Elevation: 10,984 ft
GPS: 39.356, -106.083 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 55,142 total · 236/month
Shared By: Malcolm Daly on Nov 29, 1999
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

Ice Climbing

Great site easily accessible from the Front Range Cities. Located on the NE Face of Mt. Lincoln, the drive is quick, the approach is even quicker so get there early...it gets crowded! There are 3 distinct lines to climb and dozens of variants (deviants?) possible, from half-pitch pillars to three pitch cruise fests.

DO NOT CROSS ON THE ICE OF THE RESERVOIR. This is a let-down reservoir so the water level may be several feet below the ice level. Punch through and you'd never get out.

Getting There

From Breckenridge, drive south to Hoosier Pass. Honk at the Nordic skiers and snowmobilers as you pass and head south about another mile. Look for a major dirt road that cuts back to your right above Montgomery reservoir. Also look for the ice on the NE side of Lincoln. Depending on snow conditions you may be able to drive all the way to a parking lot at the NE corner of the reservoir. Otherwise, park where the road ends. This is a private sub-division so be very careful not to block the road or any driveways. Walk around the north end of the reservoir, past the Magnolia mine site, then chug up the hill to the ice.


Does anyone have the original names for the various flows up here? The various guidebooks have some confusing names & descriptions. It would be nice to clean up this area of the database. So, since no one has coughed up more info, here's a shot at organization.

Left Flows:

2 pitch main line, WI3-4.
Short WI4 pillar low.
Mixed lines angling from the center flow to the left, M3.

Center Flow:

2 pitch main line, WI3-4-. Multiple subtle variations.

Lower Right Cliff:

Mixed crack, M6.
Bolted line, M7?
Hanging Curtain, WI4+.
Primary ice, WI3-4-.

Upper Right Cliff:

Low angled flow, WI2-3.
Bolted line, M7?
Sickle on a Stick, WI5.
Curtain, WI4-5.
Not in the Brochure, WI5 M6.

20 Total Climbs

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Location: Hoosier Pass/Lincoln Fall Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Hoosier Pass/Lincoln Fall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Sun & Shade

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Malcolm Daly
Boulder, CO
Malcolm Daly   Boulder, CO
As of 10/24 there were thin thready lines on the falls. Possibly hacked down if weekend traffic was heavy. Oct 30, 2001
Malcolm Daly
Boulder, CO
Malcolm Daly   Boulder, CO
Thin ice was in on 10/25/01 but if it was crowded on the weekend, it may be gone. It was warm. Oct 30, 2001
The approach is nice and slippery. Most of the ice is good, i was doing a climb today though and it was really brittle because of a lot of active melting. I got soaked :) But, like I say, most of it is pretty good. Decently crowded for a thursday, no telling about the weekend. Nov 15, 2001
The approach takes about 45 minutes, give or take some--definitely not road side, but well worth it. Bolts with chains that are easy to spot for toproping. Nov 15, 2001
Bryson Slothower
Portland, OR
Bryson Slothower   Portland, OR
Please, I know this is some of the only ice in the state but come on, don't camp out with a top rope on these routes all day...take a swing and then give someone else a turn, I showed up on a monday to TR's on every decent piece of ice around (even the gully) and no one let me lead through :( p.s. the ice is good, mixed routes too. Worth the wait I g Nov 17, 2001
Went up on Sunday morning. Arrived at 7AM and there were people on the main flow already! Anyways the conditions were great! Was very crowded by 10:30, but still could find room to play. Well worth a trip up. Dec 3, 2001
Was there on Sunday 12/9/01. The main gully (from WI3- to 4) is fat and healing daily. The two areas to the right were hacked up and not healing as fast. There was much more ice in the main gully than is shown in the above picture. Dec 14, 2001
Flippin' cold and windy and brittle and overclimbed. Still had an f-in' blast! If you go say hello to George! Dec 18, 2001
Hamish Gowans
Golden, CO
Hamish Gowans   Golden, CO
Do not expect easy access to Gillette Falls. Cameron Burns' guide directs one straight across the property of a man who is extremely pissed and has a chip on his shoulder about keeping people out. He has the law on his side, if you're on his property (even though it's not posted -know before you go). He also has a gun at his side if you're not (he confronted us on the fishing club property). Apparently we weren't the first climbers he decided to take a beef with; his reaction to our explanation "It's in a guidebook" was to tell Cam Burns that "he's an asshole." So don't go there unless you want to risk a run in with the Sherriff and/or a pyschopathic gun-toting libertarian vigilante. Jan 19, 2002
Climbed this area last weekend (Sun.)02.17.02 There were about 6 teams of climbers which is pretty light. The ice was pretty dry in most sections, but the main (central flow) was fat and the eastern routes were building. Should be pretty nice in a few weeks. See updated pictures of the area. Mar 3, 2002
Climbed Lincoln on Monday. Most of the ice on the far left was brittle. The bowling alley looked fat though. The major lines to the right are beat to crap...very picked out and limited ice to even hook into. Monday was cold but the upper sections were still getting good water. The lack of snow in the upper bowl has made for limited water supply. Mar 6, 2002
Did Lincoln Falls yesterday. The ice was very brittle, and it was hard to get purchase without a fair amount of plating and also in any hacked-out sections, but decent enough to get screws in. Not too crowded for a Saturday. Thank God for the man who invented hand warmers. My McGuckins neoprene gloves got thrashed and froze. Any recommendations on a good pair of ice gloves for cold weather that are not too bulky and reasonably priced. Vaya con Dios! Mar 10, 2002
Lincoln [Falls] was in great nick today with a mixture of ice types (brittle, hero and pot marked) and with the whole place to ourselves the choices are great. We did the main flow and the flow to the left. Be [careful] on the road down to the car park as its pretty icy and good sport for a slide down an embankment. Alan Buchan Mar 18, 2002
Climbed the left gully on Sat 3/30. Ice is mostly fat blue plastic. 22cm screws - no problem the whole way up. In the shade it's a tad brittle, but overall great conditions. Steep flows are pretty much gone. Some good ice at far right too. What snow there is above the ice is pavement. Apr 2, 2002
Lincoln is coming along nicely. Good sticker ice, along with some warm weather/early season weird chandeliering. Not really in its full glory yet. Oct 23, 2002
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
From a friend Sat, 10/26/2. Wow! 25 people at least. Beware of climbing under other folks. One guy nearly lost a leg or even his life when someone/something caused a TV-sized boulder to fire down the Main Gully. Very crowded in the early season! Oct 28, 2002
Lincoln falls. Looking good overall for this time of year. Healing well. Pillar is in and doable (tough climb) curtain is in and good. Bowling Alley is a bit thin at the head wall but very good for this time of year. The major issue is the PEOPLE!!! At least thirty prosent on the hill by mid day Nov 2... Crazy. Everyone was cool and things went well. So all in all, no big!! Nov 3, 2002
Climbed here on Friday. Bowling Alley in except for snow/rock right before middle belay. Pillar and central cave curtain are in nicely, but ice seemed generally still very warm and water flowing quite fiercely. Snowy, but Avy danger low.

Helen Hunt Falls- Starting to freeze and getting plenty of water, but still too thin for anything. Also, very warm; go around 5am for most stable conditions. Heed my advice until it gets colder: the whole right side had collapsed and is now a pile of ice chunks lying at the bottom! Nov 4, 2002
Check out how conditions looked at the weekend on the Scottish Gully route description._a href=climbingboulder.com/ice/db/… Gully_/a_ Nov 7, 2002
My friends and I went up on Sun. 11/10. The approach took 2+ hours in the knee to waist deep pow-pow. Scottish gully on the left had about the same amount of snow in it as well. Beware of avalanche conditions!The area above the ice flows looked like it was loading up heavy.Have fun. Nov 11, 2002
Good climbing, and very crowed. Obviously, this is a popular spot, so watch out for people above and below you. Have fun. Nov 24, 2002
Climbed at Lincoln on 11/22. L & R main flows in, but still little or no ice on the flatter section of the left main flow and top pitch options appear a bit thin still. Main Falls in pretty fat but getting chopped out. Pillar on right is VERY chopped out but down (TR only I would guess). There's a cascade in very fat around the rock buttress to the left of the left gully. We didn't go over there but saw it from the top of the main falls. Looks sweet but short (maybe 20-30 ft. high). Nov 25, 2002
Indeed, it's in and pretty good, but needs more time to fill in all of the climbs. The far right, pillar, is broken at the top now and may fall on a lead. The rest of that wall (usually fills in with hanging 4-5 ice) isn't in at all. Right flow is in, sections of WI3 near the top. There are enough good lines for at least 6 parties to have independent lines. Left flow is in at 3 for first pitch, then a long snow gully with some ice below (low angle WI1+), second pitch has a great 3+ line and a couple of 4 options without going into questionable areas with just touching icicles. A little more time, but it's very in and very good. :) Nov 25, 2002
Overall, Lincoln is looking good. The Bowling alley is it's usual fat self, but the upper head wall hasn't fully filled in. There are still several good lines though. The middle curtain looks good and is in, as is the Scottish Gully. The top curtain of the Gully is no longer existant, but the WI 2+/3 bulge is fat. Rock or frozen dirt/rock/snow finish @ trees. The far left is beginning to form with a short curtain up high. The pillar to the right is looking ugly, very thin. It was MUCH better two weeks ago. Too warm? The approach is not a problem if you stick to the center of the boulder field. Otherwise it's a bit of snow wallow thru the field.

Anyone have any info regarding the leader fall on Sunday Nov 24? There were several of us @ the trees when he fell and hit the deck. Poss broken leg. Any info out there on his wellbeing? Email me... physique1@mindspring.com. Thanks

Little snow... lots of fun... Nov 25, 2002
Main flow is thick and wet. The large curtain to the right of the main flow hasn't seen developement in awhile, its a bit hacked. The slender piller high on the right side is fractured at the top and is currently a time bomb. Hopefully the water will start diverting soon and the surrounding climbs will see some more formation. Dec 18, 2002
Conditions haven't changed much over the last couple of weeks, other than the curtain to the right of the main flow is even more hacked up and is brittle and the pillar up high on the right is even scarier looking.

I added a rap station (slung block and a quick link) on the left side (looking up) of the main flow (about 1/3 the way up) to hopefully relieve some conjestion on the bolts that are on the right side. Ice is starting to form on the slab below the bolts, so hopefully some more climbing will be available. Jan 6, 2003
Little has changed except the scary pillar is no more and the slab to the right of the main flow is continuing to fill in. It makes for a nice, thin, and spicy lead.

I found a v-thread hook at the base. If it's yours please email me. Jan 18, 2003
Jan 29, 2003

The three main WI3-4 falls are in but the ice is brittle especially pulling onto bulges above the short vertical WI4 sections. The WI5 pillars (on the right side) are not in and do not look likely to be in this year based on current snow conditions. Jan 29, 2003
Little change, except the slab to the right of the main flow has filled in a bit more. It was freaking cold and bullet proof on Sunday.

BTW, some one removed the rap station I put in on the main flow climbers left about 1/3 the way up, for whatever reason... Feb 10, 2003
We were climbing up here yesterday Sat. the 15th. Cold ground temp but absolutely fabulous mixed condition day. According to a hitch hiking local snow boarder that we gave a ride to the area has received new snow over the last fews days. This is good for building new ice, but there hasn't been a lot of temperature differential day to night so the new ice isn't bonding to the old as would be hoped for. And in fact that is what we found to be the case on Lincoln. Phat ice just underneath a layer of chandeliered crust. A little gardening usually allowed for some pretty sticker ice. If this new layer doesn't get trashed or hacked out it should lead to great climbing conditions soon. Be aware that the underlying snow pack has sublimed out badly and has NO bonding to new snow or surface rock. The walk off descent felt oddly vibrational so take CARE. It would probably be best to rap off the routes. Feb 16, 2003
Was there on Tuesday, the 18th I guess that makes it, and the ice was in pretty decent shape, albeit under a layer of non-bonded crud. A little gardening yeilded solid placements.The temps were just at/above freezing so the water was running, which is promising given the cold nights we've been having. Took the advice to avoid the walk off and rapped instead.... sank up to my waist in places wallowing to the upper chains. A day out ice climbin' = a damn good day. To the guys from Golden that gave us a lift in the back of the Nissan... a big THANKS. Feb 20, 2003
Checked out Lincoln Falls on 10-7-03 following up on what looked like a good start one week prior. Now there is nothing! 4-6 inches of snow were present however on the summit and leeward slopes above 13,000'. Come on winter! Oct 10, 2003
Checked out the area on Sat. (10/11/03), dripping with a touch of ice on the right, center, and main flow. Should be something to climb after a spell of cold weather. Oct 13, 2003
As of 10/30/2003 lean and still forming, how ever still fun. Warm weather has slowed down the ice. Nov 2, 2003
Main flow is in. The large curtain to the right of the main flow is 3/4 of the way to touching down. The upper curtain (to the right) is in but hacked. Nov 24, 2003
How is the ice formations as of Feb 1? Does anyone need a partner. Rock climb quite offten but do not have all the gear to ice climb. If someone has extra gear and would like a partner let me know.

Sonia - 970 531-2001 Feb 3, 2004
Main falls were still there on Saturday. Other ice was not wonderful looking. Apr 12, 2004
Just Solo
Colorado Springs
Just Solo   Colorado Springs
Lincoln is looking lean for this time of year. The lower falls are there but not "good" yet. There is rock on the top of the lower falls. The upper falls are still in the sun and still wet and not yet built up enough to be steep. Maybe WI 3 if that... Middle gully is a walk up. Needs some time to develop. Middle curtain, no touchy. Scottish gully, same as upper wall. Far pillar, interesting but still a bit funky. Too many people up there hacking up what there is. All of it is "climbable" but not great. With these warm temps and not much snow, it might be a couple of weeks (at least) before Licoln is up to it's true self. If you choose to climb keep it clean and don't hack it up... Should be a great year. We need some patience. BTW last year this time was 10 times better!!! Nov 8, 2004
Why do you think [Hoosier Pass] is so crowded? Because everyone gets on these stupid [websites] and blabs all over the place! My ethic, you can't tell anyone anything or your private stash is covered by out of state gapers! Nov 17, 2004
What is Newt's? Nov 19, 2004
Newt's is the prominent pillar climber's R of the main gully. I'll try my hand at posting a photo... Nov 25, 2004
Conditions are fairly good. Main flow is great. The large flow to the left of the main flow is in, with the upper curtain looking excellent. The curtain just to the right of the main flow is pretty much non-existant. The steep curtain up and right is in but hacked, the thin pillar is gone. The ramps and short vertical to the left of the aforementioned is in thick. Jan 31, 2005
Lincoln Falls ice looked in great shape.

Anyone have any info on routes they may have been done on the large rock buttress to the right of Lincoln Falls. We tried to give a line a go on Sat. but retreated under sketchy conditions. Apr 18, 2005
George, it's not even November yet. The sooner you start TR'ing the pillars, the sooner they will fall apart, especially on "warm" days. Do the rest of the climbing community a favor and wait a few more weeks and let everything fill in a bit. Oct 30, 2005
Hey all, I checked out Lincoln again on Friday Nov. 4 and found conditions quite a bit better than the previous week. Things are really starting to ice up well though maybe are only still 2/3 or so "in" in terms of things getting really good and big. All of the thin top-outs reported earlier are pretty well iced up though thin spots do still exist. The right line of the middle formation was the most solid, again leading to a much more filled in, varietal and completly iced up (even on the top-out) upper head wall of the bowling alley. Plenty of good screw placements can be found. The first pitch of the bowling alley looked much less good, but appeared to be easy enough to offer no trouble except to perhaps the most beginning of leaders. The crux of the earlier mentioned lower middle area is solid WI 3, perhaps 3+ depending on one's exact line. Now, the cool juice is in the pillars!! MAJOR kudos to whomever redirected the water above the large right formation area, as it is actually quite thick and fully touching down. Here's the kicker though-it is hard! Most of the surface ice was very chandeliered and the climbing quite strenuous. I found it to be fairly insecure and the screw placements bad until 3/4 of the way up. After placing this third, and only good, screw-before which I nearly pitched off-I was so pumped that I hung on a tool for the first time in eight years, put in a great stubby and lowered off. My partner and I each took only one run on TR so as to not hack it up, and still found the climbing hard under the conditions, about WI4+. The topout was good though much thinner and would probably accept some good stubbies. The other pillar variations here are looking steep, very wet, and not quite there yet, with the ones in the center of the middle area looking like they will be awesome when they touch down and thicken up a bit. Back to the pull-ups and some more days out there for me-email me if you would like to get out some time-Cheers! Nov 7, 2005
Just to clarify for the AC who was chastising me for climbing on a pillar early in the season. The ice we climbed was plenty fat, and we did not beat it up with our 2 runs each. There was plenty of other thin stuff that we avoided both out of concern for the future welfare of the ice and ourselves.

Trust me when I say that if the ice is thin enough to be in danger of getting beat up by a few runs on top rope I am way to big a wuss to try climbing it. Nov 9, 2005
Hey all, so looking at the topo, the falls appear to be relatively safe from avalanches, as they look like they would split to either side, but does anyone know if that is true? There is plenty of terrain for it from above, has there ever been one over the falls?

Just curious... thanks! Nov 15, 2005
I'm looking for some current info on the ice conditions here. If you've been in the past week or so please post. Thanks a lot. Feb 9, 2006
Jeff Bryan
Cortez, co
Jeff Bryan   Cortez, co
Lincoln is still in fat. I have never seen it like this in May
May 16,2008 May 16, 2008
Lost and Found: I climbed Lincoln Falls yesterday (12/11/09). I left my boots, gators, and socks in the parking lot near the gate. If you found them please call me or email me:
Vasque- red and black, boa lacing system, size 12
Black gaiters from OR
There is a reward if you have found them....

Otherwise, the ice was in fat! You could climb WI1-WI3 all day long, variation after variation. Dec 12, 2009
Had some trouble with the vague directions for this area last weekend. So I'd like to add some more detailed directions:

From Hoosier Pass south of Breckenridge on Highway 9, head south to County Road 4. This is a dirt road on your right, located where Hwy 9 becomes less steep and windy. If you get to Alma, you've gone too far.

Stay on the right or East side of the flat valley floor (no turns) until you see the dam for Montgomery Reservoir ahead. Just before you reach the dam you will take a right at a 'Y' intersection. If you miss it don't worry, the left (or straight) option dead ends very soon. There was a sign about fishing at this intersection when we were there.

The right/higher road at the 'Y' intersection (PY32 according to Google maps) will take you to the north-most corner of the reservoir via it's east side where you will find parking. From the parking area you can see the ice to the west. It is about a 20 to 40 minute hike, depending on snow and fitness. Remember you're at 11,000 feet! Mar 2, 2010
Climbed here in thin and crowded conditions Nov. 21st, 2010. Go early or go Midweek. Dec 6, 2010
Chris Plesko
Westminster, CO
Chris Plesko   Westminster, CO
Anything in the main gully, Scottish and variations, should go easily with an 80m rope and a 70m should go with minimal to no simul if the 2nd is tied in and ready to walk to the base of the steep ice. Just some beta for those who like long pitches. Mar 12, 2011
Lee Jenkins
Tucson, Arizona
Lee Jenkins   Tucson, Arizona
Anybody been up there lately? Conditions?
Thx Nov 27, 2011
Hiro Protagonist
Hiro Protagonist   Colorado
Does the approach or area below/above the ice typically avalanche? Looking for insight from locals/regulars, etc. I was up there on a CIAC HIGH danger day and bailed before reaching the ice. Feb 20, 2014
LuisC   Boulder
Are there routes where it's easy to set up a toprope without leading the route, just be hiking to the top?

Thanks. Nov 22, 2015

I have lost one pair of Black Diamonds which I had rented from the school on 1/31/2016 when I was climbing in this area. Please help to find it.

Thank you,

Sepideh Feb 8, 2016
Scott E  
My partner dropped one of my screws on Scottish Gully. If you find it, I’d love to get it back. Mar 1, 2018