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WI3-4, Trad, Ice, Alpine, 40 ft (12 m),  Avg: 2 from 2 votes
FA: J. Hill, B. Gillett, D. Snively, 1997.
Colorado > CO Ice & Mixed > RMNP - Mixed/Ice > Bear Lake Trail… > Emerald Lake /… > Nymph Lake
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This is the L most climb of the cliff at Nymph Lake. Short (perhaps 30-35 feet) but it can certainly be interesting. This flow can form up in a continuous chunk of ice (WI3-) or be two separate ice bits with a high step to connect them (WI4- R). You can lead this or TR this (access via the gully to the L). You can descend the ramp, rap from the big tree, or continue up on low angle (but thin) ice to the top.

If it is fat, you can probably cruise this without much of a thought and wonder why I gave it a 4- R rating. However, in leaner conditions, it can be exciting surmounting the first bit of ice and you blunt your picks into rock as you try to top this section. If the ice is fat, you probably won't need the rock gear. However, if it is lean as it was for us, today, rock gear with a small cam and then a #3 camalot-ish size piece may ease your worries. If you find rock between these bits of ice, there is a small edge for your R foot to allow you to highstep onto the hanging ice to finish. The snow can be quite deep (waist to chest-deep for us) above.

Drive the Bear Lake Rd from the Beaver Meadows entrance to RMNP. Hike the trail towards Nymph lake 0.6 miles. Very shortly after you pass Nymph Lake and head toward Dream Lake, this cliff rises above the trail on the R. Hopefully, someone has kicked steps up this short detour from the trail to the cliff. Note, the snow piles up here and can leave you postholing to your armpits at the base.


2-3 stubbies. A #3 camalot-ish and/or small cam.

Toprope Protection

slings, biners

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[Hide Photo] 1/4/03.
Deb on Icecapade in a slight foreshortened view, 1/4/3
[Hide Photo] Deb on Icecapade in a slight foreshortened view, 1/4/3