American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Wyoming, South Fork of Shoshone River, South Fork Ice Routes

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2002

South Fork Ice Routes. In April 1999, while flying over the South Fork near Cody, I discovered a new arena of ice. A day later we began the epic approach, six miles into the Shoshone Wilderness. We named the first and largest amphitheater Garden of the Gods; it hosts one of the largest concentration of icefalls on the South Fork. Andy Cowan and I spent two days climbing in the area, establishing new routes in the Garden of the Gods and Garden of Eden amphitheaters. All routes were between WI3 and WI5+. The remoteness and commitment level kept me out of the area for another year. I returned in January 2001 with Solon Linton, Kristine and Cole of Missoula, and Mike Snyder from Cody and established more great, pure lines. The climbing is some of the best I have ever done, and the ice is just plain big! During the past two trips the following routes have been established: Sucker Love (WI5), Forbidden Fruit (WI4), Redemption (WI5), Revelations (WI5), Wet Dreams (WI5), and Tales from the Crypt (WI3). The climbs range from one to four pitches. With so much ice still to be pursued, there’s no doubt that new routes will continue to go up for many years, along with a few great mixed climbs.

With the last few years being very dry, Cody locals have ventured farther into the South Fork’s depths. First ascents are limitless for those who want to get in there and get after ’em. New routes are going up all the time, such as Spying and Flying (7 pitches, WI5), Wyoming Rodeo (WI5 M5), Top Hooker (3 pitches, WI5), Roeshamboe (WI5), and Dragon’s Tail (WI5+). These are just a few routes established by Mark Devries and me. Photos and route descriptions can be found at

Aaron Mulkey

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