Type: Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine, 80 ft
FA: B. Gillett, S. McMahan, 1998
Page Views: 142 total · 1/month
Shared By: Leo Paik on Dec 20, 2003
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

1 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick


This is a fun little mixed climb slightly left of the center of this little cliff. It is the left of the 2 bolted mixed starts on the slightly overhanging rock where the trail typically comes up to the cliff.

In general, this climb seems to require more smooth weight transfers on thin rock and ice holds. It seems from the crampons scratches that there are 2 starts, left & right. The left start goes near the pin. The right start skips the pin but seemed more solid with a good right slot to a long reach to a good edge. From either start, clip a beefy bolt and then engage the crux as you try to get your feet up to a small ledge about 12 feet up. This requires piecing together a sequence from a variety of options on thin rock and then thin ice holds. Continue up thin, less-than-vertical ice in a groove past 2 more beefy bolts with an optional stubby placement between and above the bolt. Continue up to the tree at 45 feet.

Rap or traverse right on snow to gain thin ice and continue up to the top of On the Rocks. 90 feet.

From an email conversation with Bernard, he relates that he climbed it with Black Prophets and old leashes and ill-fitting crampons. I found you can even climb it with alpine crampons with a TR. Fun. Enjoy. Thanks, Bernard.


3-4 QDs for 3 bolts & a pin, maybe a few stubbies. Faith.

Toprope Protection

From the top of the cliff, slings off a medium-sized tree with rings & a 60m rope. A directional half way down off a tree with slings is optional.

Also, you can rap down to another tree with slings about 45 feet.


This is another climb at Nymph Lake that could use an additional bolt (see On the Rocks Var). When I put it up, I was able to get a short screw in between the second and third bolts, but it was on a patch of ice that was meager at best. I always wondered whether it'd be better to just fire in another bolt... If this line starts to see more ascents, the scant ice between bolts 2 and 3 is not going to hold up to repeated screw and pick placements (and if you torqued a stubby in the ice too deep, you might just pull off the little ice there is). So go ahead and drill another bolt between 2 and 3 (on the right, where I've never seen any ice) if you are wanting to lead it. The ice above bolt 3 seemed good enough when we did it to accept a decent screw (stubby), and it's much easier by that point anyway, so I wouldn't advocate a high bolt (it'd likely get hidden beneath the ice anyway).

By the way, the best I ever did on this route was a one-fall yo-yo ascent. I got the second bolt clipped and came off almost immediately after the rope dropped in (yikes!), lowered to the ground, and then climbed through. A couple years later, I toyed with the idea of a clean redpoint, but never got the nerve (even after top-roping it again without falling). It's a fairly heady lead in its current state. By this point it's likely someone has climbed it in better style than I did, but it's possible this route still awaits a true redpoint (?). Post your redpont ascent here, and I'll ammend the FA info in the 3rd edition of the RMNP guide (not that I'm planning to tackle that project anytime soon, but might as well look t Dec 24, 2003
Nice work, Brent. Is that called "wet-tooling"?? Glad I don't have to go back up there and do it proper. Dec 24, 2003
Are we really talking about the mixed line in the Urinalysis area. It is really fun, but I didn't think it was bad at all. I found it to be a fairly easy on-sight. I really liked the bolt placements and would strongly discourage the addition of more bolts. Currently the route is a little spicy, but safe. As long as you are solid with thin occasionally rotten ice, this route is perfectly safe. A fall from up high would be ugly, but if you made it that far, it should be no problem. Dec 27, 2003
If people (Andy) are on-sighting this, and like the bolt placements, then I'm all for keeping it in its current state. I just thought I'd float the idea of an extra bolt out there in case folks thought it was a dangerous lead. The bolts would be stupid if no one was willing to lead it, but as long as it's getting led and people are happy with the bolt count, then I agree with Andy Dec 28, 2003
Joe Keyser
Scottsdale, AZ
Joe Keyser   Scottsdale, AZ
Just to add to the discussion, and only having TR'd this route, I thought it was fun. However, the main difficulties seem to be encountered before the 2nd bolt. After that, the ice stayed thin, but the angle seemed to kick back a little allowing some rests, and the space between the 2nd and 3rd bolt seemed pretty reasonable (on TR anyway!). I would be much more concerned about getting the 2nd clip, and wouldn't think another bolt would be necessary. But, I might feel different after I lead it?! Like the previous commenter said "if you made it that far, it should be no problem". I felt that the M6 to the right of this line was harder, although it appeared to have less ice than in Leo's picture from last year...YMMV. All together, this is a great little practice area!!! First time up here a couple years back, it was bone dry. At that time, we found a couple short easy flows in the trees a bit right (and down?) of the main area. Dec 29, 2003