Alpha Male is about 4.5 miles down the west side of Wolf Creek Pass. It is across the canyon from the runaway truck ramp. Of the two definite climbs you'll see, it is the steeper one to the right. Sheep's Clothing is to its left. The easiest, and safest, approach to these climbs is a half hour traverse in from the top. As for the climb, rappel in for the lead. This year it consists of 3 definite steep sections. Some years it offers no rests. This year there are 2 nice steps to catch...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
West Side of Wolf Creek Pass is looking good. All of the following are in: Topless/The Den, Sheep's Clothing, Alpha Male, The Cub, Miller's Tale (thin at top), Johnny-Come-Lately, Treasure Falls, Tasty Freeze. Enjoy.
Climbed Topless yesterday. It is approx. 70 feet of south facing ice at 10,400 feet. The left side is pretty good WI4. The right side is WI5 yet has much water running under it, and doesn't appear to be attached to the rock at all. The top of the climb sounds very hollow and the finish is rock with the stream running over it. This creates a heavily iced and vey wet rope. The climb creaks a lot too. Check this one out from the road. Like it says in the book, if the top is all exposed rock(like it is now)it isn't recommended. After colder overcast days this climb would be awesome.
If you have never climbed on this side of the pass, here are a few things to consider which will hopefully help you get maximum value from your experience.
First, almost all these climbs are awesome, classic lines and will be fun to climb. Most of these climbs are isolated and have an approach that, while not long, will eat up time, so plan on not getting in a large volume of climbing in any one day. These climbs are almost exclusively WI4 or WI5 since the large volume of snow completely covers other lower angle possibilities. Plan on using snowshoes to get to any of these except maybe Treasure Falls (I still always bring them- the approach is longer than it looks and there is no guarantee there will be a trail in).
There are only two groups of multiple climbs which consistently form up. The most dependable is the Alpha Male group (Alpha Male, Little Bitch, Sheep's Clothing (and its variant)) form up consistently and last all season- the first in and the last to go out. The second group is the Romulus/Remus/Solo Lobo group which only forms up late in the season due to their melt fed nature and are threatened by lots of avy danger until then anyway.
No rock gear is needed on this side of the pass as the rock is crap.
Almost all routes except Treasure Falls are threatened by avy danger in some way but usually both on the approach and from above. Wolf Creek Pass has a whole different weather pattern than other parts of the state, so really look carefully at local conditions before committing to these routes.
All that being said, the 3-4 star routes would all be major attractions anywhere else, you will never wait in line and will never climb a beat up route (except possibly Treasure). Have fun!