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Glenwood Canyon Ice
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Hidden Falls 
Hidden Falls (Secret 4th Pitch) 
Leftmost Corner at Hidden Falls 
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Hidden Falls 

WI4-5

   
Type:  Ice, 3 pitches, 250', Grade III
Consensus: WI5- [details]
FA: Lou Dawson / Michael Kennedy, 1977
Season: Late December - Early March
Page Views: 2,902
Submitted By: Knockneed Man on Apr 25, 2008
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Leading out of the cave.

Description 

Park at the Shoshone rest area, underneath I-70.

From here, the real crux of the day, can actually be crossing the Colorado River to obtain the south-side of Glenwood Canyon. There is water that's diverted from the river around here, so there are some shallower portions of river that, during cold weather, can form an ice bridge providing access to the other side. There is a dam, but crossing that is illegal, and I believe there are cameras that monitor this.

Once across the river, follow the train tracks West, but do not walk on them, as this too is considered trespassing. Be discrete.

Head South up a gully towards the rim of the canyon, where a large sheet of ice should be visible. This is the object you desire.

The left side of the curtain provides some steeper and mixed options, though the most obvious line follows the right-hand side of the curtain from a chimney area. This is usually WI4. There is a cave that forms behind the curtain about 100 feet up which can provide an interesting belay, or continue up and right to belay. Above that there are two more pitches, one with moderate ice, and an upper pitch which is steep and mixed and being more in the WI5+ range.

Come prepared for a night out when you do this climb as the ice bridge you crossed early in the morning may not be there in the afternoon.


Protection 

Screws. Rap from V-threads.


Descent 

Per Tombo: Tree sling raps were available when we climbed the route from the top of the 1st and 2nd pitches. Raps for 2nd pitch are in the small bushy trees down and climbers right from base of third pitch. Raps for 1st pitch are in the trees on climber's right above the snow gully above the little rock band.



Photos of Hidden Falls Slideshow Add Photo
Hidden Falls.
Hidden Falls.
The last pitch.  1-23-10.
The last pitch. 1-23-10.
Right hand portion of the lower pitch, from a chimney area belay.
Right hand portion of the lower pitch, from a chim...
Hidden Falls, 3rd pitch, left side, leader Carl Pluim, climber Brad Grohusky, climbed 1-09-10.
BETA PHOTO: Hidden Falls, 3rd pitch, left side, leader Carl Pl...
Ice cave at the top of the first pitch. Belay here, or continue on up and right to belay.
Ice cave at the top of the first pitch. Belay here...
Hiking towards the rim of the Canyon.
Hiking towards the rim of the Canyon.
Inside of ice cave.
Inside of ice cave.
Approaching the falls in '02.
Approaching the falls in '02.
Conditions on 1/10/09.
BETA PHOTO: Conditions on 1/10/09.
Unknown climber from Vail.  1-23-10.
Unknown climber from Vail. 1-23-10.
The upper pitch on 1/10/09.
The upper pitch on 1/10/09.
Leading right side, first pitch.  1-22-10. <br />Photo: Witting.
Leading right side, first pitch. 1-22-10.
Photo: ...
Comments on Hidden Falls Add Comment
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By Tombo
From: Boulder
Apr 26, 2008
rating: WI4-5

Tree sling raps were available when we climbed the route from the top of the 1st and 2nd pitches. Raps for 2nd pitch are in the small bushy trees down and climbers right from base of third pitch. Raps for 1st pitch are in the trees on climbers right above the snow gully above the little rock band.

By Julian Smith
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jan 3, 2009

Fishing waders can be very useful for getting across the river. I rent them at Anglers Covey in Colorado Springs.

By kevin fox
From: parker
Jan 11, 2009

Route was good...long approach for a little ice. Minimal trail and lots of wallowing in deep snow. 2 hours for the approach. Whew!

By Paul Gagner
Dec 30, 2009

We did Hidden Falls on 12/29/09.

As an FYI, at the top of the third pitch there is a single, very rusty and manky 1/4" bolt with slings. Above it is a very tenuous tree (3-4" in diameter) with a sling on it that looks to be set-up to back-up the bolt. Unfortunately the sling had been blown up into the tree and was unreachable. One may be able to reach it, but that would require standing on top of the ice and yarding straight out on the bolt.

I left a biner and lowered off the bolt - slowly and smoothly. This is an accident waiting to happen, so either bring a bolt kit to replace the bolt or be prepared to set-up a v-thread anchor.

Paul

By Jay Eggleston
From: Littleton
Dec 30, 2009

Thanks for the update, Paul! Rapping puts less force on the anchor than lowering. Although I am in no way saying to trust the bolt. Just a general comment on rappelling vs. lowering on a sketchy anchor. I suppose you may have been backed up by a screw below though.

By Paul Gagner
Dec 31, 2009

Jay - What you are suggesting would be highly dangerous in this particular situation. If one were rapping on a single suspect bolt, and the bolt pulled, you would go to the deck. By smoothly lowering off one still has the gear placed on the pitch as a back-up - the fall if the bolt pulled would still be ugly, but it would be worse otherwise.

By Jay Eggleston
From: Littleton
Dec 31, 2009

I agree with your comment Paul. I wrote, "you were probably backed up by an ice screw when you lowered". You could have been backed up by the same screw, and other gear on the pitch, if rappelling. Either way you would have a backup. Rapping still puts less force on an anchor than lowering, smoothly or not. No more danger involved. Of course the gear has to be cleaned by someone at somepoint, so perhaps this is all a moot point. Ultimately, when cleaning the gear your only backup is the belay anchor below.

By Kevin Gillest
From: Arvada, CO
Jan 10, 2010

We climbed all 3 pitches of Hidden Falls on 1-09-10, looked at that bolt, and didn't like the looks of it. We also saw no way to get that 48" sewn runner down from that extremely small tree. The ice on the top is too thin for a solid V-thread, we downclimbed about 6 feet down and lowered off a new V-thread.

By Matt Klick
Feb 5, 2013

Ran into Union Pacific security on 2-3-13. He said we were "called in" by the state troopers (though I think it might have just been the folks at the Shoshone plant?). He was firm, but mostly reasonable. We acknowledged that we were on UP property, that we were trying to be quick and discrete, and asked if we could cross to the uphill side. He let us go (but we were already close to the approach trail - we would not have been so lucky 200m further back, and in fact he turned another party behind us around!). This is just and FYI to try and stay as far away from the tracks as possible, as hard as that might be. I hope this doesn't turn into a bigger problem with them....