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north & south arapaho peaks

Colorado 13er questions, conditions, and other info should be posted here. Also includes topics related to 13ers.com. 13er Trip Reports
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north & south arapaho peaks

Postby madeinus » Sun Sep 21, 2008 6:45 pm

I was wondering if anyone knew the conditions of these peaks. I heard the ridge between the two is brutal with 4 crux's. Is it as bad as it sounds?

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Re: north & south arapaho peaks

Postby PKelley » Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:45 pm

The ridge proper is harder. You can bag both peaks and reduce the difficulty significantly by traversing below the the connecting ridge. Check out a route description in Dave Cooper's book called "Colorado Scrambles".
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Re: north & south arapaho peaks

Postby Yolanda the Yak » Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:05 pm

We, a party of three, hiked the two peaks on Saturday, 9/20. A light dusting of snow was found, starting near araphoe pass. The majority of the traverse was free from snow, only the low traverse nearing north araphoe was more difficult due to the extra snow and ice. We did bring boots, crampons, and axes; however we never wore them and managed two in very wet running shoes.
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Re: north & south arapaho peaks

Postby boleslav » Sun Sep 21, 2008 9:55 pm

Yolanda- did you need to use the rope? can you write a bit more about the traverse between the South and North Peak? thanks

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Re: north & south arapaho peaks

Postby Greenhouseguy » Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:07 pm

Here's a shot of the ridge between South Arapaho Peak and North Arapaho Peak, taken on Saturday, 9/20/08. Yolanda the Yak was on the ridge when I took the shot; I was the 5th person on S.A.P. that day, and watched Yak & Co. working their way across.

Image

Yeah, there are some gendarmes on the ridge.

Here's South Arapaho Peak (left) and North Arapaho Peak (right) seen from "Old Baldy."

Image

Of course, that's the Arapaho Glacier. It's worth heading up there just for the scenery; the glaciers carved an incredible landscape in the Indian Peaks.
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Re: north & south arapaho peaks

Postby rijaca » Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:59 am

Roach rates the traverse between N and S Arapaho as class 3 which I think is fair, although a couple spots are exposed and some people may consider the moves as 4s. When dry, no rope is necessary. There are very few spots to drop off the ridge (and none to the east). Roach also describes the route in his IPW guide.
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Re: north & south arapaho peaks

Postby Yolanda the Yak » Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:18 am

Boleslav:
For a better description, you should probably check out either the book mentioned by PKelly (Colorado Scrambles) or Roach's Indian Peaks book. Both Authors are in the business of writing guidebooks and whatever description that I attempt to write would likely fall far short of their high standards.

That being said, my general description:
-Mostly class 3 with perhaps a couple class 4 moves
-All obstacles are passed either directly on the ridge or on the ridge's west side.
-The route is marked with rock piles, though not as frequently as some more popular hikes.
-Rope is not required
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Re: north & south arapaho peaks

Postby roozers42 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:01 am

Go to the trip reports section and do a search for North Arapaho - there are quite a few with pictures that would give you an idea of the terrain. I don't think the ridge really exceeds hard 3rd class when dry and if you search around for the easiest path. There's lots of 4th class and even low 5th class around if you stick to the ridge crest the entire way (this is what we did on the way back.) If there's ice and snow, I can see the difficulty becoming solid 4th class in a hurry.
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Re: north & south arapaho peaks

Postby KeithK » Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:19 am

roozers42 wrote:Go to the trip reports section and do a search for North Arapaho - there are quite a few with pictures that would give you an idea of the terrain. I don't think the ridge really exceeds hard 3rd class when dry and if you search around for the easiest path. There's lots of 4th class and even low 5th class around if you stick to the ridge crest the entire way (this is what we did on the way back.) If there's ice and snow, I can see the difficulty becoming solid 4th class in a hurry.


I think Aubrey's is particularly good; he shows the crux pretty well... http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=4684&parmpeak=North+Arapaho+Pk&cpgm=tripmain
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Re: north & south arapaho peaks

Postby boleslav » Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:13 am

I'll check the reports, we have been to South Arapahoe pk many times and were always toying with the idea of going to the North Arapahoe, but in Coopers book he describes it as rope needed and that made me a bit uneasy. Thanks again for your replies.

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Re: north & south arapaho peaks

Postby ColoradoScott » Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:45 am

boleslav wrote:I'll check the reports, we have been to South Arapahoe pk many times and were always toying with the idea of going to the North Arapahoe, but in Coopers book he describes it as rope needed and that made me a bit uneasy. Thanks again for your replies.


When you get to the first crux (the slab with an arrow), you'll be able to easily retreat if you are not comfortable. There may be a downclimb to the west; when I did it I was solo and so did an exposed class 4 mantle move toward the east face to circumnavigate the slab, since I had no one to spot me on it which would definitely help. From that first crux it becomes very fun until the downclimb and upclimb on some loose crud near the northern most saddle.

Trust me, if I could solo it, a rope is overkill unless you get way off route.

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Re: north & south arapaho peaks

Postby Pivvay » Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:34 pm

There are 4 cruxes described on summitpost for the traverse. 2 of the 4 are easy peasy class 3 all the way. The slab is pretty easy once you get up to it too but I could see it being class 4. The "third" crux where you have to down climb around a notch sucks going out but it's not that bad coming back to South. The notch itself is definitely class 4 or 5 but the bypass is class 3 and not steeply exposed like the other side of the ridge.

I did the route in DEEP snow and turned around at the 3rd crux after 2 attempts to do it since I was solo and it was pretty spicy with lots of ice and I had to stay to the ridge crest. When all the snow is gone (or mostly gone like it should be right now) anyone that's solid on class 3 will have no problem. It took me an hour round trip form S to N including some time taking pictures and eating and signing the log on North.

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