Carter Mountain: The best of early season ice climbing
Carter Mountain southwest of Cody Wyoming is consistently one of the earliest ice climbing areas to set up in the western US. The area is readily accessible from the Carter Mountain Access Road in low snow conditions and the best climbing conditions tend to be mid October-early December. The approach hikes to many of the climbs are relatively moderate for Cody standards and the views of the eastern Absaroka range are unbeatable. There are several climbs of moderate difficulty (such as Fool’s Rush and Beginner’s Luck) that are well suited for our intro to ice climbing courses as well as two multipitch climbs (Curtains and Reality Strikes) that are excellent venues for our multipitch ice climbing course.
Classic routes in Carter Mountain:
- Curtains (WI3 3 pitches) – Curtains is the most accessible and enjoyable moderate multipitch ice climb on Carter Mountain, providing three nice pitches of steep and engaging WI3. Park just beyond the meadows area on the Carter Mountain Access Road where the first pitch of the climb comes into view. A 15-20 minute approach on flat ground brings you to a short rock step beneath the stellar first pitch. The following two pitches are shorter but still worth the slog. Belay and rappel from bolted anchors.
Courses available in Carter Mountain:
Resources for planning your ice climbing trip to Carter Mountain:
- Guidebook: Aaron Mulkey’s digital guide
- Gear shop: Sunlight Sports
- Dry tool facility: Heart Mountain Fitness
- Conditions report: Coldfear.com
- Nearby accommodations: Double Diamond X Ranch Ice Climbers’ Hostel
- Food and drink: The Juniper Bar and Bistro, The Irma, Our Place, Beta Coffeehouse
- Rest day attractions: Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Heart Mountain Interpretive Center
Interested in ice climbing with us in Carter Mountain? Send us an email with your name, email address, and brief description of what you’re looking for.