There have been rumors of ice to form in this small canyon, perhaps during times prior to global warming. This area lies at a very low altitude and consequently is subject to the whims of chinooks, Colorado's low latitude, and fickle warm spells in the middle of winter. But, then again, desperate ice climbers have been known to swing tools on frozen water fountain creations. Nonetheless, there have been climbs here done with ice tools & crampson in the WI2-4 range. Some of these have been documented in P. Hubbel's Front Range Crags. Others come from word of mouth.
There is a wonderful shot of ice, albeit short, dripping here on this website.
So, come but be prepared to find less than big blue here. Some have said that the most commonly frozen features get quite short with healthy doses of snow around these parts.
South of Denver, this is in the Castlewood Canyon State Park. It lies E of I-25, north of Castle Rock, south of Denver. Probably if you come from anywhere further a field, you may be disappointed with what you may find here.
Driving Directions: There are two entrances to the park--a West and East entrance. Depending on what areas you plan on climbing, one entrance may be a shorter hike. See the area topo to decide.
From Denver: Take I-25 South to Castle Rock and exit 184 to Founder's Parkway. Then take CO 86 East to Franktown (about 5 miles), but look for the park entrance (Castlewood Rd) to the South before the Franktown stoplight (yes, there's only one in the whole town). This is the West entrance.
If you want to enter from the Southeast, continue to the stoplight and turn South (R) on CO Hwy 83. Stay on this road until you see the sign for the E. entrance, which will be on top of the canyon rim. Look for the signs for the E. entrance. You can also take CO 83 all the way from Co. Springs if you want--it's a much more scenic drive.
Also, it requires a Colorado State Parks pass or a $7/day fee (bring exact change).
Short free-standing 6-7 inch diameter pillar followed by ice filled corner. The crux is not kicking down the pillar getting into the corner. Short, fun, easy access-the downside is that it only forms up rarely (once a decade?)-it needs a snowfall followed by cold weather. As a pure rock route, it's rated in the 5.7+ to 5.9- range....[more]Browse More Classics in CO
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