exposure and views of Sky Pond are unbelievable. I wouldn't call it a destination climb, but if you live in Estes or nearby and the northeast ridge is crowded (3 parties waiting to get on the route when we showed up), this is a great alternative. Also as someone has mentioned, it climbs very fast. When we walked past the NE Ridge start, the first party was one pitch up, and we summited about 5 minutes before that party. The hardest part of this route is getting through The Gash. What a talus field from hell. Jul 29, 2014