September, 01

Arrowhead Peak (12,387ft), Rocky Mountain National Park

    In September, a group of five of us attempted to climb Arrowhead Peak in Rocky. Tricia, Steve, Russ and I left Fort Collins in the early am and met Lisa in Estes park. From there we drove to the Glacier Gorge Trailhead (9,230ft) to start the day. The hike would have been around 12 miles round trip had we made it. Unfortunately, we made a navigational error on the northern flank of Arrowhead and chose the wrong couloir to ascend. This mistake put us at the base of some technical climbing in the upper couloir that was too difficult to climb unroped which eventually prevented us from getting to the top. Still, It was a wonderful day in the Park with good friends and interesting conversation. I have posted a few pictures from that day below.

This was the view up Glacier Gorge as we ascended the lower east face of Thachtop Mountain. From left to right this picture shows Long's Peak, The Keyboard of the Winds, Pagoda Mountain, and the north-east face of Chief's Head Peak. 

This is The Spearhead which sits at the head of Glacier Gorge. This formation boasts some of the best climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park. I climbed this formation with Lisa via the North Ridge this past summer. Click here to read about that adventure.

This is a view of Shelf Lake from the South. (11,400ft) The rock directly behind the lake is part of Thachtop Mountain. Half Mountain can be seen in the background on the right. The picture below is taken from the same place only I am facing West. 

A shot of the entire crew taking a break between Shelf and Solitude Lakes. The ice flow behind us was 30 meters wide and 40 meters long. 

Heading into the Gorge between Thachtop and Arrowhead. 

This is a shot of the North side of Arrowhead. The couloir that we should have taken is visible in this picture in the center and about 1/4 up from the bottom. 

Steve and Lisa as they head up the couloir we tried to climb. We were able to surmount the rock directly above but were shut down higher when the climbing became too technical to proceed unroped.

A shot of Tricia heading up the couloir.

Steve, Tricia, and Russ heading down our couloir.

Once we were back out of "our" gully, we located the correct couloir. However, it was too late to make an attempt so we headed back to the trailhead. About 4 miles from the truck, it started to snow and we all sang Christmas carols for the last 3 miles.