All Locations > Colorado > CO Ice & Mixed > RMNP - Mixed/Ice > Glacier Gorge Tra… > Glacier Gorge > Glacier Creek Drainage including Black Lake area
Black Lake - West Gully
Avg: 2.9 from 41 votes
|Type:||Trad, Ice, Alpine, 5 pitches, Grade III|
|Page Views:||14,416 total, 74/month|
|Shared By:||George Bell on Nov 6, 2001|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
DescriptionThis is one of my favorite ice climbs in RMNP, and I've done it several times. The approach is long and skis are recommended for a fast exit (provided there is enough snow and you are a decent skier, it's possible to go from Black Lake to the car in less than an hour).
This is the easiest-looking and farthest left ice climb you can see from Black Lake. It is on the east-facing wall between Black Lake and Stoneman Pass. It starts as a big, low-angle slab of ice. This route always seems to come in early and fat. Pick a sunny day with little wind and you will have a great day.
The first pitch is moderate, leading toward the steep second pitch.
The second pitch is the crux. This climb often forms very wide with a lot of options. Generally the farther right you are, the easier it is.
You can stop after the second pitch, traversing right to a bowl and then down (prone to slab avalanches), or continue wandering up 1 or 2 more easy pitches on easy, lower-angled ice.
The fastest descent is to the north, traversing into a steep bowl below Arrowhead Peak. However, this slope is dangerous during high avalanche conditions, beware! A much longer but safer descent is to traverse south to the flat area below Spearhead and come down to Black Lake in the same place as the summer trail.