All Mixed Up was our favorite route of the weekend, providing more ice climbing than the previous route on Notchtop plus less of a hike in and out. We made the descent and were back at camp right after noon to pack up and head out. It was amazing to look up and see the ground we had covered in just a few hours as we headed back to the trailhead.
Rocky Mountain National Park is a true winter playground with a fraction of the people you experience during the busy summer season. The conditions were great and the climbing was extraordinary for a long weekend in the high country. I can definitely recommend this trip for anyone who is comfortable leading a moderate alpine route with mixed snow and ice. The approaches are straight forward and the climbing is solid WI 3+. We used a mixed rack of cams and screws with plenty of webbing and cord-a-let for anchors and protection. Throughout both routes the belay locations are easy to find and plenty of opportunities exist in the rock and ice for solid anchors. Just don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the exposure. These climbs are perfect introductions into the world of alpine mountaineering routes and provide a lot of practice for techniques that are used on some of the more advanced climbs in the park.
Remember that technical climbing is a dangerous activity and appropriate training and gear is required to provide a safe and enjoyable adventure.
Related: Have an “Ice” Day
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