ARROWHEAD
Route: Warhead (5.10a, 5p)

AUG
16
2020
TR #: 446

Category: Colorado       Summit Elev: 12,660 ft       Rock Type: Granite

Partner: Nate Arganbright

Five longish pitches of enjoyable climbing up a hanging dihedral on the south face of Arrowhead.


INTRO

Warhead climbs a hanging, left facing dihedral on the right side of the main south face of Arrowhead. The route offers five longish pitches of enjoyable climbing on good rock. The climbing i s mostly 5.7-5.8 with a couple of 5.9 sections and a short 10a crux. Warhead was actually the first route to ascend Arrowhead's south face, established by Tom Gries, John Byrd, and Larry Hamilton in July 1975. The name "Warhead" refers to the large missile-like pinnacles to the left of the 6th belay. The newer "Lost Arrow" route is named for this same feature.

Nate and I climbed Warhead as the second of two climbs on a weekend overnight into the spectacular Glacier Gorge basin. On Saturday we climbed Age Axe (5.10b, 6p) on Spearhead, spent the rest of the day reading/studying/relaxing at our bivy, climbed Warhead on Arrowhead on Sunday, and then hiked out. What a great way to spend a hot weekend.
 
The following page provides a trip report for the climb of Warhead. Enjoy!

TIME STATS

Camp below Spearhead to base of route: ~ 1 hour
Climb route: 2 hours 40 minutes
Rappel and scramble back to base of route: 50 minutes
Hike back to trailhead: 2 hours 15 minutes


OVERLAY



PITCH BY PITCH PHOTOS 

Photos:
Photo descriptions:
Approach
Hike the Glacier Gorge Trail to Black Lake. Just as you reach Black Lake, head rightward, crossing the outlet and picking up a path through the brush to a talus field on the slope to the west of the lake. Follow a faint path up the right side of the talus field, and then head left (south) over grassy slopes and ramps, wrapping around until beneath the south face of Arrowhead. Here you can see the route. We racked up at the base of the slabs and then scrambled up 4th class slabs to the base of Pitch 1. Scramble up to the right end of a large grassy terrace above the los point in the wall, or start from the low point at a huge flake lying on a ledge.
Note: We actually approached from Glacier Gorge basin, since we had climbed and bivied near The Spearhead the previous day.
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1. Traversing under The Spearhead on our approach to Arrowhead. Normally if just approaching Arrowhead from the car, you would ascend from Black Lake.
2. A view back towards The Spearhead. There were already a few parties on the North Ridge.
3. Hanging packs to keep the marmots from chewing into them.
4. Approaching the base of the route on Arrowhead's south face.


Pitch 
1
5.9. Climb up through slab, flakes, and overlaps to a ledge beneath the huge roof that angles up and left into the middle of the wall.
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5. Pitch 1.
6. Taken midway up  Pitch 1.


Pitch 
2
5.10a. Move left, then head directly  up along the left edge of a vertical black flake (crux). Continue up and left along the dihedral. This is a long pitch. I belayed at a nice perch on the edge of the ramp, which I could just reach with a 70m rope.
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7. The start of Pitch 2.
8. The crux 10a section of Pitch 2 climbs this vertical section just left of a flake.
9. The ramp above the crux.
10. A view down Pitch 2 from the belay.
11. Enjoying a nice belay seat on the edge of the ramp, looking down and over at the main wall on the south face of Arrowhead.


Pitch 
3
5.8. Continue upwards. Either belay below or above a rotten area of rock. We belayed just above it which worked out well.
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12. Nate starting up Pitch 3.
13. Higher on Pitch 3.
14. This photo is taken while climbing Pitch 3.


Pitch 
4
5.8. Climb a chimney and crack in a large right-facing corner. Belay at a grassy ledge just below the Lost Arrow Spire.
15.   15. The start of Pitch 4.


Pitch 
5
5.9. Climb the right-facing corner on the right of Lost Arrow Spire. Move onto the crystal-studded face on the right. Continue upward to the summit ridge. You can go left (5.8) or right (5.9) for the last half of the pitch. We went right.
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16. The start of Pitch 5.
17. This pitch passes the right side of Lost Arrow Spire, which is the detached spire in the photo.
18. The upper stretch (5.9 option) to the top.

Top!
Yay! Scramble to the summit if you want. It's worth it.
(see my other trip reports for Arrowhead for summit photos)
Descent
Scramble down to the low point between Arrowhead and McHenry's Peak. Locate the first rap station (under a big boulder). There are two raps and some 4th-low 5th class downclimbing. A single 70 works just fine. Scramble back to the base of the route (not too far from base of rappels). Hike out the way you came.
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19. Descending the summit ridge towards the rappel anchor.
20. Vertical granite on left, mellow ridge on right.
21. Some climbers we ran into, searching for the rappel anchor. We showed them where it was.

22. Rappel 1 of 2.
23. Rappel 1 of 2.
24. Rappel 2 of 2.
25. Enjoying a high alpine meadow.
26. Some flowers.
27. I think this flower is called Giant Angelica.
28. A cool chunk of quartz with mica flakes.
29. A cute gold mantled ground squirrel on the trail.
30. Back the Bear Lake parking lot.