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Chaos Creek

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Chaos Creek Rock Climbing 

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Location: 40.30669, -105.65488 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 4,675
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Leo Paik on Feb 6, 2005
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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!

Here find:

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.

Getting There 

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
Rock Climbing Photo: Upper tier, climb 5.

Slalom Skiing WI5  Colorado : CO Ice & Mixed : ... : Chaos Creek
This is the far right side (labeled 5 in the topo) of the upper ice curtain of The Luge (WI1 or WI3) of the upper tier of ice at Chaos Creek (first described by B. Gillett in his excellent RMNP: The Climber's Guide). It may be considered a variation to The Luge, but its difficulty seems unrepresented by The Luge's rating. It is best done as a TR as the ice is thin, the protection sparse, and the climbing sustained. It is an option if you've come...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Chaos Creek Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Upper ice tier of Chaos Creek crag with a well for...
BETA PHOTO: Upper ice tier of Chaos Creek crag with a well for...
Rock Climbing Photo: It's a little anemic this year.
BETA PHOTO: It's a little anemic this year.
Rock Climbing Photo: Lower tier.
BETA PHOTO: Lower tier.

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