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Odessa Gorge

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Flattop Mountain - N side 
Notchtop & vicinity 

Odessa Gorge Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 10,000'
Location: 40.31618, -105.6929 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 13,451
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Leo Paik on Oct 24, 2006


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This is an organizational entry to help clarify the database. Hopefully, it will help.

In this gorge lie at least 2 major areas/mountains with snow/mixed/ice to climb. Flattop Mountain & Notchtop Mountain have some well-known lines to enjoy here. There may be more hidden gems tucked in the Little Matterhorn/Tourmaline Spire vicinity of which I am unaware. If so, please submit the info to the database.

On Flattop:

Flattop Gully
East Couloir
Hourglass Couloir
West Couloir
Ptamigan Glacier

On Notchtop:

Notchtop Couloir Right
Notchtop Couloir Left
Spiral Route
North Face Left, 5.7 M4 WI4
Direct North Face, 5.8 M4 WI4
North Face, 5.7 WI3+
Sangya Needs Her Dad, WI6
Jack Needs A Life
Pleurodynia, WI5+
Hot Doggies, WI5-6
New Beginnings, M6 WI5
The Hourglass, WI5
Odessa Wall
Guide's Wall, WI2-3
Grace Falls, WI4

Getting There 

Once in the eastern side of RMNP, the easiest approach to this area is likely from Bear Lake. To get there, drive to the end of Bear Lake Rd. Hike around the right side of Bear Lake. About 1/3 the way around the lake, go right at a trail toward Flattop Mt. Follow this trail and branch off toward your destination. Flattop's summit is 4.4 miles. Notchtop is probably 4 miles or so. Little Matterhorn is probably 5 miles or so.

Make sure you pay attention to your bearings once off the trail in the Notchtop area. It is easy for idgits like me to get a bit turned around and the sharply-angled trail can be hard to find in diminishing light/blowing snow/whiteout conditions.

Climbing Season

For the Bear Lake Trailheads area.

Weather station 8.2 miles from here

9 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',5],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Odessa Gorge

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Odessa Gorge:
The Hourglass   WI3     Trad, Ice, 600'   Flattop Mountain - N side
Flattop Gully        , 1000'   Flattop Mountain - N side
East Couloir   WI2     Trad, Ice   Flattop Mountain - N side
Hot Doggie   WI5     Trad, Ice, Alpine, 1 pitch, 70'   Notchtop & vicinity
Grace Falls   WI4     Trad, Ice, Alpine, 1 pitch, 100'   Notchtop & vicinity
Ptarmigan Glacier   Mod. Snow     Snow, 5 pitches   Flattop Mountain - N side
North Face (which actually faces NE)   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b WI3     Trad, Ice, Alpine, 5 pitches, 600'   Notchtop & vicinity
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Odessa Gorge

Featured Route For Odessa Gorge
Rock Climbing Photo:

North Face (which actually faces NE) 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b WI3  Colorado : CO Ice & Mixed : ... : Notchtop & vicinity
North Face follows the concave north face of Notchtop Mountain. [Approach] via a gully on the east right, gain some meadows, and hope that there is ice on the route. Can be prone to avalanche danger. We did the climb in about 4 pitches with some simul-climbing on the snow patches separating the ice sections. The first steep section of ice was not formed (pitch 2) so we traversed left along a ledge and climbed rock (maybe 5.7) to gain the snowfield above. Pitch 4 was the crux, a nicely forme...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Odessa Gorge Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The NE Face of Notchtop from Lake Helene. The Ptar...
The NE Face of Notchtop from Lake Helene. The Ptar...
Rock Climbing Photo: Flattop from the Lake Helene side.  At least 1 rou...
Flattop from the Lake Helene side. At least 1 rou...
Rock Climbing Photo: Notchtop as seen from the Approach Trail.
Notchtop as seen from the Approach Trail.

Comments on Odessa Gorge Add Comment
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By Eran Shileikis
From: Dysfunctional, CO
Mar 6, 2007
Does anyone have any info on the following routes mentioned above:

"Spiral Route (Rating ??)"
"Sangya Needs Her Dad, WI6"
"Jack Needs A Life (Rating ??)"
"Pleurodynia, WI5+"
"The Hourglass, WI5"

I have never seen or heard of these anywhere else but here.
On that note, does anyone know how to get a hold of "new route" info besides this website or the book at Neptune's?

I am guessing I've seen 1 or 2 of these ice routes, but who knows??
Any info would be greatly appreciated - Cheers!!
By Tim Bartholomaus
Oct 12, 2007
I climbed the spiral route on Notchtop last fall with a buddy of mine and we had a great time. you can find info and pics at

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