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Suggested Page Improvements to Achilles Spire

Shaun King
Jul 26, 2021
Description Suggestion


Thanks Paul for the Topo and the trip report!


Rock and route: This is a fine route on dolomite rock up a striking spire. As an alpine rock route, there is still loose rock on ledges that could be knocked down onto a belayer. For the most part the rock is very sound. The route is entirely bolted. Most parties will complete the route in mountain boots perhaps putting on rock shoes for the crux pitch. The route is set up for 30 m rappels. The summit commands excellent views of the Rockies central group. When viewed from the road, the spire seems as it would be a long approach. However an existing trail to start and then linking up goat trails and ledges makes the approach very reasonable usually in under two hours. Enjoy!

P1: (6 bolts, 30 m, 5.6) From the gully trend up and right then left to the first bolt (10 m up). Follow bolts to a left facing corner and up over a groove/roof/ to a station on the left under a small dirt ledge.

P2: (5 bolts & past a rappel station, 45 m, 5.4) Climb straight up, past a left facing corner to the big ledge above. Continue past the ring-bolt rap station trending up and right to the next ledge and station. Watch for loose rocks on the ledge.

P3: (7 bolts, 40 m, 5.6) Climb the steep wall up and right gaining an arete. Continuing up a groove to belay at a rappel station on the right. There is a two bolt anchor another 7 m up at the base of the steep rock but the rap station provides better communication with your partner and better visibility to belay for the next pitch.

P4: (4 bolts, 25 m, 5.6) Locate the first hard to see bolt up and right of the alternate belay station in a black band of rock. Overcome the steep bit and keep trending up and right to a large ledge. Belay station is under the roof.

P5: (4 bolts, 20 m, A0 or 5.6 or 5.8 ) Climb up and left of the station past two bolts. At the third bolt traverse horizontally left past another bolt (use long slings) and climb up to a ledge and small overhang. Climb straight up for one 5.8 move, pull on the draw at A0 or risk the pendulum easily climbing off to the right of the bolt at 5.6 (recommended). Climb up to the next ledge and continue to a station. Use of a double length sling on the last bolt is recommended to reduce rope drag as the anchor is far right (especially if combining pitch 4 & 5).

P6: (1 bolt, 20 m, 5.2) Climb left of the station on easy rock past one bolt and straight up to a station found on the right hand side just below the ridge top.

P7: (3rd class. 70 m) Walk right of the anchor, behind the ridge and left (NW) until the main buttress, go around it on the left (W) to the base of a beautiful wall and bolt station facing the highway.

P8: (6 bolts, 28 m, 5.7) Climb up and left, then straight up to an alcove atop this perfect vertical rock wall.

P9: (4 bolts, 20 m, 5.6) Climb up the short awkward chimney gaining a massive sandy ledge and station on the right. Pitch 8 & 9 can be easily linked.

P10: (8 bolts, 25 m, 5.7/5.8) The crux of the route and one of the best pitches. Follow the groove, climbing the central wall with cracks on either side. Side step a roof by traversing left and come back right of the crack to a semi-hanging belay on the right. The second bolt on the left traverse is no higher than the first can be left unclipped to reduce rope drag.

P11: (6 bolts, 25 m, 5.6) Angle left up the groove then out right following bolts to a good ledge and station.

P12: (4 bolts, 25 m, 5.5) Climb up great rock with fantastic positions on the arete to a huge ledge and station. Pitch 11 & 12 are easily linked.

P13: (5 bolts, 50m, 5.5) Scramble up about 10 m to the first bolt and continue up to eventually move up and left around the arete climbing up a small slab, past ledges and a rappel station to another station on the summit.

Descent: Rappel the route.

1) Short 12 m rap from summit ring-bolts to next station.

2) 30 m rap back down and climber's right back around the arete to reach a good ledge. From here it is a scramble down about 8 m to reach the next anchor on the big ledge below.

3) 25 m rap to a station on a good ledge.

4) 20 m down to hanging station.

5) 20 m down to the massive sandy ledge.

6) Short rap climber's left back down the short chimney crack and alcove belay.

7) 28 m back down to the flat base of the upper mountain.

8) Walk back around the buttress to the left side of the flat ridge. Find the station on the right hand side at the end of the ridge.

9) 20 m - rappel down and climber's right to the ledge below and the station on the edge of the arete.

10) 20 m - From the edge station, rappel down to the next ledge and find the station hidden under the roof.

11) 25 m - Rap down to the flatter terrain and continue walking back to the ring bolts close to the edge.

12) 30 m overhanging rappel to a large ledge and rap station. Put knots in your rope! Warning - hard pull from the bottom here with lots of friction over the rock but the rope comes down!

13) 20 m rappel to the large ledge below - station is on the far climber's left side of the ledge.

13) 20 m rappel to the pitch 2 ring bolt station, small dirt ledge - directly below.

14) 28 m rap to the ground, follow the cairns home.


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