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The Citadel
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East Ridge - The Citadel (Clear Creek, CO) T 

East Ridge - The Citadel (Clear Creek, CO) 

YDS: 4th French: 1 Ewbanks: 2 UIAA: I ZA: 2 British: M 1b

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 3000', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 4th French: 1 Ewbanks: 2 UIAA: I ZA: 2 British: M 1b [details]
Season: Year Round
Page Views: 1,784
Submitted By: Nathaniel K on Jan 5, 2013

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BETA PHOTO: The Citadel - East Summit (looking W). Standard ro...


After reaching Herman Lake, head WSW and follow the trail until it disappears near Herman Lake's outlet stream. Contour along the slopes and marshy areas towads the saddle which sits to the east of the Citadel.

After gaining this saddle at 12,400 feet, hike up the Citadel's east ridge. Once below the east summit block, the standard route traverses the cliffs to the WNW taking you to a steep, loose, class 3 gully which provides access to a saddle between the Citadel's two summits. From here, you can tackle the east and west summits. The 4th class crux of the east summit scramble is just above this saddle. Look for a dihedral in the rock which provides access up the cliff section that rises above the saddle. There are solid holds and exposure is minimal. Once above the crux the summit is a short scramble further. Retreat can be downclimbed or rappelled. To reach the west summit, scramble west from the saddle. This summit scramble has a bit more exposure.

A more challenging alternative with more exposure on the east summit is to take on the east summit directly from the ridge, without the WNW traverse to the saddle. The climb up the east summit from this side is more exposed 3rd/4th class.


In summer, bring a few slings and rap gear if you're not comfortable downlcimbing 4th class.

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Jan 21, 2014
rating: 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b

Instead of traversing the snowfield around the East summit to gain the depression between the summits, we felt a direct ascent up the first easy chute to the East summit was safer due to avalanche concerns. Easier climbing than the short 10 ft climb onto the East ridge from the depression though you still need to climb that to reverse.

Our route therefore went over the East, to the West summit, then cut beneath the East summit on the way back.

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