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Glacier Gorge Trailhead Ice

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Alberta Falls Wall 
Andrews Creek & The Gash 
Glacier Gorge 
Loch Vale & uphill 
Loch Vale Gorge 
Parking Lot Ice 
World Cup Wall 

Glacier Gorge Trailhead Ice  

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Elevation: 10,000'
Location: 40.29242, -105.65711 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Malcolm Daly on Oct 24, 2006
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Wham, Zowie, and Sharkstooth as seen from the Wham...


This is an organizational entry to help clean up the database.

The cliffs bordering the east and north sides of Thatchtop offer the most consistent, accessible and greatest variety of ice climbs in the park. Low angle slabs, thin mixed climbs, free-hanging icicles, top roping and pure ice falls abound here. This is also the most crowded area in the park, and it is not uncommon to see 15-25 parties in the area when the ice is "in". Classic routes are everywhere: Mixed Feelings gives you the chance to try dry-tooling to a free hanging pillar is a fairly safe environment; the Curtains are a perfect top-rope area. If you're lucky, the Glacier Knobs right above the parking lot, will have some long thin smears coming down, and you'll save the hike AND entertain the tourists. Some of these have been entered under World Cup Wall by Greg Sievers.

Farther up the valley, above timberline, you'll find more routes on Thatchtop (Necrophilia has to be the best mixed climb in its category), the permanent snowfields of Powell-Thatchtop (summer routes), the fine mixed routes on Powell, like the Vanquished, routes on Mt. Taylor, possibly routes in the Cathedral Spires area (?), routes on the Cathedral Wall, and routes just above Loch Vale. These are listed under the Loch Vale & uphill section, for now.

Closer to further in:

Parking Lot Wall

Parking Lot Ice

Alberta Falls

Alberta Falls Wall

From the Mills' Lake/Loch Vale Junction (L->R):

Glacier Gorge/Mills' Lake/Black Lake

Glacier Gorge

to Loch Vale

Loch Vale Gorge

Loch Vale and Uphill/Thatchtop North side/Powell/Mt. Taylor/Cathedral Spires

Loch Vale & uphill

Andrews Creek area/Andrews' Tower/Sharkstooth/Forbidden Tower/Otis Peak/Zowie/What

Andrews Creek & The Gash

Lake Haiyaha area
World Cup Wall

Getting There 

From the eastern side of RMNP, drive up the Bear Lake Rd to Glacier Gorge's parking lot, about 1 mile short of its terminus. From here, hike uphill about 0.3 miles. Go left to the 2nd bridge. At this point, you have 3 choices. Efficiency is likely determined by how much snow & which trails have been stomped down. The climber's trails go after the 2nd bridge either at the bottom of the drainage (sometimes the deepest snow, sometimes the best ski) or the along the left side of the drainage, climbing to as much as 100' above its bottom on a summer trail. The longest trail goes along the widest summer trail past Alberta Falls (typically buried in snow, at most WI1) to junction of the trail that splits towards Mill's Lake & Glacier Gorge. The climber's trails join here. Follow the signs towards Loch Vale. For Loch Vale Gorge, hike the trail until you get to a tight switchback, then drop down & left. For climbs Loch Vale & above, continue up the summer trail to Loch Vale & beyond!

Climbing Season

Weather station 9.5 miles from here

92 Total Routes

['4 Stars',9],['3 Stars',35],['2 Stars',38],['1 Star',10],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Glacier Gorge Trailhead Ice:
Central Buttress   WI5 M6 Steep Snow R     Trad, Mixed, Ice, Snow, 11 pitches, 1200'   Loch Vale & uphill
Northwest Face Route - Thatchtop or Northeast Gully?   WI3-4     Trad, Ice, 5 pitches   Loch Vale & uphill
Flour Power Couloir   WI2- Steep Snow     Ice, Snow, Alpine, 1000'   Andrews Creek & The Gash
Quicksilver   M3+ Mod. Snow R     Trad, Mixed, Snow, 1000'   Loch Vale & uphill
Taylor Glacier        Trad, 1200'   Loch Vale & uphill
Free Strike Zone   WI5 M7+     Trad, Mixed, Ice, 1 pitch, 110'   Loch Vale Gorge
Necrophilia   WI4-5 M5-6 R     Trad, Mixed, Ice   Loch Vale & uphill
Wham Couloir   M4 Easy Snow     Trad, Mixed, Snow, Alpine, 3 pitches, 800'   Andrews Creek & The Gash
Black Lake Slabs   WI2-3     Trad, Ice, Alpine   Glacier Gorge : Glacier Creek Drainage incl...
The Petit Gully   M5+     Trad, Mixed, 6 pitches, 800'   Loch Vale & uphill
The Trough   Mod. Snow     Snow, Alpine, 2200'   Glacier Gorge : Long's Peak (western aspect...
Black Lake - West Gully   WI4     Trad, Ice, Alpine, 5 pitches   Glacier Gorge : Glacier Creek Drainage incl...
Mixed Feelings   WI4 M4     Trad, Mixed, Ice, 1 pitch, 100'   Loch Vale Gorge
Brain Freeze   M5+ Steep Snow     Mixed, Snow, Alpine, 8 pitches, 1000'   Andrews Creek & The Gash
Deep Freeze   WI5-6 M5 R     Trad, Mixed, Ice   Loch Vale & uphill
The Hourglass Couloir   M4 Mod. Snow     Mixed, Snow, Alpine, 6 pitches, 1200'   Glacier Gorge : Arrowhead
Deborah   M3-4 Mod. Snow     Trad, Mixed, Snow, Alpine, 5 pitches, 1000'   Glacier Gorge : Arrowhead
Crystal Meth   WI4-5     Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 100'   Loch Vale Gorge
Stoneman   WI4+ PG13     Ice, Alpine, 1 pitch, 150'   Glacier Gorge : Glacier Creek Drainage incl...
All Mixed Up   WI4 R     Trad, Ice, Alpine, 4 pitches, 550'   Glacier Gorge : Thatchtop Mt (SE aspect)
Browse More Classics in Glacier Gorge Trailhead Ice

Featured Route For Glacier Gorge Trailhead Ice
The Trough is the continuous snow ribbon running f...

The Trough Mod. Snow  CO : CO Ice & Mixed : ... : Long's Peak (western aspect...
While everyone else on Long's stumbles over the boulderfield and picks his or her way through the Keyhole, the Trough provides a "paved" access to the Narrows on the northwest summit area of the peak. Visible throughout Estes and from any point on the hike after Black Lake, the Trough shines through as the longest snow field of the three or four that form on the NW face. Continuously steep, but without any technical difficulties, the climb eventually becomes monotonous as each crampon step is ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Glacier Gorge Trailhead Ice Slideshow Add Photo
East Face of Taylor Mtm taken from Arrowhead summi...
East Face of Taylor Mtm taken from Arrowhead summi...

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By Rodney Ley
Nov 29, 2009
Visited Loch Vale ice flows on Saturday, November 28. Not in on right side or Mixed Feelings (almost nothing touching the ground--if you climb it please be gentle). Mo Flo Than Go was in about 50% of max, a little water here and there, okay spot for two teams who cooperate (thanks guys from Golden). Needs a little more freezing and fattening.
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