Glacier Gorge Trailhead Ice Climbing
|GPS:||40.292, -105.657 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||Malcolm Daly on Oct 24, 2006|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
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DescriptionThis 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 Wall
From the Mills' Lake/Loch Vale Junction (L->R):
Glacier Gorge/Mills' Lake/Black Lake
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 ThereFrom 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!
Classic Climbing Routes at Glacier Gorge Trailhead Ice
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season