Top 5 Redstone Ice Climbs

The Redstone Winterfest is right around the corner, and ice climbing conditions in the Crystal River Valley are looking really good. With so many climbs to choose from, here’s our pick for the best pure ice lines in Redstone.

5) Crystal Visions, WI4+
Boasting possibly the longest approach, it’s also one of the better multipitch routes. After a long uphill slog, you’ll be rewarded with three fun pitches. The first is a low angle romp that’ll get you in the swing of things. The second is beautiful WI3 for a long pitch to the base of the final pillar, which, depending on conditions, can be 4+ to 5-, and brings you to the top of the climb. The views of the valley are incredible from up here and make it well worth the effort.

4) The Drool, WI5
For years we used to step over a no tresspassing sign to climb here, under the impression it was technically off limits but the land owner looked the other way. A couple years ago Pitkin County Open Space bought the property and we now enjoy legal access to one of the best pure ice pitches in the valley. An 80′ column of vertical ice, it’s a great place to dial in your steep waterfall technique. There is also a shorter second pitch above it that serves as a nice warmup.

3) Redstone Slabs, WI4/5
This is the prize of multipitch routes in Redstone. With an east facing, sunny exposure, it’s best after a period of cold weather. Depending on the year, you may have two options for starting the route, both of which usually clock in around WI5-. The next pitch can go up steeper curtains on the left or a mellower gully on the right, both of which bring you to the base of the final curtain, which starts steep but soon relents to easier ice above. As a safety note, wet slides are not uncommon in the area on warmer days, so check the avy forecast before heading out.

2) Cold Heaven, WI5
Arguably the most interesting single pitch of ice in Redstone, it’s hard to catch this one in condition. It face east/south east, and as such needs the right combination of snow melt and cold temps to come in. When it does, you’ll find an incredible journey up pillars, slabs and corners for over 200′ that tops out the cliff. If the starting pillar hasn’t touch down, a difficult mixed start is possible up the grungy offwidth to the right.

1) The Pencil, WI5
This one gets the award for least likely to come in. When it does, however, it offers perhaps the steepest pure ice pitch in the valley. Located above the town of Redstone, its easy to scout from the road. And even if it doesn’t fully form, there’s a bunch of mixed options in the vicinity.

Did your favorite make the list? If not let us know in the comments!

Locals Corner

Bulldog Creek Dog Walk (IV WI 4+)

Hayden Carpenter and Tom Bohanon recently repeated an obscure ice climb on the south side of Mt Sopris. Given a brief mention in Jack Robert’s ice guide, Bulldog Creek Walk is described as being 100 meters of WI 4. What they found was seven pitches of ice in a remote setting that makes for one […]

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