Type: Trad, Alpine, 800 ft, 6 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Andy Donson and Dave Light 1997
Page Views: 6,231 total · 36/month
Shared By: justin dubois on Dec 31, 2004
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

13 Opinions

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details


Ithaca climbs the huge arching corner system just right of the plumbline of Airhead (5.11d) and a bit left of Warhead. Start off a long ledge system reached after some easy scrambling.

Pitch 1: Climb straight up the beautiful slab below the arch with no gear but good holds. Belay in some ledgy stuff below a nice clean right facing corner. Delightful 5.8X, 160feet.

Pitch 2: Climb the [L-facing] corner to a nice stance below a left angling roof/arch. Excellent. 5.11a, 75feet.

Pitch 3: The crux. Climb out left with underclings under the roof, but nada for feet. Very similar to The Adventures of B-Dog on the Book. A fixed wire helps protect it. The climbing eases after about 20 feet. Climb out left to a corner and up to a little stance. Wicked. 5.12a, 100 feet.

Pitch 4: Climb the hanging corner above. Tricky to protect but safe. Brilliant. 5.11, 100feet.

Pitch 5: More of the same. straight up more thin corner till it ends. Climb up steep flakes above, belay below a big wedged flake. Nifty. 5.11, 125 feet.

Pitch 6: Step up and climb onto the huge flake.Negotiate a spicy section of 5.10. Continue up through the very imposing roof above with a delightfully juggy finish. Mind-bending. 5.11, 150 feet.

To descend, walk east down the summit ramp or bring two ropes and rap from the saddle between Mchenry's and Arrowhead. It's possible to link pitches on this badboy, but the climbing is hard, and when Andy says to stop, y'all better stop. All in all, one of the finest routes I've climbed in the Park. Enjoy.


Doubles to 0.75 Camalot, singles in #1, 2, 3 Camalot, RPs.
Rob Kepley
Rob Kepley   Westminster,CO
Probably the best route I've done in the Glacier Gorge area. I gave it only 3 stars because I feel it needs to clean up quite a bit. The 5th pitch is really dirty. I had to do quite a bit of gardening just to place pro on this pitch. Also, I linked pitches 4&5 together with no problem. I would also like to clarify the lengths of pitches 4&5 as described above. I did both as one pitch and arrived at the belay with exactly half of a 70 meter rope left. That would be about a 115 ft, give or take some, pitch. The information above would you have believe it would be a 225 ft lead which is not the case. Sorry Justin...

Also, the 1st and 2nd pitch would probably go as one with a little silmu-climbing. I would do it this way next time for sure.

As far as the gear beta described above, spot on. Aug 23, 2009
Steven Lucarelli
Moab, UT
  5.11c R
Steven Lucarelli   Moab, UT
  5.11c R
I agree with Rob, this would be a 4 star route if it was a little cleaner, but it's still well worth doing. A note about the crux pitch: the fixed nut is not there and I didn't really see a spot where you could place one, but it's hard to see the crack when you're climbing it.

Also I wouldn't rate this pitch any harder than 11c, if you compare it to the crux on "All to Obvious" on Spearhead I thought it was definitely easier. It's heady though since I was only able to get good pro at the start of the traverse and didn't see any other spots for reliable placements until I was through the crux. A fall on this pitch would most likely result in a hard swing back into a left-facing corner. Aug 24, 2009
Alex Shainman
Rifle, CO
Alex Shainman   Rifle, CO
Did Ithaca yesterday. Kudos to the FA team! Although the pitches easily link into one another to the summit, the FA must of been real and exciting! It's a stellar line of continuity but suffers from some scaly rock & lichen exfoliation and/or dirt and moss growth in the critical sections of cracks on 80% of the route. In a perfect alpine world and if totally cleaned, Ithaca would rival the best lines anywhere...As it stands, it's still worth doing at least once!

I agree with the above comments...if someone were to rap the route and do some heavy-handed scrubbing and major picking out in the thin cracks of almost every pitch and even some trundling on the last pitch, the character of the route would dramatically change (but who would do something like that?!). The 3rd pitch had a fair amount of dirt/moss either blocking the gear/holds or holding/dripping moisture. Even though, we did not feel it warranted (12a). Perhaps the FA encountered an even dirtier crack/seam!

We both felt that .11c would be the accurate grade IF the entire route were much cleaner. Nonetheless, Ithaca is a proud line and not to be taken lightly. Every pitch has spice to it. I think, if way cleaner, pitches 2-6 would all feel noticably easier. As for serious ratings in it's current condition...P1 is X and the remainder are somewhere in between PG-13 & R.

Have fun in the alpine!! Don't forget to lead with your nut tool!!

P.S. One 70m rope does work well for the "low-point" raps starting under the big visor block, which is marked by a large cairn. Be advised you will have to downclimb maybe 5.5ish terrain after rap #2. Sep 4, 2011
Boulder, CO
  5.12- R
michalm   Boulder, CO
  5.12- R
Great route with lots of gardening. The corner climbing is excellent. The crux protection is not. With some black, blue, and yellow Totems, the crux pitch might be PG-13. Currently, it is R with a high probability of swinging hard into a ledge if you blow it. The crux is currently a little seepy but should dry out. The splitter variation to P2 is about 9+ and good. There is some spice on almost every pitch and at every grade. Going straight up at the last pitch looks and feels improbable, but it goes.

Bring your gardening tools and offset pro. Jun 4, 2018