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All Mixed Up: Alpine Ice Climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park


I guided a client on All Mixed Up yesterday and it’s in great shape! Ice coverage is really good.

Ice Climbing All Mixed Up

The approach trail up wanders a bit and although I tried to straighten it out, new snow will cover our tracks. We did cross the south margin of the lake over the ice (not advised in the afternoon), and I punched through at the very edge, but didn’t get wet thankfully. Screws were indeed a little tricky, hard to read from the surface but I sunk up to 19cm in spots. The ice was hollow and a little scary in spots, like this picture below:

Ice Climbing All Mixed Up

I placed no rock gear en route, just at the top of the last pitch. Although coverage is great, it’s thin in spots and quality isn’t the best for pro. It climbs like hero ice. Watch out for the surf boards (snow under ice). The tops of bulges are a little platey as to be expected. The final pitch is a bit sunbaked but still the most consistent in quality and, again, easy ice. The top out is a little thin. Also, warm temps and sun was bringing ice down right of All Mixed Up in the morning. Some or all the climb is in the sun from about 9 to 11:30 am. Be sure to gear up in the right spot.
Ice Climbing All Mixed Up

The snow below the final pitch and again above is very wind drifted and deep, so we stayed roped up where other parties weren’t. I always rap from the pitons which have been there for a long time, but it’s nice that Bob Chase beefed them up. I found an ice tool on the descent which has been there for a long time, and this is the second time that’s happened.

Ice Climbing All Mixed Up

All in all, great route in pretty good conditions; easier than it can be.

Andrew Councell

Andrew Councell

IFMGA/AMGA Certified Mountain Guide

CMS Senior Guide

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