Grizzly: NW Face

This is a classic of the area. I have done it five times. It has often been icy, so it can be best late in the day. On May 17, 2008, it was breakable crust for the first several hundred feet, then excellent conditions on the lower half. We always start this at Loveland Pass, and the tour over to the saddle below Grizzly summit, where we usually start, is very pretty, but I wonder if it is just as efficient to start low (at that highest ABasin parking lot) and just go straight up. Sometimes one can go to Grizzly summit, but mostly one traverses in from the aforementioned saddle, or a couple hundred feet higher.

On June 7, 2009, Jonathan Kriegel and I cramponed up the face in perfect conditions for climbing. So the climb went very well. It was firm on descent, and skiable if noisy. Someday I will try this starting at noon.

Here is the view as one approaches the final climb to the summit. The upper reaches are pretty rocky so one typically traverses into the bowl from the saddle just out of sight in the photo or, as we did today, from about 200 feet above the saddle, out to the prominent rocks in the face.

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And here is the view of the large face from the highway back up to the pass. The run is 2000 feet of descent.


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