South Mineral Creek Ice Climbing
Just outside of Silverton above the South Mineral Creek Campground lie a series of drainages in north facing terrain that host a handful of beautiful ice climbs. The classic among these is the long and rambling Direct North Face; other standouts include the steppy but steep Snowblind, and the Campground Couloir.
The perfect season for climbing these lines is late fall, around Thanksgiving, when the ice forms but the seasonal snow is still thin so that we can access the drainage by car. Later in the season we must skin in and out (if the avalanche hazard is low) for a long day in the mountains.
Aspen Ice Climbing
Imagine ascending a frozen waterfall, swinging an ice tool into a bulge of blue ice, then placing your ice crampon onto a delicate shelf in a curtain of chandelier ice...
For beginners: Friendly south facing Stein Falls could be one of the best beginner natural waterfall ice climbing areas in Colorado. Minutes from downtown Aspen, a short easy approach along the Roaring Fork River takes us to this scenic frozen waterfall. No experience is necessary and this sport is accessible to most physical abilities. Your private AMGA trained/ certified ice climbing guide will provide you with a safe and fun day out with the highest level of instruction. A short day of ice climbing is a great rest day activity from skiing or snowboarding. If you can climb a ladder and hammer a nail, you can ice climb! We supply all the necessary equipment complimentary, including specialized ice climbing boots.
For the more experienced climber: consider a guided day of ice climbing in Redstone. Deep in the heart of the Rockies, the small Victorian town of Redstone, Colorado lies beneath soaring sandstone cliffs. Ample snowfall and year-round waterfalls that freeze solid from November through March make the hamlet an ice and mixed climber's get away with abundant routes. From WI 2 to WI 5, and M2 to M10, rim to canyon, most have easy access and are just minutes from the car.
Classic Routes of Redstone include Avacado Gully - WI 3+ M3, Redstone Pillar - WI 3+, Marble Falls - WI 4, The Drool - WI5, and the long and rambling Dancing in the Moonlight - WI3. We also guide moderate to steep ice curtains in Rifle, CO.
Our AMGA trained/certified mountain guides are experience alpinists that guide both ice and mixed-ice climbing routes; please contact us via phone at 970-925-7625 or email/form to determine the best date for you or to request more information.
Duration: 4-6 Hours
Location: The guide will be in touch with you the day before to determine your meeting place.
Maximum Guide Ratio: 4:1
Fitness Level: All tours are custom and suited for your physical ability and needs.
Includes: AMGA trained/certified mountain guide, use of all technical ice climbing equipment including boots, ice crampons, harness, helmet, ice tools, ropes, etc.
Not included: lunch/snack food.
Prep- Your guide will contact you the day before at the voice number you give us to discuss appropriate terrain for you and to confirm a meeting place and start time.
You will be provided with all the technical ice climbing equipment necessary (boots, crampons, harness, helmet). We can arrange to set you up the morning of at 8:30 am at Aspen Highlands shop or the night before between 3:00-5:30 pm.
The Day - Meet your guide at our shop or at a pre-determined location. You and your party will climb frozen waterfall ice. (lunch/snacks are not included)
- Socks: Wool or synthetic ski socks
- Base layers: Synthetic, wool or silk bottom, underwear and top
- Mid Layer: Synthetic or wool zip shirt
- Hard Shell or Softshell pants: A pair with side vents are best.
- Insulated vest or jacket: down or synthetic.
- Hard or Soft shell jacket: waterproof and breathable, no or little insulation.
- Gloves: a pair of heavy gloves and a pair of medium weight gloves
- Hats: one with brim, one for warmth
- Neck Gaiter or Balaclava: optional, but nice to have
- Helmet (recommended)
- Water bottle
- Small thermos (Optional)
- Sunscreen and lip balm: water/sweat-proof
- Toiletries, Personal first-aid kit: for your personal meds/needs
- Camera or Smartphone
- Lunch/Snack food
Participants will travel through the winter backcountry. Come dressed appropriately with warm layers for moderate physical exertion in cool and wintry weather and good winter walking boots.
THE FIRST STEP
It is suggested that you maintain a good level of physical fitness. Maintain and build heart and lung endurance with cardiovascular activities such as swimming, cycling, running and hiking. Hike up hill, up stairs or do squats to prepare your legs for mountain travel.
THE NEXT STEP
Follow a day of ice climbing with another day of ice climbing.
AE requires a full credit card or cash/check payment to hold your reservation. If you choose to cancel within 7 days of a scheduled trip, you will be charged full price. Within 7-14 days of your trip, we would be happy to work out a date to reschedule. If you choose to cancel 2 weeks or more (3 weeks or more for multi-day trips of 5+ people) prior to your scheduled trip, you will receive a full refund. If your guide decides that weather makes your scheduled trip a no-go, we will work with you to reschedule, give you a credit, or refund your trip. Travel Guard insurance is available via our website homepage.
Please note: AEW's number one priority is your safety. Many conditions affect our guides' decisions in the mountains, including client fitness and comfort, weather conditions and route conditions. There are inherent hazards in mountain travel such as inclement weather, avalanches, rock fall, ice fall that our guides manage yet cannot eliminate. The combination of our guides' formal training and wealth of experience assures that their sound decision create an enjoyable and safe mountain experience. Aspen Expeditions reserves the right to turn around or change routes without refunds or credits under any conditions.
Eureka Ice Climbing
Just outside of Silverton, lies the abandoned mining town of Eureka. Eureka holds some of the longest moderate ice routes in the lower 48. Stairway to Heaven and Whorehouse Hoses...