pagoda mountain west ridge?

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pagoda mountain west ridge?

Postby lightfoot » Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:47 am

Climbed to saddle between Chief's Head Peak and Pagoda Mountain Sunday 8-11.Used Sandbeach Lake as campsite and followed Hunter's Creek to timberline to unnamed lake and Keplinger Lake.Scrambled up to shoulder of Chief's Head Peak and on to saddle connecting Pagoda Mountain.Wondering if anyone has ever attemtped summiting Pagoda from this approach? Looked nearly impossible.Couldn't find a route on north side. Could see climbers coming through Keyhole on Long's.Rock was mossy and slick from previous day's rain.Any comments would be appreciated.
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Re: pagoda mountain west ridge?

Postby thebeave7 » Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:38 am

I've spent many a day pondering this question, as that ridge is the only technical piece between Flattop and Longs. From what I gather the ridge itself has a coupe pitches of 5.7. Jim Disney did the full circuit many years ago, he came down the ridge via 3 raps. Trip report here. Recently John Prater went up and climbed the ridge, said there were definitely two pitches of mid 5th, though he said by looking that one may beable to skirt the South side of the ridge on ledges keeping it to low 5th. I can't find the email, but that's what I remember him saying. I too need to get up and scout that ridge, find a nice unroped passage through it.

Me fail English? That's unpossible.
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Re: pagoda mountain west ridge?

Postby Rich H » Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:30 am

I have been wondering about the same - not so much the ridge but the face...there are some ramps that go up the face on the west side connecting Cheif's Head to Pagoda...I have been thinking about doing the Glacier Gorge traverse - from Lady Washington Longs North Face...Pagoda Cheifs Head etc all the way around. I know of one person that has done it and he rap'd the west ridge.

I think it is the same one that Eric has above actually.
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Re: pagoda mountain west ridge?

Postby John Prater » Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:48 am

Did a Glacier Gorge Traverse a little over a month ago (my partner's TR here). Here's what I shared with Eric:

Bill and I went up Pagoda via a circuitous route: north side of the west ridge scrambling along, steep exposed scramble up to the ridge crest, to the south side of the ridge, back over to the north side, roped up for 200+ ft back up to the ridge crest (5.5-5.6?), down the "upper ledge" on the south face a short distance, roped up for another 200+ ft (maybe 5.4 move down low?), unroped for the final slabs and scramble up the ridge crest to the summit.

All the while, I was eyeing the north side of the ridge, as one could continue scrambling along that to the east where Bill and I had roped up. I thought there might be an easier route by staying on the north side of the west ridge further than we had, then scrambling up to the upper part of the summit ridge.

Hamish Gowans read Bill's trip report and wrote back, "I used the same direction for the Great Wheel (Thatchtop through Longs via Chiefs Head). Between Pagoda and Chiefs Head, I dropped to the North side of the ridge where it gets knifey. There is something of a bowl below the summit of Pagoda that faces NW and is pretty easy ground, then a short scramble pitch to the top. Good and easy, but maybe not the most expeditious."

This is exactly what I had in mind. Now, I don't know how difficult this is...still may be fifth class as I know Hamish will solo 5.6 (?)...but this might be a possibility for the easiest route?

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