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Smooth Emerald Milkshake

WI4, Ice, Alpine, 800 ft,  Avg: 3.6 from 9 votes
FA: Todd Cozzens & Pat Meese. 1992.
Wyoming > Cody > S Fork Shoshone (Ice)


Smooth Emerald Milkshake is the longest moderate route to be found on the South Fork of the Shoshone River. This fantastic line can be reached in just a little over an hour’s hike from the Deer Creek trailhead in good snow conditions. Approach as for Bitches Brew; after reaching the Bitches Brew drainage, walk and climb down the drainage to reach the bed of Deer Creek itself. This may involve some down climbing using a fixed rope or some rappelling if the fixed rope is gone. Once in the bed of the creek, hike upstream just a short ways to reach the base of the route where it pours directly into the creek.
Begin by climbing a nice curtain of ice to where it lays back a bit and then go up to belay from some bushes on the left. Continue hiking and scrambling up the climb for several hundred meters over a few steeper bulges of ice before encountering the double tiered crux pitch.
At the crux, climb the first tier to reach a ledge and then start up the main curtain, which is about 40 meters in length. It may be steeper on the left and a little easier on the right. Look a tree with rap slings on the right at the top of the climb.
Continue up the drainage to encounter a couple of more pitches that are steep, but shorter than the crux. The first of which is a nice, steep curtain that could be bypassed to the left. Above that a twisting, turning section of ice ascends a gully to the top of a band of rock.
You could continue up the climb further from this point; the drainage splits and there are several bulges or curtains between 5 and 15 meter in length to be found. If you decide to start going down, rappel and down climb the route. Double ropes are really handy as well as some webbing that you can use to rig rappels. Enjoy; this is a wonderful long ramble up lots of moderate ice.


Double ropes and ice screws are all you need to climb this route.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

an incredible day in Deer Creek on the  <br>
FA of SEMS  Nov 92
[Hide Photo] an incredible day in Deer Creek on the FA of SEMS Nov 92
Kirill slaying the second to last pitch. Short, steep pillar.
[Hide Photo] Kirill slaying the second to last pitch. Short, steep pillar.
The last, long pitch. An 80 degree pillar before a long slab.
[Hide Photo] The last, long pitch. An 80 degree pillar before a long slab.
Money pitch of Smooth Emerald Milkshake
[Hide Photo] Money pitch of Smooth Emerald Milkshake

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

bob branscomb
Lander, WY
[Hide Comment] Good route to be very aware of avalanche conditions on. Notice the extensive accumulation basins at the head of this drainage. Notice the large amount of avalanche debris at the bottom. Notice the way the trees are destroyed in the drainage. Just saying, be careful on this route. More than most in the S Fork, this one has possible significant risk to consider. I think early in the season (Vogel and I did it 11/26/11) before there is much accumulation in the high basins is the safest. Nov 29, 2011
chadnuesmeyer Nuesmeyer
Salt Lake City, UT
[Hide Comment] The approach data is wrong, I am not superman but, it took us 3 hours to hike to the base. Here is a Suunto Map:

Take note, on the end of this track, is us rooting around trying to find the best crossing. You don't need to go quite as far as we did, in fact you are better to drop into the canyon just before the base of the route. This map will hopefully help you get there though. Feb 7, 2018
Jason Todd
Cody, WY
[Hide Comment] Car to base of climb is 3.25 miles with just over 1,000' of net elevation gain. Just before the Bitches Brew drainage, work your way down to the creek on the east "ridge" of the drainage. A short rappel will put you in the creek bed. Walk 100m up stream to the first pitch. Feb 7, 2018
[Hide Comment] Yeah, it's definitely not an hour approach unless you're a runner/mutant. count on more like 2-3 depending on conditions. We did one short rap (maybe 30' rock band) near the 1st pitch Mar 21, 2018