Type: Trad, Alpine, Grade III
FA: unknown
Page Views: 3,767 total · 18/month
Shared By: George Bell on Sep 2, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

3 Opinions

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details


This is an interesting route but involves more scrambling than actual climbing. We also got off route somewhat and ended up climbing up to 5.7. I am not sure where this route lies relative to the other 3 routes on the site (Rain Dance, Refugium and Watership Down) as I do not have the latest version of Gillett's guide, and these routes are not in the latest Rossiter guide.

This is the farthest right route on Arrowhead's South Face, and your goal is actually to hit the East Ridge at the level of a huge ledge about 400' below the summit. There is a reasonably good photo showing the route line on p. 170 of Rossiter's latest guide.

From Black Lake, follow slabs up and right to the route, which starts as a series of slabs alternating with tree covered benches. We climbed near the crest of a buttress, slightly left of the line shown in the photo, to the huge ledge mentioned above. This avoids traversing some ledges covered with trees which do not look pleasant (shown in the photo).

Follow the huge ledge right to the East Ridge, and then follow this ridge (or the face to the right) to the top. This upper section is only about 5.2 and somewhat loose.

A fun continuation of this route is to continue West over the summit of Arrowhead, then drop down to the Arrowhead-McHenry's Col and climb the East ridge of McHenry's (called "Arrowhead Arete" by Rossiter). This continuation is only class 4 and we did it unroped.


Light alpine rack.


The continuation from the col on to McHenry's was one of my favorite scrambles last year. Lots of fun class 4 climbing. The route looks pretty scarey from the col, but things open up and the route is pretty obvious up to the summit. A definite must for any class 4 scrambler. Apr 2, 2002
Dave Bn
Fort Collins, CO
Dave Bn   Fort Collins, CO
We must have been off route; didn't encounter anything close to 5.4 climbing except at the very bottom of the buttress. We were just right of the green line in the new Fixed Pin Rossiter guide for the park (page 423).

From the bottom of the buttress, we took what looked to be the most logical line. First pitch was 5.6 slab in a corner below an overlap/roof with less than stellar gear in a shallow flaring and mossy crack. Second pitch ended up to be a 5.8 flake system, which was actually really fun. Good climbing and what would be awesome pro if you had doubles in the blue/purple Mastercam range - which I didn't.

Second pitch ended at the heavily treed ledge, and options for continuing upward looked run out, harder than 5.8 or a vegetated mess or scrambling. We bailed from that ledge with four raps from trees (70 m rope).

Ultimately, there may be a 5.4 line somewhere up to Ledge One, especially if you're willing to get exceedingly intimate with trees, but it's likely a pretty contrived line. I also think that you follow the last pitch of Ripsaw Ridge from Ledge One which is 5.6, so the 5.4 rating should be taken with a grain of salt, and this probably shouldn't be considered the beginner alpine route the 5.4 rating might otherwise suggest.

I took 6 cams (yellow/orange Mastercam, C4 0.5-2) and a set of nuts; never placed anything larger than 0.75. Sep 21, 2015