South Ridge (a.k.a. Arapaho Traverse)
3rd YDS 1- French 1 Ewbanks I UIAA 1 ZA M 1a British
Avg: 2.9 from 55 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 2000 ft (606 m), Grade II|
|Page Views:||5,302 total · 21/month|
|Shared By:||ClimbandMine on May 31, 2002 · Updates|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC|
You & This Route
Your To-Do List:Add To-Do ·
Your Difficulty Rating:
Your Ticks:Add New Tick
The South Ridge of North Arapaho Peak (13,502') is the most direct way to summit the highest peak in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Roach calls this a classic, but in the conditions I did this traverse in, I had trouble even giving it one star.
The 0.6 mile traverse from South Arapaho (13,397') in which you hardly gain or lose any elevation was loose, wet, and exposed at all the wrong times. Pulling an overhung 5.4 boulder problem off snow in mountain boots with a 1500' drop to the Arapaho Glacier below while wearing a pack full of ice gear is interesting, but there's better things to do. Same goes for jumping off a muddy ledge into a 4'x4' patch of snow with drops on both sides, and climbing a final sloppy snow gully with a long runout to the glacier. Don't get me wrong, there's lots of good climbing to be had, good scenery, and a cool 100' catwalk that has fantastic exposure. Just wait for the snow to melt before trying it.
To give the route a little more credit, on the return trip I found some better routes to bypass the snow gully and snow-platform jump and had a little more fun - a hint: don't follow the paint marks in the slot or the bit cairns leading east near the summit. Descend South Arapahoe via the southeast slopes to pick up the trail.