RMNP- Photo TR


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Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 4, 2008 - 09:08pm PT
Here is our objective, the amazing Spearhead situated in the midst of Glacier Gorge.

The Spearhead from Mills Lake on the approach hike.

Trail around Black Lake, getting closer to the gorge or as we like to call it, The Center of the Universe.

Black Lake

McHenrys Peak and Arrowhead. View from above Black Lake.

The Spearhead! Our objective tackles the center of the great wall. The route we want to try is called "All Two Obvious". Grade IV 5.12a. I'm a little scared!

Here is my wife on the 5th pitch coming up the beautiful golden granite. This is a 5.10 pitch with a spectacular finger crack through a small roof. Big air below.

More golden knobs.

This is on the crux 6th pitch. The crux moves are very delicate and none too obvious! No way to aid through the hard stuff so I was very thankful to be taking these photos. The top of the pitch, seen here, is 5.10 and is super classic.

The top of the crux pitch.


Waterfall with Pagoda peak in the background.

Tree on the way out.

Aya K

Trad climber
New York
Aug 4, 2008 - 09:47pm PT

We just got back from there. I wimped out at the base of Syke's Sickle and we ended up running up the North Ridge. The summit is pretty scary and the setting pretty amazing, all the same. That whole NE face looked really awesome and I'm a little bummed we didn't do it!

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 4, 2008 - 10:14pm PT
The N. Ridge is a great route Aya and it's just cool to hang out in the gorge no matter what you're doing!

Aug 4, 2008 - 10:49pm PT
bump for the quality, looks like a nice line, thanks.........

Trad climber
berkeley, ca
Aug 5, 2008 - 12:07am PT
Two of my most fun and memorable days climbing, ever were up on Spearhead. Nice job! Any info on when that route was put up, and by whom?

Trad climber
Memphis, TN
Aug 5, 2008 - 12:16am PT
Great photos. Man, I'll be there in two weeks. I can't wait. I may not be able to climb all that but just BEING there. Ho man. I'll climb something though, for dang sure. Am also looking forward to some trout, fresh, cooked on a pine fire. Seeing some good friends. Life is good.
Double D

Aug 5, 2008 - 12:24am PT
Nice shots...stellar looking route!
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Aug 5, 2008 - 12:32am PT
Pretty amazing ! great country....be nice to hang there awhile.

People that take the time to post are appreciated! Always looking for details in the captions to make us feel a part of the landscape there with you.

Thanks for the Thread !

Flat-faced Buddha Cat City
Aug 5, 2008 - 12:48am PT
Totally awesome TR, Spectreman...

Some stellar photos of The Spearhead--you had a right to feel intimidated!--and the approach was beyond-words beautiful. Made me wish I was out there getting scared with y'all.

(Lucky you, Sam! Two weeks up there will make a new man of you, Bro--mark my words.)
Aya K

Trad climber
New York
Aug 5, 2008 - 01:14am PT
Hey just in case it was missed, I did post a really disjointed and incohrenet TR with photos in my thread a couple of days ago after I got back from our CO trip


Aug 5, 2008 - 09:01am PT
lovely! thanks for sharing the adventure!

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 5, 2008 - 10:15am PT
All Two Obvious, nice play on Covington's old name Obviously Four Believers.
Are the routes close?

The cirque above Black Lake is one of Colorado's finest, no doubt. Some of those tiny crags
in your last photos even provide off-day entertainment, if you're bivied up that way.
Lots of fresh air in your pictures.
taco bill

Trad climber
boulder, co
Aug 5, 2008 - 11:29am PT
Nice job. Spearhead is a pretty amazing spot: cragging quality granite, beautiful alpine setting, great routes.

Here's a self-serving bump for a trip we made up the Barb a couple of years ago.


Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 5, 2008 - 02:41pm PT
Slobmonster, Greg Davis and Eric Winkelman did the route in 1993.

Chiloe, It crosses Obviousley Four Believers and shares part of a pitch and a belay ledge with that route.

Trad climber
berkeley ca
Aug 5, 2008 - 03:37pm PT
Sweet send!!!
The Barb is sweet for those looking in the 5.10 range. Nice pics, how was the crux lots of .12 or boundery wonder?.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Aug 5, 2008 - 03:47pm PT
Sweet! Not so much the route as having a wife who can climb 5.12 trad with you.

Thanks for sharing.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 5, 2008 - 08:23pm PT
Hey Clustiere,
The route has only one section of 11d-12a. I have the Rossiter guide for RMNP and it has it rated 12a, but I posted on Mountain Project and they rate it 11d, although some of the comments there suggested 12a. Anyway, it is desperate thin slab and face moves at the crux with big fat bolts for protection. The crux involves several traversing moves followed by several moves up to the next bolt about 15 ft away. It would be impossible to french free past the hard section so you do have to honestly make the moves. The crux pitch has several other 11a-b moves and then lots of 5.10. There is one other 11a pitch, a few 5.10 pitches and several very nice 5.9 pitches. Not that sustained at the harder grades. Anyone who is solid on 5.11 should give this route a go!

right here, right now
Aug 5, 2008 - 08:28pm PT
Ok Spectreman!
Your in charge of high-end RMNP rock threads: next please...
bob d'antonio

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Aug 5, 2008 - 10:49pm PT
The route is beautiful and follows quality stone for it's entire length. The slab crux is at least 11d and 12a seems ok with me.

Maybe one of the better routes in the Park. Spearhead itself is located in a spectacular cirque with amazing views.

Here is a shot of the crux pitch back in 1994.

Jeff...nice trip report and great photos.

Trad climber
Aug 6, 2008 - 09:23am PT
Great TR Spectraman!
Beautiful photos. The climbing shots really came out well. Kind of an exposed and lonely feel to them, which is just how I feel sometimes when I'm climbing.
I gotta go there sometime.
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