||Trad, Ice, Alpine, 1 pitch
|Consensus: ||WI5 [details]|
|FA: ||unknown, maybe Tim|
|Page Views: ||1,009|
|Submitted By: ||Leo Paik on Feb 5, 2005|
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Upper tier, climb 5.
This is the far right side (labeled 5 in the topo) of the upper ice curtain of The Luge
(WI1 or WI3) of the upper tier of ice at Chaos Creek (first described by B. Gillett in his excellent RMNP: The Climber's Guide
). It may be considered a variation to The Luge
, but its difficulty seems unrepresented by The Luge's
rating. It is best done as a TR as the ice is thin, the protection sparse, and the climbing sustained. It is an option if you've come to the cliff to try Olympic Games but the ice is too lean. Again, it is best to use a 60m rope to belay from below as falling ice will gravitate toward the belay.
To approach this area, park at Bear Lake in RMNP. Snowshoes are recommended, although a nice wallow can warm you up if you so desire. Hike the well-packed trail 0.5 mi to Nymph Lake. There is an old fire road/trail that shaves a couple minutes going directly from Bear Lake to Nymph. To spy this area (probably the R profile of the top of Olympic Games), you must look carefully from an arms length of the Restoration area sign, posted on one shore of the lake. You can only see the top of some of the ice from here. Take a bearing & head through the trees. Stay lower in the basin as there is a steep, avalanche-potential slope just to the right of the ice if you try to contour. It can be challenging to find the ice once you are in the forest. As you get close to the cliffs, you will likely see bits of the ice 150 feet above, head up. Snow can be chest-deep on this last bit if no one has approached lately. You can drop off the trail between Nymph & Dream Lakes and drop into the drainage below the ice but this is more challenging. Note, you can get a bit disoriented in the trees with all the crisscrossing snow shoe tracks going in circles.
Start just to the left of Olympic Games on candlestick ice to gain a shelf. Stay right on thinner ice. Be careful to swing your tools perpendicularly to the ice as it will shear off easily and you will be left with little to climb. Expect a bit more workout than from its neighbors to the left.
Rappel off trees or walkoff left to descend.
Shade, ice screws.
Slalom skiing without a chairlift in sight.