Ascent of the Stiletto (RMNP), 2003

The original plan was to climb Sharkstooth, a pillar which is part of the Cathedral Spires above Sky Pond (and to the W.) in Rocky Mountain NP. We moved to plan B after getting off-route on the first pitch of the South Prow route on Sharkstooth. Having no better plan, we decided to do the pillar to its immediate left (SW). Three pitches of moderate 5.6-5.8 climbing got us to the top. (The top is actually not a pinnacle, but is more of a ridge.)

Later research indicates that we climbed a pillar known as the Stiletto. The books by Rossiter and Gillet list it as having several 5.9 ascents. Our easier path (which may be a new route) followed a line midway between the `prow' and the right-hand (NE) face. The rock is of moderate quality (many loose blocks), but improves toward the top, where there are some nice cracks to follow. We downclimbed the gulley between Stiletto & Sharkstooth, which is long and loose; we might have been able to rap off the backside into the Andrews Glacier basin, but our route looked a little more certain. Had we brought the skiis, the logical descent would no doubt have been straight down Andrews Glacier (?), which comes right up to the ridgeline.

Personnel included FN, DN, HBT. Being the patriots and Americans that that we all are, we celebrated the 4th of July by observing the fireworks of Estes Park, Longmont, Boulder, Louisville, and Broomfield on our return trip. We also noticed a good number of amateur displays of various sorts here and there, and we salute their patriotism and dedication.

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Henry Throop

Last modified Fri Jul 11 13:15:38 2003