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Smugglers Notch Ice climbing

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01E - The Workout Wall 
02W - Jeff Slide Area (aka The Classroom) 
03W - ENT Gully Area 
04W - Quartz Crack Face Area 
05W - Easy Gully Area 
06E - The Playground Area 
08E - Elephant's Head Area 
10W - The Blind Fate Area 
13E - The South Wall Area 
14E - The Upper South Wall 
15W - Driving Force Area 
16E - Spruce Peak Crags 
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From MP's sister site: MTB Project

Smugglers Notch Ice climbing Rock Climbing 


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Location: 44.555, -72.79619 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Luc, KrisFiore, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: bradley white on Dec 27, 2009  with updates from tfarr3
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Jefferson Slide looking down from approach above

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Description 

Lots of ice climbing in the Notch. Multiple pitch ice walls begin as you enter the notch from either side on the notch's road which is closed for winter.

I know south or town of Stowe approach. After a brisk, however you choose (I walked) to do the long stretch of road. On the right, east side is thick blue ice wall (WI3-4) and beyond it (WI4-) gully like wall. Higher uphill on the road there are gullies on the left, then wide multiple pitch flows higher up (WI3-4). Uphill on the road, east side from Stowe is the Elephant Head with little moderate and its various extreme ways up around it. Opposite here on left side are large buttresses also with a couple of routes. Here at the top of notch is some of the easiest (WI-2)and hardest climbing. The climbing can be extremely committing free soloing at the top of the notch on both sides. Better to trail along rope for rappelling. Lastly there is on the right side parking area just past the crest of the notch a going north a single pitch 50-80 feet steep slab (WI3-4) that is easily top-roped.

I climbed for three seasons from 1984-88 and know what I didn't do for climbs. I didn't do any Elephant Section climbs. Many climbs I did do had no description, listing in the guide book. I knew them all by their location and still do. I climbed alone and with Ted Hammond and Jim Shimberg. We stayed below the notch on the Stowe side because we used our time climbing, and not approaching. There is much more to the approach to sections than just getting up the road. Rescue from the notch would suck big time. We and I recorded nothing newly climbed. Some were of the best water ice there is, closest to Stowe.

I will gladly hand this introduction to Smugglers to someone familiar with all of the named sections and from the road, best approaches too them. Most approaches are a short and obvious distance from the road. Getting back to the road can be difficult or impossible. Best be careful about that. Travel with minimal weight I recommend. Can be very icy, windy and cold in Smugglers. I went usually on nice days.

Getting There 

From Stowe Vermont head north to Smuggler's Notch. Park and walk into notch. Road is closed for the winter. About one mile to crest of the notch.

Areas 

Areas from Jeffersonville (from Stowe), distances on the road from the parking/gate.
1.2 (1.8), Stone Hut
1.3 (1.7), High Point in Road
  • 1.35 (1.65), west side, Hidden Gully
  • 1.5 (1.5), west side, Terror-Tory

Climbing Season



Weather station 2.1 miles from here

23 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',6],['3 Stars',10],['2 Stars',7],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',0],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Smugglers Notch Ice climbing

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Smugglers Notch Ice climbing:
Easy Gully   WI2-     Trad, Ice, 2 pitches, 400'   05W - Easy Gully Area
Grand Confusion   WI3     Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 200'   05W - Easy Gully Area
ENT Gully Variation   WI3+     Trad, Ice, 2 pitches   03W - ENT Gully Area
Workout Wall   WI3-4     Trad, TR, Ice, 1 pitch, 60'   01E - The Workout Wall
ENT Gully   WI2     Trad, Ice, 2 pitches, 300'   03W - ENT Gully Area
Poster Child   WI4 M4+     Trad, Mixed, Ice, 2 pitches, 125'   05W - Easy Gully Area
Dave's Snotsicle   WI3-4     Trad, Ice, 2 pitches, 200'   13E - The South Wall Area
Blue Room   WI3-4     Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 160'   13E - The South Wall Area
Hidden Gully   WI3-4     Trad, Ice, 3 pitches, 650'   10W - The Blind Fate Area
Jefferson Slide   WI3- M1-2 PG13     Trad, TR, Mixed, Ice, 1 pitch, 60'   02W - Jeff Slide Area (aka ...
Blind Fate   WI4     Trad, Ice, 2 pitches, 350'   10W - The Blind Fate Area
Elephant's head gully   WI3-     Trad, Ice, 2 pitches, 170'   08E - Elephant's Head Area
Ragnarock   WI4+ M4     Trad, Mixed, Ice, 3 pitches, 400'   08E - Elephant's Head Area
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Smugglers Notch Ice climbing

Featured Route For Smugglers Notch Ice climbing
Rock Climbing Photo: Belay for first (potentially second) pitch. There ...

Grand Illusion WI4+  VT : * Vermont Ice Climbing : ... : 05W - Easy Gully Area
Grand Illusion is a phenomenally fun and gorgeous route. It begins near the top of easy gully, which gives it an alpine feel and provides stellar exposure and gorgeous views of the notch.Pitch 1/Approach gully: From near the top of easy gully follow a right trending gully (~180’) leading towards the pyramid. This gully consists of 4-5 very short steps of ice/rock leading to one final section of easy ice and some super easy 5th class climbing. We soloed this section but I would suggest r...[more]   Browse More Classics in VT

Comments on Smugglers Notch Ice climbing Add Comment
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By bradley white
From: Bend
Nov 11, 2012
Does the narrow no escape thin gully near Elephant Head, have a name? I got on it in 1986 and thought it would never end. Ice got shallow often and was not brittle. Same moves over and over again though.

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