Type: Trad, Alpine, Grade V
FA: Long Ranger, Aug. 2020
Page Views: 1,629 total · 35/month
Shared By: Oak Nelson on Sep 4, 2020
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Warning Access Issue: Closed Area - City of Boulder Watershed DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

Inspired by the Pfiffner Traverse and variations thereof, this route features the complete ridge traverse from Trail Ridge Road (RMNP) to Rollins Pass Road (just south of IPWA.) Staying as close as practical to the continental divide the entire time, this route features ~40 summits over ~60 miles, with ~28,000 feet of elevation gain at an average elevation of ~12,400 feet. As adventures go, this is as good as it gets on the Front Range.

Large sections of the route are easy hiking/running/scrambling across tundra and scree fields; however, numerous exposed 4th and low 5th-Class cruxes do exist, with optional harder variations. Because of this, the recommended direction of travel is North to South. Some of the most beta-intensive sections are listed here in order of appearance (though much additional, unlisted and exposed 3rd/4th-Class terrain exists):

Much of the route of the route follows shorter traverses, with detailed beta available here: LA Freeway and Audubon to Arapahoe.

Water and weather can both be an issue, so be sure to plan accordingly. The full traverse took me three full days, though I'm sure both that some can do it in half the time and that some would rather take double.

A downloadable GPX track can be found here: https://caltopo.com/m/RN24.

Location Suggest change

Start at Trail Ridge Road, and finish at Rollins Pass Road, traversing most of RMNP and all of IPWA in the process.

Protection Suggest change

If you think you need protection on easy Class 5, then this route probably isn't for you.