What a gem in the park--a trivial approach by RMNP standards (about 45 minutes), a nice setting, and fat ice. This WI4 fall is about 75 feet in length, and several trees up top provide good TR anchors for a good forearm burning session. Some other flows to the right are thinner but look equally interesting.
Take CO 7 from Lyons (like you were going to the Long's Peak trailhead) and head up the canyon. The entrance to the Wild Basin area is about 5 miles south of the Long's entrance and about 12 miles south of Estes Park. The entrance is marked with a huge sign--stay on the road and take a right at the sign to Copeland Lake. Continue on this road as far as possible--the gate to the ranger's cabin is closed in winter. Park and hike about 1 mile to the ranger cabin, then take the trailhead to the west for another 0.5 miles or so. When you see the sign for Upper and Lower Copeland Falls, continue on until you can see the falls to the left through the trees. Then, hike a little bit further and cross the stream right up the base.
Alternatively, you can walk along the road until you see the second horse trail sign (just short of the bridge that goes into the ranger cabin/trailhead area. Walk on a meandering trail along the south side of the creek past the Copeland Falls hitchrack perhaps a 1/4 miles. The ice will appear on your left.
A. Far Left, WI2-, 1p, 50', screws. B. Mixed problem, M?. C. Small Flow Left, WI2-3, 1p, 50', screws. D. Firhang, M?, 1p, 90', TR or gear. EF. Mixed start to Main Falls, WI4 M5-6 R, 1p, 90', TR or screws. F. Main Falls, WI4, 90', screws. GF. Mixed start to the Main Falls, WI4 M5 R, 1p, 90'. H. Cordes bolt line?, M?, 1p, 90', bolts & screws? I. The Dangler, WI5 M7-, 1p, 90', TR or screws, bolts?, & gear. J. Small Flow Right, WI5 M6, 1p. K. Small Flow further right, WI5-6, 1p, TR.
It's really hard to see the climb from the trail. Best is to stop and listen (screams, clanking screws, etc.) or keep you eyes open for a spot where the trail dips down almost to the creek. It's within a few hundred yard of passing the Falls sign and the first place the trail goes right next to the creek. Cross over there and wind you way up to the falls. Good luck
The left flow is in, the center flow is nice and fat up the middle, but VERY chopped out, the right flow needs some more time. A few challenging mixed starts on the left and right of the main flow got us pumped early.
Had a great day here on the 01/07, but the main flow has seen a lot of traffic. A solid WI4 with a reasonable lead but solid screw placements are becoming scarce between all the steps and pockets.
There is a horse trail that starts from the left side of the road about 100 yards before the ranger's station. There is a small sign for the trail, and it takes you very close to the climb, so you won't have to keep peering through the trees from the main trail. Also, it has a bridge early on, which makes it so you don't have to break trail and cross the creek on ice.
Great intermediate climb! Easy hike route up left side to set a top rope. We used the cornice tree for an anchor point. 60m rope was too short to use trees farther back which are more secure and can give redundant anchor points. Lots of great ice left.
Due to the heavy snow and winds from the past few days, the road to parking lot was closed at the Sandbeach Trailhead Parking Lot yesterday, January 9. If you are going to go climbing at Hidden Falls, it is going to be a much longer hike in until the Park Service can plow the road open.
Did the Mixed/Dry line today left of main flow. The tree is getting beat, but it is still solid enough to make the line possible for mortals. Two fixed nuts in roof no real solid pro potential (pins?) on headwall.