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BETA PHOTO: The climb is the right-hand flow in the picture.
This ice climb lies in a gully system that is to the right of the main Glenwood Falls flow. It sneaks up a series of slabs and gullies for 3 to 4 enjoyable pitches, finishing with a short but steep pillar. Overall, this is an enjoyable route to climb, especially if the main Glenwood Falls is not on your agenda.
To access the climb, you must first reach the Hanging Lake exit (125), which is 8.9 miles east of Glenwood Springs on I-70. The only option for taking this exit is for eastbound traffic, so if you are coming from the east, drive past the Hanging Lake rest area, and continue west to the Grizzly Creek rest area, where you can turn around and drive back east through the canyon to take the exit for Hanging Lake.
If the directions seem complicated, locating the climb is not. All of Glenwood Falls is in full view from the road! So, it is really easy to see if conditions look likely enough to bother hiking up to the base.
After parking in the rest area, simply walk west towards the rest area exit, hop over the concrete barrier, and start hiking up hill where it suits you. The approach is predominantly over a talus slope with a little scrub oak thrown in for good measure. It might take 20 to 30 minutes at the most to hike from the car to the base of Glenwood Falls.
This climb is to the right of the main flow of Glenwood Falls. From the base of the falls, look to the right and locate a sliver of ice cascading down a gully about 60 meters to the right of the main flow.
The first pitch has a steeper start, and then kicks back to rolling humps to reach a nice ledge with a sling anchor threaded through some rocks at about 40 meters or so. The second pitch works up an ice-covered slab/left-facing dihedral that varies from 70 to 90 degrees, which ends at a small ledge; another short, steep section above leads to the base of a gully. Climb up the gully, veering right to a tree that has an obvious sling anchor. This might be a 35-meter or so lead up to the tree. From there, continue to scramble up the steeping gully to the base of a sweet pillar for the final pitch. Crank the pillar, and head upwards to the left, finishing in a left-facing dihedral. Once you are above the dihedral, look to the right for a tree with an anchor sling. It is about 25 meters or so to the tree.
This is a climb that might be better climbed with a single rope. This is because the rappels are shorter, and would seem more problematic with two ropes rather than one. Start the descent by rappelling from the tree with slings at the top of the route. Once you are at the end of the rope, down climb the gully until you can reach another obvious tree with slings. Again rappel straight down, through some brush until you are once again in the bottom of the gully. Look back up the gully to locate another tree with slings on it. This tree might be a little hidden, so be sure to look up into the gully for the tree. Another rappel gets you back to the ledge with the slings threaded through the rock. From here, it is a short rappel back to the base of the route.
A selection of screws and a small rack of cams should be sufficient for this route.
BETA PHOTO: Another perspective, showing the main Glenwood Fal...
|By Buff Johnson|
Dec 25, 2006
My guess is this reads like Hidden Falls??
(Post-post -- My bad, was thinking of something else the pic reminded me of. Not close to where I had an idea.)
|By Michael Schneiter|
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Dec 26, 2006
No, Hidden Falls is on the other side of the river. The climb described above is right of Glenwood Falls and is less apt to come in than Glenwood Falls.