The Ten Essentials begins with the first three pitches of the more traveled Syke's Sickle, three pitches of flakes and broken cracks, and finishes with the last two or three pitches of the North Ridge.
Route begins on Syke's Sickle, which is in the middle of the face in two parallel cracks, on Spearhead in Glacier Gorge, RMNP.
Standard RMNP alpine rack including larger gear up to a #4 Camalot.
Looking down the North Ridge.
Looking down on the belay directly behind the Barb...
Looking down the crux pitch from above the roof. ...
Another view from the belay looking down pitch 4.
Looking at the crux pitch of the Ten Essentials as...
|By Bill Duncan|
From: Jamestown, CO
Aug 24, 2009
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
The description above does not specify the actual location of the route. The route follows the left side of the Barb feature, which is a large and distinct dihedral. Within this dihedral, you find many vertical "fins" protruding from the Barb feature. The best climbing is last pitch that reaches the ledge behind the feature. You are stemming between these flakes and the wall, and the climbing is very good. Beware a very "loose looking" rock wedged into the very top of this pitch.
You can also do a direct start to this route from the Middle Earth ledge. Instead of starting up Syke's Sickle, climb up and right from the ledge heading for the lower reaches of the flake system leading to the Barb feature. The first pitch from the ledge is definitely runout, but good quality on relatively easy face climbing (.7/.8). The 2 pitches of climbing to reach the point where you can traverse in from Syke's is at least as good as the 2 pitches of Syke's. The final pitch of The Ten Essentials is a lot of fun and a great time if you like stemming chimneys with lots of exposure. Very nice route and worth doing on its own merits. And you get to enjoy the best pitches of the North Ridge too.