Posted on 26. Aug, 2007 by in RMNP

Saturday I went up to Chaos Canyon by myself. I was searching for new problems and my mission was to hike all the way to the end of the canyon. I started up toward Nymph Lake but busted off trail soon after the Bear Lake parking lot. I have previously hiked up Chaos Creek, which is the outlet for Lake Haiyaha. That route is very steep, very pretty and holds little in the way of rock climbing. This time I went to the next drainage south, following the stream to a marsh and a small pond. On the other side of the pond lies an amazing moderate.


From here I hiked up to the cutoff trail, into Chaos Canyon and the familiar path into “Upper Chaos”
I went to the meadow, and then up a small gulley on the north side of the canyon. There are hundreds of faces to look at, but alot of the boulders were small and the rock was broken. I was headed for some big boulders I had looked at three years ago. I finally made it to a nice cluster after about 30 min of steep scrambling up-canyon from Eternia. I think this sector holds some new potential for amazing hard problems. Here are two projects I am psyched about.

The first one is a 17ft overhanging wall with small crimps and side pulls. I would estimate in the V13 range.


The second one is known as “The Ice Cave” This is an amazing, singular line of holds out of a massive roof. I think this could be on par with Riddles in the Park for quality and difficulty.


This natural stopping point is only part way to the back of the canyon. Soon after this cluster is a natural landmark. On the south west side of the canyon is a small pond. Near the pond is another interesting project often referred to as the Black Roof. This is a very pretty place. The first time I hiked this far was 4 years ago and I remember drinking unfiltered water from the pond with no after effect. There is no sign of human traffic here and it is exceptionally majestic. I hiked a half and hour past the pond, almost to the base of the highest snowfield.


Several years ago, Angela and I hiked up and out of Chaos Canyon. At the very top of the Canyon is a small wooden sign that reads “Chaos Canyon Descend with Caution”

There is good potential all the way up to the pond and then the rock peters out. It is only a matter of how far people are willing to hike. 10 years ago boulderers were mocked for hiking two miles to go to Emerald Lake. Now Upper Chaos, which is probably close to 3 miles is the norm.

One Response to “Exploration”

  1. andy

    28. Aug, 2007

    Cool looking stuff…did you see the enormous boulder above that low-level moderate (first picture)??? its like 30 feet tall or something…

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