The 800-foot east faces of the Ptarmigan Towers, rising above Lake Nanita on the west side of the park, present an impressive Notchtop-like architecture. The long hike in, and the less-traveled routes, might provide a higher adventure level here than on the more popular east-side cliffs.
From Grand Lake (8,400') take the North Inlet Trail past Lake Nokoni to Lake Nanita (9.3 miles, 10,800'). The towers form the lake's scenic background. They are numbered 1 to 5, from right to left. Tower 3 is comparatively minor. Towers 2, 4 and 5 have the most substantial faces, with room for difficult routes.
Featured Route For Ptarmigan Towers
Tundra Turkey Crack 5.8 CO : Alpine Rock : ... : Ptarmigan Towers
This minor three-pitch climb makes a steep and enjoyable rest-day excursion, for parties camping at Lake Nanita.To the right of the low point of the 2-4 gully is a deep, grubby-looking chimney/gully. On the vertical wall to the right of this feature is a prominent 300-foot jam crack, which diagonals slightly leftwards until it intersects the broken rock of the Sunshine Ledges route about a third of the way up the left side of Tower 2. The base of this crack is gained by climbing up and right f...[more] Browse More Classics in CO