NE Ridge or Arrowhead Arete
Avg: 2.7 from 14 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 1500 ft, 10 pitches, Grade II|
|FA:||C. Ehlert, P. Ritterbush & P. Sawyer, 1957|
|Page Views:||4,820 total · 24/month|
|Shared By:||George Bell on Sep 2, 2001|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
DescriptionThis route climbs the ridge connecting McHenry's and Arrowhead. The ridge itself is 4th class if you follow the easiest line.
There are several ways to get to the saddle between McHenry's and Arrowhead. A non-technical route starts from Lake Solitude, and reaches the saddle from the north. A 5.6 route, called "The Shaft", was climbed in 1957 to reach the saddle from the south. This area contains several rap anchors and appears from above to be harder than 5.6, so bring a more serious rack if you go for this option (also consult the guidebooks). A third alternative is to climb the South Ramp route on Arrowhead (called "Summit Ramp" in Gillett's guide) and continue along the ridge. This involves less bushwhacking than the first option but you may not need to carry a rope if you are comfortable free soloing 4th class terrain.
From the saddle, climb up the NE Ridge, or the face to its right. The sharp NE Ridge crest can be climbed all the way but you will probably want a rope for that, and there are two gendarmes that you may have to rappel off of (one is climbed by "Kidnapper Van"). At the start, you can climb the NE ridge, but then the easiest line diverges to the right of the ridge. Near the top, the easiest option is to move right into a shallow gully, but you can also climb the face to the left of this, or go back to the NE Ridge itself.
The climb ends a few feet from the summit. Descend by downclimbing the normal scrambling route, the SE ridge, to Stoneman Pass. It can be tricky finding the easiest route near the top, but is only 3rd class if you find it. Move right (south) of the ridge to find the easiest line.