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Shared By: Leo Paik on Mar 19, 2006 with updates from D L
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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This is a separate section of Colorado, since you, the user of MountainProject.com, have asked for it. To help you find all that your icy heart desires, look here.

Though not organized by town or city, this section is organized geographically. Here, you will find the subset of climbing done with crampons & ice tools on at least some bits of ice.

In this Colorado medium, you will find amazing beauty, ethereal sculptures created by nature, and a different peace than when you don sticky rubber and dab fingers into your chalkbag. You will dig deep, you will find ascents unique to each passage, and you may find a reward for balancing mind, body, and respect for the cold, natural world.

Those of you drawn to this aspect of the sport will search far and wide for some new, undiscovered dribble of the frozen variety. You will tramp all day based upon a narrow set of topographical lines on a map, drive hours based upon a rumor, drag half your weight in gear up miles of unpacked trails just looking for that next line. You'll call friends, call friends of friends, squeeze climbing shop employees for conditions, and scan websites for updates on climbs. Hopefully, here you will find something useful, consider adding routes to the database, update conditions for your fellow ice climber, and contribute to this small but growing database. Please do not take offense to those who seek to share...for we all love this medium...it is a passion.

For those of you out there who long for the day when no one else but you and your partner were out there whacking away, please remember when this was your new found focus. Also, understand by adding to this information, we spread folks out to allow a better experience for all.

So, here find your information on areas like Ouray, Lake City, Rifle, Vail, Mt. Lincoln, Wolf Creek Pass, Telluride, Glenwood Canyon, Clear Creek Canyon, Big Thompson Canyon Ice, St. Vrain ice, Colorado Springs, Durango, Silverton, Redstone, Coal Creek, Officer's Gulch, Parachute, Royal Gorge, Grand Junction, Gunnison, Rocky Mountain National Park and, maybe some day, Willow Lakes (thanks!, George). You will find lines from quick, ice-bouldering sessions to all day affairs, from 12 to 1500 feet, from roadside to backcountry.

For the exploring types, there are still ice climbs to be done out there...even depicted in this database. There are even rumors of Poudre Canyon ice.

There will be climbs that have been done where it is unlikely that someone will post it here due to lack of legal access, promises of secrecy, and fading in aging memory banks. For those, you'll just have to root around a bit or do it the old fashion way, earn it.

In really moist winters, amazing lines will pop up all over the place, even in predominantly rock climbing areas! So, keep the mind open, the eyes on alert, and the imagination in gear.

At the moment, this is a work in progress to reorganize this database for the subset who seek out the cold.... Please be patient.

Getting There

To get there, you will search far and near, high and low. You will drive, hike, scramble, and toil towards your goal. Approaches will vary from 1 minute to 1 day.


Quick link to most recent CO ice/mixed conditions reports.

Current Weather shows some actual weather and temperatures throughout Colorado.


You can check out the weather through NOAA and enter the city of choice.

Guidebooks/Other Info

Jack Roberts' Colorado Ice and Colorado Ice Second Edition Vol. 1
Cameron Burn's Colorado Ice Climber's Guide
Charlie Fowler's San Juan Ice
Jack Hunt's Life by the Drop
Ben Bruestle's The Ripper, Climbing in Colorado's Wet Mountains
Vince Anderson's foldout Ouray Ice Park ice guide
Bill MacTiernan's older Ouray Ice
Glenn Randall's inspiring Vertigo Games
Richard Rossiter's Rocky Mountain National Park, High Peaks
Bernard Gillett's Rocky Mountain National Park & Rocky Mountain National Park, The High Peaks.

Ice Parks

Many of you have climbed at or known of the non-profit Ouray Ice Park in the Uncompaghre Gorge. This helped create the win-win for climbers & locals with the revival of a winter economy for Ouray. Some of you have climbed on some of the fledgling, farmed, ice routes in Boulder Canyon before the days when ice aficienados attempted to create an ice park in that location. Today, there is a growing movement to create additional ice parks through the state, like the Lake City Ice Park. Who knows what the future holds?

One note, please do not ice farm within national parks.


You may find this webcam helpful to look at conditions: cotrip.org/roadConditions.htm. Click on the camera icons.

993 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: CO Ice & Mixed Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at CO Ice & Mixed

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
WI4- R
All Mixed Up
Trad, Ice, Alpine 4 pitches
Stairway to Heaven
Trad, Ice 7 pitches
Rigid Designator
Trad, Ice
WI4+ M4-5
Trad, Mixed, Ice 3 pitches
WI2 M2 Mod. Snow
Dragon's Tail Couloir
Trad, Mixed, Ice, Snow, Alpine
WI5 M6 R
Ames Ice Hose
Trad, Mixed, Ice 3 pitches
WI4 M4
Alexander's Chimney
Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine
Choppo's Chimney (aka Chappo's C…
Trad, Ice
The Ribbon
Trad, Ice 4 pitches
Whorehouse Hoses
Ice 3 pitches
Pick o' the Vic
Trad, TR, Ice
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 WI2+ M2-3
Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine 5 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
All Mixed Up RMNP - Mixed/Ice > … > Glacier Gorge > Thatchtop Mt (SE aspect)
WI4- R Trad, Ice, Alpine 4 pitches
Stairway to Heaven Silverton > Eureka
WI4 Trad, Ice 7 pitches
Rigid Designator Vail Ice > Rigid Designator Amph…
WI5- Trad, Ice
Skylight Ouray (Ice/Mixed) > Camp Bird Rd
WI4+ M4-5 Trad, Mixed, Ice 3 pitches
Dragon's Tail Couloir RMNP - Mixed/Ice > … > Emerald Lake /… > Flattop Mtn - S side
WI2 M2 Mod. Snow Trad, Mixed, Ice, Snow, Alpine
Ames Ice Hose Telluride > Ames Wall
WI5 M6 R Trad, Mixed, Ice 3 pitches
Alexander's Chimney RMNP - Mixed/Ice > Long's Peak/Mt Meeker…
WI4 M4 Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine
Choppo's Chimney (aka Chapp… Ouray (Ice/Mixed) > Camp Bird Rd
WI4+ Trad, Ice
The Ribbon Ouray (Ice/Mixed) > Camp Bird Rd
WI4 Trad, Ice 4 pitches
Whorehouse Hoses Silverton > Eureka
WI4-5 Ice 3 pitches
Pick o' the Vic Ouray (Ice/Mixed) > Uncompahgre Gor… > Alcove/Pic of the Vic…
WI4 Trad, TR, Ice
Dreamweaver RMNP - Mixed/Ice > Long's Peak/Mt Meeker…
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c M2 Trad, Mixed, Alpine
The Notch Couloir RMNP - Mixed/Ice > Long's Peak/Mt Meeker…
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Mod. Snow Trad, Snow, Alpine
Kiener's Route RMNP - Mixed/Ice > Long's Peak/Mt Meeker…
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Easy Snow Trad, Snow, Alpine
Martha RMNP - Mixed/Ice > Long's Peak/Mt Meeker…
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a WI2+ M2-3 Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine 5 pitches
More Classic Climbs in CO Ice & Mixed »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Berthoud Pass/ US 40 approximately 1/2 mile up the road from the first switchback turn (Big Bend picnic area) there is a small stream flowing down a gully. About 100 meters up the gully is a small flow 15'-20' WI 2-3. Not a lot, but good for a quick fix if you live in Grand County. Park in the small pull off area on the side of the road - watch out for traffic and snowplows. Don't think there is much of an avalance danger - this is before the Stanley zone. There is potential for more ice higher up in the gully, I just got tired before going more then 3/4 of a mile up it. Not sure if the area has a name or has evre been climbed before (probably). If no one knows if there is a name, I think I'll refer to it as "The Stash". Jan 25, 2002
I am taking a survey on any mixed route in Colorado that someone has done to confirm grades in [Colorado]. Send me your email and I will send you the questionaire. Thanks rich mixed@m9ice.com Nov 16, 2002
Malcolm Daly
Boulder, CO
Malcolm Daly   Boulder, CO
Via Mike Brumbaugh in Avon: Hidden Falls above the Shoshone Power Plant in is and fat. The Rigid Designator is in and steep! Fang isn't connected yet. Spiral Staircase is in and thin. Dec 3, 2002
Officers Gulch: 12/12/02 Tony's Nighmare is in with thick, plastic ice. I climbed it yesterday. The Shroud is in, and continues to improve. I climbed it Thanksgiving. Around the Corner looks in, but I didn't hike up to the base. Silverplume looked climbable when I drove past. Dec 12, 2002
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
Hey, anyone have any beta/info on ice at Jones Pass or an Loch Lomond? There are rumors of big blue.... Dec 25, 2003
Berthoud Pass area about half a mile past big bend WI 2 a ways above first fall short further up on west side of creek. Short WI4 with a pretty tight top out lots of trees. It's a fun hike if you need a fix. Avalanche danger exists. I had a 30 sq. ft. patch wumph on me last weekend. More ice possible further up Mar 20, 2004
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
Anyone out there familiar with the Willow Lakes ice climbs? Are these in the area N of Silverthorne? Any beta, anyone? Apr 22, 2005
Christmas day my bother pointed out an ice-flow coming down the north side of US Hwy 40 a few miles west of Empire. I've not noticed it prior. It is a couple hundred feet up off the road just east of the Goat Rock sport crag. I returned today and was pleasantly surprized. Soloed aprox 75 ft to top. Inital thin vertical ice, then lower angle to ~12ft curtain, then some high angle bulges. Tree at the top with slings and rings. No signs of recent climbing. Who has the FA? Does this come in consistently? Dec 29, 2005
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
Ice & mixed climbers, please comment on if you like or do not like this reorganization...it may help determine if this remains like this or goes back to being blended in with the rest of the rock database. It only took a couple hours to do this.... Mar 19, 2006
Leo, Good deal.
I Like it! Far superior than wading through cyber space. Now if people start to use it all will be chill. Cheers, philo Mar 20, 2006
John McNamee
Littleton, CO
John McNamee   Littleton, CO  
Discussion about ice and mixed routes is also happening at this forum. Please check it out and get involved. The forum not only discusses the separation of ice and mixed routes but also the technical challenges we are facing as we try to have a simple design for all climbers and all states. Mar 20, 2006
Travis R. Thompson
Parachute (Rifle), CO
Travis R. Thompson   Parachute (Rifle), CO
This distinction is very, very, helpful please do not change it back. It is extremely easier to find ice climbs when they are separated as such. Just scanning through I have found a ton of climbs that I probably would have never known existed.

I was also wondering if there is anyone in the Rifle/Parachute area that wants to some ice climbing. Especially locally. I have also found some new ice climbs around Parachute that I believe are different from those mentioned on a book I have. I hope this next weekend or next I can climb a few of them and get some photos posted. Feb 4, 2007
Boulder, CO
SUTFIN   Boulder, CO
Hey I lost my Canon Camera at the base fo the SouthPark Area in OURAY if any of you are going there will you please keep nad eye out for it. I believe it is as you come fof the hill by a small tree. If you find it please let me know! HTere will be a reward! THANKS Mar 7, 2007
Nick Dolecek
Denver, Colorado
Nick Dolecek   Denver, Colorado
Eureka area climbs are getting heavy sun rot, and are cracking...Stairway is cracking and also has the rot. First gully was doable with a little mixed on pitches 1 and 5.
Time for the rock. Mar 26, 2007
Any word on our favorite ice climb (HG)and its formation? Drop me a text. Dec 9, 2007

For those lost souls like myself who just must climb ice until the end.
I'm in Telluride at the moment and this is what I know.

Silver Pick is IN at WI4 and looking good. We punched a trail in.
Coronet is gone, gone, gone.
Bridalveil is looking fat and there is so much snow at the bottom the first pitch is practically buried.
Ames Ice Hose is totally in shape. Again, the first pitch is really buried under snow from above but the rest of the climb is in thick shape.

Gravity's Rainbow is still very climbable but the first pitch has a hole in it. It's easy to climb around it. About easy WI4/3+

Kennedy's Gully.......the crux lower pitch has melted out.
Bring a wetsuit and snorkel gear.

Skylight routes are in great shape. Killer Piller is completely formed and has an overhanging ice finish.......Yeah, baby!
New M-routes rated M6 & M7.

The Ice Park has some funky ice covered in lots of fresh snow but there is still loads of good stuff to get on.

There is a ton of snow above The Ribbon. Best to leave it for another time.

The Talisman is reforming itself, getting better and better. Will probably get in peak shape next week.

BBB is still pretty thin with lots of snow in, around and above.

OH, and for a real rush.......DEEP THROAT IS IN!!!!

JACK Mar 3, 2008
Jason Nelson
Jason Nelson   SLC, UT
Bill at Ouray Mountain Sports has one of those Grivel Ice Screw sharpening machines. It will sharpen most screws. Dec 17, 2008
Eli Helmuth
Ciales, PR
Eli Helmuth   Ciales, PR
Updated conditions report for RMNP on Dec. 4th: climbinglife.com/current-rm…
Time to get it done! Dec 6, 2009
Douglas Lossner
Delta, CO
Douglas Lossner   Delta, CO
Hi, I'm trying to get information on a climb in Parachute. It is located in a south facing drainage (I-70 side) of the Roan Cliffs. The name of the drainage is Kelly Gulch. The climb is barely visible from Mile Marker 71 on I-70. I'm looking for 1st ascent info.

Thanks, Douglas Jan 27, 2010
Princess Mia   Vail
Spring break in Colorado. The ice is fat and beautiful and there are no people. I live ice climbing this time of the year. Vail ice is glorious. Did the Designator last night. Super fat and sticky but not wet at all. The Thang is huge, as is the Spiral Stairs area. Mar 20, 2012
Anonymous User
Anonymous User  
Up from the Phoenix area, and staying with my dad in Montrose for a couple of months. I'm looking for a lead climber to take me to the awesome routes Colorado has to offer.

If interested, contact me at 602-303-0006. Jun 4, 2015
Judith Brown
Little Rock, AR
Judith Brown   Little Rock, AR
What is it like driving into this area in January/December? Are tire chains necessary? Dec 3, 2015
Jay Eggleston
Jay Eggleston   Denver
What area, Judith? Dec 3, 2015
Eli Helmuth
Ciales, PR
Eli Helmuth   Ciales, PR
I've never seen an accurate comparison chart that includes M ratings along with world ice and rock ratings. I published one on my website that's my own interpretation, let me know what you think so that I can tweak it: climbinglife.com/beta/tech-…. Dec 16, 2015
Christopher Rose
Denver, CO
Christopher Rose   Denver, CO
Hello all! I know it's a tad late for this, but can anyone give me a report on the ice conditions in Breckinridge? Specifically Lincoln Falls. Thanks! Feb 17, 2016