Type: Trad, Alpine, 3000 ft, Grade III
FA: Gorrell & Watson, 1935
Page Views: 17,983 total · 151/month
Shared By: justin dubois on Jul 13, 2009
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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This route climbs Long's via its obvious, left skyline. Starting at the Loft, it strives to stay right on the crest of the southeast ridge.

Much of this is simply 3rd class with HUGE exposure to your right, looking down the east face, and across the Diamond's profile.
Soak it in, and stay as close to edge as you dare, peering down at the vertigous East Face!

The crux comes when you reach the Notch. The Notch is very intimidating to look into, it's a ways down! Some rappel 100' from slings on the right, into the Notch from here, or for a rope-free affair, try Gorrell's Traverse. To reach it, turn left (south) and scramble down to the 2nd of two Chimneys that drop west into the Notch.

Downclimb this (5.5 Chimney) to reach The Notch. Much care must be taken to find the easiest line, as the chimney keeps trying to cliff you out...VERY EXCITING onsight with no rope! Basically head down the first stretch of chimney until it looks unlikely to go straight down. Look right (climber's left) for a devious traverse that will deposit you onto the floor of The Notch.

From here, climb up to the crest of The Notch, and angle around to the north side.

Look for a passage leading up towards Long's summit. This is the Stepladder. Ascend this Chimney/ramp (5.5)system until the angle eases and you can easily scramble to the summit!

One could access just this pitch if desired, by heading up to the notch from Clark's Arrow....


This route is accessed from the Loft. It ascends the obvious, and elegant skyline of the East face. A great and uncrowded way to climb Longs! easily linked up with Meeker for a MEGA-CLASSIC scramble day, one of RMNP's finest!


A light alpine rack and one rope will suffice, or just a sturdy pair of shoes, and your best routefinding skills....
justin dubois
Estes Park
justin dubois   Estes Park
I liked this climb so much I made a movie:vimeo.com/5582155 Jul 14, 2009
Scott Matz
Loveland, CO
Scott Matz   Loveland, CO
Justin, great job on the vid. It's hard to video and climb well, on these alpine routes. I have a sick Sony HD handy cam if you're doing an alpine climbs soon, hit me back, maybe we could climb parallel routes and get some footage. Jul 28, 2009
sstrauss   Denver
Great video! Thanks for posting. Jul 15, 2010
mark felber
Wheat Ridge, CO
mark felber   Wheat Ridge, CO
Excellent scramble, the down climb into the Notch is very entertaining. Gorrell's Traverse is especially good, so don't miss out on it by rappelling. Jul 27, 2010
sstrauss   Denver
Climbed on Saturday the 14th. Rapped into the Notch (awesome view East and West). Webbing and new quicklink/rap ring needed. One piece of webbing looked solid, but a little clean-up could be done. Thought we had the proper resources, only to find them in the car upon returning post hike.
Solo-ed back out via the Stepladder. Fantastic exposure.
North Face rap and called it a day. Aug 16, 2010
A great mellow way to spice up a great scramble. Fun for most ages! Jun 17, 2012
First Track Jack
Evergreen, CO
First Track Jack   Evergreen, CO
Dude, supercool video. Well done.... Jul 10, 2014
Buzz Burrell
Buzz Burrell   Boulder
A solo onsight downclimb of the Palisades can be "very exciting" indeed. Here's what I did (before discovering the route had a name and the route description above):

  • Start down the first (not second) notch when viewed from above.
  • Start down its south side (it has two halves).
  • Downclimb an honest jam crack, then switch to the easier crack 8' to the left (facing down).
  • Continue down on easier, broken slabs.
  • At some hard-to-describe point, like halfway down, or when you can't go any further, scramble left over a solid buttress toward the other gully to the left.
  • Almost immediately, make a descending traverse on an exposed slab back over the same buttress to the right.
  • Your prospects from there will not look good, but there's a terrific flake with sharp holds that takes you down to easier ground, about 20' up from the bottom.
  • You do not end up in the Notch; you end up in Keplinger's Couloir below the Notch.

This point is exactly where Keplinger's route (and the ex-Clark's Arrow route) takes a 90d left up toward the Homestretch. Or, scramble up into and a little past the Notch and climb Long's via Stepladder. Jul 24, 2014
Long Ranger
Boulder, CO
Long Ranger   Boulder, CO
I remember bumping into Buzz, after he just downclimbed Gorrel's. My knowledge of the area (none), the appearance of a line (questionable), and the description of his moves (devious) made me curious but cautious. Today, I scoped it out from the bottom, and it indeed went super fine. A great soloable line from the bottom of the Notch, to the top of the Beaver (or vice versa!). The move on the flake is def. the highlight, although the jamming in the crack system is also pretty fun. The views from the top of The Beaver - wow!

Not sure about the rating, as it is listed as, "4th Class" on the original Long's Peak routes poster (and that poster gives you the wrong idea that this is somehow on the East side of the mountain!). Not sure how 4th class hand jamming and offwidth can be! Imagine the easiest route on Turkey Rocks, and then think of something easier, as the steepness is pretty mellow.

BTW: there are two really new looking anchors (shiny!) at the very top of The Beaver. Looks like a really great rappel, as the Notch is a little overhanging - you'll need two 60m, it looks like. There's a small nest of tattered webbing and rap rings just to the East. If you see that, look for a cairn just to the West - the anchors are, uh, underneath it. Jul 26, 2015
Andy Novak
Bailey, CO
Andy Novak   Bailey, CO
A great route! The tat rap anchor at the top of The Notch really should be replaced; it's safe but a total mess. Next person up there should cut away some (all) of the garbage. Be careful pulling the rope, and knot the ends. Kind of a bummer there are now so many bolts up there for the Notch highline, but I guess they have a right to enjoy Long's, too. This route is a fun little romp. Jul 10, 2016
Bruce Lacroix
Las Vegas, NV
Bruce Lacroix   Las Vegas, NV
15 miles of hiking for a couple hundred feet of climbing. I don't understand how this gets so many stars. Jul 21, 2016