Use onX Backcountry to explore the terrain in 3D, view recent satellite imagery, and more. Now available in onX Backcountry Mobile apps! For more information see this post.
Elevation: 10,000 ft 3,048 m
GPS: 40.29242, -105.65711
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 257,422 total · 1,202/month
Shared By: Malcolm Daly on Oct 24, 2006
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC
Warning Access Issue: Regulations DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

This is an organizational entry to help clean up the database.

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 icicles, 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. If you're lucky, the Glacier Knobs right above the parking lot, will have some long thin smears coming down, and you'll save the hike AND entertain the tourists. Some of these have been entered under World Cup Wall by Greg Sievers.

Farther up the valley, above timberline, you'll find more routes on Thatchtop (Necrophilia has to be the best mixed climb in its category), the permanent snowfields of Powell-Thatchtop (summer routes), the fine mixed routes on Powell, like the Vanquished, routes on Mt. Taylor, possibly routes in the Cathedral Spires area (?), routes on the Cathedral Wall, and routes just above Loch Vale. These are listed under the Loch Vale & uphill section, for now.

Closer to further in:

Parking Lot Wall

Parking Lot Ice

Alberta Falls

Alberta Falls Wall

From the Mills' Lake/Loch Vale Junction (L->R):

Glacier Gorge/Mills' Lake/Black Lake

Glacier Gorge

to Loch Vale

Loch Vale Gorge

Loch Vale and Uphill/Thatchtop North side/Powell/Mt. Taylor/Cathedral Spires

Loch Vale & uphill

Andrews Creek area/Andrews' Tower/Sharkstooth/Forbidden Tower/Otis Peak/Zowie/What

Andrews Creek & The Gash

Lake Haiyaha area
World Cup Wall

Getting There Suggest change

From the eastern side of RMNP, drive up the Bear Lake Rd to Glacier Gorge's parking lot, about 1 mile short of its terminus. From here, hike uphill about 0.3 miles. Go left to the 2nd bridge. At this point, you have 3 choices. Efficiency is likely determined by how much snow & which trails have been stomped down. The climber's trails go after the 2nd bridge either at the bottom of the drainage (sometimes the deepest snow, sometimes the best ski) or the along the left side of the drainage, climbing to as much as 100' above its bottom on a summer trail. The longest trail goes along the widest summer trail past Alberta Falls (typically buried in snow, at most WI1) to junction of the trail that splits towards Mill's Lake & Glacier Gorge. The climber's trails join here. Follow the signs towards Loch Vale. For Loch Vale Gorge, hike the trail until you get to a tight switchback, then drop down & left. For climbs Loch Vale & above, continue up the summer trail to Loch Vale & beyond!

101 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Glacier Gorge Trailhead Ice Change
Type:  to 
Sort by:   then:

Classic Climbing Routes at Glacier Gorge Trailhead Ice

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
WI5- M5
Mixed Emotions
Trad, TR, Mixed, Ice
WI5-6 M5 R
Deep Freeze
Trad, Mixed, Ice
Black Lake - West Gully
Trad, Ice, Alpine 3 pitches
Black Lake Slabs
Trad, Ice, Alpine
Northwest Face Route - Thatchtop…
Trad, Ice 5 pitches
Loch Ness Monster (AKA Crystal M…
Trad, Ice
WI3 M4 Mod. Snow
The Hourglass Couloir
Mixed, Ice, Snow, Alpine 6 pitches
WI5 M5
Vanquished (Powell Peak)
Mixed, Ice 5 pitches
Mod. Snow
The Trough
Snow, Alpine
WI4+ PG13
Ice, Alpine
Yellow Tears
Ice, Alpine
M5+ Steep Snow
Brain Freeze
Mixed, Snow, Alpine 8 pitches
Trad, Ice, Alpine
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a M5+ Steep Snow
Dog House
Trad, Mixed, Snow 5 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
All Mixed Up Glacier Gorge > Thatchtop Mt (SE aspect)
WI4- R Trad, Ice, Alpine 4 pitches
Mixed Emotions Loch Vale Gorge
WI5- M5 Trad, TR, Mixed, Ice
Deep Freeze Loch Vale & uphill
WI5-6 M5 R Trad, Mixed, Ice
Black Lake - West Gully Glacier Gorge > Glacier Creek Drainag…
WI3-4 Trad, Ice, Alpine 3 pitches
Black Lake Slabs Glacier Gorge > Glacier Creek Drainag…
WI2-3 Trad, Ice, Alpine
Northwest Face Route - That… Loch Vale & uphill
WI3-4 Trad, Ice 5 pitches
Loch Ness Monster (AKA Crys… Loch Vale Gorge
WI4+ Trad, Ice
The Hourglass Couloir Glacier Gorge > Arrowhead
WI3 M4 Mod. Snow Mixed, Ice, Snow, Alpine 6 pitches
Vanquished (Powell Peak) Loch Vale & uphill
WI5 M5 Mixed, Ice 5 pitches
The Trough Glacier Gorge > Long's Peak (western…
Mod. Snow Snow, Alpine
Stoneman Glacier Gorge > Glacier Creek Drainag…
WI4+ PG13 Ice, Alpine
Yellow Tears Glacier Gorge > Glacier Creek Drainag…
WI5 Ice, Alpine
Brain Freeze Andrews Creek & The Gash
M5+ Steep Snow Mixed, Snow, Alpine 8 pitches
Center Glacier Gorge > Overflow & Jewell Lake
WI2-3 Trad, Ice, Alpine
Dog House Loch Vale & uphill
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a M5+ Steep Snow Trad, Mixed, Snow 5 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Glacier Gorge Trailhead Ice »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season