Sitting high above Herman Lake and the surrounding area, the Citadel fills the skyline. This Colorado 13er is a climbers paradise requiring the use of rock climbing techniques, scrambling, and steep snow climbing to reach the summit. From the cirque below, the ridge connecting Pettingell to the Citadel looks like it goes on forever and the dramatic relief of the snow couloirs seems immense.

Topping out at 13,533 feet above sea level, this magnificent mountain really exemplifies what Colorado mountaineering is all about. A beautiful and serene approach from the trailhead leads steadily upwards towards the high alpine tundra where the real fun begins.

There are many different variations used to gain the ridge and twin summits of the Citadel. Our expert guides tailor the exact route towards you and your ability level and the current snow conditions. This may include rock climbing up to 5.4 to gain the ridge, or it may include an airy rappel off the ridge. Once on the ridge, prepare yourself for dramatic drop offs on both sides as you scramble and climb over precarious terrain, all while taking in the incredible views of Colorado.

Climbing the Citadel is a big day and can be made even bigger by combining it with Pettingell and traversing the entire ridge. Join us in climbing one of Colorado’s most underrated mountains!


Prerequisites & More information:

  • Recommended experience level: intermediate to advanced
  • This is a very-strenuous climb
  • Rock climbing up to 5.4, steep snow climbing, and tremendous exposure await
  • Prior climbing and mountaineering experience is required. Our Introduction to Mountaineering and Advanced Mountaineering courses are a great way to build the skills needed to climb the Citadel.
  • Must have a solid base of physical fitness and be comfortable moving in the mountains for 12+ hours
Course Dates Price Location Course Length Difficulty Rating
Course DatesMay - September, 2024 PriceStarting at $619 per person LocationGeorgetown, CO Course Length2:00am to 4:00pm Difficulty Rating7/10
  • Tremendous exposure on the ridge connecting Pettingell Peak to the Citadel
  • Twin summits both above 13,000 feet high
  • A big day climbing snow and rock in a breathtaking area of Colorado
  • Incredible views of Herman Lake
  • A true Colorado mountaineering classic
Price Includes


  • A professionally trained and/or certified AMGA guide
  • All necessary climbing equipment including harnesses, helmets, mountaineering boots, crampons, ice axes, belay devices, ropes, and protection
  • Professional guiding and instruction throughout the entire day


  • Transportation. You will be responsible for your own transportation to and from a designated meeting area
  • Gratuity
  • Personal items such as food, clothing, backpack, etc.
  • Entrance fees and parking fees (where necessary)
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