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RMNP Winter Camping

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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RMNP Winter Camping

Postby Mantana » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:06 am

My friend and I are looking for a location in Colorado where we could combine winter camping, ice climbing, and backcountry skiing into a single weekend. I was thinking somewhere in RMNP because of its proximity to Denver and the amount of ice climbing possibilities in the park.

Does anyone have any suggestions or personal experience of anything like this in RMNP or elsewhere in Colorado? Your input is greatly appreciated. Thanks

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Re: RMNP Winter Camping

Postby BaronVonBergschrund » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:47 am

Mantana wrote:Does anyone have any suggestions or personal experience of anything like this in RMNP or elsewhere in Colorado?

In RMNP you could camp at the Andrews Creek (#040) backcountry site just past the Loch, coming from the Bear Lake trailhead. You could ice climb at Loch Vale and then ski at the Terrain Park all in one trip. I am assuming you can evaluate avalanche conditions properly, as the possibility ice climbing and the skiing in RMNP are largely determined by the conditions.

The San Juans have better ice. There is much more of it around Silverton and Ouray, and backcountry (and sidecountry) skiing is abundant. Again, many of these ice climbing areas (excepting the Ouray Ice Park) could have avalanche danger, especially in the Silverton/Eureka areas.
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Re: RMNP Winter Camping

Postby Winter8000m » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:44 pm

Ice conditions in RMNP are very LEAN this year including Loch Vale, All Mixed Up and etc. If your a mixed climber, then these would be good conditions. (depending on avy danger of course) But if your a ice climber alone I would head somewhere else. One option in the RMNP though is the Black Lake, West Gully Route. It's rated at WI4- and has 5 pitches. You would have to rapel off a V thread. You could also bag Mchenrys peak for one long day. It's a pretty long approach though. But would make a great overnight trip.

Otherwise, head to Vail. Which is pretty close to Denver and has AMAZING ice climbing but a little crowded at times or the Ouray/Telluride area. Do some research and I'm sure you'll find out your prefered climb. But a lot of them have avy danger on top waiting to unload. As always asses conditions when your there.
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