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Sharksfin Rock Climbing 

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Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Leo Paik on Aug 10, 2002

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Sharksfin with the north face in the shade and the...


Perhaps one of the more popular of the crags/spires of The Crags. This lies above Slot Rock, below Gray Slab, and further down and left of the Upper Great Face towards the left/middle of The Crags. Routes were climbed here since the 1950s. Alpine in feel but subalpine in approach and altitude, this crag provides 1-3 pitch treats on every face. All descents are by rappel or 5th class. You can watch the weather as from all these rocks you can easily peer westward. For a less crowded experience, come visit....

Getting There 

From Estes Park, drive south on CO Hwy 7 to the Lily Lake visitor center. Drive uphill and past this V.C. to the west and then quickly turn north on the road to the Baldpate Inn. Drive past the Inn, park at the end of the road. Best to have a guidebook with pictures (Kimball's, Rossiter's, or Gillett's). Hike up this same blocked off road perhaps a 1/4 to 1/2 mile. Head uphill through lightly forested slopes. When the trees clear, the challenge of figuring which rock is which comes next. The lowest of the crags are Rib Rock on the left (N) and Slot Rock on the right (S). This crag lies just uphill from Slot Rock. Hike around the left (N) side of Slot Rock. Plan on 45-75 min to approach depending on your urgency.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.4 miles from here

10 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Sharksfin

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Sharksfin:
North Face   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 220'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Sharksfin

Featured Route For Sharksfin
Rock Climbing Photo: Joe is working through the crux arete moves.

Walking with the Pope 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b  Colorado : Estes Park Valley : ... : Sharksfin
This is the first bolted climb at the Crags. It follows a beautiful panel of rock on the SE corner of the formation. If you follow the bolts directly, it is 11+/12-. By heading to the arete, you can keep the grade at 5.10+....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Comments on Sharksfin Add Comment
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By shad O'Neel
Jul 21, 2006
There is a nice rap anchor just as you finish the Kor Route. This consists of a steel cable slung around a chunk of the tower, backed up with a nut and climbing rope. We thought, how nice, and tried a double rope rap to the base of the fin, but the ropes don't pull easily from there. It's best to stop at the ledge, and then scramble down, or rap from slings that are here. Not sure if a single 60m gets you to the ledge or not, make sure to check for yourself......
By Ivan Rezucha
From: Fort Collins, CO
Jul 13, 2008
This is the rap anchor situation as of yesterday:

Northwest corner:
As stated in the previous comment, there is a decent cable around a large block on the northwest corner directly above the north face route. This can be used as a belay anchor (since belay anchors are difficult to find on top of Sharksfin). The cable is backed up with a single strand of 7mm cord, with cuts in the sheath, to a single decent nut. You can get to the ground with two 60s. We had no trouble pulling the ropes. If you have a single rope, there is a new midway anchor consisting of two beefy bolts. I wasn't real happy with the cable due to lack of redundancy (I didn't consider the 7mm cord to be reliable).

Southwest corner:
Two old pins with a faded sling. I wouldn't use this. No obvious possibility for back up.

Southeast corner:
Two old pins with slings around two horns. Decent, especially if the slings were replaced. Our rope jammed on the pull down, I think because the rings did not hang over the edge sufficiently. Fortunately we rapped on a single 9 and were able to use the other 9, folded in half, to climb the south face route to rescue our rope.
By s.kimball
Jul 2, 2010
Rest assured the cable anchor atop the NW corner of the Sharksfin, 1/4 inch, aircraft quality steel, h2o proof tape, double copper swedged at each loop rates 18,000 lbs, will be there long after you're gone Ivan, unless plate tectonics speed up. These same quality cable anchors are also atop Crosswinds, and the 1st pitch Wide Load. As well as the Bookmark Pinnacle.

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