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|Submitted By:||Richard Rossiter on Jan 2, 2008|
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|Comments on Overflow||Add Comment|
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By Doug Redosh
Mar 14, 2008
|Fun area, though it looks like it might lie at the bottom of an avalanche run. Has not been recent activity as there are big trees at the top, but above it lie tiny trees.|
By Mark Cushman
From: Cumming, GA
May 29, 2008
|Eli Helmuth calls this Jewel Lake Ice on his website, I haven't heard it called "Overflow" before. Is this a historic name or should we change this area name to Jewel Lake Ice with routes of Overflow Left and Overflow Right?|
By Richard Rossiter
Dec 23, 2008
I am not fussy about the name, but I do know the source of the name Overflow. Ralph Baldwin, Time Hogan and myself were skiing in to Black Lake to climb what is now known as the West Gully, December, 1977. I caught a hint of the ice through the trees (Overflow that is) and said, "Hey, let's check this out." So we did. I led the pitch up the thick ice in the middle of the flow and brought up Tim and Ralph. We rapped off and on our way to Black Lake came up with name Overflow for the whole feature. See ROCK AND ICE CLIMBING, RMNP, THE HIGH PEAKS (1997), page 176. I have since then soloed all the obvious lines (some repeatedly because they are really fun) and given them the following names (I am not fussy about these names either):
1. Cave WI3+
Begin at a cave beside a left-facing dihedral near the left side of the ice apron. Climb icicles past the right (or left) side of the cave and continue up easier ice to the top of the flow. Look for slings around a tree and lower off.
2. Thin WI4
Start above a big tree near the middle of the wall. Climb very thin ice over a rock slab to a conspicuous bush. Continue more easily to the top of the flow.
3. Center WI3
FA: R. Rossiter, Ralph Baldwin, and Tim Hogan, 1977.
Climb thick ice up the middle of the flow and rappel from a tree.
4. Tommy Knockers WI3+
The right side of the flow is steeper and thinner and develops a dull orange cast perhaps from minerals seeping out of the Earth.
5. Thinner WI4
To the right of Tommy Knockers the ice is even thinner.
BTW, we did climb the beautiful West Gully route in a snow storm the next day. I do not know who first climbed it. Duncan Ferguson, Dakers Gowans, Pete Metcalf or the like would be good candidates. I also do not know the origin of the name West Gully. I had only seen the climb a month earlier having gone into Black Lake to climb the ice on the southeast side of the lake, already a known destination in 1977.
By Mark Cushman
From: Cumming, GA
Dec 24, 2008
|Thanks, Richard! It's always good to get the historical information on a route (or set).|
From: Estes Park, CO
Nov 30, 2009
Climbed/guided here about 1/2-dozen days this year and, while it's still forming, it's very thick and widening out each day. It's a good lead but can be walked/scrambled around on either side to access the anchor trees. The left-most ice up a gully feature would be the easiest lead. If you're looking for more of that steppy, easy ice there is also an upper tier in the WI2+/3- range and is slightly shorter than the main area. Upper tier could be nice on busy days.
If you're feeling really adventurous, you can follow "Overflow's" water source high up onto Thatchtop (this ice can be seen from Jewel Lake). This involves a bit of unfortunate snow-slogging above the upper tier, following a bench that traverses way left, and then up ice-covered slabs (WI2ish) to a short (~30'), steep headwall that has a couple thin-ice variations. It's not classic but is fun exploring and, from "Overflow's" base to the top of the headwall is a 1000' elevation difference. It's worth noting that this high route goes right up a serious avalanche path (lots of large trees snapped off) and would be less-than-prudent in certain conditions.