This area has enough single pitch ice and mixed lines to keep you amused for a day or two. Most climbs are short but maximum value for the listed grade. Descents are either walk offs around the cliffs or raps.
The routes are mostly melt-fed so they don't form up till January most years. All the climbing is in the sun so even on cold days it is pleasant here.
The approach is level and relatively short but you will want snowshoes since it is Wolf Creek Pass!
Jack Hunt's "Life By The Drop" is the authoritative guide for the area. There are a few routes here that are new and not in the book.
There are 3 areas
Little Black Cliff- a few fun mixed routes. No avy danger.
Lower Tier- has the most routes, some ice, some mixed. Possible avy danger from above immediately after storms. Snow stabilizes quickly with warm temps.
Upper Tier- 4 moderate lines, all eye catchers. In reality they are shorter than they first appear. Possible avy danger on approach and descent immediately after storms. Snow stabilizes quickly with warm temps.
To get there, drive West on US 160 from South Fork until you are about to cross the South Fork of the Rio Grande. You will see a Forest Service sign for Big Meadows on the right- turn here. You have gone a few hundred yards too far if you enter a tunnel.
The road is plowed for 1/8 mile. Park here and look up road. You will see the Little Black Cliff about 300 yds ahead. To reach the two tiers, you hike just past the Little Black Cliff and either stay right on the old road, not crossing the bridge, and contour up the valley for 1/8 - 1/4 mile to the base of the Lower Tier. The upper Tier is above you. An alternate approach (if the river is frozen) is to continue up the main road (always packed) until across the stream from the Lower Tier. Cross wherever you think is best. This option lets you scope out the climbs a little better.
Weather station 3.7 miles from here
11 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',8],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Big Meadows
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: CO Ice & Mixed
: ... : Lower Tier
This one would be easier if you weren't....This is a very melt-dependent climb. It is not in all the time.Climb the obvious, right-facing dihedral using the ice on the right wall and rock on the left. The topout can be character building if no one has been on it recently. Belay and rap from Metolius rap anchors in block over the top.It has maximum value from bottom to top, and thank goodness for those stems! ...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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