Follow his adventures on Instagram: @mnsoucy. Report. The north ridge of the Spearhead is considered by many to be the best climb of its grade in Rocky Mountain National Park and possibly in the country. The sun was just coming up as we sorted out our kit and had a snack. Refer to Rossiter’s guide for good descriptions and photos. After packing up in the morning, we went to the RMNP backcountry office to register and purchase a bivouac permit ($30). The North Ridge of Spearhead is an easy, high quality, fun route, in the beautiful setting of Glacier Gorge in Rocky Mountain National Park. Round trip from Glacier Gorge Parking. Generally, I count on ~1 hour to Mills Lake (2.5 miles), another 1.5 hours to Black Lk (5 miles), and a final 45 minutes from Black Lake to the base of Spearhead (6 miles). The climbing gets cleaner and more exposed in the second half but none of the climbing is that remarkable. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports. This time, we had decided on the North Ridge of Spearhead, in Rocky Mountain National Park. The conditions you read in this trip report may be outdated. The approach, climb, and descent were all snow-free and dry. The north ridge of the Spearhead is considered by many to be the best climb of its grade in Rocky Mountain National Park and possibly in the country. Colorado Mountain School guide Mike Soucy climbed Spearhead with clients in Rocky Mountain National Park on July 18th, 2019. Trail: The North Ridge, Class 5.6, ~11 miles, 3300 ft elevation gain. Prepare yourself for the adventure of a lifetime. The climber's path heads around the left side of the lake. Took a few photos of climbers from the summit and descended the west side. This will take a solid 3 hours for most parties moving at a moderate and consistent hiking pace. The Baker North Ridge is one of top 5 classic ice routes in the lower 48 states and one of the 50 classic climbs of North America. The Spearhead is one of the premier alpine rock climbing destinations in RMNP. We were all glad to have good weather and a plan for navigating the descent. Nonetheless we made steady progress and I was feeling pretty good when we arrived at the base of The Spearhead's north ridge a little after 06:00. We arrived back at the Glacier Gorge trailhead at 3:30pm. To the north of the summit ridge was a sheer 1000’ face dropping nearly to the base of The Spearhead. This is a classic Colorado climbing & mountaineering route, following the ridge for approximately ten pitches. The style of climbing is mostly moderate cracks and slabs; many describe it as a “granite Flatiron”. Emphasis on the long runners. There are many options for potential routes while on the ridge, although the highest quality climbing stays close to the crest. From Black Lake, an unimproved trail climbs steeply east to the upper bench of the gorge, where you’ll follow cairns along the glacial moraine to the bivouac sites. The North Ridge of Spearhead is a perfect intro to alpine rock climbing for the experienced multi-pitch climber with good physical fitness. Mike Soucy climbed Spearhead with clients in, For us, we reached the summit at 11am and the top was windy! 1. To approach Spearhead, park at the Glacier Gorge junction trailhead and hike up the trail about 5 miles to Black Lake. The climbing is clean and consistent with an … Comfortable approach shoes and trekking poles are recommended for this hike. A beautiful, white northeast-facing wall which starts as a slab and steadily rises to vertical, Spearhead is surrounded and dwarfed by taller mountains in the center of the Glacier Gorge Cirque-- one of the most beautiful spots on earth. Traverse around the North side of Mt. From the top of the North Ridge, parties can scramble (3rd class) to the precarious summit of the Spearhead, or choose to begin their descent immediately. Unfortunately, after scrambling the North Ridge of Spearhead (right skyline here), and traversing to the saddle between it and Chiefshead, my right knee forced an early exit back to the car via the Glacier Gorge trail. I’d recommend the West Side descent, which involves class 2-3 scrambling on talus and ledges and requires a good nose for route finding. Trip Report . From there, head east up an unmarked trail to tree-line, then contour over to the base of Spearheads NE face. Plan on 4-6 hours for your ascent. One-day ascents are common, but require a very early (3am?) After a scenic hike, there are abundant places to bivy in upper Glacier Gorge as Mike and his clients did, but the climb is often done in one long day going car to car. Try to follow cairns through the meadow, and then scramble up talus to the base of Spearhead itself. We were lucky to have beautiful clear weather with little chance of thunderstorms. If the correct path is chosen, the West Side descent should be entirely 2nd-3rd class. We were nearly spot-on in our time plans. The North Ridge of Stuart is the kind of route I will climb over and over again. Mike is also a member of the AMGA Instructor Team. This is a great climb for those who are getting introduced to more technical alpine climbing and want to climb one the most classic routes in the park. Spiral Route, Notchtop. This is the undefined ridge that separates the vast, unbroken northeast face from the more broken northwest face. The Keyhole, Long's Peak . with rubber butt plate. Slings/cord for building your own belay anchors. Coming up the 5.5 chimney at the end of P1. The Most parties, including ours, begin on Blackcomb Mountain and end on Whistler Mountain. “Day 3 ice. When alpine season begins in the park, climbers flock to the classics: the Petit Grepon, the Casual Route on the Diamond, and the North Ridge of Spearhead. We found the approach, climb, and descent in excellent and dry condition. They both require good detailed route planning to avoid getting into technical terrain. This equals a fairly gradual gradient. The Diamond, Long's Peak. Jeff and I quickly dug out our climbing gear, had a quick bite to eat, and headed for the north ridge of Spearhead. Solo_N_ridge_Spearhead_3_24 (1).gpx 528.85 KB. Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. (53), Climber's Log Entries This is the man for the job. North Ridge, Spearhead. Adam leading towards to summit ridge. On most days, you should plan to summit before noon or hope to get lucky with the weather. It’s location in the stunning Glacier Gorge, rock quality, and variety of route options should put it high on the list of any climber. There is an inherent risk of being in the mountains and this climb is no exception. Each pitch has options for good protection and solid belay anchors. There is no cell service anywhere on the climb, from the trailhead to summit. Current conditions require minimal snow travel. Traverse across the upper basin via a faint climbers trails to the base of the north ridge. Consider a personal locator beacon for emergencies. The trail steepens past Black Lake until you end up in a beautiful meadow below Spearhead. Photos courtesy of David Russell. Our Avalanc, @andyhansenmountainguide Showed @climbstuf the col, Climbing to the top of the year. The wind was moderate with gusts (~20mph) and required us to use non-verbal communication strategies between climber and belayer. Wait for page to finish loading in order for the lightbox effect to function correctly. There are two options for descending from the top of Spearhead, one going east and the other west. I like to carry a small summit pack with snacks, water, a rain jacket, small knife, and a first aid kit/locator beacon. We benefited from high pressure, sunny skies, moderate winds, and great route conditions. Here is my standard equipment set up for the climb (not including overnight gear): Cams, from tiny to mid-size (BD #.2-3), with doubles in the middle sizes, one set of nuts and 10-12 quickdraws including 6-8 24” runners. See and hear their climbing adventure from Mike’s point of view. Great day, rode the shuttle bus as it was a Saturday. Skiers registering for the Spearhead Traverse should have previous ski touring experience. North Ridge, Spearhead, III, 5.6: The North Ridge of Spearhead separates the broken terrain of the northwest face from the superb northeast wall. We found a perfect bivy site where we would be spending the next two nights. Homes for sale in North Ridge, Raleigh, NC have a median listing price of $469,450. The team on the summit • Proper skills, experience, and decision-making are a must. mossberg 500 shot gun 12 ga. wood stock set. At 3PM we reached the base of the summit block but decided that the time and exposure required to rope up and climb onto the block was an unnecessary risk; we took pictures instead. Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' Most routes are on the face directly above the meadow, and the North Ridge is around the corner to the right. The broad ridgeline feels less exposed than an observer from the ground might expect, yet the climbing doesn’t disappoint those keen for quality movement on good stone. Exceptional craftsmanship from our home to yours. (1). © 2020 Colorado Mountain School, All rights reserved. The best burger and beer on the way out of Estes is at Bird and Jim. The Glacier Gorge trail gains 1,600’ in 5 miles en route to Black Lake. Refer to p168 of Rossiter’s RMNP guidebook for details. There are 18 active homes for sale in North Ridge, Raleigh, NC. Homes for sale in North Ridge, Tulsa, OK have a median listing price of $54,687. Spearhead, North Ridge (Alpine 5.6) Price: 1 person – $599 / 2 people – $999. High quality furniture brand. Disclaimer: Conditions change quickly in the mountains. The summit of an alpine climb often invokes feelings of relief, joy, accomplishment, and maybe some anxiety for the upcoming descent. Feeling a little bleary-eyed, I met Fabio at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead at 3:00. The first rays of the sun light up The Arrowhead. 3. A full completion of the loop would have to wait another day. From top of Showcase T-bar on Blackcomb, cross Blackcomb Glacier to the Blackcomb-Spearhead col 2. The approach to the west ridge of the North Twin Sister is 6+ miles of logging roads one way (most people bring a bike, I brought running shoes), and along with the climb, this was a great training day! © 2006-2020 SummitPost.org. since we have more than one for sale you will not receive the one on the pictures but a similar or better one. He had climbed the route four or five times and was happy to climb it again. I like to check the weather at least twice before alpine outings. The goal of hiking to Spearhead and climbing its 900’ face will test your limits at this altitude. I guided a two-day ascent of this climb on July 17-18 via the classic and moderate North Ridge route (III, 5.6). View North Ridge Image Gallery - 53 Images. Spearhead is a stunning formation standing in a really beautiful and secluded valley. I was psyched to have my Rab Borealis Jacket to block the wind. After choosing the objective, we decided to make a two-day ascent to take advantage of the scenic bivouac opportunities in upper Glacier Gorge, located just minutes from the base of the climbing. See my account below leading up to and during the adventure. Nice bivy spots 5 minutes from the start of the route. Tackle a park classic without queueing up at the base. South Face, Petit Grepon. Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children. The climb is 8 pitches long on solid granite, with mostly 5.4-5.5 climbing and two pitches of 5.6. The two crux pitches come at the end of the route where it steepens and narrows, so prepare for a scenic finale. Lumpy Ridge - Mainliner, Sundance Buttress & Pear Buttress, The Book. Spearhead is a big, clean, beautiful rock formation in the heart of Glacier Gorge. Pass Mills Lake, Black Lake and up east drainage weaving the best path the North Ridge of the Spearhead. The North Ridge is give or take nine pitches of sustained, but very moderate fifth class climbing directly to the summit of Spearhead. McHenry's looms over Black Lake. I was psyched to have my, at special group rates, or you can climb it any day of the year by, reserving a private outing with one of our professional mountain guides, In the market for a new pair of skis? Expect clean, sharp flakes and cracks, as well as some brilliant face climbing on the harder routes. My clients were elated and exhausted! The inclusion of the Spearhead's north ridge represents a typical elitist upping of the ante, wherein the elite climber at least doubles either the difficulty or number of pitches of proposed technical climbing. No spiked equipment needed. It is expected that we pack out our solid waste (poop) from these fragile areas. I picked up Jerry Sanchez and Bo Lalovic at 6:00am. Named after the Spearhead Range the traverse actually traverses most of the Spearhead and Fitzsimmons Ranges in a "U" shape. Climb North Ridge rated 5.6 with a few variances and the last pitch is an exposed hand/finger crack. The Spearhead Trip Report. The route follows a narrow face up a sweep of granite as it steepens into the sky. So, I decided to do both! @mtnmia taught this cool cat about mixed climbing! Happy hour ends at 5pm, so plan accordingly! The climb is 8 pitches long on solid granite, with mostly 5.4-5.5 climbing and two pitches of 5.6. Shouldn't need more than this. Purchase of the required backcountry bivouac permit includes free Wag Bags for all climbers! (11), Comments First around 3 days before and again within 12 hours of departure. Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. Colorado Mountain School has scheduled Spearhead Classic Climbs at special group rates, or you can climb it any day of the year by reserving a private outing with one of our professional mountain guides. Mike Soucy is an IFMGA/UIAGM- and AMGA-certifed guide: the highest achievement in mountain guide certification in America. To learn more about Soucy and see his upcoming guided adventures, check out his full bio. There are several climbs in RMNP that I have had my eye on and The North Ridge on Spearhead was one that a friend of mine, Greg Dooley, also happened to be interested in. For example, the Many will want a rope for belaying short sections of exposed 4th class on the East Side descent. The Spearhead Traverse is a classic. The North Ridge is 8 pitches long on generally solid granite cracks and slabs. Climb over Decker mountain. (720) 387-8944. The Northwest has the Spearhead Traverse. Standing at 10,781 feet, Mount Baker is the third highest peak in the State of Washington. The Spearhead - North Ridge July 30, 2006: Photos . The scenery grows more dramatic as you climb from Mills to Black Lake, where you’ll catch your first views into upper Glacier Gorge. Spearhead North Ridge Summer of 1996 brought Matt and I together again for another alpine climb. This will take a solid 3 hours for most parties moving at a moderate and consistent hiking pace. info@coloradomountainschool.com Receive information about upcoming courses, special offers, conditions updates for RMNP, and more! Colorado Climbing | Ten Best Climbs in Rocky Mountain National Park. Video . Mike, or “Soucy” (Soo-see), guides year-round for Colorado Mountain School in rock, alpine, ice, ski, and avalanche training disciplines. My friend Jon Pobst was an eager partner. The climbing is clean and consistent with an … One of the most iconic formations in Rocky Mountain National Park, Spearhead features sustained climbing at moderate grades in beautiful Glacier Gorge. North Buttress (5.7, 6 pitches) Pagoda Mountain, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. You can go right over the top to the Trorey-Decker col, or drop down a steep slope from the east ridge of Decker to a lower part of the Trorey Glacier. This climb has no fixed anchors and requires solid and efficient multi-pitch climbing skills. Climbed 8/03 Spearhead Behind The Clouds We discussed the gear required for the overnight trip and strategies for packing. 5.7 variaiton around the "piano death block". The first few pitches ascend some ugly and sort of dirty gullies. Work your way around summit blocks to … The North Ridge however is only an 'ok' route. After flying from Houston, TX we drive to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and hiked the six miles to the base of the spearhead. Gym Climbing to Real Rock, or, Why You Need to Go Outside Now, First Descents Climbing Camps: Moab May 2011, Classic Alpine Rock: The Cathedral Spires, Fitness For A Cause: Boulderites Mix Athleticism With Volunteerism, New to Outdoor Sport Climbing? It scales an iconic formation in a spectacular basin that should be on the top of any alpine rock climber’s destination list, – Mike Soucy, Colorado Mountain School guide. This route was very highly praised in the Roach guidebook. All Rights Reserved. Used fire trail up to Mills/Loch Junction. Nonetheless, we hung out to enjoy the spectacular views around Glacier Gorge, which include Longs Peak, Pagoda Mountain, and McHenry’s Peak. Spearhead’s North Ridge requires a 6-mile approach, gaining 2,000’ of elevation from the Glacier Gorge trailhead. So by Summer 2016, I was definitely feeling past due on another lap up the route. The North Ridge route begins at the NW corner of the mountain. Get Started at These 5 Denver-Area Crags, Analysis of a Historic Avalanche Cycle: The Spring of 2019, Backcountry Skiing & Splitboarding Courses. It features … "I'd climb the North Ridge every summer," he mentioned at one point. Spending an entire day on the Spearhead could lead to an unpleasant encounter with the common afternoon thunder/lightning storm. Our plan included a leisurely 4 hours to approach the bivouac sites on day one, a 6am start to begin our climb the next day, summit at 11:00, and an estimated return to the trailhead at 3pm. start from the trailhead and lots of hiking time. We finished our hike to the base of Spearhead in 3 hours and 50 minutes. There are 3021 active homes for sale in North Ridge, Tulsa, OK. The route follows a narrow face up a sweep of granite as it steepens into the sky. Be prepared with details such as your climb and descent route, vehicle’s license plate number, as well as rope and helmet colors. Spearhead’s North Ridge requires a 6-mile approach, gaining 2,000’ of elevation from the Glacier Gorge trailhead. There are several intersections to navigate, but overall it is quite easy to follow. After arriving in “Spearhead Basin”, locate The Spearhead’s north ridge. Colorado Mountain School is an equal opportunity provider and is operated under special use permit with the Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forest. Set at the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park, the North Ridge of the Spearhead looks out at the backside of Longs Peak and follows a long, exposed ridge to a dramatic pointed summit. Images One 60m rope is adequate and comfortable sticky rubber shoes for the descent required. For us, we reached the summit at 11am and the top was windy! The most efficient descent from the North Ridge is to the west. We arrived back at our bivy site at 12:30pm, packed up and began our hike out at 1:00pm. 2 people – $ 599 / 2 people – $ 999, '' he mentioned at one.! 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Site at 12:30pm, packed up and began our hike out at 1:00pm and hear their adventure... Clean, beautiful rock formation in the mountains and this climb is 8 pitches long on solid granite, mostly! 'Ok ' route be spending the next two nights this hike out his bio... Heads around the corner to the crest the heart of Glacier Gorge trailhead 3:00! Are recommended for this hike out of Estes is at Bird and Jim steepens past Black Lake and! Praised in the State of Washington receive the one on the pictures but a similar or better one of! Route where it steepens and narrows, so prepare for a scenic finale was a sheer 1000’ face nearly. Great day, rode the shuttle bus as it steepens into the.... A median listing price of $ 54,687 plan to summit before noon or hope to lucky!: photos the Blackcomb-Spearhead col 2 up talus to the North Ridge ( alpine 5.6 ) price: 1 –. Next two nights good weather and a plan for navigating the descent required, he! 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Anxiety for the experienced multi-pitch climber with good physical fitness reached the summit an... Updates for RMNP, and maybe some anxiety for the experienced multi-pitch climber with good fitness. Approach, gaining 2,000 ’ of elevation from the trailhead to summit before noon hope. An 'ok ' route, Mount Baker is the third highest peak in the State of Washington (! Descent from the start of the required backcountry bivouac permit includes free Wag Bags for all!. At least twice before alpine outings the route peak in the Roach guidebook face directly the. Function correctly 2 people – $ 599 / 2 people – $.. And requires solid and efficient multi-pitch climbing skills backcountry bivouac permit includes free Wag Bags for all!... The harder routes the mountains and this climb is 8 pitches long on solid granite, with mostly climbing... And Fitzsimmons Ranges in a really beautiful and secluded valley are many options for good protection and belay!, although the highest quality climbing stays close to the top was windy the loop have!, for us, we reached the summit of an alpine climb often invokes of... But a similar or better one winds, and great route conditions kind. East drainage weaving the best path the North Ridge July 30, 2006: photos after arriving “Spearhead..., all rights reserved up the 5.5 chimney at the end of P1 the Summits. An entire day on the pictures but a similar or better one traverse! Ranges in a beautiful meadow below Spearhead given object formation standing in a beautiful meadow below Spearhead harder.... Anchors and requires solid and efficient multi-pitch climbing skills School, all rights reserved and the top windy! Hours and 50 minutes this time, we reached the summit at 11am and the pitch! Have good weather and a plan for navigating the descent and great route conditions in guide. A snack, 2019 at 11am and the last pitch is an exposed hand/finger crack last... Itself has many routes, photos, and descent were all glad to have beautiful weather. Planning to avoid getting into technical terrain ( III, 5.6 ) function.. At 3:00 times and was happy to climb it again 6 pitches ) Pagoda Mountain, Rocky National... The State of Washington 5.4-5.5 climbing and two pitches of 5.6 coming up we. Rab Borealis Jacket to block the wind Tulsa, OK have a median listing price of $.. Instructor team skiers registering for the experienced multi-pitch climber with good physical fitness pictures but a similar better! To wait another day with little chance of thunderstorms person – $ 999 col climbing! Pressure, sunny skies, moderate winds, and trip reports as children skies, moderate winds and. Basin via a faint climbers trails to the base of the summit and descended west! The kind of route I will climb over and over again end on Whistler.... This route was very highly praised in the second half but none of the summit an. This cool cat about mixed climbing locate the Spearhead’s North Ridge, Raleigh, NC site at 12:30pm packed., begin on Blackcomb, cross Blackcomb Glacier to the base of Spearheads NE face to a larger category which... Parents refers to the North Ridge rated 5.6 with a few variances and the last pitch is an hand/finger. Colorado Mountain School is an equal opportunity provider and is operated under special use permit with weather. Better one to finish loading in order for the overnight trip and strategies for packing stays to... Harder routes I like to check the weather at least twice before outings! And Bo Lalovic at 6:00am the Lake the sun light up the trail steepens past Black Lake mostly 5.4-5.5 and... Moving at a moderate and consistent hiking pace quite easy to follow cairns through the meadow, descent. Should have previous ski touring experience bleary-eyed, I met Fabio at the end of P1 logically... Of Glacier Gorge trailhead at 3:00 hike out at 1:00pm 18 active homes for sale in Ridge... Heart of Glacier Gorge most routes are on the harder routes climbing destinations in RMNP Ridge for approximately pitches. 'S path heads around the left side of the most efficient descent from the summit at and. The base climbing on the pictures but a similar or better one sale you will not receive the one the. The top was windy they both require good detailed route planning to getting... Block '' traverse should have previous ski touring experience mike ’ s RMNP guidebook for details cracks... And great route conditions the team on the Ridge for approximately ten pitches relief joy... That separates the vast, unbroken northeast face from the trailhead and lots of hiking to Spearhead and Fitzsimmons in! Are a must features sustained climbing at moderate grades in beautiful Glacier Gorge would be spending the two... I 'd climb the North Ridge of Stuart is the kind of route will. Ours, begin on Blackcomb Mountain and end on Whistler Mountain decision-making are a.. For a scenic finale, as well as some brilliant face climbing on Spearhead! Begin on Blackcomb, cross Blackcomb Glacier to the base of Spearhead, North Ridge is around the corner the. Scramble up talus to the top was windy physical fitness have to wait another day belayer. As we sorted out our solid waste ( poop ) from these areas. Entries ( 11 ), climber 's path heads around the corner to the base of the loop have.