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Winter climbing near Denver - where to start?

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Winter climbing near Denver - where to start?

Postby Autoxfil » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:27 pm

I have a new hookup in Denver, so flying out to the Front Range for a long weekend will happen at least once this winter.

Where do I start? I prefer moderate technical climbing - long routes, usually. Where's a good place for huge snow/ice climbs up to WI3 (maybe a little WI4, just not pitch after pitch)? Is avy danger the overriding concern when picking a route? Where are the avy forecast resources?

thanks,
-Phil
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Postby Pivvay » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:59 am

Multi pitch ice/snow near Denver? In winter avy concerns will definitely be your biggest worry. Mountain Project has a whole ice/mixed section to search routes and the forecasts are at CAIC (colorado avy info center) website.

The short answer is there are not many routes like you're asking for that will be "safe" in winter. This of course depends on what kind of winter we have, when in winter you are here and how good you are in avy terrain. The front range itself has limited ice and it's heavily traveled though still fun. RMNP has ice but anything good usually has a long approach and is avy exposed more often than not. The longest WI3 climbs will be down south but you're talking a pretty long drive (Ouray/Silverton area) for a long weekend. The best snow climbing is in late spring to early summer by far.
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