For the western slopes of Rocky Mountain National Park, Aiguille de Fleur (Flower Tower) is an impressive granite monolith. On the western side of the Divide, the approach provides a quieter experience and a more lush backdrop of forests and meadows. Beyond Lake Verna, you will be hard pressed to run into others hiking or climbing.
While not in Gillett's 2001 RMNP High Peaks guide, 5 routes are described in Rossiter's 1997 RMNP guidebook. Recorded ascents go back to the '60s, and it's likely that the South Ridge was climbed even earlier. The East Face is an impressive expanse of granite with some unrecorded (and possibly unfinished) routes.
Once on top the relatively flat yet difficult-to-reach summit of wildflowers and grasses, descend south to a col separating the peak from the ridgeline. A rap sling around a large block is in place for a short 40 foot rap into the gully to the east. A short scramble down the gully leads back to the base of the East Face.
For those wishing to explore and willing to hike the extra distance, East Inlet and especially Aiguille de Fleur offer some fun climbing.
From Grand Lake, drive west on West Portal Road to the East Inlet Trailhead. Hike 6.9 miles up the East Inlet Trail to the end of Lake Verna. Great single site camping can be found at Slick Rock, Solitaire, Upper East Inlet, and Lake Verna. Obtain a backcountry permit with the NPS for one of these sites. From the far end of Lake Verna, hike a few hundred yards towards Spirit Lake before taking the path of least resistance south across the creek and up steep forested slopes to the base of Aiguille de Fleur. Above tree line, an expansive slab separates climbs on the eastern and western sides. For the South Ridge (also the descent) and East Face, gain the upper valley to the left of the slab. For the North Ridge and West Face, scramble up scree further right.
The climb provided moderate climbing up a series of corners, cracks, and less than vertical ground for 3 pitches to reach the last 4th pitch that climbs the rightmost side of a series of steep and impressive roofs. The rock was generally solid with occasional crumbling or loose rock. The cracks were mostly dirt free but full of lichen. Pitch 1: At the base of a left-facing corner on a buttress left of a large gully, make an awkward first move onto the right side of the face and continue up posit...[more]Browse More Classics in CO