Peak(s):  North Arapaho Pk  -  13,502 feet
South Arapaho Pk  -  13,397 feet
Date Posted:  09/11/2007
Date Climbed:   08/19/2007
Author:  roozers42
 North Arapaho Traverse  

I‘ve been lazy about posting trip reports lately and although this hike took place a while ago, I think the pictures might be useful. North Arapaho Peak has been my "nemesis" peak for the last couple years. I've been up South Arapaho 5-6 times and never made it to North due to too much snow, too much wind, general bad weather....

This peak has been important to me because it has stared at me from my deck for the last four years. The weather on this Sunday didn't look incredibly great and it rained the night before, but Scott and I decided to give it a try. We set the alarm for 3:30 and were at the 4th of July TH by about 5am. I had forgotten it didn't get light much later so we hiked the familiar trail with headlamps for a while. Neither of us had a watch so I have no idea what time we hit the base of South Arapaho, but it was still early. Although the sky above was blue, we could see some fast moving clouds approaching.

Looking up at South Arapaho's impressive face, the route is an easy walk-up on the left.


On the way up South, the weather moved in on us and it started to drizzle. The sun was peeking through and we saw a beautiful rainbow as we waited for the clouds to blow through on the top of South. Both of us were VERY motivated to keep going - the thought of climbing South Arapaho again (couloirs excepted) was not appealing.


North Arapaho Peak and traverse


The first part of the traverse is easy class 2 walking and then you come to these orange arrows painted on the rock. This section was a little tricky due to the wet rock. The first real obstacle is a 10-12 foot slab that looks worse than it is. There is some exposure, but the slab has good seams in it. The second half of the traverse is trickier in terms of route-finding and we came to an abrupt end with nasty looking downclimb in front of us. We backed up and ended up descending a bit down some 4th class terrain instead. We followed some cairns around to the left and ended up climbing a gully to the top. This portion of the climb took us the longest although it wasn't terribly difficult. It was exciting to finally stand on top of North Arapaho and I gave the cairn a nice kiss of thanks.


We ended up following the ridge crest almost directly on the way back and it was certainly faster. The rock had dried out considerably and we climbed some fun low 5th class options. Here are some pictures of the route on our return.

The standard gully that faces the glacier (we climbed something else on the other side on our way up):


Catwalk-like section that got our attention when it was wet in the morning:


Pictures of the slabby crux:


Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions
Kevin Baker

11/30/2010 17:20
It's cool to see what the traverse is like w/o snow! That gully to the summit looks a bit more tame when dry. It has some serious pucker factor w/ snow. Great shots of the slab. That's such a fun traverse.


same wave
09/13/2007 04:31
Even though you climbed this a while back, Jen and I were thinking about doing this climb this weekend. Nice timing. We opted for Pyramid, but this climb is high on our list. Great TR, and I love the rock kiss. That is pure poetry.

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