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Routes in Long's Peak/Mt. Meeker Cirque

Alexander's Chimney T WI4 M4
Chasm Lake Outlet WI2+
Columbine Falls T WI3
Crazy Train T WI5
Dark Star (probably not Right Chimney) T WI3+ M5-
Dovetail Right AI2-3 M1-2
Dreamweaver T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c M2
Duncan Did it First T M5
Eighth Route, The T WI3- M3+ Mod. Snow
Field's Chimney T WI5 M6+
Flying Dutchman, The T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c WI2-3
Gully Left of Zumie's Thumb aka Smith's Route T M5 Steep Snow
Joe's Solo WI3+ M3
Kiener's Route T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Easy Snow
Lamb's Slide T Easy Snow
Left of Columbine Falls T WI3
Martha T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a WI2+ M2-3
North Chimney T M4
North Face / Cables Route T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a M2-3
Notch Couloir, The T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Mod. Snow
Schobinger's Cracks T WI5 M6
Ship's Prow Ice T WI5 M5 R
Smear of Fear T WI5 M6 R
South Face / Lady Washington T WI5 M5-6 R
Zumie's Chimney T WI3 M3
Unsorted Routes:
Elevation: 14,255 ft
GPS: 40.254, -105.616 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 111,316 total · 502/month
Shared By: Malcolm Daly on Nov 29, 1999
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac


This is the wonderful cirque that sits below the summits of Mt. Meeker and Long's Peak. A ton of ice forms up here during 9 months of the year, but most agree that the best time to climb is in the fall, when the days are warm enough to form the drips, yet they freeze at night. These drips are ephemeral: what is in one day may be gone by the time you hear about it. The best condition reports are word of mouth (or right here), or visually from the Front Range. The best conditions are found for a few days after Fall snow storms, when it's in the 70s down low. Look for fresh snow up high and sunny skies. Often the ice dries up in the middle of winter. It's just too cold up there to keep ice forming. It tends to come back in in early April. In a good year, the ice routes back in the chimneys on the North Face of Meeker (Dark Star, etc.) stay in until early July.

Hint: this is a huge area, and the climbs are farther away than you think. From the observation points at the shelter cabin or Chasm Lake, climbs may not look like they're in. To really tell, though, you've got to make the whole approach.

Getting There

Approach from the Long's Peak ranger station. Follow the signs to Chasm Lake: for most people it takes about 2 hours. After you go over Chasm Cut-off and the trails heads downhill, look for Peacock Pool below you on the left along with Columbine Falls dropping into the pool. There are some great practice thin smears there as well as the low-angle slabs of Columbine. Above the trail, on the right flank of Mt. Lady Washington, several good 3-pitch falls form up in good years. These are nice because they catch the sun all day. For Long's and Meeker, keep going to the shelter cabin. If you're heading to Mt. Meeker, head left here, for the Long's Peak climbs, hike up the slabs directly behind the cabin. Once at the lake, you'll be able to see just about everything that's in, so make your choice there.

25 Total Climbs

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Location: Long's Peak/Mt. Meeker Cirque Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Long's Peak/Mt. Meeker Cirque

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
WI5 M6 R
Smear of Fear
Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine
WI3+ M5-
Dark Star (probably not Right Chimney)
Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine
WI4 M4
Alexander's Chimney
Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine
Easy Snow
Lamb's Slide
Trad, Snow, Alpine
WI5 M6+
Field's Chimney
Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine 4 pitches
WI5 M5-6 R
South Face / Lady Washington
Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine 2 pitches
WI5 M6
Schobinger's Cracks
Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine 3 pitches
Crazy Train
Trad, Ice, Alpine
WI3 M3
Zumie's Chimney
Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine 2 pitches
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c WI2-3
The Flying Dutchman
Trad, Ice, Alpine
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c M2
Trad, Mixed, Alpine
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Mod. Snow
The Notch Couloir
Trad, Snow, Alpine
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Easy Snow
Kiener's Route
Trad, Snow, Alpine
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a M2-3
North Face / Cables Route
Trad, Mixed, Alpine
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a WI2+ M2-3
Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine 5 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Smear of Fear
WI5 M6 R Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine
Dark Star (probably not Rig…
WI3+ M5- Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine
Alexander's Chimney
WI4 M4 Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine
Lamb's Slide
Easy Snow Trad, Snow, Alpine
Field's Chimney
WI5 M6+ Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine 4 pitches
South Face / Lady Washington
WI5 M5-6 R Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine 2 pitches
Schobinger's Cracks
WI5 M6 Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine 3 pitches
Crazy Train
WI5 Trad, Ice, Alpine
Zumie's Chimney
WI3 M3 Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine 2 pitches
The Flying Dutchman
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c WI2-3 Trad, Ice, Alpine
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c M2 Trad, Mixed, Alpine
The Notch Couloir
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Mod. Snow Trad, Snow, Alpine
Kiener's Route
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Easy Snow Trad, Snow, Alpine
North Face / Cables Route
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a M2-3 Trad, Mixed, Alpine
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a WI2+ M2-3 Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine 5 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Long's Peak/Mt. Meeker Cirque »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Jim Davidson
Fort Collins, Colorado
Jim Davidson   Fort Collins, Colorado
Did you ski Notch Couloir on 5/30/08?
If so, I have some distant but cool photos of you guys skiing the upper Notch Couloir. We were on Martha and I was holding my breath watching you drop in. Hope it was safe & fun.
I would be happy to share the photos with you - email me at Jun 1, 2008
Eli Helmuth
Ciales, PR
Eli Helmuth   Ciales, PR
Alexander's is likely thin, sublimated ice at the cruxes and some moderate but exposed rock climbing on the last pitch, overall grade in current conditions probably WI5, M5 (5.8). The thin and fragile ice might be the crux- exciting enough with a belayer.

Snow on upper Kiener's could still be a bit sensitive after last week's storms and will be steep (60 degrees) in spots while traversing Broadway, but after Alex this would be mellow. Hopefully the snow up high is bonding ok- could be less bonded slabs up to a couple of ft. thick on the surface. Rock anchors and some pro would be nice to stay attached to the face should part of a slope release- or pack a parachute as the Diamond is a steep ride.

Things should be consolidating considerably in the next week, but the ice is not very good up high currently except on All Mixed Up, Martha, West Gully, and a few other regulars. Otherwise, south faces are dry and the snow up high on north and east faces is still cold and dry (unstable). Mar 8, 2007
Eran Shileikis
Dysfunctional, CO
Eran Shileikis   Dysfunctional, CO
Anyone have any info on a route near Chasm Lake called "Dragon's Breath"? Gillett says it's Grade III, M5. Dec 20, 2006
Scott Edlin
boulder, co
Scott Edlin   boulder, co
There appear to be two different database entries for Dreamweaver. May 19, 2006
I would like to thank the NPS, all the volunteers, and the Colorado Mountain School for your search and rescue efforts this season, especially March 11. The next time you get together for some sort gathering I want to buy the beverages. Thanks, I/we do appreciate it. T. Nydam Apr 27, 2006
Eli Helmuth
Ciales, PR
Eli Helmuth   Ciales, PR
For what it's worth: ratings being a relative and somewhat meaningless concept, but having done them both (the routes that is): I'd give the link-up of either of those two routes, grade IV WI4, 5.7(M2) (Alexander's) then 50 degree snow and easy rock above (when in ideal shape and on route). That said, I've seen more than a few climbers "bonk" due to the altitude, approach, etc...which could make it feel like WI7 5.12 80 degree snow!? HIGH SATISFACTION rating hopefully. Apr 2, 2006
Did Notch Couloir today (8/21/05) and highly recommend it to anyone looking to get the ice jones back in their system! Good solid water ice in the upper couloir. Lamb Slide hard snow, Broadway totally clear and upper gully FAT 60 ish degree easy ice. Scramble up and right (5.2 ish rock) to the Notch. I descended by way of the Loft.

Have fun Aug 21, 2005
Very spicy indeed, like imported crushed red pepper you might put on your pizza from Blackjacks. Nov 21, 2004
As a sidebar to Tim's posting, we spoke with a ranger when we got back to our car that evening and he told us that the day before, one of the wranglers was walking a few of his horses back from the hut on the narrow trail that skirts Mt Lady Wash, near Columbine Falls, when some "statue-sized" pieces of ice came down without warning, hitting him in the head and knocking several animals off the trail. A couple hours later he made it back to the ranger station and began acting "inappropriate" and then couldn't remember what had happened. Then ranger drove him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a concussion, and apparently required steroids to reduce the swelling around his brain. Apparently he's OK now and so are the horses. Ranger is thinking about submitting this to Accidents in NA Mount. He also said that this guy wasn't a climber, thought it was too dangerous...

Ranger also said that Hidden Falls was coming in real nice for this time of the year. Thought it would take a couple more weeks though. Nov 4, 2003
Actually climbed some decent ice up in the Loft on Sunday the 19th. About 100 ft of 3ish ice in great condition to a cool right leaning mixed finish hooking frozen moss. It was weird to be climbing ice in the Park in such dry conditions. Took good screws and rock pro. Don't know how long it will last but it was worth the 3+ hour approach. (I think?) Oct 23, 2003
Malcolm Daly
Boulder, CO
Malcolm Daly   Boulder, CO
The Smear of Fear and Alexander's are getting traffic. Lower part of the Smear is dry (That's a good thing.) and very climbable. Alexander's is fat and easy. This from various reports during the week of 9/28 to 10/4.Malcolm Oct 6, 2003
From a visit on 9/14...Loft Ice - coming in nicely, but not ready yet. Peacock Pool - a few smears getting startedSmear of Fear - appears to be forming up nicely Sep 15, 2003
In response to the Loft report below. The Loft down climb just to the (climbers) left when looking up was easily climbable sans rope. We did Darkstar and came down this. Darkstar was great- not much ice but firm snow and fun rock climbing Jun 10, 2003
The rock band at the top of the Loft is no longer climbable without a rope. I tried going up to the far right and couldn't make it with crampons and a mountaineering axe. Ice tools would have been very helpful... It's pretty mixed right now.

I made it about 15' up the rock band before turning back, and downclimbing was harder than going up.... Jun 9, 2003
Conditions are such that those approaching the eastern side on Longs may skin from the RS to treeline, and if owning a pair of rock skis and some nerves, ski from treeline back to the RS. Could save a hour or so. Jan 19, 2003
Climbed Kiener's on 5/5. Route is in good shape... still winter conditions. Snow was fairly well consolidated in Lamb's Slide and across Broadway. Snow is still unconsolidated in shaded areas and where there are wind deposits - a small spindrift avalanche swept the Notch Couloir after we crossed. The upper slopes above the first two pitches of Kiener's were also in good condition. Snow is still not in the best shape to accept pickets or other snow anchors. Protected the route using a set of nuts and smaller cams. May 6, 2002
Anyone have info on conditions for Dark Star or Alexander's Chimney? Apr 15, 2002
Jason Nupp
Denver, CO
Jason Nupp   Denver, CO
Hiked into base of Dreamweaver on 11/26. Approach was long and hard due to unconsolidated snow much of the way and increasing from Chasm Lake to the final approach. Expect lots of postholing in 7-10" of snow with a 1-2" crust with loose snow underneath which facets when you stomp. Avalanche conditions were moderate with the Loft being leeward facing. On the other hand, Columbine Falls ice looks fat! Nov 27, 2001

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