Blue Mesa Smear
||Trad, Ice, 1 pitch
|Original: ||WI4-5 [details]|
|Season: ||Throughout winter|
|Page Views: ||1,475|
|Submitted By: ||Matt Ledges on Dec 13, 2003|
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This smear can be reached in just 30 minutes from the pullout (see directions for Blue Mesa area). After crossing the barbed wire fence, head north across the mesa, aiming just west of a distinct grouping of aspen. Walk down the drainage to the top of the climb. The rappel is about 130-140 feet, two ropes are needed.
There are countless variations on this broad smear, mostly straightforward solid WI4 climbing. The lead is reasonable with frequent foot rests but the ice can be very brittle. There is a sustained 50 feet vertical line to climber's left but it leads to a very awkward topout through a large bush. Some mixed climbing can be found to the right as the ice truly smears out. Up the gut the ice can be several feet thick. Not much sunlight here, but views looking down into and across the canyon alone make this trip worthwhile. Allow 45 minutes to an hour for the retreat.
Half dozen medium screws.
To minimize friction use a 20-30 feet sling around the largest somewhat slanting tree in the middle.
11/21/14. Ice is in! Ron John on lead.
BETA PHOTO: Photo taken on 12/13/03.
The smear from ground zero. Photo taken by Nick K...
Nick, outstretched, on Blue Mesa Smear. Photo tak...