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Ice Climbing Approaches
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By rangerdrew
From Loveland
Sep 24, 2012
Evans Aprons
This will be my first winter filled with ice climbing. I'm wondering how approaches are? Especially in RMNP. Does anyone think an AT setup is worthy investment? All I need are bindings and skins...

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Sep 24, 2012
Bocan
In my personal opinion the trails are mostly packed down in the park unless you are going waaayy back. Snowshoes have always been overkill for me except for traction, especially for the cragging areas.

Of course you get your typical RMNP storms flotation is awesome, however it doesn't take long to get tracked out.

That being said it's nice to be able to ride out or not flounder in the spring. I'd probably recommend having some because I'm a gear whore, but I don't think you'd "need" them.

I'm sure others have lots of valuable insight though.

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By John D
Sep 24, 2012
I don't know what the approaches are like in RMNP, but the approaches I've done in clear creek, 10 mile canyon, and vail definitely didn't need skis or snow shoes and they would be in the way honestly.

I love my AT setup and use it a fair amount, but not for ice climbing approaches.

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By Paul Gagner
Sep 24, 2012
Agree with the comments above - especially Scott's re not needing them, but would be nice. It all depends on where you are headed and the conditions. An AT set-up can be nice for heading say up to Black Lake - actually, where they shine is coming out. But as was said up-thread, generally most trails are packed down and boots are fine. I have used light weight snowshoes on occasion for approaches where you need some flotation due to recent snow, and are climbing a route and not coming back to the base - Hallets Chimney as an example.

The unfortunate part is that a nice light AT set-up costs bucks!!

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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Sep 24, 2012
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
No question...why wouldn't you get an AT set up if it's possible? Quicker in (most cases, anyway). Quicker and more enjoyable out.

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By S Denny
From Carbondale, CO
Sep 24, 2012
It certainly is quicker (and more dangerous). I love my skis in the Park. Black Lake, as mentioned above, really shines with skis.

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By rangerdrew
From Loveland
Sep 24, 2012
Evans Aprons
I've used my alpine setup to ski out of places, but walking in with it on my back was miserable. I'm moving to Loveland in October and will be close to RMNP. I was curious how the trails are there, and deciding whether to fork over several hundred for bindings and skins. I already have skis and boots (been piecing it together).

I guess I was curious if I really needed it this winter, or if I should wait more towards spring.

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By Jim Amidon
Sep 25, 2012
J TREE
I've been slogging around RMNP for a decade and a half.....

HMMMM.......I have AT gear......

I've never owned snow shoes.......

I've climbed almost every classic ice formation in the Park....

And I'd say I've used my AT gear for only a handful of adventures with ice....

Seems walking on the white concrete sidewalks has always been the preference.....

Not to say you can Backcountry ski in the Park and have fun....

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By Dave Bn
From Fort Collins, CO
Sep 25, 2012
Dreamweaver
rangerdrew wrote:
This will be my first winter filled with ice climbing. I'm wondering how approaches are? Especially in RMNP. Does anyone think an AT setup is worthy investment? All I need are bindings and skins...


An AT setup is invaluable to avoid the icy strip of death at most I-70 resorts in early season. Plus back country is just better (especially if you're moving to Loveland).

If you don't plan to actually ski with the setup, get Silvrettas. That way you can skin in and out in actual climbing boots instead of climbing in ski boots.

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By percious
From Bear Creek, CO
Sep 25, 2012
Hanging out with some scooter trash.
I have an AT setup but have never used it in my relatively few adventures in the park. Part of the problem is finding a partner who also has an AT setup. Until the lakes freeze, the terrain does not really afford good skiing.

Make sure you find someone who knows the climber's trail up to the Loch. It will save you at least 1/2 hour each way.

cheers.
-chris

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By Taylor-B.
From CO & AK
Sep 25, 2012
Mt. Churchill, University Range
FYI: Wilderness Sports in Summit County has a few Silverreta bindings on sale for cheap.
My advice is, don't blow your knee out or face plant into a tree while skiing in your ice boots. But it sure is fun skiing in the ice boots!

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By rangerdrew
From Loveland
Sep 25, 2012
Evans Aprons
percious wrote:
Part of the problem is finding a partner who also has an AT setup. -chris


That is a concern I do have since I only know one person with AT gear. Sounds like the approaches are mostly bootable. I don't really have a large interest in BC skiing, but skiing in/out of ice and 14ers would be fun.

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