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Quality alpine scrambles in the Front Range - A list

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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Quality alpine scrambles in the Front Range - A list

Postby 12ersRule » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:24 am

The Lists thread and a couple of trip reports got me thinking about what the best scrambling routes above treeline are in the Front Range. I love traveling in Colorado, but sometimes it's nice to get a quick fix close to home.

After brainstorming for a while, here's what I came up with. Anyone got anything to add to this list?

Generally, I tried to stick with just routes where ropes aren't required, and that have some sustained scrambling, not just a move here or there. I've done all the ones in the first part of the list, but have just heard about or seen the other ones.

I've got some regions below treeline that are favorites too, but that thread might have to wait until October or so.



East Ridge - Pettingell. Fairly straightforward class 3, class 4 close to ridge.
Citadel/Hagar - Ascend Hagar, stay close to top of ridge, hit both summits of Citadel, class 3 for West, class 3+ for East.
South-North Arapaho - Class 3, maybe 3+
McHenrys - Stone Man Pass - class 3, some good class 4 variations too.
Meeker - up Loft, across Meeker Ridge, down Iron Gates - Class 3, some good exposure on Meeker Ridge
Navajo - Airplane Gully, IPW (Indian Peaks Wilderness) - Not too much scrambling, that summit gully on Navajo is the main area.
Longs - Keyhole, Std Route - class 3.
East and West Desolation Peaks - RMNP, Chapin TH. No scrambling until you approach West summit. Class 3/3+.
Torreys - Kelso Ridge - class 3. Pretty sustained.
Evans - Sawtooth Ridge - class 3.
----------------
Grizzly-Lenawee ridge
Arrowhead-McHenrys
Little Pawnee-Pawnee in IPW
Navajo - class 5.0 route (?), saw something in Roach's book about it.
Apache - Ledges in IPW
Longs - The Loft, Keplingers Couloir
Spearhead in RMNP (Rocky Mountain National Park)
Little Matterhorn in RMNP
Elk Tooth-Ogalalla traverse
Cooper-Marten - west side of IPW
Hiamovi, Hiamovi Tower - west side of IPW
Lone Eagle - Solo Flight rte - class 4, ropes required?
Pilot Mtn - near Mt Alice (Mt Alice has some minor scrambling). Heard it's very exposed.
The Cleaver in Wild Basin. Class 3.
Mt Julian in RMNP
East Ridge of Bierstadt

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Re: Quality alpine scrambles in the Front Range - A list

Postby ajkagy » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:45 am

Sweet list, i'll add...


Pawnee East Ridge - Class 4
Neva North Ridge - Class 4
Shoshoni direct - Class 3/2
Shoshoni to Apache traverse (kasparov traverse) Class 4/5
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Re: Quality alpine scrambles in the Front Range - A list

Postby Scott P » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:49 am

Mount Neva has some excellent scrambling routes (i.e. the North Ridge). Edit: Looks like ajkagy already mentioned it.

Maybe add the Arapahoe traverse?

Lone Eagle - Solo Flight rte - class 4, ropes required?


We did it without ropes, but one traverse was intimidating (for me at least).
Last edited by Scott P on Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quality alpine scrambles in the Front Range - A list

Postby Floyd » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:54 am

49ersRule wrote:East Ridge - Pettingell. Fairly straightforward class 3, class 4 close to ridge.
Citadel/Hagar - Ascend Hagar, stay close to top of ridge, hit both summits of Citadel, class 3 for West, class 3+ for East.


Combine these for an incredible day.

49ersRule wrote:Lone Eagle - Solo Flight rte - class 4, ropes required?


Nope. But if you kept going to Iroquios, they are.

Add in just about anything in the Glacier Gorge area of RMNP. George James has an excellent TR on the "wave" for McHenry's. We wanted to do that route but were skeptical to the amount of snow cover last October. There have been several good TRs on the Glacier Gorge traverse too. LordHelmut's sticks out.
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Re: Quality alpine scrambles in the Front Range - A list

Postby 12ersRule » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:33 pm

Thanks! Some great additions to the list!

Here's a few more that I haven't done that might work:

Sawtooth in IPW - Class 3 ridge
Electrode -> Richtofen ridge run - class 3. Start at American Lakes TH in State Forest Park (not sure if this is still Front Range or not. Fairly convenient for Ft Collins people though).
Tepee Mtn in Never Summers

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Re: Quality alpine scrambles in the Front Range - A list

Postby ajkagy » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:38 pm

I've always want to do the cleaver in RMNP...so remote and beautiful. You'll most likely never see anybody once you get past lake verna.
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Re: Quality alpine scrambles in the Front Range - A list

Postby fahixson » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:42 pm

Thanks for starting this thread 49ers. The "Lists" thread earlier got me started down the same trail and I really found the LoJ closest peaks tool to be very helpful. I think we're looking for the same types of routes (near Denver, Class 3/4 scrambles, above treeline, no ropes). I've got the added constraint of getting back into town to pickup the kid from day care by 5 or 6pm. So, I'm looking for TH < 2 hr drive from downtown, 2,000-3,000' elevation gain, and relatively short approach trails. You've already listed all front range Class 3 routes I've completed personally (Longs-Keyhole, Navajo-Airplane, and Torreys-Kelso), but here are a few I'm considering that I didn't see already on this thread . . .

Mt Toll - East Chimney, Class 4
Mt Audobon to Paiute - East Ridge, Class 3
Wheeler Mtn - South Ridge, Class 3
Maybe a little beyond the front range, but Atlantic, Pacific, Crystal, Father Dyer, Peak 10 have all been mentioned previously either on this site, or in Cooper's scramble book as worthwhile day trips.

This thread also had numerous suggestions for 13ers near Denver . . .
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=35434

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Re: Quality alpine scrambles in the Front Range - A list

Postby ajkagy » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:48 pm

fahixson wrote:Mt Audobon to Paiute - East Ridge, Class 3


i thought this one was class 2 at most. people expecting a lot of Class 3 will probably be disappointed.
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Re: Quality alpine scrambles in the Front Range - A list

Postby d_baker » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:52 pm

ajkagy wrote:
fahixson wrote:Mt Audobon to Paiute - East Ridge, Class 3


i thought this one was class 2 at most. people expecting a lot of Class 3 will probably be disappointed.


I just did that tour last week, and I would definitely consider it class 2+. Still a nice tour though.

The complete S ridge of Grays is a good class 3/class 4 route.

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Re: Quality alpine scrambles in the Front Range - A list

Postby ajkagy » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:55 pm

d_baker wrote:
ajkagy wrote:
fahixson wrote:Mt Audobon to Paiute - East Ridge, Class 3


i thought this one was class 2 at most. people expecting a lot of Class 3 will probably be disappointed.


I just did that tour last week, and I would definitely consider it class 2+. Still a nice tour though.

The complete S ridge of Grays is a good class 3/class 4 route.


agreed, lots of great views from paiute.

not sure if anybody has mentioned the SE ridge of Audubon, a nice class 3 way to avoid all the crowds of the standard route.
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Re: Quality alpine scrambles in the Front Range - A list

Postby RyanSchilling » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:06 pm

fahixson wrote:Thanks for starting this thread 49ers. The "Lists" thread earlier got me started down the same trail and I really found the LoJ closest peaks tool to be very helpful. I think we're looking for the same types of routes (near Denver, Class 3/4 scrambles, above treeline, no ropes). I've got the added constraint of getting back into town to pickup the kid from day care by 5 or 6pm. So, I'm looking for TH < 2 hr drive from downtown, 2,000-3,000' elevation gain, and relatively short approach trails. You've already listed all front range Class 3 routes I've completed personally (Longs-Keyhole, Navajo-Airplane, and Torreys-Kelso), but here are a few I'm considering that I didn't see already on this thread . . .

Mt Toll - East Chimney, Class 4
Mt Audobon to Paiute - East Ridge, Class 3
Wheeler Mtn - South Ridge, Class 3
Maybe a little beyond the front range, but Atlantic, Pacific, Crystal, Father Dyer, Peak 10 have all been mentioned previously either on this site, or in Cooper's scramble book as worthwhile day trips.

This thread also had numerous suggestions for 13ers near Denver . . .
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=35434


Wheeler's not in the Front Range either.


One more:
Apache's east ledges, descend Apache's south ridge, climb Navajo's west chimney (4th class), descend Airplane Gully

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Re: Quality alpine scrambles in the Front Range - A list

Postby RyanSchilling » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:06 pm

ajkagy wrote:
d_baker wrote:
ajkagy wrote:not sure if anybody has mentioned the SE ridge of Audubon, a nice class 3 way to avoid all the crowds of the standard route.


Very little scrambling on that route, but I liked it enough to do it twice :)

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