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Glacier Gorge Trailhead Ice

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Alberta Falls Wall 
Andrews Creek & The Gash 
Glacier Gorge 
Loch Vale & uphill 
Loch Vale Gorge 
Parking Lot Ice 
World Cup Wall 

Glacier Gorge Trailhead Ice Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 10,000'
Location: 40.29242, -105.65711 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Malcolm Daly on Oct 24, 2006
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Wham, Zowie, and Sharkstooth as seen from the Wham...


This is an organizational entry to help clean up the database.

The cliffs bordering the east and north sides of Thatchtop offer the most consistent, accessible and greatest variety of ice climbs in the park. Low angle slabs, thin mixed climbs, free-hanging icicles, top roping and pure ice falls abound here. This is also the most crowded area in the park, and it is not uncommon to see 15-25 parties in the area when the ice is "in". Classic routes are everywhere: Mixed Feelings gives you the chance to try dry-tooling to a free hanging pillar is a fairly safe environment; the Curtains are a perfect top-rope area. If you're lucky, the Glacier Knobs right above the parking lot, will have some long thin smears coming down, and you'll save the hike AND entertain the tourists. Some of these have been entered under World Cup Wall by Greg Sievers.

Farther up the valley, above timberline, you'll find more routes on Thatchtop (Necrophilia has to be the best mixed climb in its category), the permanent snowfields of Powell-Thatchtop (summer routes), the fine mixed routes on Powell, like the Vanquished, routes on Mt. Taylor, possibly routes in the Cathedral Spires area (?), routes on the Cathedral Wall, and routes just above Loch Vale. These are listed under the Loch Vale & uphill section, for now.

Closer to further in:

Parking Lot Wall

Parking Lot Ice

Alberta Falls

Alberta Falls Wall

From the Mills' Lake/Loch Vale Junction (L->R):

Glacier Gorge/Mills' Lake/Black Lake

Glacier Gorge

to Loch Vale

Loch Vale Gorge

Loch Vale and Uphill/Thatchtop North side/Powell/Mt. Taylor/Cathedral Spires

Loch Vale & uphill

Andrews Creek area/Andrews' Tower/Sharkstooth/Forbidden Tower/Otis Peak/Zowie/What

Andrews Creek & The Gash

Lake Haiyaha area
World Cup Wall

Getting There 

From the eastern side of RMNP, drive up the Bear Lake Rd to Glacier Gorge's parking lot, about 1 mile short of its terminus. From here, hike uphill about 0.3 miles. Go left to the 2nd bridge. At this point, you have 3 choices. Efficiency is likely determined by how much snow & which trails have been stomped down. The climber's trails go after the 2nd bridge either at the bottom of the drainage (sometimes the deepest snow, sometimes the best ski) or the along the left side of the drainage, climbing to as much as 100' above its bottom on a summer trail. The longest trail goes along the widest summer trail past Alberta Falls (typically buried in snow, at most WI1) to junction of the trail that splits towards Mill's Lake & Glacier Gorge. The climber's trails join here. Follow the signs towards Loch Vale. For Loch Vale Gorge, hike the trail until you get to a tight switchback, then drop down & left. For climbs Loch Vale & above, continue up the summer trail to Loch Vale & beyond!

Climbing Season

Weather station 9.5 miles from here

93 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',10],['3 Stars',33],['2 Stars',39],['1 Star',11],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Glacier Gorge Trailhead Ice

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Glacier Gorge Trailhead Ice:
All Mixed Up   WI4- R     Trad, Ice, Alpine, 4 pitches, 550'   Glacier Gorge : Thatchtop Mt (SE aspect)
The Trough        Alpine, 2200'   Glacier Gorge : Long's Peak (western aspect...
Central Buttress   WI5 M6 R     Trad, Mixed, Ice, 11 pitches, 1200'   Loch Vale & uphill
Taylor Glacier        Trad, 1200'   Loch Vale & uphill
Black Lake Slabs   WI2-3     Trad, Ice, Alpine   Glacier Gorge : Glacier Creek Drainage incl...
Northwest Face Route - Thatchtop or Northeast Gully?   WI3-4     Trad, Ice, 5 pitches   Loch Vale & uphill
Flour Power Couloir   WI2-     Ice, Alpine, 1000'   Andrews Creek & The Gash
The Petit Gully   M5+     Trad, Mixed, 6 pitches, 800'   Loch Vale & uphill
Quicksilver   M3+ R     Trad, Mixed, 1000'   Loch Vale & uphill
Deborah   M3-4     Trad, Mixed, Alpine, 5 pitches, 1000'   Glacier Gorge : Arrowhead
Brain Freeze   M5+     Mixed, Alpine, 8 pitches, 1000'   Andrews Creek & The Gash
Crystal Meth   WI4-5     Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 100'   Loch Vale Gorge
Stoneman   WI4+ PG13     Ice, Alpine, 1 pitch, 150'   Glacier Gorge : Glacier Creek Drainage incl...
Dog House   M5+     Trad, Mixed, 5 pitches, 600'   Loch Vale & uphill
Deep Freeze   WI5-6 M5 R     Trad, Mixed, Ice   Loch Vale & uphill
Vanquished (Powell Peak)   WI5 M5     Mixed, Ice, 5 pitches, 1000'   Loch Vale & uphill
The Hourglass Couloir   M4     Mixed, Alpine, 6 pitches, 1200'   Glacier Gorge : Arrowhead
Black Lake - West Gully   WI3-4     Trad, Ice, Alpine, 5 pitches   Glacier Gorge : Glacier Creek Drainage incl...
Mixed Feelings   WI4 M5-     Trad, Mixed, Ice, 1 pitch, 100'   Loch Vale Gorge
Wham Couloir   M4     Trad, Mixed, Alpine, 3 pitches, 800'   Andrews Creek & The Gash
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Glacier Gorge Trailhead Ice

Featured Route For Glacier Gorge Trailhead Ice
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Hoyt leaning on the lower icicle.

Deep Freeze WI5-6 M5 R  Colorado : CO Ice & Mixed : ... : Loch Vale & uphill
The ominous, deep cleft high and left on Thatchtop, above the Loch. Usually best approached from the right after climbing Necrophelia (though other ways, including a sometimes formed direct chimney, can be had), making for a great day of hard ice and mixed. From the shelf atop Necro, the climbing is easy and rambling to reach the crux final pillar, which is most often climbed as a steep ice pitch. However, when the pillar isn't touching, there can be brilliant mixed climbing - fairly hard, and a...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Glacier Gorge Trailhead Ice Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: East Face of Taylor Mtm taken from Arrowhead summi...
East Face of Taylor Mtm taken from Arrowhead summi...

Comments on Glacier Gorge Trailhead Ice Add Comment
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By Rick Casey
From: Lafayette, Colorado
Dec 28, 2016
Note about trail access to ice routes from Glacier Gorge trailhead this week: although it was a clear and balmy day in the 40s down in Boulder today (12/28/16), it was a full on blizzard in the Park. Forecast to get 2-4" of snow, we encountered knee deep snow on the "shortcut" route to Mill's Lake (that bypasses Alberta Falls). We lost the trail, refound the trail, and lost the trail, plunging to our waist off trail. After an hour of floundering, gave up and came back. Warning: don't attempt the shortcut route unless you (a) have a GPS track, or (b) really, really know where the trail goes -- even when heavily snow covered!

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