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Big Meadows

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Little Black Cliff 
Lower Tier 
Upper Tier 

Big Meadows Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 8,700'
Location: 37.552, -106.7804 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 2,367
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jesse Morehouse on Jun 7, 2008
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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This area has enough single pitch ice and mixed lines to keep you amused for a day or two. Most climbs are short but maximum value for the listed grade. Descents are either walk offs around the cliffs or raps.

The routes are mostly melt-fed so they don't form up till January most years. All the climbing is in the sun so even on cold days it is pleasant here.

The approach is level and relatively short but you will want snowshoes since it is Wolf Creek Pass!

Jack Hunt's "Life By The Drop" is the authoritative guide for the area. There are a few routes here that are new and not in the book.

Getting There 

There are 3 areas

Little Black Cliff- a few fun mixed routes. No avy danger.
Lower Tier- has the most routes, some ice, some mixed. Possible avy danger from above immediately after storms. Snow stabilizes quickly with warm temps.
Upper Tier- 4 moderate lines, all eye catchers. In reality they are shorter than they first appear. Possible avy danger on approach and descent immediately after storms. Snow stabilizes quickly with warm temps.

To get there, drive West on US 160 from South Fork until you are about to cross the South Fork of the Rio Grande. You will see a Forest Service sign for Big Meadows on the right- turn here. You have gone a few hundred yards too far if you enter a tunnel.

The road is plowed for 1/8 mile. Park here and look up road. You will see the Little Black Cliff about 300 yds ahead. To reach the two tiers, you hike just past the Little Black Cliff and either stay right on the old road, not crossing the bridge, and contour up the valley for 1/8 - 1/4 mile to the base of the Lower Tier. The upper Tier is above you. An alternate approach (if the river is frozen) is to continue up the main road (always packed) until across the stream from the Lower Tier. Cross wherever you think is best. This option lets you scope out the climbs a little better.

Climbing Season

For the CO Ice & Mixed area.

Weather station 3.7 miles from here

11 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',8],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Big Meadows
Rock Climbing Photo: Jack Hunt heading for the topout on the FA.

Punishment for Gluttons M6+  Colorado : CO Ice & Mixed : ... : Lower Tier
This is a strenuous and fun route - currently the hardest on the cliff. From the alcove in the far left side of the cliff, climb a short, strenuous pillar of ice until it ends. Traverse right on rock past a bolt and gear placements to the ice curtain which you climb to the top.Belay and rap from chains on block above climb. You can also walk off climber's left if you want....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

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