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CO Ice & Mixed

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Bierstadt Ice 
Big Thompson Canyon Ice 
Black Canyon National Park (Ice) 
Black Hawk Ice 
Blue Mesa (near Gunnison) 
Boulder Canyon - Ice 
Brainard Lake Cirque - Ice 
Buena Vista 
Castlewood Canyon State Park - Ice 
Clear Creek Canyon - Ice 
Coal Creek Canyon 
Colorado National Monument (Ice) 
Colorado Springs & vicinity 
Crested Butte 
Evergreen - Bear Creek ice 
Ft. Collins 
Georgetown Ice 
Glenwood Canyon Ice 
Grand Mesa 
Holy Cross/Notch Mountain 
Hoosier Pass/Lincoln Fall 
Indian Peaks & James Peak Wilderness Areas 
Lake City 
Leadville Ice 
Lookout Mountain Dry Tooling Area 
Lover's Leap 
Maverick Spire 
McClellan Mountain (Gray's & Torrey's area) 
Moffatt Tunnel 
Mt. Evans - mixed, couloirs 
North Table Mountain 
Ouray (Ice/Mixed) 
Poudre Canyon 
Quandary Peak/Blue Lakes 
Rifle Mountain State Park 
RMNP - Mixed/Ice 
Royal Gorge/Canon City 
Silverplume & vicinity 
St. Vrain ice 
Staunton State Park Ice 
Steamboat Springs 
Tenmile Canyon aka Officer's Gulch 
Unaweep Canyon 
Vail Ice 
Wolf Creek Pass/San Luis Valley Ice 
Rest Day:
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

Colorado 14ers Loop: Segment 2 - Leadville to Salida
The eastern half of this loop: more 14ers, seldom-ridden backcountry singletrack, and gravel roads back to Salida. Near Leadville, Colorado
From MP's sister site:

CO Ice & Mixed Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 8,941'
Location: 38.9936, -105.93 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 807,680
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Leo Paik on Mar 19, 2006  with updates from delly84


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Recent Conditions Forum Links 

2015-15: Forum.
2014-15: Forum.


This is a separate section of Colorado, since you, the user of, have asked for it. To help you find all that your icy heart desires, look here.

Though not organized by town or city, this section is organized geographically. Here, you will find the subset of climbing done with crampons & ice tools on at least some bits of ice.

In this Colorado medium, you will find amazing beauty, ethereal sculptures created by nature, and a different peace than when you don sticky rubber and dab fingers into your chalkbag. You will dig deep, you will find ascents unique to each passage, and you may find a reward for balancing mind, body, and respect for the cold, natural world.

Those of you drawn to this aspect of the sport will search far and wide for some new, undiscovered dribble of the frozen variety. You will tramp all day based upon a narrow set of topographical lines on a map, drive hours based upon a rumor, drag half your weight in gear up miles of unpacked trails just looking for that next line. You'll call friends, call friends of friends, squeeze climbing shop employees for conditions, and scan websites for updates on climbs. Hopefully, here you will find something useful, consider adding routes to the database, update conditions for your fellow ice climber, and contribute to this small but growing database. Please do not take offense to those who seek to share...for we all love this is a passion.

For those of you out there who long for the day when no one else but you and your partner were out there whacking away, please remember when this was your new found focus. Also, understand by adding to this information, we spread folks out to allow a better experience for all.

So, here find your information on areas like Ouray, Lake City, Rifle, Vail, Mt. Lincoln, Wolf Creek Pass, Telluride, Glenwood Canyon, Clear Creek Canyon, Big Thompson Canyon Ice, St. Vrain ice, Colorado Springs, Durango, Silverton, Redstone, Coal Creek, Officer's Gulch, Parachute, Royal Gorge, Grand Junction, Gunnison, Rocky Mountain National Park and, maybe some day, Willow Lakes (thanks!, George). You will find lines from quick, ice-bouldering sessions to all day affairs, from 12 to 1500 feet, from roadside to backcountry.

For the exploring types, there are still ice climbs to be done out there...even depicted in this database. There are even rumors of Poudre Canyon ice.

There will be climbs that have been done where it is unlikely that someone will post it here due to lack of legal access, promises of secrecy, and fading in aging memory banks. For those, you'll just have to root around a bit or do it the old fashion way, earn it.

In really moist winters, amazing lines will pop up all over the place, even in predominantly rock climbing areas! So, keep the mind open, the eyes on alert, and the imagination in gear.

At the moment, this is a work in progress to reorganize this database for the subset who seek out the cold.... Please be patient.

Getting There 

To get there, you will search far and near, high and low. You will drive, hike, scramble, and toil towards your goal. Approaches will vary from 1 minute to 1 day.


Quick link to most recent CO ice/mixed conditions reports.

Current Weather shows some actual weather and temperatures throughout Colorado.


You can check out the weather through NOAA and enter the city of choice.

Guidebooks/Other Info 

Jack Roberts' Colorado Ice and Colorado Ice Second Edition Vol. 1
Cameron Burn's Colorado Ice Climber's Guide
Charlie Fowler's San Juan Ice
Jack Hunt's Life by the Drop
Ben Bruestle's The Ripper, Climbing in Colorado's Wet Mountains
Vince Anderson's foldout Ouray Ice Park ice guide
Bill MacTiernan's older Ouray Ice
Glenn Randall's inspiring Vertigo Games
Richard Rossiter's Rocky Mountain National Park, High Peaks
Bernard Gillett's Rocky Mountain National Park & Rocky Mountain National Park, The High Peaks.

Ice Parks 

Many of you have climbed at or known of the non-profit Ouray Ice Park in the Uncompaghre Gorge. This helped create the win-win for climbers & locals with the revival of a winter economy for Ouray. Some of you have climbed on some of the fledgling, farmed, ice routes in Boulder Canyon before the days when ice aficienados attempted to create an ice park in that location. Today, there is a growing movement to create additional ice parks through the state, like the Lake City Ice Park. Who knows what the future holds?

One note, please do not ice farm within national parks.


You may find this webcam helpful to look at conditions: Click on the camera icons.

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.5 miles from here

958 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',109],['3 Stars',422],['2 Stars',305],['1 Star',112],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in CO Ice & Mixed

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for CO Ice & Mixed:
Rigid Designator   WI5-     Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 115'   Vail Ice : Rigid Designator Amphitheat...
Whorehouse Hoses   WI4-5     Ice, 3 pitches, 600'   Silverton : Eureka
Bridalveil Falls   WI5+     Trad, Ice, 3 pitches, 400'   Telluride : Bridalveil area
Dragon's Tail Couloir   WI2 M2     Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine   Emerald Lake / Tyndall Gorg... : Flattop Mountain - S side
Alexander's Chimney   WI4 M4     Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine, Grade III   RMNP - Mixed/Ice : Long's Peak/Mt. Meeker Cirq...
Scottish Gully   WI3     Trad, Ice, 3 pitches   Hoosier Pass/Lincoln Fall
Spiral Staircase   WI4-     Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 80'   Vail Ice : Spiral Staircase area
The Ribbon   WI4     Trad, Ice, 4 pitches   Ouray (Ice/Mixed) : Camp Bird Road
Choppo's Chimney   WI4+     Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 190'   Ouray (Ice/Mixed) : Camp Bird Road
Hidden Falls (main)   WI4-     Trad, TR, Ice, 1 pitch, 90'   Wild Basin : Hidden Falls
All Mixed Up   WI4- R     Trad, Ice, Alpine, 4 pitches, 550'   Glacier Gorge : Thatchtop Mt (SE aspect)
Pick o' the Vic   WI4     Trad, TR, Ice, 1 pitch, 150'   Uncompahgre Gorge aka Ouray... : Alcove/Pic of the Vic area ...
Ames Ice Hose   WI5 M6 R     Trad, Mixed, Ice, 3 pitches, 520'   Telluride : Ames Wall
Skylight   WI4+ M4-5     Trad, Mixed, Ice, 3 pitches   Ouray (Ice/Mixed) : Camp Bird Road
Stairway to Heaven   WI4     Trad, Ice, 7 pitches, 1200'   Silverton : Eureka
The Fang   WI5-6     Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 130'   Vail Ice : Rigid Designator Amphitheat...
Kiener's Route   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Easy Snow     Trad, Snow, Alpine, Grade II   RMNP - Mixed/Ice : Long's Peak/Mt. Meeker Cirq...
The Notch Couloir   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Mod. Snow     Trad, Snow, Alpine, Grade III   RMNP - Mixed/Ice : Long's Peak/Mt. Meeker Cirq...
Dreamweaver   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c M2     Trad, Mixed, Alpine, Grade III   RMNP - Mixed/Ice : Long's Peak/Mt. Meeker Cirq...
Martha   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a WI2+ M2-3     Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine, 5 pitches   RMNP - Mixed/Ice : Long's Peak/Mt. Meeker Cirq...
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in CO Ice & Mixed

Featured Route For CO Ice & Mixed
Rock Climbing Photo: Potters Clay

Potters Clay M6-  Colorado : CO Ice & Mixed : ... : South Rim
There are two lines on Potters Clay, the first one on the right side of the falls is the easiest mix ground at only M3 and 100 feet of climbing. But the main line that runs up the black rock straight up the climb is weighing in at M6 and 90 feet. There is very little pro (small nuts size 1 & 2) up this line. The upper part of the climb can treat you to a sweet pillar of vertical slush if conditions are good or a sick mixed roof with good pro if conditions are normal. There is a rappel station up...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of CO Ice & Mixed Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Some fun and steep ice in the park below the Gazeb...
Some fun and steep ice in the park below the Gazeb...
Rock Climbing Photo: Telluride ice!!!
Telluride ice!!!
Rock Climbing Photo: Niagra Falls in 1911.
Niagra Falls in 1911.
Rock Climbing Photo: Danny on The Drool.
Danny on The Drool.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking out the 3rd floor door of the old Outward ...
Looking out the 3rd floor door of the old Outward ...
Rock Climbing Photo: This is Mike Soucy on the 2nd pitch of the route i...
This is Mike Soucy on the 2nd pitch of the route i...
Rock Climbing Photo: This Gym is in Buena Vista area it's 2 pitches lon...
BETA PHOTO: This Gym is in Buena Vista area it's 2 pitches lon...
Rock Climbing Photo: Extreme.
Rock Climbing Photo: 150' of delicate and steep ice above the bridge.  ...
150' of delicate and steep ice above the bridge. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: After a good day at Lincoln Falls. Enjoying some N...
After a good day at Lincoln Falls. Enjoying some N...

Comments on CO Ice & Mixed Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 17, 2016
By Jeff Dwyer
Jan 25, 2002
Berthoud Pass/ US 40 approximately 1/2 mile up the road from the first switchback turn (Big Bend picnic area) there is a small stream flowing down a gully. About 100 meters up the gully is a small flow 15'-20' WI 2-3. Not a lot, but good for a quick fix if you live in Grand County. Park in the small pull off area on the side of the road - watch out for traffic and snowplows. Don't think there is much of an avalance danger - this is before the Stanley zone. There is potential for more ice higher up in the gully, I just got tired before going more then 3/4 of a mile up it. Not sure if the area has a name or has evre been climbed before (probably). If no one knows if there is a name, I think I'll refer to it as "The Stash".
By rich purnell
Nov 16, 2002
I am taking a survey on any mixed route in Colorado that someone has done to confirm grades in [Colorado]. Send me your email and I will send you the questionaire. Thanks rich
By Malcolm Daly
From: Boulder, CO
Dec 3, 2002
Via Mike Brumbaugh in Avon: Hidden Falls above the Shoshone Power Plant in is and fat. The Rigid Designator is in and steep! Fang isn't connected yet. Spiral Staircase is in and thin.
By Ed Bruzdzinski
Dec 12, 2002
Officers Gulch: 12/12/02 Tony's Nighmare is in with thick, plastic ice. I climbed it yesterday. The Shroud is in, and continues to improve. I climbed it Thanksgiving. Around the Corner looks in, but I didn't hike up to the base. Silverplume looked climbable when I drove past.
By Leo Paik
From: Westminster, Colorado
Dec 25, 2003
Hey, anyone have any beta/info on ice at Jones Pass or an Loch Lomond? There are rumors of big blue....
By Donny
Mar 20, 2004
Berthoud Pass area about half a mile past big bend WI 2 a ways above first fall short further up on west side of creek. Short WI4 with a pretty tight top out lots of trees. It's a fun hike if you need a fix. Avalanche danger exists. I had a 30 sq. ft. patch wumph on me last weekend. More ice possible further up
By Leo Paik
From: Westminster, Colorado
Apr 22, 2005
Anyone out there familiar with the Willow Lakes ice climbs? Are these in the area N of Silverthorne? Any beta, anyone?
By Trevor Nydam
Dec 29, 2005
Christmas day my bother pointed out an ice-flow coming down the north side of US Hwy 40 a few miles west of Empire. I've not noticed it prior. It is a couple hundred feet up off the road just east of the Goat Rock sport crag. I returned today and was pleasantly surprized. Soloed aprox 75 ft to top. Inital thin vertical ice, then lower angle to ~12ft curtain, then some high angle bulges. Tree at the top with slings and rings. No signs of recent climbing. Who has the FA? Does this come in consistently?
By Leo Paik
From: Westminster, Colorado
Mar 19, 2006
Ice & mixed climbers, please comment on if you like or do not like this may help determine if this remains like this or goes back to being blended in with the rest of the rock database. It only took a couple hours to do this....
By phil broscovak
Mar 20, 2006
Leo, Good deal.
I Like it! Far superior than wading through cyber space. Now if people start to use it all will be chill. Cheers, philo
By John McNamee
From: Littleton, CO
Mar 20, 2006
Discussion about ice and mixed routes is also happening at this forum. Please check it out and get involved. The forum not only discusses the separation of ice and mixed routes but also the technical challenges we are facing as we try to have a simple design for all climbers and all states.
By Travis R. Thompson
From: Parachute (Rifle), CO
Feb 4, 2007
This distinction is very, very, helpful please do not change it back. It is extremely easier to find ice climbs when they are separated as such. Just scanning through I have found a ton of climbs that I probably would have never known existed.

I was also wondering if there is anyone in the Rifle/Parachute area that wants to some ice climbing. Especially locally. I have also found some new ice climbs around Parachute that I believe are different from those mentioned on a book I have. I hope this next weekend or next I can climb a few of them and get some photos posted.
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 7, 2007
Hey I lost my Canon Camera at the base fo the SouthPark Area in OURAY if any of you are going there will you please keep nad eye out for it. I believe it is as you come fof the hill by a small tree. If you find it please let me know! HTere will be a reward! THANKS
By Nick Dolecek
From: Denver, Colorado
Mar 26, 2007
Eureka area climbs are getting heavy sun rot, and are cracking...Stairway is cracking and also has the rot. First gully was doable with a little mixed on pitches 1 and 5.
Time for the rock.
By Mario Martinez
Dec 9, 2007
Any word on our favorite ice climb (HG)and its formation? Drop me a text.
By jack roberts
Mar 3, 2008

For those lost souls like myself who just must climb ice until the end.
I'm in Telluride at the moment and this is what I know.

Silver Pick is IN at WI4 and looking good. We punched a trail in.
Coronet is gone, gone, gone.
Bridalveil is looking fat and there is so much snow at the bottom the first pitch is practically buried.
Ames Ice Hose is totally in shape. Again, the first pitch is really buried under snow from above but the rest of the climb is in thick shape.

Gravity's Rainbow is still very climbable but the first pitch has a hole in it. It's easy to climb around it. About easy WI4/3+

Kennedy's Gully.......the crux lower pitch has melted out.
Bring a wetsuit and snorkel gear.

Skylight routes are in great shape. Killer Piller is completely formed and has an overhanging ice finish.......Yeah, baby!
New M-routes rated M6 & M7.

The Ice Park has some funky ice covered in lots of fresh snow but there is still loads of good stuff to get on.

There is a ton of snow above The Ribbon. Best to leave it for another time.

The Talisman is reforming itself, getting better and better. Will probably get in peak shape next week.

BBB is still pretty thin with lots of snow in, around and above.

OH, and for a real rush.......DEEP THROAT IS IN!!!!

By Jason Nelson
From: SLC, UT
Dec 17, 2008
Bill at Ouray Mountain Sports has one of those Grivel Ice Screw sharpening machines. It will sharpen most screws.
By Eli Helmuth
From: Ciales, PR
Dec 6, 2009
Updated conditions report for RMNP on Dec. 4th:
Time to get it done!
By Douglas Lossner
From: Delta, CO
Jan 27, 2010
Hi, I'm trying to get information on a climb in Parachute. It is located in a south facing drainage (I-70 side) of the Roan Cliffs. The name of the drainage is Kelly Gulch. The climb is barely visible from Mile Marker 71 on I-70. I'm looking for 1st ascent info.

Thanks, Douglas
By Princess Mia
From: Vail
Mar 20, 2012
Spring break in Colorado. The ice is fat and beautiful and there are no people. I live ice climbing this time of the year. Vail ice is glorious. Did the Designator last night. Super fat and sticky but not wet at all. The Thang is huge, as is the Spiral Stairs area.
By Unassigned User
Jun 4, 2015
Up from the Phoenix area, and staying with my dad in Montrose for a couple of months. I'm looking for a lead climber to take me to the awesome routes Colorado has to offer.

If interested, contact me at 602-303-0006.
By Judith Brown
From: Little Rock, AR
Dec 3, 2015
What is it like driving into this area in January/December? Are tire chains necessary?
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Dec 3, 2015
What area, Judith?
By Eli Helmuth
From: Ciales, PR
Dec 16, 2015
I've never seen an accurate comparison chart that includes M ratings along with world ice and rock ratings. I published one on my website that's my own interpretation, let me know what you think so that I can tweak it:
By Christopher Rose
Feb 17, 2016
Hello all! I know it's a tad late for this, but can anyone give me a report on the ice conditions in Breckinridge? Specifically Lincoln Falls. Thanks!

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