Type: Trad, Alpine, 1000 ft (303 m), 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: Mark Hesse and Duncan Ferguson 1974
Page Views: 11,039 total · 41/month
Shared By: Julian Smith on Jun 8, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Description Suggest change

This is my favorite route on Hallett Peak. It is demanding both physically and mentally. The run-outs epitomize what climbing on Hallett Peak is all about, and it has some burly, physical cruxes. It shares the same start as the Love Route and the Englishman's Route. As with all routes on Hallett Peak, route finding and intricate gear placing skills are important. See the big white spot with the obvious roof at the top in the picture below. The Hesse-Ferguson goes up the white spot and climbs through the roof on pitch 3 or so. The following description is how we climbed the route, although there are many other possible variations to this route on almost every pitch.

Pitch 1 - Locate a pink band of rock to the left of a giant, right-facing dihedral. Climb through the pink band and go up a grassy, right-facing dihedral to a nice ledge with slings available for a belay. 160 feet, 5.6.

Pitch 2 - Step left from the belay ledge and face climb up to another ledge. Step right and continue up a left facing dihedral to a white roof that blocks the way. The dihedral starts out with a left facing and a right facing side with a crack on both sides, but the right facing side peters out eventually. Climb around the right side of the roof and make a belay with very small gear. Alternatively, go straight up the dihedral from the belay ledge until the left facing dihedral is reached and continue up to a belay above the white roof and to the right. There will be a slung block just below the belay where a retreat anchor has been placed. 200 feet, 5.8.

Pitch 3 - Climb a slab up and left, above the belay, to reach the bottom of a giant, left facing dihedral. Get into the dihedral and climb it to the top, beneath a giant, squared-off roof. It is possible to belay directly under the giant, squared-off roof. Climb out the bomb bay roof on the right side, and layback around the outside corner to get to face climbing on the right. Go straight up to reach a big terrace that is at mid height on the cliff and belay. 30 feet of slab climbing to the dihedral leads to 100 plus feet of climbing from the base of the dihedral, through the roof, and up to the terrace. 5.9 for the roof and 5.8 serious on the slab below the dihedral.

Pitch 4 - Climb straight up from the terrace, aiming for a small roof. The gear up to the roof is decent enough. Above the roof, either continue up over insanely run out face climbing (yucky) to a belay on a flake, or traverse up and right to join a left facing dihedral on the Culp-Bossier and belay at the top of the dihedral (better). 200 feet, 5.7 serious or very serious depending on the chosen path.

Pitch 5 - Continue face climbing up to the base of a white band and belay either at the base of the white band or go down and to the left for a few feet to a better belay. 150 to 200 feet, 5.8.

Pitch 6 - Climb up the left side of the white band through some small, acrobatic roofs and a shallow right-facing dihedral, heading to the top. The only fixed piton on the route is encountered in the first roof. Belay where convenient. This is the best pitch on the route as we climbed it. 5.9.

Pitch 7 - Continue up to the top if the rope ran out on the previous pitch. 5.8, serious.

It is possible to traverse up and right to join the Culp-Bossier from the base of the white band at the top of pitch 5. The entire route contains many variations and most of the pitches seem to be longer than indicated in the Richard Rossiter Rocky Mountain National Park guide to the High Peaks - 1997. The [Gillett] guide generally matches the same description. Bring large nuts and a friend. If your head is on right, this is a wonderful route up the middle of the 2nd buttress. It is definitely worth the finagling it takes to figure it out.

Protection Suggest change

Take a standard RMNP rack with a few extra, smaller pieces, RPs definitely, and a 200 foot rope.