Type: Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 1,958 total · 27/month
Shared By: Steph Abegg on Sep 3, 2018
Admins: GRK, Zach Wahrer

You & This Route

3 Opinions
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Description Suggest change

Pitch 1: ~5.7, 100'. Climb a corner crack system up to the crest.

Pitch 2: ~5.7 R, 200'. Walk/crawl/smear/whimper your way along the narrow ridge to the top. There is pretty decent gear (from green alien to #4) until the final 20 feet, which is runout lichen-covered slab, with just enough quartz crystals for the feet to keep the climbing at 5.7.  A heady pitch.

Top: Sling part of the ridge for an anchor. It's best to keep the sling weighted.

Descent: For this climb, the descent is just as fun as the ascent (actually it might be even more fun, since it's not as scary). Do a counterbalance rappel with your partner from the apex of the arch just north of the summit block. Double ropes needed (double 50's would reach).

Disclaimer: The internet has very little information on Horsehead Arch other than a few vague accounts of it being climbed in some way and at some doable grade. I cannot find any route descriptions for the arch published in any guidebooks. Since climbers like route names and ratings, I have taken the liberty of creating route names and assigning approximate grades to the routes my partner and I did up either side of the arch. Please consider the ratings to be +/- a grade of accuracy and feel welcome to post comments about whether or not you felt the pitches were easier/harder than my assignments. Thanks!

Location Suggest change

Starts on north end of arch, on the east side.

Protection Suggest change

Single rack from green alien to #4. Set of stoppers (optional for lead but nice to back up belay at top of Pitch 1 if the fixed anchor is removed). Slings including at least one long one for slinging summit.