Big, New & Hard Ice Climbs in Wyoming


Aaron Mulkey pulling the final curtain on The Gambler (WI6+), South Fork Valley, Wyoming. Photo courtesy of www.coldfear.com. Click here to see more photos of new ice in Wyoming

Good snow and consistent temperatures made for incredible ice climbing conditions near Cody, Wyoming this year. Aaron Mulkey, Joel Anderson, Dan Miller, Matt Steen, Kenny Gasch, Hillary Eisen and Matt Touchette went hiking and explored further into the depths of the South Fork Valley finding a number of unclimbed lines for the taking. 

Highlights from the spring season were: 

  • The Gambler (WI6+) is a contender for the hardest pure ice climb in valley and it proved to be a tuff one to catch. Climbing from a fractured pillar through two free hanging curtains of ice created Mulkey’s hardest and most mentally challenging routes of the season. Read part 1 about the first ascent of The Gambler on Mulkey's blog. Read Part 2
  • My Morning Glory (WI5+) connects over 360 feet of pure excitement and fantastic climbing. Mulkey was extremly happy to have spotted this classic route only 45 minutes from the car. Mulkey says, “It’s a classic in anyone’s backyard. I’m just lucky I found it digging around in mine” Read more about this route on his blog.
  • Hell’s Angel (WI5) is another brilliant gem that was found tucked in to one of Wyoming’s best kept secret canyons. Read more

Mulkey on The Testament (WI5+) which is possibly the valley's tallest pillar at almost 55 meters high. Photo courtesy of coldfear.com

Other new routes developed my Mulkey and partners are: 

  • The Testament (WI5+) 55m perhaps the valley's tallest pillar 
  • Peaceful Warrior (WI5+) 60m 
  • Leave It to Beaver (WI5) 200m 
  • Split Personality (WI5) 100m
  • The Wolf (WI3) 50m 
  • Counterfeit Girl (WI4+) 60m 
  • Sweet Honey (WI5) 30m 
  • Ella Diablo (WI3+) 60m 
  • Liberator (WI5) 80m 
  • White Line Fever (WI4) 70m 

Mulkey says “In true south fork fashion, if you plan to climb these you better bring your headlamp and a pair of extra legs.” 

Aaron Mulkey runs www.coldfear.com which is the best resource for conditions and new route info for Wyoming’s South Fork Valley.

Click here to see more photos of new ice in Wyoming

Date of Ascents: February and March 2009 

Sources: Aaron Mulkey, coldfear.com

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