This is an organizational entry to help clarify the database. Hopefully, it will help.
In this gorge lie at least 2 major areas/mountains with snow/mixed/ice to climb. Flattop Mountain & Notchtop Mountain have some well-known lines to enjoy here. There may be more hidden gems tucked in the Little Matterhorn/Tourmaline Spire vicinity of which I am unaware. If so, please submit the info to the database.
Notchtop Couloir Right Notchtop Couloir Left Spiral Route North Face Left, 5.7 M4 WI4 Direct North Face, 5.8 M4 WI4 North Face, 5.7 WI3+ Sangya Needs Her Dad, WI6 Jack Needs A Life Pleurodynia, WI5+ Hot Doggies, WI5-6 New Beginnings, M6 WI5 The Hourglass, WI5 Odessa Wall Guide's Wall, WI2-3 Grace Falls, WI4
Once in the eastern side of RMNP, the easiest approach to this area is likely from Bear Lake. To get there, drive to the end of Bear Lake Rd. Hike around the right side of Bear Lake. About 1/3 the way around the lake, go right at a trail toward Flattop Mt. Follow this trail and branch off toward your destination. Flattop's summit is 4.4 miles. Notchtop is probably 4 miles or so. Little Matterhorn is probably 5 miles or so.
Make sure you pay attention to your bearings once off the trail in the Notchtop area. It is easy for idgits like me to get a bit turned around and the sharply-angled trail can be hard to find in diminishing light/blowing snow/whiteout conditions.
The ice portion of this route is probably not new as it would form all the way in fat years. But a great alterative to the common lean years is this mixed start "New Beginnings". The route is down and right from the Guide's Wall and is the first main ice curtain. This mixed variation takes the slight ramp up to the curtain. It is vertical to slightly overhung near the ice and climbing is never [desperate] and the gear good. The route is about 20 meters tall with the mixed and ice split perfectly...[more]Browse More Classics in CO