By mid-winter, an icefall usually forms in a gully just above the ghost town of Silverplume. The climb is visible from I-70 and provides a tempting retreat from the usually-heavy ski traffic. Due to the accessibility and visibility of this climb, the climb is fairly popular with beginning to intermediate climbers. Nonetheless, the area sees much less traffic than those in Boulder or Clear Creek Canyon.
Take I-70 West out of Denver. Just past Georgetown you reach the town of Silverplume on the right. Take exit #226, follow Water Street through town. The road turns into an old mining road that parallels I-70 and leads to some abandoned mining structures. Walk up the obvious frozen streambed to the falls. The approach typically requires crampons but the low-angle ice is not technical.
Silverplume Falls forms a wide amphitheater of 60-80 degree ice at the head of the ravine. The formation consists of a short, lower-step followed by a short ledge and finally a longer steep section that is the main section of the climb. The area is wide enough to accommodate several parties, and many variations are possible. The ice, however, is usually thick and homogeneous with all routes fairly similar. Some easy mixed climbing can be had to the edges of the climb. The ice is on the southern...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
Went to Silverplume on 11-13-02. Quite wet, chandeliered and minimal though fun with a little mixed on the sides. Not much climbing but at this time of year beggars can't be choosers, especially with such easy access.
Anchor beta--the top rope anchor on the very crest of the flow is nice, but it is on a big boulder that is not very firmly attached to the planet. It looks a little sketchy to me, and we took the right side downclimb rather than rap off the anchor.