GPS: 42.209, -91.102 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: Jon Lauters on Jan 7, 2008
Admins: J. Stark
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Two routes got chopped on this wall Ice Cave, and Ice Cave Direct. The main climb on this wall is Schoolio.

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Wall starting immediately after the Comic Gallery. If facing the Comic Gallery - on the right side.

3 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Ice Cave Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
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so maybe im new but what happened to the routes all by the cave entrance? are they still there? dingleberry lane, college try, ice cave direct, and ice cave indirect. May 23, 2010
Michael Schneiter
Glenwood Springs, CO
Michael Schneiter   Glenwood Springs, CO
The bolts were pulled many years ago (10-15 or more) because of their proximity to the cave, per the request of the DNR. You can still toprope the routes and I think the bolted anchors are still there, if I recall. May 24, 2010
Bill McKirgan
Cedar Rapids, IA
Bill McKirgan   Cedar Rapids, IA
What is the name of the trad route to the right of Dirty Lid?
It is off-width and has some good stances for taking a rest.

Top rope setup is not easy. Tough to keep the rope from rubbing the rock when lowering the climber.

We did some mock leads on this route yesterday. The rock is dirty and dusty or muddy depending on when it last rained. There was some poison ivy in the crack and I removed it along with sticks and dry leaves when rappelling after setting up the top rope anchor.

For protection we found a #3 big bro works perfectly at the start and #4 Camelots up to the first good ledge. After that it gets down to #1 or .75. The exit can be protected by a #4.5, and this was part of our top rope anchor. The anchor also included two stout trees, but one had to be redirected off of a small tree to keep the arms of the anchor less than 90-degrees.

I'm aware that limestone can be weak / brittle and that cam placements may fail in a lead fall; so, would it be best to use passive gear like hexes and tri-cams on an actual lead? Do some of you think that leading on limestone is foolish? I've heard lots of opinions and see people starting to look for and lead-climb the old trad climbs in our area. Sadly, no real history is available.

If it's not foolish, it would be good to document the old routes. So, does anyone know the name of the route I am describing? Jul 17, 2016
J. Stark
J. Stark   Iowa  
From the topo in Shawn Kintzle's Wild Iowa book:

Right of Dirty Lid there are two cracks. The first is called Dingleberry Lane .6 off width crack. The second is College Try .5 off width crack.

There is another crack between the Ice Cave and Balanced Rock that goes at .7. Also one just right of Angst that goes .6. Both are listed as Unknown name.

This is all info taken from an out-of-print guide book and not learned or heard first hand. Use it as you will. Jul 17, 2016
Bill McKirgan
Cedar Rapids, IA
Bill McKirgan   Cedar Rapids, IA
Thank you for sharing the route names and rating info Joe. Jul 17, 2016
The routes Ice cave Direct and Indirect were vandalized by a climber that did not like them, he stole the hangers and used them on other climbs. The DNR was not involved. May 3, 2018
Mees   Iowa
interesting, I hadn't heard about anyone stealing the hangers. who stole them? I have heard the DNR story but can't find anything official about climbing being banned around the cave. The cave was closed for bats (white nose syndrome) , so perhaps climbing can resume on those walls now? I wouldn't suggest that unless a Jones county/DNR representative says it's OK May 4, 2018
J. Stark
J. Stark   Iowa  
I've asked John about the cave routes. He won't approve rebolting them, but he's ok with people toproping those old routes so long as they do not block the trail or access to the cave. May 6, 2018