Above Eagle Lake between Tanima Peak and Mahana Peak and just below Eagle's Beak are several options for a climber willing to travel a bit further into the backcountry during the snow seasons. Here you will find several secluded virgin-ice falls in a stunning setting. The ice offers anything from WI2 to WI4+, and there is enough of it for two days of fun climbing. Mixed lines are also here for those compelled to scratch it up. Camp close and enjoy a hidden gem of RMNP.
A backcountry permit is required for camping in RMNP. You can self register until May 1st at the Wild Basin TH.
Approach as for Hidden Falls and Ouzel Falls. Continue past Ouzel Falls on the Thunder Lake trail. At approximately 9,800’, head off trail with the intention of following North St. Vrain Creek up to its confluence with a tributary originating out of Eagle Lake. Follow the tributary past Mertensia Falls up a forested headwall. A second headwall must be overcome near treeline. Once at Eagle Lake, the ice will be obvious.
Traveling light with skis can probably get you there in around 4 hours. It's approximately 8 miles from the snow closure at 8380' and around 3k vertical feet with some ups and downs on the approach.
Avalanche terrain is minimal until you leave North St. Vrain Creek and head up toward Eagle Lake. Beyond this point, your ability to assess and respond accordingly to snow pack stability is critical.
The Lower Eagle Lake Ice is wide but never more than one pitch in length and gets harder from left to right. On climber's left, several WI2 and WI3 lines are possible. On climber's right, you can find some WI4 and more difficult mixed lines. Walk-off down steep snow to climber's right....[more]Browse More Classics in CO
After spying these shockingly blue flows on 4-10-10 from across North St Vrain Valley during some Denali training, I was pretty surprised to not find any further information in guidebooks or online. My curiosity got the best of me, so I headed back up the following weekend and checked it out. Most likely someone has climbed this stuff at some point, but maybe the long approach and moderate ratings has kept these unclimbed until now? Anyone have anything to add?
By Rick Casey From: Lafayette, Colorado Dec 24, 2012
The Lat/Long appears incorrect; clicking on Map shows a location northeast of Mt. Lady Washington...not exactly in Wild Basin!
By Leo Paik Administrator From: Westminster, Colorado Dec 24, 2012
Rick, when I click on "map" I get a green arrow that looks like it is in Wild Basin.