Trad, Alpine, 5000 ft, Grade IV,
Avg: 4 from 15
FA: Bill Briggs and company??
> Alpine Rock
> RMNP - Rock
> Glacier Gorge
This is the MEGA-COOL Ridge traverse of the Glacier Gorge cirque.
Starting with Arrowhead and cruising the ridge crest all the way over to Long's. It's a great long day at altitude, with some wonderful and exposed scrambling/climbing. It incorporates a few classic routes, including the North Ridge of McHenry's (5.4?),the West Ridge
of Pagoda (5.7), and the Southwest Ridge of Long's (5.6).
There are several ways to run this ridge.
I like to start at Arrowhead, and go counter-clockwise, so Long's is at the end.
Hike to Black Lake, approach Arrowhead by skirting the lake on its east side and cruise grass ramps up to the base.
Head up to summit of Arrowhead via the Summit ramp (4th class), or any other way you like. Head up the wonderful North Ridge of McHenry's, with great rock, and exposure. 5.4ish? at the hardest.
Then down and across Stone Man Pass, and up over Chiefshead. This is the easiest and most dull part of the traverse, and it's still very mellow and scenic. Head down, and across the Chiefshead/Pagoda Col, and start up the sick West Ridge of Pagoda.
This route begins with wild sidewalks in the sky, then large overhangs on the ridge push you out North. Way exposed face climbing! 5.7ish. Skirt around on the North Face, until you can gain the crest again and then the summit.
Soak in this killer summit, and push on towards Long's. Pass behind the Keyboard of the Winds, surmounting one or two scrubby walls en route.
And make a beeline for the Southwest Corner. This route lies directly above the Narrows section of the Keyhole route. Climb nice cracks and flakes right to the summit (5.6).
This arete is incredible and makes an astonishing finish to a very aesthetic day.
Gain the Glacier Gorge ridge at Arrowhead, and follow it ALL the way to Long's Peak! You can't miss it.
Light rack, skinny rope, sturdy shoes.