This smear can be reached in just 30 minutes from the pullout (see directions for Blue Mesa area). After crossing the barbed wire fence, head north across the mesa, aiming just west of a distinct grouping of aspen. Walk down the drainage to the top of the climb. The rappel is about 130-140 feet, two ropes are needed.
There are countless variations on this broad smear, mostly straightforward solid WI4 climbing. The lead is reasonable with frequent foot rests but the ice can be very brittle. There is a sustained 50 feet vertical line to climber's left but it leads to a very awkward topout through a large bush. Some mixed climbing can be found to the right as the ice truly smears out. Up the gut the ice can be several feet thick. Not much sunlight here, but views looking down into and across the canyon alone make this trip worthwhile. Allow 45 minutes to an hour for the retreat.
Half dozen medium screws.
To minimize friction use a 20-30 feet sling around the largest somewhat slanting tree in the middle.
BETA PHOTO: Photo taken on 12/13/03.
The smear from ground zero. Photo taken by Nick K...
|Comments on Blue Mesa Smear
|By Leon Henkelman|
From: Lakewood, co
Jan 19, 2004
climbed Tony's Nightmare today. first step was pretty soft--great for tool purchase but queationable screw holding ability. The upper step is in full, w/ a few long cicles on far left side. the R side is still forming and at about 1:30 was in full sun so was dripping a bit. L. side is chopped up a bit . be careful w/ lots of hallow pockets. layer of ice over snady snow /over ice. poor pro holding. solid ice could be found for pro but it took a little more time to get it right.apparently there was an accident on this in the past few days. we found several items that we could get back to the rightful owner. blood on snow---heard from some other guys that came up that someone fell from the top and ripped all pro. hope it's not a bad injurye-mail me if stuff is email@example.com