This is a pleasant short cliff, described in B. Gillett's excellent guidebook, that holds a variety of leaner ice and mixed lines that requires very little effort for the approach. This cliff is easily ignored by those in search of demanding, longer, classic lines. However, for those interested in a shorter, lighter sampling of RMNP ice, find at least 9 lines varying from WI3 to M7 here. Generally the lines are less than vertical though some of the starts can be steeper. Most lines can be led or toproped. Rock gear and short ice screws should be included if you want to lead. Long slings are useful for TRs. Some of the lines do catch sun here and the gearup area can be bathed in glorious winter sunlight in the morning. B. Gillett's guidebook warns of avalanche potential. Use caution.
There is another area nearby with Olympics Games, but that probably should be added under Chaos Creek.
Enter RMNP via the Beaver Meadows (southern) entrance and turn L shortly after passing the entrance station. Go to the end of the road at Bear Lake's large parking lot. Take the trail towards Dream & Emerald Lake 0.5 miles to Nymph Lake. Go to the far end of the lake on the trail. Just after the trail takes a sharp L turn, break off R perhaps 50 yards to a 80-100 foot cliff with ice dripping down. This should be no more than 150 yards from Nymph Lake.
You can see some of the Keyboard of the Winds from here.
This is a fun little mixed climb slightly left of the center of this little cliff. It is the left of the 2 bolted mixed starts on the slightly overhanging rock where the trail typically comes up to the cliff.In general, this climb seems to require more smooth weight transfers on thin rock and ice holds. It seems from the crampons scratches that there are 2 starts, left & right. The left start goes near the pin. The right start skips the pin but seemed more solid with a good right slot to a l...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
By Leo Paik Administrator From: Westminster, Colorado Dec 5, 2002
Conditions at Nymph Lake (don't seem to be able to link conditions to Nymph Lake yet):
The cliff, as reported recently by D. Burke, does sport some ice. However, it is not yet fat. The ice on Urinalysis is thick enough to lead. The ice on Road Less Traveled is not thick enough to be easily protected by a WI4 or M4 leader. There isn't much obvious rock pro. It feels very stiff for WI3 M3. The L side cliff does catch sun in the mornings lending it to some detached ice. Snow covers a fair bit of thin ice or bare rock. Get a File and the M6+ variation to On the Rocks look inviting, that is, if you can climb the rock starts. The "potential mixed route up crack to aspen" on the L side of the cliff looks pretty spartan (like you'd be soloing).
By Leo Paik Administrator From: Westminster, Colorado Dec 23, 2003
Beta on directions to finding Chaos Creek. From the 1st post at Nymph Lake, move 1 arm length L, look up above the lowest layer of trees & "there she lies." Green ice & a free hangin' pilla'. Finally....
Not much happening at Nymph Lake. Lots of snow and a couple icicles on 'on the otherhand', otherwise dry. So we wallowed up to the nearby Olympic Games area. After a scramble through waist deep powder we were rewarded with a nice variety of moderate and mixed lines. Main curtain on right not in yet, but plenty of options for a stiff workout. M7+ here for starters.