If you think alpine rock in Rocky Mountain National Park means cold, North-facing stone and elaborate descents, you are mostly correct. But here’s an excellent exception. Ithaca is one of the best routes in the park’s most scenic valley. It faces generally south and is very fast to dry, making it climbable before and after most of the park’s walls come into season.
Using a 70-meter rope, the descent involves just a handful of rappels and a short section of walking easy to do in rock shoes. Although the crux 5.12a pitch may have once earned the grade, it feels a few letters easier now that the crack has cleaned up, allowing more room for gear and fingers in the leftward undercling. The pitch to look out for—or get psyched up for—is the immaculate 5.8 slab start, which is legitimately x-rated, but has excellent stone, secure stances and would be easy to downclimb.