Rocky Mountain National Park

Richard Rossiter
updated February 2020

A comprehensive guide to Scrambles, Rock Routes, and Ice/Mixed Climbs on the High Peaks of Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park.

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The West Side


ALPINE

The entire park west of the Continental Divide is terra incognita to most climbers. However, those weary of the east side trade routes and throngs of...

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Chasm Meadow Climbs


ICE/MIXED
ALPINE

The following five routes are located near the end of the Chasm Lake Trail. All but one of them are ice climbs. Approach: Chasm Lake Trail - This...

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Mount Lady Washington


TRADITIONAL
ALPINE

Mount Lady Washington (13,261’) is located 0.75 miles northeast of Longs Peak, 0.5 miles northwest of Chasm Meadow, and encloses the north side of the...

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Mount Meeker


ALPINE

Mount Meeker (13,911’) is the second highest summit in Rocky Mountain National Park. Its broad-shouldered mass rises immediately to the southeast of...

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Longs Peak - SE Ridge


ALPINE

Longs Peak is the highest summit in Rocky Mountain National Park, and perhaps the most characteristic landmark in Colorado. Its broad profile and flat...

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Ships Prow


TRADITIONAL
ICE/MIXED

The Ships Prow is the long northeast ridge between the north cirque of Mount Meeker and the Chasm Lake Cirque. The ridge begins at 12,200 feet with a...

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Longs Peak - Lower East Face


TRADITIONAL
ICE/MIXED

The cliff band below Broadway spans nearly a mile and is known collectively as the Lower East Face. It is bound on the left (south) by the long snow...

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Longs Peak -Chasm View Wall


TRADITIONAL
ALPINE

This is the broad, tawny face between the right end of Broadway and Mount Lady Washington. The wall is perfectly continuous from the North Chimney all...

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Longs Peak - Upper East Face


ICE/MIXED
ALPINE

The terrain above Broadway, between the the top of Lambs Slide and the Diamond, is known as the Upper East Face. This is actually the east side of the...

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The Diamond


TRADITIONAL
AID CLIMB

The Diamond is the most famous alpine wall in the United States. Its imposing plane towers above Chasm Lake like a giant movie screen: one million...

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Longs Peak, North Face


ALPINE

The north face of Longs lies between the north edge of the Diamond and the Keyhole Ridge (the northwest ridge), and harbors a perennial snowfield...

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Longs Peak, West Face


ALPINE

The west face of Longs Peak would bask in eternal obscurity were it not directly above the Trough on The Keyhole route. Yet, for the thousands of...

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Keyboard of the Winds


ALPINE

The sweeping, serrated southwest ridge of Longs Peak presents a very dramatic skyline from the Black Lake Cirque. There are seven towers, all above...

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Alberta Falls Wall


ICE/MIXED
ALPINE

The cliff is visible from the Glacier Gorge Parking Area, on the east face of the East Glacier Knob (10,225'). It is reached by an easy hike (1.4...

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Short Subjects


ICE/MIXED

Several short, steep ice flows sometimes form to the left of the approach, between Jewel Lake and Black Lake. Among these are the following routes.

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Black Lake Ice


ICE/MIXED
ALPINE

The cliffs below and east of Black Lake, and the cliffs surrounding the lake provide excellent ice climbing.

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Half Mountain


TRADITIONAL
ALPINE

Half Mountain (11,482’) forms the terminus of the extensive north ridge of Longs Peak. Its west face rises 1,600 feet above Mills Lake, and with Longs...

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Pagoda Mountain


TRADITIONAL
ALPINE

Pagoda Mountain (13,497’) casts an imposing image at the head of Glacier Gorge, between the Keyboard of the Winds and Chiefs Head Peak. The first asce...

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Chiefs Head Peak


TRADITIONAL
ALPINE

Chiefs Head Peak (13,579’) is located between Pagoda Mountain and McHenrys Peak along the southern rim of Glacier Gorge. The Continental Divide climbs...

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Spearhead


ALPINE

(12,575’) is the striking spire in the center of the cirque above Black Lake. It is steep on three sides and has a dramatic, pointed summit that is...

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Rain Delay Crag


TRADITIONAL

This is a short, northwest-facing cliff below the west face of Longs Peak, the Trough , and Keyboard of the Winds . It is about 0.5 miles east of...

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Mchenrys Peak


TRADITIONAL
ALPINE

McHenrys Peak (13,327’) towers above Black Lake at the western extreme of the Black Lake Cirque. It is one of the few mountains along the Continental...

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Arrowhead


ICE/MIXED
ALPINE

Arrowhead (12,645’) is a summit on the Northeast Ridge of McHenrys Peak, in the manner of Spearhead on the North Rib of Chiefs Head Peak. Arrowhead...

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Powell Peak


ALPINE

Powell Peak (13,208’) lies along the Continental Divide between McHenrys Peak and Taylor Peak and is south of Sky Pond. It has an impressive East Face...

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Thatchtop


TRADITIONAL
ICE/MIXED

Thatchtop (12,668’) is the large, bulky mountain that separates Glacier Gorge from Loch Vale. Its summit is about a mile northeast from Powell Peak, ...

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Taylor Peak


ALPINE

Taylor Peak (13,153’) lies west-southwest of Sky Pond and is the highest peak in the cirque. Its long spine runs along the Continental Divide from the...

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The Sharkstooth


ALPINE

The Sharkstooth (12,630’) is the highest and farthest west of the free-standing towers in the Cathedral Spires, and has the most elevation above any...

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The Petit Grepon


ALPINE

The Petit Grepon is named for The Grepon, a famous spire in the French Alps above Chamonix, though its shape more resembles the Eiffel Tower in Paris....

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The Saber


ALPINE

Viewed from Sky Pond, The Saber is the long narrow buttress to the right of The Petit Grepon. Viewed from The Gash, its pyramidal summit is seen to ...

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The Foil


ALPINE

The Foil is the narrow spire just east of The Saber. Its routes are not recommended for the casual weekend warrior. Approach: Begin from Sky Pond and...

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The Moon


ALPINE

The first tower east of the Southeast Descent Gully (p301) is an owl-shaped formation with a prominent chimney and left-facing dihedral in the middle...

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The Jackknife


ALPINE

The Jacknife is located down and right, across a narrow gully from The Moon. It is easily identified by its flat, reddish south face that is split by...

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Cathedral Wall


TRADITIONAL
ALPINE

The Cathedral Spires run northeast from Taylor Peak for nearly a mile to terminate in a massive buttress called Cathedral Wall. The imposing 900-foot...

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Otis Peak


ICE/MIXED
ALPINE

Otis Peak (12,486’) resides along the Continental Divide, roughly midway between Point 12829 and Hallett Peak, and immediately northeast of the A...

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World Cup Wall


ICE/MIXED

The upper east face of the West Glacier Knob pesents a wall, roughly 500 feet long and 100 feet high. The wall is partially visible from the open...

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Bear's Den


ICE/MIXED

This is a “mixed cliff” near Bear Lake. Look for an overhanging wall 300 feet above the lake, just left of the inlet stream.

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Nymph Lake


ICE/MIXED

Look for this inconspicuous cliff above the Emerald Lake Trail, maybe 150 yards beyond Nymph Lake, where the trail makes a switchback to the south....

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Chaos Creek Ice


ICE/MIXED

There is a small buttress southwest of Nymph Lake with a few routes of interest and a short, but arduous, approach. The buttress and the top of an ice...

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Hallett Peak


TRADITIONAL
ICE/MIXED

The sharp northern profile of Hallett Peak is a hallmark of Rocky Mountain National Park and is surely among the most photographed features in...

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Flattop Mountain


TRADITIONAL
ICE/MIXED

Flattop Mountain (12,324’) is unique in Rocky Mountain National Park in that a major hiking trail leads all the way to its top, which is so broad and...

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Notchtop Mountain


TRADITIONAL
ICE/MIXED

Notchtop Mountain (12,160’) resides near the head of Odessa Gorge, just east of the Continental Divide. The summit is lower than the crest of the...

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Knobtop Mountain


ALPINE

Knobtop Mountain (12,331’) is the next named summit along the Continental Divide to the north of Ptarmigan Point (12,363’). It is a peak of three...

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Little Matterhorn


ALPINE

Little Matterhorn (11,586’) is a large buttress and satellite peak on the serrated Northeast Ridge of Knobtop Mountain. It is an impressive feature...

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Gabletop Mountain


ALPINE

Gabletop Mountain (11,939’) is 0.8 miles north of Knobtop Mountain, and 1.5 miles east of Sprague Pass. The mountain has three ridges and presides...

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Tourmaline Spire


ALPINE

The East Ridge of Gabletop Mountain has a phalanx-like spire near its midsection (11,160’) that has been visited by the occasional cavalier of the...

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The Gable


ALPINE

The Gable (10,920’) is a striking tower, with a long triangular south face, above and north of Odessa Lake. The Gable is located at the northeast end...

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Castle Rock


ALPINE

Castle Rock (10,640’) is a promontory on the long, curving North Ridge of Gabletop Mountain. The rock appears in its best profile looking west across...

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The Lost World


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

The Lost World is a group of domes and buttresses on the mountainside north of The Pool. The Orange Arête, a spectacular out-leaning prow, is the...

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Rock of Ages


TRADITIONAL
MIXED PRO

Rock of Ages sits high on the slope above Arch Rocks Campsite. The small buttress at lower left is easily recognized by a smooth and steep south face...

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Fern Canyon


ICE/MIXED
ALPINE

“Fern Canyon” (not an official place name) refers to the short stretch of valley between The Pool and Moraine Park along the Big Thompson River. It is...

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Hayden Spire


ALPINE

Hayden Spire (12,480’) is the highest tower on a complicated buttress that projects northeast into Hayden Gorge from the west ridge of Sprague Mountai...

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Lava Cliffs


ALPINE

Iceberg Lake Wall is a 300-foot headwall in the Lava Cliffs, just west of Iceberg Lake. This area is not properly in the Mummy Range, but is listed...

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Mount Chiquita


ALPINE

Mount Chiquita (13,069’) rises to the northeast of Mount Chapin and is about one mile south of Ypsilon Mountain. It is an easy ascent from any side o...

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Ypsilon Mountain


ALPINE

Ypsilon Mountain (13,514’), though not the highest peak of the range, stands out because of its high visibility from the east and its great southeast...

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Fairchild Mountain


ALPINE

Fairchild Mountain (13,502’) rises to the northeast of Ypsilon Mountain and is among the most remote and least frequented of all peaks having tech...

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Hagues Peak


ALPINE

Hagues Peak (13,560’) is 1.4 miles northeast of Fairchild Mountain and is the highest summit of the Mummy Range. It features relatively gentle slopes...

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Mummy Mountain


ICE/MIXED
ALPINE

Mummy Mountain (13,425’) is the eastern outpost of the Mummy Range. Its familiar profile may be seen from many high places along the Front Range as...

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Rowe Mountain


ALPINE

Rowe Mountain (13,184’) lies 0.5 miles northwest of Rowe Peak. The traverse between the two summits is an easy hike, all above 13,000 feet. The two...

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Comanche Peak


ALPINE

Comanche Peak (12,702’) presides over the east side of the Mirror Lake cirque, across the void from Point 12232. Its summit lies in Roosevelt National...

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Fall Mountain


ALPINE

Fall Mountain (12,258’) is located along the northern boundary of Rocky Mountain National Park, 1.7 miles southeast of Comanche Peak.

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Elk Tooth


ALPINE

The rugged Elk Tooth is located southeast of Cony Lake, about a mile east of Ogalalla Peak, along a ridge that forms the divide between Cony Creek and...

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Ogalalla Peak


ALPINE

Ogalalla Peak straddles the Continental Divide along the southern boundary of the park. The northeast and southeast faces are precipitous and offer...

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Mount Copeland


ALPINE

Mount Copeland lies 1.3 miles east of the Continental Divide, and about one mile north-northeast of Elk Tooth. It is a large mountain, similar in...

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Ouzel Peak


ALPINE

Ouzel Peak lies along the Continental Divide roughly midway between Ogalalla Peak and Isolation Peak. It rises only 300 feet or so along the Divide, a...

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Mahana Peak


ALPINE

Mahana Peak is located 0.5 miles east of the Continental Divide, midway between Tanima Peak (to the north) and Mount Copeland (to the south); it is...

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Isolation Peak


ALPINE

Isolation Peak straddles the Continental Divide some 1.3 miles north of Ouzel Peak and can be seen to have three summits aligned on an east-west axis....

The Cleaver


The Cleaver is a small pinnacle on the Continental Divide, 0.5 miles south of BoulderGrand Pass, along the north ridge of Isolation Peak. It is best...

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Eagles Beak


ALPINE

Eagles Beak is a satellite peak on the east side of the north ridge of Isolation Peak. This minor summit resides north of Frigid Lake (11,800’), below...

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Tanima Peak


ICE/MIXED
ALPINE

Tanima Peak sits midway between Isolation Peak and Mount Alice, and 0.6 miles southeast of Boulder-Grand Pass. The Continental Divide does not quite...

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Flight Wall


ALPINE

This steep, smooth wall lies to the rightof Boulder-Grand Pass and due west of Falcon Lake. It is the cleanest stretch of rock in the cirque and canno...

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Pilot Mountain


ALPINE

Pilot Mountain is a minor summit along an eastern spur of the Continental Divide, about 0.7 miles south of Mount Alice. Its 900-foot south face forms ...

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Mount Alice


ALPINE

Mount Alice is the monarch of Wild Basin, and is among the highest and most striking peaks in the park. It would be a very popular summit, but like...

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Hidden Falls Area Ice Climbs


ICE/MIXED

A few ice climbs exist up the Wild Basin Trail (Thunder Lake Trail). Unlike the transitory ice on the lower east face of Longs Peak, these formations...

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Eagle Lake Ice


ICE/MIXED

Looking for some Front Range ice without any of the crowds? You’re guaranteed to be alone here due to the extremely long approach. More routes await ...

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