All Locations > Colorado > CO Ice & Mixed > RMNP - Mixed/Ice > Glacier Gorge T… > Andrews Creek & The Gash
M5+ Steep Snow
Avg: 3.6 from 17 votes
|Type:||Mixed, Snow, Alpine, 1000 ft, 8 pitches, Grade IV|
|FA:||Andy Grauch and Chris Sheridan, 2008|
|Page Views:||11,718 total · 96/month|
|Shared By:||Chris Sheridan on Feb 25, 2008|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
DescriptionBrain Freeze climbs a series of gullies, corners and roofs up the right side of the Solar Wall on the south face of Otis Peak, directly behind Zowie. The route follows the first 300 feet of the Standard Route on the Solar Wall, then breaks up and left to follow a parallel gully system on the steeper face above.
The middle section of the route offers continuously difficult climbing up narrow chutes, steep chimneys and overhanging chockstone cruxes. Belay caves form below the two chockstone cruxes thanks to snow mushrooms which can be stomped out for a floor.
The middle gully system ends at the top of a small buttress where one or two more pitches of mixed climbing ascend the final headwall.
P1. Start in a large, left-facing corner at the bottom left side of the Solar Wall. Climb the corner then traverse right underneath a large roof. After passing the roof, climb past two old bolts and up a short shallow corner to the base of a large snow ramp. Belay off of two nice newer bolts on the left, which are used for the Zowie descent route, M4, 80 feet.
P2. Kick steps up easy snow for about 250 feet looking for a somewhat hidden, right-facing corner system to the left. Belay at the base of the corner system.
P3. Follow ice runnels through the left leaning Changing Gullies Pitch to the upper gully system. Climb the upper gully bypassing a large pillar of ice on the left, and past a short, difficult chimney to a belay stance, WI3 M5, 180 feet.
P4. Climb the narrow gully to a vertical chimney up to a belay cave directly below an imposing chockstone roof, M5, 100 feet.
P5. Chimney up then out to the lip of the chockstone roof. Turn the roof and continue up the steep narrow gully to a second cave below a second chockstone roof. The route gets is name from the spindrift that plagued the first ascent party while pulling past the lip of the crux roof, giving the climber an instant ice cream headache. M5+ 150 feet.
P6. Turn one more airy chockstone roof and climb easy ground to the top of the buttress. Continue up the final headwall, angling left to a left-facing corner, M5, 100 feet.
P7. Climb the short but steep corner then one last chimney section to easier terrain above, M5+, 100 feet.
P6-7 Alt. Instead of angling left into the left-facing corner on pitch 6, climb straight up and belay at the base of the next cliff band. Climb the left facing corner on right side of a big cleft. FA: Dougald McDonald and Jack Roberts, M5+, 150 feet.
LocationApproach: Follow the Andrews Creek trail up from The Loch towards the south face of Otis Peak.
Descent: If visibility is limited and you are unfamiliar with the descent, it is probably best to rappel the route. Otherwise, descend by following the east ridge down until a broad glade opens up to your right. Drop down south, following the trees and angling right back towards the Andrews Creek trail. Alternately, it may be possible to descend the snow gully immediately west of the route, which will take you directly to the base of the route.