Route Guide - iPhone / Android - Partners - Forum - Photos - Deals - What's New - School of Rock
Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Long's Peak/Mt. Meeker Cirque

Select Route:
Alexander's Chimney T 
Columbine Falls T 
Crazy Train T 
Dark Star (probably not Right Chimney) T 
Dreamweaver T 
Eighth Route, The T 
Field's Chimney T 
Flying Dutchman, The T 
Joe's Solo  
Lamb's Slide T 
Left of Columbine Falls T 
Martha T 
North Chimney T 
North Face / Cables Route T 
Schobinger's Cracks T 
Ship's Prow Ice T 
Smear of Fear T 
South Face / Lady Washington T 

Long's Peak/Mt. Meeker Cirque 


Photos: Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 14,255'
Location: 40.25446, -105.61575 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 380,639
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Malcolm Daly on Nov 30, 1999
Forecast:
You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
Lots of snow May 9th, 2010. Avalanches were comin...

Description 

This is the wonderful cirque that sits below the summits of Mt. Meeker and Long's Peak. A ton of ice forms up here during 9 months of the year, but most agree that the best time to climb is in the fall, when the days are warm enough to form the drips, yet they freeze at night. These drips are ephemeral: what is in one day, may be gone by the time you hear about it. Best condition reports are word of mouth (or right here), or visually from the Front Range. Best conditions are found for a few days after Fall snow storms, when it's in the 70's down low. Look for fresh snow up high and sunny skies. Often the ice dries up in the middle of winter. It's just too cold up there to keep ice forming. It tends to come back in in early April. In a good year, the ice routes back in the chimneys on the North Face of Meeker (Dark Star, etc.) stay in until early July.

Hint: This is a huge area and the climbs are farther away than you think. From the observation points at the shelter cabin or Chasm Lake, climbs may not look like they're in. To really tell, though, you've got to make the whole approach.


Getting There 

Approach from the Long's Peak ranger station. Follow the signs to Chasm Lake: for most people it takes about 2 hours. After you go over Chasm Cut-off and the trails heads downhill, look for Peacock Pool below you on the left along with Columbine Falls dropping into the pool. There are some great practice thin smears there as well as the low-angle slabs of Columbine. Above the trail, on the right flank of Mt. Lady Washington, several good 3-pitch falls form up in good years. These are nice because they catch the sun all day. For Long's and Meeker, keep going to the shelter cabin. If you're heading to Mt. Meeker, head left here, for the Long's Peak climbs, hike up the slabs directly behind the cabin. Once at the lake, you'll be able to see just about everything that's in, so make your choice there.


18 Total Routes


['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',7],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',3],['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]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Long's Peak/Mt. Meeker Cirque:
Field's Chimney   WI5 M6+     Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine, 4 pitches, 600'   
Lamb's Slide   Easy Snow     Trad, Snow, Alpine, Grade II   
Left of Columbine Falls   WI3     Trad, Ice, Alpine   
Columbine Falls   WI4     Trad, Ice, Alpine, 1 pitch, 120'   
Dreamweaver   M2-3     Trad, Mixed, Alpine, Grade III   
Dark Star (probably not Right Chimney)   WI3+ M5-     Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine   
Alexander's Chimney   WI4 M4     Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine, Grade III   
Smear of Fear   WI5 M6 R     Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine, Grade III   
The Flying Dutchman   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c WI2-3     Trad, Ice, Alpine, Grade II   
North Face / Cables Route   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a M2-3     Trad, Mixed, Alpine   
Martha   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b WI2+ M2-3     Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine, 5 pitches   
Browse More Classics in Long's Peak/Mt. Meeker Cirque

Featured Route For Long's Peak/Mt. Meeker Cirque
Dark Star, July 3, 2004. Did not do the route due to a broken crampon, but it was in prime shape.

Dark Star (probably not Right Chimney) WI3+ M5-  CO : CO Ice & Mixed : ... : Long's Peak/Mt. Meeker Cirq...
Dark Star lies in the chimney system to the right of the Flying Buttress on Mt. Meeker. It's hard to see the route until you are right underneath it.Eds. note, it is often difficult to determine which route is Dark Star and which is Right Chimney. It appears this line here is likely Right Chimney.Hike up snow slopes, to the right of the Flying Buttess. These are obvious in the attached picture. Head toward the deep recess. Climb a short, difficult section to get to the base of a chimn...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Local Information for Long's Peak/Mt. Meeker Cirque
Local Shops
A true mountain shop, located in the shadow of Boulder's Flatirons.
Gear that has the best chance of improving your outdoor experience.
Closeouts and cosmetic 2nds at below wholesale prices.
News
Jul 9 Access Fund is hiring in Boulder 0
Jun 11 New Women's Speed Record on the Nose   4
Jun 7 A Tribute to Jeff Lowe   4
May 15 MP Mobile App: Partnered with Black Diamond and now Free   4
May 12 New Feature: Improve This Page   3
May 1 New Yosemite Bigwall Printed Guide Book Now Available 0

[ Read All News ]
Upcoming Events
no events scheduled
Photos of Long's Peak/Mt. Meeker Cirque Slideshow Add Photo
One of the benefits of the "Alpine Start"....
One of the benefits of the "Alpine Start"....
From the air 25SEP06, taken by JYU
From the air 25SEP06, taken by JYU
Really cool bivi on Mills glacier.  5-8-09. The seasonal snowpack was at least fifteen feet deep at this point.
Really cool bivi on Mills glacier. 5-8-09. The se...
Flew over Long's (24 June, 2010) and got a shot of Lamb's Slide and the Cable Route. Thought this might be helpful re: conditions for anyone considering either of these routes in the next few days.
BETA PHOTO: Flew over Long's (24 June, 2010) and got a shot of...
Flying Buttress, right chimney and Ships Prow in winter conditions on 5/9/2010.
Flying Buttress, right chimney and Ships Prow in w...
The Window on 5-19-09.  Is it getting better or worse?  Photo by Ty Cook.
The Window on 5-19-09. Is it getting better or wo...
Chris Sheridan leading up the second pitch of Shining Slab on 5-10-09.  We tried to link this climb to D7 but were turned around on the third pitch by steep featureless slabs covered in loose snow.  The roof of The Grey Pillar can be seen in the upper left, while The Diamond can be seen high above to the upper right.
Chris Sheridan leading up the second pitch of Shin...
Ice Conditions on 30 September, 2006.
BETA PHOTO: Ice Conditions on 30 September, 2006.
Long's Peak Cirque at Dawn on 7 Oct 07 (~6:30am). Note the Smear of Fear.
BETA PHOTO: Long's Peak Cirque at Dawn on 7 Oct 07 (~6:30am). ...
BETA PHOTO
View of Meeker and Longs, including the Flying Dutchman and Lamb's Slide.
View of Meeker and Longs, including the Flying Dut...
Longs Peak conditions on 5/8/09.  Spring in name only.
Longs Peak conditions on 5/8/09. Spring in name o...
Long's Peak at sunrise on 9-28-08.  Photo by Andy Grauch.
Long's Peak at sunrise on 9-28-08. Photo by Andy ...
Schobinger's Crack on 10/26/08.  Anyone who's looking for a good challenge could likely find one here.  This route is just left of The Window and was first climbed as a mixed route by Marc Twight and Will Gadd in 1996 at 5.8 WI5 M6.
BETA PHOTO: Schobinger's Crack on 10/26/08. Anyone who's look...
The Window on Long's looking good on 6-18-11.  Photo by Andy Grauch.
The Window on Long's looking good on 6-18-11. Pho...
Comments on Long's Peak/Mt. Meeker Cirque Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 1, 2008
By Jason Nupp
From: Denver, CO
Nov 27, 2001

Hiked into base of Dreamweaver on 11/26. Approach was long and hard due to unconsolidated snow much of the way and increasing from Chasm Lake to the final approach. Expect lots of postholing in 7-10" of snow with a 1-2" crust with loose snow underneath which facets when you stomp. Avalanche conditions were moderate with the Loft being leeward facing. On the other hand, Columbine Falls ice looks fat!

By Mark Ferguson
Apr 15, 2002

Anyone have info on conditions for Dark Star or Alexander's Chimney?

By Anonymous Coward
May 6, 2002

Climbed Kiener's on 5/5. Route is in good shape... still winter conditions. Snow was fairly well consolidated in Lamb's Slide and across Broadway. Snow is still unconsolidated in shaded areas and where there are wind deposits - a small spindrift avalanche swept the Notch Couloir after we crossed. The upper slopes above the first two pitches of Kiener's were also in good condition. Snow is still not in the best shape to accept pickets or other snow anchors. Protected the route using a set of nuts and smaller cams.

By Anonymous Coward
Jan 19, 2003

Conditions are such that those approaching the eastern side on Longs may skin from the RS to treeline, and if owning a pair of rock skis and some nerves, ski from treeline back to the RS. Could save a hour or so.

By James Balasalle
Jun 9, 2003

The rock band at the top of the Loft is no longer climbable without a rope. I tried going up to the far right and couldn't make it with crampons and a mountaineering axe. Ice tools would have been very helpful... It's pretty mixed right now.

I made it about 15' up the rock band before turning back, and downclimbing was harder than going up....

By ac
Jun 10, 2003

In response to the Loft report below. The Loft down climb just to the (climbers) left when looking up was easily climbable sans rope. We did Darkstar and came down this. Darkstar was great- not much ice but firm snow and fun rock climbing

By Kevin Craig
Sep 15, 2003

From a visit on 9/14...Loft Ice - coming in nicely, but not ready yet. Peacock Pool - a few smears getting startedSmear of Fear - appears to be forming up nicely

By Malcolm Daly
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 6, 2003

The Smear of Fear and Alexander's are getting traffic. Lower part of the Smear is dry (That's a good thing.) and very climbable. Alexander's is fat and easy. This from various reports during the week of 9/28 to 10/4.Malcolm

By Anonymous Coward
Oct 23, 2003

Actually climbed some decent ice up in the Loft on Sunday the 19th. About 100 ft of 3ish ice in great condition to a cool right leaning mixed finish hooking frozen moss. It was weird to be climbing ice in the Park in such dry conditions. Took good screws and rock pro. Don't know how long it will last but it was worth the 3+ hour approach. (I think?)

By Matt Ledges
Nov 4, 2003

As a sidebar to Tim's posting, we spoke with a ranger when we got back to our car that evening and he told us that the day before, one of the wranglers was walking a few of his horses back from the hut on the narrow trail that skirts Mt Lady Wash, near Columbine Falls, when some "statue-sized" pieces of ice came down without warning, hitting him in the head and knocking several animals off the trail. A couple hours later he made it back to the ranger station and began acting "inappropriate" and then couldn't remember what had happened. Then ranger drove him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a concussion, and apparently required steroids to reduce the swelling around his brain. Apparently he's OK now and so are the horses. Ranger is thinking about submitting this to Accidents in NA Mount. He also said that this guy wasn't a climber, thought it was too dangerous...

Ranger also said that Hidden Falls was coming in real nice for this time of the year. Thought it would take a couple more weeks though.

By FACE MAN
Nov 21, 2004

Very spicy indeed, like imported crushed red pepper you might put on your pizza from Blackjacks.

By Thomas Jensen
Aug 21, 2005

Did Notch Couloir today (8/21/05) and highly recommend it to anyone looking to get the ice jones back in their system! Good solid water ice in the upper couloir. Lamb Slide hard snow, Broadway totally clear and upper gully FAT 60 ish degree easy ice. Scramble up and right (5.2 ish rock) to the Notch. I descended by way of the Loft.

Have fun

By Eli Helmuth
From: Estes Park, CO
Apr 2, 2006

For what it's worth: ratings being a relative and somewhat meaningless concept, but having done them both (the routes that is): I'd give the link-up of either of those two routes, grade IV WI4, 5.7(M2) (Alexander's) then 50 degree snow and easy rock above (when in ideal shape and on route). That said, I've seen more than a few climbers "bonk" due to the altitude, approach, etc...which could make it feel like WI7 5.12 80 degree snow!? HIGH SATISFACTION rating hopefully.

By Trevor Nydam
Apr 27, 2006

I would like to thank the NPS, all the volunteers, and the Colorado Mountain School for your search and rescue efforts this season, especially March 11. The next time you get together for some sort gathering I want to buy the beverages. Thanks, I/we do appreciate it. T. Nydam

By Scott Edlin
From: boulder, co
May 19, 2006

There appear to be two different database entries for Dreamweaver.

By Caelan
From: Dysfunctional, CO
Dec 20, 2006

Anyone have any info on a route near Chasm Lake called "Dragon's Breath"? Gillett says it's Grade III, M5.

By Eli Helmuth
From: Estes Park, CO
Mar 8, 2007

Alexander's is likely thin, sublimated ice at the cruxes and some moderate but exposed rock climbing on the last pitch, overall grade in current conditions probably WI5, M5 (5.8). The thin and fragile ice might be the crux- exciting enough with a belayer.

Snow on upper Kiener's could still be a bit sensitive after last week's storms and will be steep (60 degrees) in spots while traversing Broadway, but after Alex this would be mellow. Hopefully the snow up high is bonding ok- could be less bonded slabs up to a couple of ft. thick on the surface. Rock anchors and some pro would be nice to stay attached to the face should part of a slope release- or pack a parachute as the Diamond is a steep ride.

Things should be consolidating considerably in the next week, but the ice is not very good up high currently except on All Mixed Up, Martha, West Gully, and a few other regulars. Otherwise, south faces are dry and the snow up high on north and east faces is still cold and dry (unstable).

By Jim Davidson
From: Fort Collins, Colorado
Jun 1, 2008

Did you ski Notch Couloir on 5/30/08?
If so, I have some distant but cool photos of you guys skiing the upper Notch Couloir. We were on Martha and I was holding my breath watching you drop in. Hope it was safe & fun.
I would be happy to share the photos with you - email me at jimalpine@comcast.net