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Oak Creek Falls 

WI5

   
Type:  Ice, 1 pitch, 140', Grade III
Consensus: WI5 [details]
FA: ?
Page Views: 511
Submitted By: Douglas Lossner on Feb 18, 2010

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Oak Creek Falls as seen through a pair of binocula...

Description 

There are two separate pillars with a big, snow covered ledge in between. Each pillar is about 60 to 70 feet long. It could be led in one pitch or you might want to turn it into a separate pitch for each pillar. Since you enter from the top, two 70 meter ropes would be needed to rappel safely from an anchor tree. Note: A bottom up entry is possible but would be very difficult due to deep steep snow in the main Oak Creek drainage. There is actually a tier above the top pillar that you must rappel over, the reason for the 70s. The bottom pillar was the most difficult having overhanging icicles. And on sunny days both will get direct sunlight making pro marginal to dangerous. Top pillar was easy soft ice but could be difficult if conditions got really cold.

Location 

The approach is 1.25 hours to 2.5 hours depending on gear load and snow conditions. Hike up the old Twin Peaks trail located on the north side of Oak Creek Drainage. Stay on trail till the 8,400 foot level, then head south to the rim of Oak Creek drainage. Spotting climbs can be difficult due to very steep terrain.

Per Kevin Craig: don't leave the trail at 8,400', it looks like the thing to do is continue up the Old Twin Peaks trail to the junction with the Twin Peaks Trail at around 9,000' and continue left/SW until above the climb. Scope out the terrain above the climb well from town beforehand and pick out some landmarks so you know when to start contouring/dropping down to the top.

Protection 

Screws, V-threads, big trees at the top to anchor on. No fixed anchors needed for top entry.


Photos of Oak Creek Falls Slideshow Add Photo
Looking up the top tier from the top of the top pillar.
Looking up the top tier from the top of the top pi...
What you see without binoculars.
What you see without binoculars.
Bottom pillar.
Bottom pillar.
Steve Berwanger looking over the top pillar.
Steve Berwanger looking over the top pillar.
Steve Berwanger getting ready to rappel down the bottom pillar.
Steve Berwanger getting ready to rappel down the b...

Comments on Oak Creek Falls Add Comment
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By Kevin Craig
Jan 2, 2014

Regarding the approach, you DEFINITELY don't leave the trail at 8,400'. That is waaay too low unless you want to climb the drainage which is not recommended. Looks like the thing to do is continue up the Old Twin Peaks trail to the junction with the Twin Peaks Trail at around 9,000' and continue left/SW until above the climb. Scope out the terrain above the climb well from town beforehand and pick out some landmarks so you know when to start contouring/dropping down to the top.