Avg: 2 from 2 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 800 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II|
|FA:||Richard Rossiter, solo, 15 July 2009|
|Page Views:||2,485 total · 19/month|
|Shared By:||Richard Rossiter on Jul 19, 2009|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
For additional information about raptor closures, please visit the Rocky Mountain National Parks area closures website.
Approach via Black Lake and the trail that continues to the broad shelf beneath Spearhead. Hike to a point just east of Spearhead then head east and scramble up the low rib just south of the lower section of The Trough. Work around the right or left side of a prominent spire low on the arete of Tower One and gain the crest of the ridge.
To descend from the summit, down-climb to a notch on the Longs Peak side of the tower. Unfortunately the easiest return to Black Lake is to go back whence you came. From the notch, scramble around to the southwest side of the tower and descend the gully (Tower Gully) between Tower One and Tower Two. Another option is to traverse several hundred feet east and climb to the Narrows of The Keyhole route (Class 4) and descend The Trough all the way to trail above Black Lake. It is NOT easier to descend behind the Keyboard towers to the col at the east ridge of Pagoda, though it may seem a good idea in theory. The west side of the Dark Tower forms a steep cliff band that continues without interruption into the cirque of Keplinger's Couloir. An old iron piton (stamped "MADE IN AUSTRIA") indicates a previous rappel of the cliff. I down-climbed the cliff in approach shoes, though this is not recommended.