Loch Vale Gorge Climbing
|GPS:||40.294, -105.652 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
|Page Views:||20,180 total · 89/month|
|Shared By:||Malcolm Daly on Nov 29, 1999|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
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The cliffs bordering the east and north sides of Thatchtop offer the most consistent, accessible and greatest variety of ice climbs in the park. Low angle slabs, thin mixed climbs, free-hanging pinnacles, top roping and pure ice falls abound here. This is also the most crowded area in the park, and it is not uncommon to see 15-25 parties in the area when the ice is "in". Classic routes are everywhere: Mixed Feelings gives you the chance to try dry-tooling to a free hanging pillar is a fairly safe environment; the Curtains are a perfect top-rope area.
From Estes Park, follow the signs to RMNP. After the entrance station (~10 if your blew the alpine start), turn left and head towards Bear Lake. Park in the Glacier Gorge parking lot (now 0.3 miles from the old parking lot at the hairpin turn), about a mile before you reach Bear Lake. Follow the trail to Glacier Gorge. After a couple of miles you'll have to make a decision: left takes you into Glacier Gorge and All Mixed Up and the climbs at Black Lake; right takes you to the Loch. (Here's a great shortcut that will save you 30 minutes: Head right immediately after you cross the second overbuilt bridge-the ones with the handrails. Follow the drainage up until you intersect the GG trail about 100 yards from the GG/Loch junction. Summer climber's note: This is not the summer shortcut which parallels the drainage on the left. The winter route follows the creek bed and is quite skiiable.) For rad skiing when the conditions are good, don't take the trail down from the Loch, follow the drainage. Pick up the trail near the junction with the Glacier Gorge trail.
Classic Climbing Routes at Loch Vale Gorge
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season