Sharkstooth


Statistics

  • Date - 07/01/2011
  • Elevation - 12,630'
  • Route - Northeast Ridge
  • Miles - 7.0
  • Elevation Gain - 3,600'
  • ACME Mapper - Link
  • CalTopo - Link
  • Partners - Jeff Shafer

Description

After getting a few laps in Clear Creek Canyon, Jeff and I drove to Estes Park, Colorado, for some barbeque and a beer at Smokin' Dave's.  We slept in my car in town and got up at 3:30 to relatively windy conditions.  We drove to the Glacier Gorge Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park only to hit a few rain showers along the way.  Given the current weather conditions, we sat at the trailhead until 5:30 before making a decision to start hiking.  My confidence regarding the climb grew as we continued on the approach.  The trail was generally snow free to The Loch, and then we hit patches all the way to the junction towards Andrews Tarn.  From this point on, we had constant snow until the base of the climb.

We hiked to the base of the Flour Power Couloir on Otis Peak and then turned left into The Gash.  As we worked our way south to the Sharkstooth, we put on our crampons and pulled our our ice axes.  We kept the crampons on for a short scramble across some rocks before getting back on snow and making our way to the base of the climb.  We cached the gear we didn't need for the climb, switched from crampons to rock shoes, and were off to climb the Sharkstooth.

We climbed the route in four pitches with a 60 meter rope.  I started up a right facing dihedral for half a pitch and then through easier ground to a more difficult hand crack and hanging belay.  I stayed to the right from the top of the dihedral rather than traverse left.  Jeff started the second pitch traversing left only a short distance before climbing a somewhat run-out section of the first half of the second pitch before getting into a sustained left facing dihedral.  The third pitch I climbed started on relatively easy climbing to a large belay ledge which I climbed past and into the off-width crack to the second large belay ledge at the end of the rope.  Jeff finished the climb on our forth pitch over easier ground to the summit.

We did three 60 meter rappels with the tag line we carried on the climb and made our way to the notch to the east of the summit.  We down-climbed on rock a ways before we had to get back on the snow.  Since we only had approach shoes with no crampons or axes, we did two more short rappels to get back to the rest of our gear.  We switched back into crampons for a short section of snow and then took them off for a couple of great glissades down to the bottom of The Gash.  The hike our was uneventful other than Jeff crashing through a snow bridge and into Andrews Creek.  We did the climb in 11 hours round trip.

Photos

JeffApproachSharkstoothSharkstoothApproachSharkstoothSharkstoothWeatherJamesLooking down pitch 1.Pitch 2Pitch 2Pitch 2Looking down pitch 3.Pitch 3Looking down the full length of pitch 3.Petit GreponJamesJeff leading pitch 4.Jeff leading pitch 4.Jeff leading pitch 4.Jeff belaying from the top of pitch 4.Jeff on the summit of Sharkstooth.Summit PhotoGroup Summit PhotoDown-ClimbingSharkstoothDescentJeffJames