Pagoda Peak, 8/2005

Pagoda is a cool looking peak just south of Long's peak, accessed through Glacier Gorge in Rocky Mountain National Park. This is possibly the most popular spot in the park, and although we arrived early, we still needed the tourist repellant. Most of the crowds barely make it to the first lake however, and once past Black lake, you're pretty much enjoying a phenomenally beautiful vally on your own.

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The dominant features around the valley are Arrowhead and the Spearhead, both very clean rock formations which look fantastic for climbing. The other dominant feature on the Longs Peak side is called "Keyboard of the Winds", a row of prominant spikes on the horizon which play an f# chord when the wind blows more then 30mph.

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The ascent to pagoda is up a steep, 1500 ft scramble. We tried to stay on clean rock whenever possible, although it tended to be a bit steeper than the scree gully. Here Steve demonstrates some of the finer points of high-angle scrambling.

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Well, Ok, it wasn't actually that steep.

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Great views of Longs peak from the summit

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It's a long hike out, and keep the tourist repellant handy. The usual afternoon shower added some variety to the lighting

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