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North America, Contiguous United States, Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, Chief's Head, The Headdress

Chief’s Head, The Headdress. Following a wet summer, a cold September caused ice to form in unusual places in RMNP. Eli Helmuth and I climbed a smear originally found by Duncan Ferguson on the north face of Mt. Meeker. A week later, Helmuth was guiding Longs Peak and saw a much larger flow on Chief’s Head. We went in with Simon Fryer and climbed the feature at the end of September. To the right of the rock climb Much Ado About Nothing, we found five pitches, including the crux 60-meter pitch, which inspired the name The Headdress (M5+ WI5+). At the end of October, I returned to try another line in the area and The Headdress was gone.

Topher Donahue