Mt. Alice - Denver, CO

One of the biggest 5.8 routes in Rocky Mountain National Park

DenverMt. Alice

  • Elevation: 13,310 feet
  • Route: Central Ramp (5.8, 8 pitches)
  • Drive: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Those willing to put in the effort of a long approach will be rewarded with one of the biggest 5.8 routes in Rocky Mountain National Park—and a fraction of the climber traffic of many other Colorado alpine classics. Eight full pitches of alpine rock along a tilted ramp on the left side of the 1,000-foot east face will bring you to a short hike up the Hourglass Ridge to Alice’s summit, with one of the best views in the Park. Climb it in late summer or early fall to minimize snow at the base. Most climbers will bivy above the Lion Lakes amid acres of columbine.

CLIMB IT: Not many parties are able to stick to the original line, so be prepared to do some route-finding to keep this climb 5.8. After a couple of approach pitches, stay to the right of the big gully splitting the east face, aiming for the crack-covered golden ramp that leads up and right. A couple of short, steep pitches above the ramp gain the summit ridge.

BACKPACKER RECOMMENDS: Mt. Alice’s third-class Hourglass Ridge, the descent route from the east face, is a terrific hike and scramble up the northeast side of the peak.

GET THERE: From Denver, drive northwest on US-36 for 36 miles to its intersection with CO-7. Turn west on CO-7 and follow it for 21 miles. Turn into the Wild Basin Area of RMNP. From Wild Basin Trailhead, hike the Thunder Lake Trail to its junction with the Lion Lake Trail. Above Lion Lake No. 1, about 7 miles from the road, hike cross-country to a bivy site below the east face.

BETA: Rocky Mountain National Park: The Climber’s Guide—High Peaks, by Bernard Gillett;

PERMIT: Bivy permit required (970-586- 1242)



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