Type: Trad, Ice, Alpine, 3 pitches, Grade III
FA: unknown
Page Views: 17,331 total · 77/month
Shared By: George Bell on Nov 6, 2001 with improvements by Bogdan P
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Description

This 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.

Eds. This was submitted as a 5 pitch route. Probably more recently it's done in 3 pitches, occasionally in 4. It could be done in 5, especially if you belay a ways higher.

Protection

Ice screws only!

Toprope Protection

Not convenient to TR.

Photos