Chaos Creek Rock Climbing
BETA PHOTO: Left side upper tier.
There are various bits of ice scattered around RMNP. This is one of them. B. Gillett's excellent guidebook, RMNP: The Climber's Guide
, describes this tough to find area, Chaos Creek. Various drips are partially hidden here by the trees as they drip over small cliffs. Ice ranges from short ice bouldering to 80 foot climbs with mixed potential. This area faces South, so it is subject to sun-rot & meltout during warm spells. It is also a wonderfully-warm area to whack ice on a sunny winter day as ice soaks up the sun until about 2pm. Nonetheless, it can help salvage a day where you're blown off the trail trying to approach Alexander's or as a supplement to Nymph Lake ice or for just a quick partial day pieced into all the details of family life.
There are some slings with rings (placed 2005) around trees for rappel here, but be prepared to add some.
Thanks to Bernard for his guide! Thanks to Matt, Tim, Sarah, & Nick for helping to find the best approach to the ice!
Unknown, M?, 2p. Shaqtoolik
, M8+, 2p, 180', gear. The Luge aka Curling
, WI3, 1p, screws. The Bobsled
, WI4/4+, 1p, screws. Slalom Skiing
, WI5, 1p, screws.
Olympic Games (back cover photo of Gillett's RMNP, High Peaks guide)
Speed Skating Olympic Trials
, WI3, 1p, screws.
To approach this area, park at Bear Lake in RMNP. Snowshoes are recommended, although a nice wallow can warm you up if you so desire. Hike the well-packed trail 0.5 mile to Nymph Lake. There is an old fire road/trail that shaves a couple minutes going directly from Bear Lake to Nymph. To spy this area (probably the right profile of the top of Olympic Games), you must look carefully from an arms length of the Restoration area sign, posted on one shore of the lake. You can only see the top of some of the ice from here. Take a bearing & head through the trees. Stay lower in the basin as there is a steep, avalanche-potential slope just to the right of the ice if you try to contour. It can be challenging to find the ice once you are in the forest. As you get close to the cliffs, you will likely see bits of the ice 150 feet above, head up. Snow can be chest-deep on this last bit if no one has approached lately. You can drop off the trail between Nymph & Dream Lakes and drop into the drainage below the ice but this is more challenging. Note, you can get a bit disoriented in the trees with all the crisscrossing snow shoe tracks going in circles.
Climbing Season For the Bear Lake Trailheads area.
Weather station 9.0 miles from here
5 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Chaos Creek
: CO Ice & Mixed
: ... : Chaos Creek
P1: A striking crack takes solid tool cams but with sketchy feet, especially as it moves out of a shallow alcove. A hand jam might help here. It's a cruxy start! Then get better tool strikes on hummock/dirt and chockstones above, with a rest halfway up. Make a few more moves in the crack before angling slightly left on good hooks and up over a small roof to a tree belay. It is sustained, pumpy, and engaging climbing.P2: Immediately above the tree belay is an obvious, black corner. This is thin! ...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
BETA PHOTO: Upper ice tier of Chaos Creek crag with a well for...
BETA PHOTO: It's a little anemic this year.