Type: Trad, Alpine, 1000 ft, 8 pitches, Grade IV
FA: fowler/lowe
Page Views: 10,047 total · 97/month
Shared By: Cor on Sep 10, 2010
Admins: Lauren Heerschap, Mike Snyder, Jake Dickerson, Taylor Spiegelberg

You & This Route

16 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick


this route up the north face is black elk's brother. just as hard (i thought) and the feather crest pitch at the top...wow!


on the north face seen from your cirque camp.
hike up the scree to the base. follow slab/ramp to the only real left facing dihedral system on the north face. follow that up to it's top, then veer right and up to another shorter left facing dihedral. from there wander up to the top and climb the runout feather crest pitch (which is nice and narrow, but not hard.) a few traversing pitchs across the top bring you to the backside walkoff down towards sundance pinicale. cut through the notch towards the trail and arrowhead lake, and back around into the cirque.


it says in a book to follow the leftfacing dihedral system, and standard rack. the dihedral system is a fat crack/squeeze/chimney. take up to a #6 camalot, or run it out like we did. . .
As of 8.01.15, the runout chimney pitch had a fixed rope with 'sport' clipping knots in it, making it quite safe (unfortunately changes the nature of the pitch). If you brought a #5 and #6 camalot, it would be completely protectable without the line being there. If you just bring a #4, you're going about 40-50' before getting that piece in and the climbing to get to that placement is probably about 5.8. The feather crest is about 5.7, so it too feels plenty safe, although, runout. Incredible route... every pitch (except P1, which is a kitty litter choss bucket)). Aug 3, 2015
Jared Spaulding
Central WY
Jared Spaulding   Central WY
"Some of these leads involve difficult chimneys" - Joe Kelsey

Amen. Aug 25, 2015
  5.10+ R
  5.10+ R
No fixed rope as of 7/14/2016. Great route albeit a hard one. Jul 15, 2016
Boulder, CO
michalm   Boulder, CO
Information on this route is scant. Don't read further if you want a full adventure like we experienced.

This route had fantastic position and great climbing on rather poor rock. The line follows a left-facing, right leaning corner system until a left-traversing pitch before the feather crest, at which point it traverses one of the thinnest, most-exposed ridges I have ever climbed.

I will post a topo of the route as we climbed it at a later time. We climbed the route in 8 pitches.

The rack we actually used was as follows:
Single rack to #4 camalot (old #4 works best). Doubles from blue TCU to #3 camalot. Offset cams and nuts are useful. I will discuss the [f]utility of bringing larger gear in the 3rd pitch description.

Pitch 1: 170 - 180 feet. 5.choss. We started the first pitch at the base of a right-leaning ramp as the slabs transitioned from clean, easy 4th and 5th class to technical 5th class on crumbly rock. Mike led this pitch and it was one of the worst pitches we have ever climbed. The rock was absolute junk and everything was crumbling. Pro was very sparse and marginal until high up the ramp. There is a fixed tat anchor down lower, but we continued to the base of a steep offwidth/chimney system formed by huge flakes. I was punched in the nose by a fist-sized rock as I followed. This is the entry-fee pitch. Bring singles to #3 camalot.

Pitch 2: 100 feet. 5.10- . Proceed up steep hand cracks and offwidth cracks to the base of a chimney. Climb the chimney until it forms a bombay squeeze capped by a chockstone. Sling the chockstone, squeeze out and pull over into a stance at the base of a huge flared bombay chimney. Belay off a pin anchor to the right of the chimney.

Pitch 3: 170-180 feet. 5.10. Burrow into the chimney and make your way up and out. There is no gear worth placing, except for some small gear on the left in the first 1/3rd, for quite a while. Expect steep, flared 5.8 chimneying on one good wall and one crumbly wall for at least 40-45 feet before getting a #5 and more than 60 before getting a #4. You could ostensibly walk a #6 camalot up part of this section, but you would still be running it out. Lowe and Fowler ran it out, and on passive pro. Pony up and go! As soon as you get your #4 in, the climbing eases in angle and increases in difficulty to bizarre, flared 5.9-5.10 offwidth. Fortunately, the rock quality improves considerably here. Continue up the ramp to some blocks. Sling the blocks to belay

Pitch 4: 130-140 feet. 5.10- Follow the right-leaning, low-angle ramp following dirty cracks upwards towards a blank-looking wall. Skirt the wall to the right by traversing a rail with poor pro. Climb up a short, broken corner on massive jugs and belay on hand-sized cams and big nuts.

Pitch 5: 150 feet. 5.10+ The crux pitch. Best rock quality on the route. This pitch was easier than the crux pitch of Black Elk in our opinion. Follow hand and finger cracks up a steep corner to a small roof. Pull the roof using stemming, face holds, and tips (5.10+). This is the technical crux but the party isn't over. Continue up the corner to a ledge. Climb up a 3-walled, easy bombay chimney with good gear to a roof capped by chockstones. Get creative with your body positioning, yard on a shaky flake, and pull over on chockstones. (5.10) Take a few breaths and cruise up a stellar tight-hands crack for 50 feet. (5.9) This was my favorite climbing on the route. Belay at the Oven, a sheltered, west-facing alcove, on nuts and a #4 camalot.

Pitch 6: 185 feet. 5.10- Traverse left on left-angling cracks and face features, then climb up the arete up various corners and face. Belay before the feather crest.

Pitch 7: 170-180 feet. 5.10- Climb up a short handcrack and arete to mount the feather crest. Continue up and around the left side of the next small buttress (don't go straight up the tempting front... dead end on poor rock). From the top of this buttress, climb the spectacular knifeblade ridge (5.fun) to a fin at the very end. Sling this fin to belay. Pro on this pitch is sparse.

Pitch 8: 300-400 feet. Easy 5th. Scramble down a slab and easy gully. Traverse a ledge, scramble up easy ledges, zig-zagging until an easy handcrack. Climb the handcrack, mount the summit, and enjoy the spectacular sunset. We simul-climbed this pitch.

The route is around 1100' to the end of the feather crest, followed by a few hundred feet of scrambling to the summit. Jul 25, 2016