This is a low-lying area of RMNP with the area-classic ice climb, Jaws, along with a smattering of ethereal smear and drips. Due to its low elevation and South-facing aspect, you must time things well with cloud cover, cold temps, and good snowmelt to find anything to climb. Note, sometimes on a cold wintry day, just waiting til mid-afternoon for the sun to get off the ice can lead to more stable ice conditions. Nonetheless, this submission is to better organize climbs like Jaws, Windy Gulch Cascades, the Dangler, Short But..., and possibly others.
From Denver, head North on I-25 to US 36 through Boulder & Lyons, to Estes Park. Follow this through downtown Estes Park to the Beaver Meadows Entrance. Once through, take the 1st left on the Bear Lake Road, follow this down into Moraine Park (large drainage with RMNP's largest campground), take the 1st right up the drainage, turn left just before the campground, follow the road to its winter end point. Hike up this drainage on the road 0.7-0.8 miles to the summer Fern Lake trailhead. Continue up the trail to find ice.
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Moraine Park/Fern Lake Trailhead:
Jaws Falls WI4 Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 160'
Featured Route For Moraine Park/Fern Lake Trailhead
Jaws Falls WI4 CO : CO Ice & Mixed : ... : Moraine Park/Fern Lake Trai...
Jaws Falls, or just plain "Jaws", is one of the nicest moderate ice climbs in the state. In the middle of the route, a big cave forms with teeth like daggers of ice hanging from its mouth. Hence the name. Thin, brittle ice leads up to the base of the cave. Climb out of the cave (crux) and cruise easier ground up and left to a big tree with rap slings. 170' If the ice conditions are thin. Alternate belays and variations to the climb can be found on the right. With 1 200' rope, you can rap ...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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