Smugglers Notch Ice climbing Rock Climbing
Jefferson Slide looking down from approach above
Smuggler's Notch has some of the best ice climbing and definitively the best mixed climbing in the Green Mountain State. Often referred to as "Smuggs" or "The Notch" by locals, it is comprised of climbing along the closed portion of Route 108 between Jeffersonville in the north and Stowe in the south, Smuggler's Notch is a gem of New England Climbing.
The approach times very greatly by snow conditions. Getting to Easy Gully from the Stone Hut, for example, can take 35 minutes or well over an hour depending on how much snow has come in and if the trail has been beaten in. Expect this for most climbs.
Climbs listed are from North to South and the 'W' or 'E' denotes whether a climb is on the west or east side of the road.
Ice climbing in The Notch can be approached by either the Stowe or Jeffersonville side. Generally, Jeffersonville is used to approach most climbing but use the next section as your guide.
Rt. 108 through the notch is closed from virtually the first snowfall of the season and usually stays closed until spring long after the ice is gone. As long as there is snowpack it's recommended to bring some kind of skis for the approach as the road is skiable throughout 90% of the ice season save for the first few weeks.
The lots on both sides of the road closure are almost always open on weekdays and usually fill up on weekends. If climbing on a weekend, plan to be there early, the Jeffersonville side has more spots but is also more popular.
Areas from Jeffersonville (from Stowe), distances on the road from the parking/gate.
1.2 (1.8), Stone Hut
1.3 (1.7), High Point in Road
- 1.35 (1.65), west side, Hidden Gully
GPS MAP WITH AREAS LABELED courtesy of Max Forbes: caltopo.com/m/RH9Q
- 1.5 (1.5), west side, Terror-Tory
Weather station 2.1 miles from here
24 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',6],['3 Stars',11],['2 Stars',7],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Smugglers Notch Ice climbing
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Smugglers Notch Ice climbing
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Smugglers Notch Ice climbing:
Featured Route For Smugglers Notch Ice climbing
: Vermont Ice Climbing
: ... : 13E - The South Wall Area
The very start is often thin, but there are various ways of reaching the ledge of the main flow, so whatever looks doable is usually the best approach. The rest of the climb follows obvious ice with WI3 and WI4 options. A deciduous tree (I don't remember what kind, but might be beech) is the belay and rappel station for the final pitch. Two 60m ropes are handy for the descent. I have only done this climb once, so if anyone has better beta, please mention it. Great exposure and several route...[more] Browse More Classics in Vermont
By bradley white
Nov 11, 2012
Does the narrow no escape thin gully near Elephant Head, have a name? I got on it in 1986 and thought it would never end. Ice got shallow often and was not brittle. Same moves over and over again though.