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Camp Bird Road
Routes Sorted
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99 Problems 
Bird Brain Boulevard 
Chock Up Another One 
Chockstone Chimney 
Choppo's Chimney 
Cinnamon and Cider 
Cleft, The 
Dirty Bird 
Dirty Minds 
Dumpster Diver 
Fistful of Steel 
Fractured Fairytales 
Going Retro 
Hairy Devil 
House/Kennedy Chimney, The 
Killer Pillar 
Local Scoop, The 
M6 Corner 
M7 Crack 
Maid to Order 
Mile 4 
Negligent Behavior 
O'Donnell's Route 
Racing Stripe (Right) 
Ribbon, The 
Rusty Cage 
Senator Gulch 
Shattered Dreams 
Skillet's Revenge 
Sky is Falling, The 
Slip Sliding Away 
Slippery When Wet 
Snow Blind Friend, Walk the Line? (submitted as Attractive Hazard) 
Talisman, The 
Tasty Talks 
Tourist Trap 
Wake Up Call 
Walk Irene, Submitted as Goodnight Irene 
Weak and the Weary 
Unsorted Routes:

The Cleft 


Type:  Ice, 1 pitch, 200'
Consensus: WI3 [details]
Season: cold
Page Views: 604
Submitted By: Chris Wenker on Mar 2, 2011
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BETA PHOTO: The Cleft (WI3), Camp Bird Road, Ouray, CO. Photo...
Yield to mining vehicle traffic MORE INFO >>>


From the road, you will first need to kick step and/or snow wallow up a couple hundred feet to the base of the ice pitch. Belay in a shallow alcove on the right. At the start of the ice, a length of black irrigation pipe was frozen into the route.
Both Burns (1997:177) and Roberts (2005:158) say the route is 200-250 feet long. For us, The Cleft actually only hosted about ~50 feet of ice, and then involved snow wallowing to the end of the rope. Maybe in a different year there's a longer stretch of vertical ice.


As you approach the Skylight area (but before you get to the Skylight climb itself), The Cleft is the first big gully on the right just past the Poser's Lounge drytooling rockshelter.
From the road, looking way up into the Cleft you can see a large tree growing nearly horizontally out of the left canyon wall. The climb ends somewhere underneath there.


A couple of screws, maybe a light rock rack in thin conditions.
About 30 feet up the ice pitch, there is a steel cable strung through a little rock overhang on the right; some leaver-biners on the cable suggest its past use as a rap station. But this station is located only about 1/2 of the way through the ice pitch.
Instead, both Burns and Roberts say to rappel the route off trees. But, at ~50m, getting over to the obvious tree on the left looked sketchy in the snow conditions we found. That tree would make a solid rap station if you can reach it (but I didn't see any slings on it).
Alternately, at 60m (directly below the overhead powerlines), you may find some blobs of ice; you can v-thread or bollard those. Otherwise...keep going up to some other unseen trees?

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