Type: Trad, Alpine, 550 ft, 4 pitches, Grade III
FA: Dougald MacDonald, John Christie
Page Views: 1,609 total · 8/month
Shared By: Dougald MacDonald on Sep 14, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

3 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details


On the south side of Ship's Prow, extending toward the Loft, is a long ridge of good rock facing Mt. Meeker. This culminates in a prominent buttress -- actually a pair of buttresses -- that face southeast, right next to the Loft ice climbs. We called these the Lofty Towers. This route climbs the right side of the higher buttress.

P1. Start on the lowest toe of rock and climb up to a pinkish, hanging flake. Pass this on the left and continue a rope length on surprisingly good rock to a huge ledge system, 200 feet, 5.7.

P2. Climb the most prominent, left-facing corner system with a clean hand and finger crack, 180 feet, 5.9+. This is superb climbing on perfect rock. Belay on a good ledge above an overhang.

P3. Step left and climb Hallett-like face holds for 20 feet, then move around the prow to the south face. A beautiful finger crack curves up and left through a slab. The crack gradually thins but face holds appear. The crux is at a bulge. Above this, move back right along a thin seam, then hand-traverse right into a corner, go up a few feet and belay, 140 feet, 5.10a. You may want to belay midway somewhere on this pitch to ease rope drag. At this belay, we found a fixed #1.5 Friend with a retreat sling and biner, indicating someone had gotten this far, probably on a line a bit to our right, and then bailed.

P4. Climb poorly protected, steep 5.9 corners directly to the summit, 50 feet. Or, traverse about 20 feet right to easy ground. If you go to the summit, you have to downclimb a 50-foot, 5.6 knife-edge ridge. Cool summit, unique views.

Descend by downclimbing as mentioned, then follow easy ground up to Glacier Ridge, and contour around to the south, above the Lamb's Slide, to reach the Loft.

This climb may have been done before, as indicated by the Friend, but there are many, many variations possible on this buttress. Some of these may be quite hard, and they look excellent.


RPs to double set of cams.


Brent Apgar
Out of the Loop
Brent Apgar   Out of the Loop
The 3rd star is for the 2nd pitch corner. My partner skirted the 3rd pitch bulge on the left, since the natural flow of the route takes you that way on better rock w/ similar climbing (for what it's worth).
The position on the buttress and the views from the top are spectacular.
BA Jul 4, 2015
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.10a R
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
  5.10a R
Pretty good route. Although short, the (very) long approach and involved descent (The Loft) make doing this a pretty legit alpine day.
P1 is pretty mellow and is indeed a good 200' to the belay. I found the rock more solid going RIGHT after the hanging, pink flake and the grade more like 5.8, but it is well-protected.
P2 is probably 150' and not 180' and is sustained at a 5.8 or so grade but for 3 slightly harder moves.
P3 wanders a bit but use of slings can make this thing go smoothly. I had almost no drag up to the belay set just BEFORE traversing right around the corner (you need small stoppers and Aliens). We felt this pitch was as good as P2.
P4 is almost as insecure as P3, and the gear is indeed lacking. It is poor and spaced out a bit. Falling on P4 is NOT an option.

The route tops out at about 13,300' and offers some great views of both Long's and Meeker. Jul 12, 2015
doug haller
Boulder, Colorado
doug haller   Boulder, Colorado
1 star route.
Long hike for 4 pitches of which 2 are good.
Pitch 4 has an option for escaping right on "5.6" ground. My recommendation is to avoid this option. I followed the traverse, tiptoeing over and sometimes fully weighting large, sharp, blocks. At one point my partner said, "if that block rips, jump right!"
You should be comfortable kicking steps in snow down from The Loft on the descent. Jul 13, 2015