Type: Trad, Mixed, Alpine, Grade IV
FA: Glendenning party, 1951 / Mixed: Brad Johnson & Dick Jackson, 1975
Page Views: 11,970 total · 78/month
Shared By: Aubrey K. Additon on Jun 5, 2006
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

22 Opinions

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This route climbs the chimney between the First and Second Buttresses on the north side of Hallett Peak. The bottom part of the route is relatively easy and can be covered quickly by simulclimbing. However once you get to the middle this is where the fun starts. From here on up to the top their are several steep sections requiring snow, ice, and mixed climbing techniques. In general, the crux moves involved climbing past the large chockstones wedged between the chimney walls. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when climbing this route. First, you are in a chimney which acts as a giant terrain trap for anything falling down from above. The later and warmer it gets during the day, the more stuff that falls. Second, there are several spots on this route which involve climbing through very dangerous sections of loose rock. Be careful of where you place your protection, and watch out for your partner below. Finally, depending on the condition the route is in crux sections may vary. In lean conditions, much more mixed climbing is involved.


This route is located on Hallett Peak above Emerald Lake and can be accessed from the Bear Lake trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park.


Standard alpine rack: cams, nuts, screws, and pitons are helpful. Pickets are optional but could be useful in some sections. There is a lot of old fixed gear on this route some of it is solid and some of it is highly suspect. Be careful about what you decide to trust. There are fixed rap anchors, but be prepared to leave some gear behind as many of them could use some additional support.
Ross Swanson
Pinewood Springs
Ross Swanson   Pinewood Springs
Mike Ivie and I tried this route only to be turned back due conditions or time or personal freezing due to being wet at least 4 times. But the luck finally turned my way on the 13MAY06 when Ralph Burns and I got the route in really good conditions on my 7th try. Ralph lead the crux chock stone pitch and the second pitch rock wall. And the that left me the AI pitches and the pitch following the chock stone, which I call the CUBE pitch since its a cornice in the shape of a cube with ice on the right wall. The AI climbing is totally great once you get used to it. TAKE a dead man, you will be happy you brought it.
--Ross Jul 3, 2006
I climbed this my second attempt yesterday with, Mike Carr, his 3rd try. It was one of the most amazing alpine experiences for both of us. He's been climbing in the park for 30 years, me for 15.

I've looked at that route for countless years, tried to get people to climb it but never was able to get the partner and the fickleness of the route in sync.

As any alpine route is concerned weather and snowfall will dictate how a route shapes up. We had an incredible combination of great snow and wild ice, with wild mixed climbing. We both pulled a lot of tricks out of our bags to get the leads done.
Each time you'd thought you had climbed the crux there was another deceptive hurdle to cross.
90 degrees in the city, but not up there....get it while it lasts.
You will not soon forget that climb or that day. Jun 15, 2008
Colin Simon
Boulder, CO
Colin Simon   Boulder, CO
Possibly my favorite mixed route in RMNP - likely because we had excellent conditions. Styrofoam snice between cruxes, with enough ice in the steep bits to make it a true rock/ice mixture. May 2, 2012
Noah McKelvin
Colorado Springs
Noah McKelvin   Colorado Springs
Fun route. The final snow mushroom that has seemed to stop a couple of parties this year can be surmounted by going right with alright gear. I thought this was harder then what is called the crux. It's all cruiser from there! May 6, 2012
Mike Tsuji
Boulder, CO
Mike Tsuji   Boulder, CO
Climbed this yesterday. The infamous snow mushroom forced us around to the right into some tough terrain. Topped out before two which made us think that this isn't quite a grade IV route. May 7, 2012
Jacek Czyz
Chicago, Summit CO; PL
Jacek Czyz   Chicago, Summit CO; PL
Did it 4 days ago on first try with Rafael. Light (just one harness, I forgot my) and not necessarily fast (19h c2c), battle with chocked chimney with not only snow, also some kind of seracs. All route I did OS, except the section just above usual crux (with chockstone). Almost entire width of chimney was blocked with huge snow mushrooms with horizontal iced bottoms. It was like 4-5 feet overhang small serac. Left side gave the opportunity for chimneying between snow and wall, but constant running water and soft snow forced me to start aiding left wall. Because I have only one spectra and one birdbeak, it took me longer and was more difficult (A2). For somebody trying soon (with “serac” still in place), I suggest bring extra 1-2 Spectres and 2-3 biggest birdbeaks. The one I used I leaved in place., and because of already cleaned rest of the chimney, the most helpful will be early start to “serac”.

We rappelled the entire route, building new rap station on top and second from below. May 17, 2016
Jason Antin
Golden, CO
Jason Antin   Golden, CO
Climbed yesterday (12/3/17) with Sam Miller. Almost no ice, and the mushrooms were there but not massive as documented in previous photos. Dec 4, 2017