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Areas in Wolf Creek Pass/San Luis Valley Ice

Big Meadows 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7 / 0 / 9 / 0 / 11
Chain Station 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7 / 0 / 10 / 0 / 12
Creede/Spring Creek Pass 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
High Tea 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 5
Mt. Lindsey Ice 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 4
Piedra River 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Sangre De Cristo Mountains 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 3 / 3 / 3
Willow Lake 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Wolf Creek Pass- West Side 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12
Zapata Falls 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3

Ice Climbing

No access fees.

Plenty of places to buy beer. The biggie is the Mexican food. Try the Taqueria and Nino's in Alamosa. The Hungry Logger in South Fork is all right. The SLV Brewing Company brew pub has good microbrews and food.

Classic Routes are anything on Wolf Creek or up above Crestone. Try Treasure Falls, Tasty Freeze or Willow Falls.

As far as History: Jack Hunt (The first American on Chamonix's Supercouloir and Local Badass) and Alan Haverfield were most likely the first ice climbers in the area. Jack and Alan have most of the first ascents too. The Rangers at the Sand Dunes have a few also. A few years back, Jack and a Czech kid, Jacob Gajda, put up lots of insane mixed stuff.

Getting There

It's pretty easy to get into the Mysterious Valley. Just take 285 either south or north, or 160 east or west. Just like if you were going to Penitente.

You can get beta at Casa de Madera Sports in Del Norte, or at Kristi Mountain Sports in Alamosa. Both are on Hwy 160.

BOOK:"Life By The Drop: Ice and Mixed Climbs Surrounding Colorado's San Luis Valley" by Jack Hunt.

56 Total Climbs

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Location: Wolf Creek Pass/San Luis Valley Ice Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Wolf Creek Pass/San Luis Valley Ice

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Karsten Delap
North Carolina
Karsten Delap   North Carolina
Climbed Zapata Falls WI3 (near Sand Dunes). Main flow was in great shape! Very plastic! Flow to the right was very bullet. Interesting to see the two distinctions so close. Great setting and would recommend to anyone. WI 2/3. The road had 4 to 6 inches of snow and would recommend 4 wheel drive. The hike from the top parking lot took 10 min! Jan 8, 2008
Ben,

Anything on the West Side in yet? Romulus?

Thanks.

J Nov 10, 2005
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Alpha Male, Sheeps Clothing and the Cub are all in and fat. The trail is packed in to the former two climbs also. Mar 9, 2003
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
La Manga Pass/ Platoro Area- Unnamed Flows near Antonito are in, Blue Plate Special is in, Diamond in the Rough is in. This should give New Mexico climbers a little something closer to home. Feb 5, 2003
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
North & South Clear Creek Falls are in. Alpha Male and Sheeps Clothing are in. Feb 3, 2003
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Lake City Area:

-North and South Clear Creek Falls are most likely in.-The road is plowed all the way into Cataract Gulch Trailhead.-Wet Muppet is in. Jan 12, 2003
Somebody buy his man a beer. Thanks for the homework Ben. Climbed with Jack this week, Bigcicle and the chimeney on its right at the Station.Great routes, easy to get to, and good gear. Highly recommended. Jan 3, 2003
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
LaManga Pass: Blue Plate Special is in. Dec 30, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Finally drove all of Wolf Creek Pass today.Park Creek: Champagne Bubbles and Pop a Cork are in. Salty Dogs top is missing. Chain Station: Honeymoon Gully, Bigcicle, and Chimney are in. Columbine Falls is also formed up. High Tea Area: High Tea and Gully Mon are in. Big Meadows: Damfino is in. Wolf Crrek Pass/ West Side:Alpha Male, Sheeps Clothing, The Cub, Romulus, Remus, The Lair, Millers Tale, Dumb and Dumber, TreasureFalls and Tasty Freeze are all in. Topless is missing its top out and See Through has a scarey finish. Sangre De Cristos: Zapata Falls and Willow Lake are in. Dec 29, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Treasure Falls appears to be in and extra steep. Dec 24, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
High Tea Area: Gully Mon and High Tea are in.Chain Station's Second Tier: Columbine Falls are in. Dec 15, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Zapata Falls is in. Dec 14, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Park Creek-Champagne Bubbles and Pop A Cork are in. Dec 12, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Park Creek- No reports yet.Second Tier of Chain Station-Sometimes a Great Notion is in as a mixed line. Cuckoo's Nest climbs are also in.North Creede-None of the Unnamed climbs are in. Dec 8, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Drove towards Wolf Creek Pass today. Saw a bald eagle.

Big Meadows- everything has evaporated except for Damfino.

Park Creek- Salty dog is in and thin.

Chain Station- Bigcicle is finally in. Columbine Falls is almost all formed up.

Lake City- Sherman area is in. Dec 6, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
The trail is in to Alpha Male/ Sheep's Clothing. Dec 1, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Wolf Creek is slowly coming in. Jack, Holly and I drove the whole pass today.

Alpha Male, Sheeps Clothing, Romulus and Remus are all in on the West Side of the pass. Millers Tale and Treasure Falls need more cold days.

Big Meadows has a few mixed climbs.Unnamed ( next to Plumbers Crack) is in, as is Straight-Line Blast, and Damfino. Nov 22, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
The East side of Wolf Creek Pass is coming in. -Salty Dog up Park Creek is almost in.-Hip Czech is in in the High Tea area. You just have to figure out how to cross the Rio Grande. -Honeymoon Gully is in at the Chain Station. The lower section of Columbine Falls is in. The Second Tier has some thin possibilites as does the Columbine Picnic area.

Everything should be good within 2 weeks.

Still no word on the west side of the pass. Treasure Falls has a couple icicles on it. Nov 16, 2002
East side of Wolf Creek Pass has one climb slightly in, Root Beer in the High Tea area. Big meadows has two really thin mixed climbs too.

West Side of Wolf Creek Pass is still really spotty and just beginning to form up. Nov 9, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Scouted out Wolf Creek Pass today. Temps were in the 40's with about a foot of snow on the ground. All climbs are either bone dry or waterfalls. Give the area a few more weeks to ice up. Good snowshoeing though. Oct 27, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Drove by Blue Plate Special on Saturday, 3/30. It still looks fat and blue. Apr 1, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Tasty Freeze, Boogie Chillin', Park Creek, Treasure Falls, Sheep's Clothing and Alpha Male are all still in. Mar 24, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Blue Plate Special west of Antonito is still in, thick and steep. Mar 13, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Blue Plate Special is in thick west of Antonito. Feb 11, 2002
Joe Keyser
Scottsdale, AZ
Joe Keyser   Scottsdale, AZ
We went up here this weekend. Did Treasure Falls (altough I had to climb with one hand due to an injury) on Friday, don't miss this climb!! We went up to the Chain Station area on Saterday, and met Jack Hunt (Author of "Life By The drop") he was climbing a stiff looking mixed line to the left of Bigcicle. Jack is a really cool cat, and he gave us some beta on the crags in the area. The book was great, and helped us find plenty of ice. Nice people, fat ice!!! Jan 28, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Park Creek- Weakened Warrior is in, WI5+ Baby Blue is in, 4+ , both are sun baked.

Creede Area-South Clear Creek Falls is in, big and Fat 3+. Jan 27, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
The unnamed flows are in on Hwy 17, west of Antonito. There appears to be a 50' WI4 and two WI3's that are 60' and 100' respectfully.

Plan on stopping in to Jack Hunt's book signing and slideshow on your way home from Wolf Creek Saturday evening, Jan. 26. It's at 6:00 pm at Casa de Madera Sports in Del Norte. Jan 22, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Sheep's Clothing is very steep, with very hard, brittle ice. Definitely harder than WI3+.

Alpha Male is in too. It is also brittle, probably due to being on the cold side of the canyon.

Two new top rope anchors have been installed at the top of the ice blobs to the left of Zapata Falls. It makes it even easier to get down. Thanks to MJ for installing these.

"Ice climbing is a desperate, violent sport"--Will Gadd Jan 20, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Refer to your new guidebook "Life by the Drop"

Creede Area: unnamed climbs, mixed at start. N. and S. Clear Creek Falls are most likely in.

Wolf Creek Pass-East Side Moon Valley :not in Park Creek :Salty Dog Climbs not in Champagne Bubbles, Pop a Cork in

Chain Station Area-Lower Tier: in Chain Station Area-Second Tier: only Columbine Falls in Chain Station Area-Third Tier& Left Wing:Out

The High Tea Area: Maybe in next month

Ice-Age Architecture Area: No idea if in or out

Big Meadows: Not in two days ago

Wolf Creek Pass-West Side Topless:in Sheep's Clothing, Alpha Male:in Millers Tale:in Johnny-Come Lately:in Treasure Falls:in Tasty Freeze:in

Alamosa River Canyon: No idea La Manga/Platoro: no idea

Sangre de Cristos: Zapata Falls: in Willow Lake Area: all in Jan 10, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Jack Hunt's book "Life By The Drop: Ice and Mixed Climbs Surrounding Colorado's San Luis Valley" is finally out. I heartily recommend it to all Colorado and New Mexico ice climbers. It's the best way to finding over 100 climbs that are hardly touched. Ask for it at you local climbing shop/bookstore. Jan 10, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Miller's Tale is in. Alpha Male, The Cub, The Den are in. Jan 6, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Columbine Falls is in. The start is thicker than usual. A great full pitch grade 3 above the Chain Up Station.

Tasty Freeze is in.

Treasure Falls is steeper than usual. Jan 2, 2002
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
The ice a couple miles north of Creede is still very thin. Only one route is climbable and it is M5.

Put in a first ascent at the Gator Farm pinnacle yesterday. It's a 20 footer from a hose over an steel tower. Holly and Ben Bruestle, Alex Colville, and Scott Gibson were in on it. Jay, the Gator Farm guy, seems to welcome more ascents Dec 31, 2001
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Most the ice is in around Wolf Creek. The Chain Up Station on the east side of the pass is in. Treasure Falls is in. Willow Lake is in. Zapata Falls is in. Dec 21, 2001
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
This whole area is great for tranquility, you most likely won't see any other climbers out. It is also in one of the coldest areas in the state, so come prepared. Dec 21, 2001
Malcolm Daly
Boulder, CO
Malcolm Daly   Boulder, CO
This just in from Ben Bruestle in Alamosa: Yes there is ice on Wolf Creek Pass. Treasure Falls is frozen, as is the stuff up at Willow Lake below Kit Carson. Dec 6, 2001

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