Rocky Mountain National Park is an alpine climbing paradise. The Park has a number of options for everyone from the beginner climber to some of the most cutting edge alpine routes in the world. Rocky Mountain National Park features classic towers such as The Sharksfin and the Petit Grepon, as well as the more stout excursions on The Flying Buttress of Mt. Meeker, the Culp-Bossier on Hallett Peak and the grandmaster of all alpine routes in the park, the Casual Route of the Diamond Face on Longs Peak. Let Colorado Wilderness Rides And Guides certified Rock Climbing guides show you some of our favorites.
These are some of our favorite alpine climbs in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Northeast Ridge – Sharkstooth
With it’s jagged architecture, pointed summit, and dramatic elevation; Sharkstooth is one of the most classic rock climbs in the park, with a thrilling, moderate ascent up the tricky Northeast Ridge. Rated at 5.7, the route climbs high above Andrews Glacier with spectacular views of the nearby Petit Grepon, and fun climbing which involves cracks, dihedrals, off-widths, and stemming, with plenty of room for variations. For those who are looking to take their climbing to the next level, the Sharkstooth is a great introduction to alpine climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park. The overall climb is around 750 feet (grade II+) with 5-6 pitches of climbing and 3x 50m rappels. We recommend doing this climb as a bivy or overnight camp the night prior to help increase success of this great alpine rock experience
Petit Grepon- South Face
The dramatic spire of the Petit Grepon is one of the grandest towers and sights in the park. While it looks precarious, the Petit offers eight pitches of stupendous climbing with chimneys, cracks, ridge climbing, and fun moderate face climbing. This climb will then take you to a magnificently perched summit overlooking some of the most breathtaking scenery in the park. The Petit Grepon is another of Rocky Mountain National Park’s moderate classics with a varied type of climbing that’s perfect for beginners or veterans. The overall climb is around 5.9 950 feet (grade III+) with 7-8 pitches of climbing and 4-6 rappels. We recommend doing this climb as a bivy or overnight camp the night prior to help increase success of this great alpine rock experience
Mt. Meeker – Flying Buttress
The Flying Buttress is one of Rocky Mountain’s most dramatic prows, with a challenging and unforgettable climb up a jagged buttress to one of the park’s seldom-climbed summits. The Flying Buttress is unique in that it doesn’t have the tower–climbing characteristics of the other Rocky Mountain alpine climbs, but it follows a narrow ridge with tough 5.10+ moves such as fist cracks and dihedrals with scintillating exposure all the way to the summit, where you’re also looking over Longs Peak and the Diamond. With its ultra-classic reputation and stout climbing, the Flying Buttress is one of the legendary routes of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Culp-Bossier – Hallett Peak
The Culp-Bossier on Hallett Peak has consistently been named one of the best moderate climbs in the park. With superb face climbing, thrilling run-out 5.6 sections, route-finding challenges, and sturdy alpine rock that goes up to a 5.8+ grade. The main feature is the overhanging crux almost 700-feet off the deck. The route features exciting thin cracks, dihedrals, face climbing, and roofs. With short airy sections, sustained moderate climbing, and a magnificent view from one of Rocky Mountain’s most iconic peaks, the Culp-Bossier on Hallett Peak is one of the moderates in the park.
Casual Route – The Diamond – Longs Peak
This is it. This is not only one of the most famous routes in the park; it’s one of the most famous climbs in the world. The Casual Route on the Diamond goes up to 5.10 above 14,000-feet, with all the exposure and weather that comes with a high alpine route. The route follows cracks, chimneys, dihedrals and spectacular alpine terrain. This is one of the few alpine in the routes in the world that starts so high. Along the way there are breathtaking views over Rocky Mountain National Park including Mt. Meeker, Chasm Lake, and the surrounding massif looking across the Front Range. This is one of the world’s premier rock climbs and for those who are looking for one of the ultra-classic routes, it’s not to be missed.