American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, New Routes, Notchtop, Sowtheast Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1989

Rocky Mountain National Park, New Routes. Notchtop, Southeast Face. A variation of White Room, which was first climbed by Briggs and Hamilton in 1974, Black Curtains goes directly over the roof avoiding the poorly protected traverse to the left. Our line is of comparable difficulty but makes a more direct, safer ascent (III, 5.11). Jack Roberts, Tim Coats and I climbed it in September. Topnotch is a seven-pitch climb right of White Room which starts midway between that route and the broken gully that borders that face on the right. The routes share the third belay ledge. Above that, a short pitch leads to the crux, a finger-crack in an orange headwall (III, 5.11+). It was climbed by Bret Ruckman, Tim Coats and me in September. Cathedral Wall: The most obvious line between the Kor Route and the Garden Wall, Pew in its third pitch crosses an obvious white roof, which is the crux. To climb left of a large detached flake off the fourth belay requires some caution. Tim Coats and I climbed this III, 5.9 route in September. Spearhead, East Face: The rest of the climbs given here

were all done in 1987. Bret Ruckman, Tim Coats and I freed Strato Spear (III, 5.11), a former aid route. Many tiny nuts were essential in the crux sections. Burning Spear (III, 5.10 + ) starts midway between Strato Spear and The Barb and climbs over a roof and past an obvious bolt. It crosses The Barb at the end of that route’s 5.9 thin crack and climbs to a large belay ledge known as Broadway. Scary face-climbing leads off the right edge of the ledge into a prominent left-facing comer. Steve Grossman and I climbed this five-pitch route. Barb Gnarly starts a short distance left of The Barb and goes through roofs via a right-slanting crack. Above the ledge known as Middle Earth, it joins The Barb for a short distance and then goes straight up into an obvious left-facing comer (III, 5.11). It was ascended by Tim Coats and Bret Ruchman. Barbarella starts on the right side of The Barb flake. Above Middle Earth, it wanders up and left through some tiered overhangs, crosses Barb Gnarly and meets Burning Spear at Broadway Ledge. It goes off the left side of the ledge, thus crossing Burning Spear, and follows a thin crack above an arch, works its way up and left to meet The Barb, where we followed the direct 5.11 finish of that route, the logical extension of our route (III, 5.10 + ). Steve Grossman and I climbed it.

Larry Coats

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