Castle Rock/Lower Falls Ice Climbing
|GPS:||39.977, -105.457 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
|Page Views:||8,189 total · 37/month|
|Shared By:||Chris Zeller on Nov 29, 1999|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
DescriptionLower Falls includes three main flows approx 160+ feet in length. The climbs are easily visible from the road as you drive up Boulder Canyon just past Castle Rock. These climbs, together with Upper Falls provide the best beginner and after-work ice climbing in the area. The non-existent approach, easy toprope access and mix of difficulty make for an excellent sport-park close to home. As one would imagine, the area is often very crowed on winter weekends. Be courteous to other parties, wear your helmet and belay in a safe location sheltered from falling ice. All the ice here is formed from cracks in the aqueduct above.
A huge debate ensued in the fall of 1997 when a group of climbers increased the number of climbs here by farming ice by siphoning water out of the aqueduct with garden hoses. The most spectacular of these was a 300 foot icefall on Vampire Rock. The authorities finally found out about the climbs and pulled the hoses out and locked grates over the holes. The Boulder Ice Climbers Coalition was established to legally farm ice on the routes; however, attempts to negotiate with Public Service Company (who owns some of the water in the aqueduct), the city of Boulder and the National Park Service have failed to produce an agreement.
As these routes are popular, be considerate of the climbing community by not climbing these routes until the ice has had sufficient time and cold weather to form. Thin ice that is not well adhered to the underlying rock is very fragile and destroying the base layers by climbing them prematurely can set back the formation of the climbs several weeks.
RegulationsEds. As per Boulder County Parks and Open Space staff, this is on Boulder County Parks and Open Space land! Please follow their regulations. Thanks.
Please carefully check the regulations at the particular ice venues before permanently altering the rock. The canyon consists of a complex gridwork of different landowners. Each landowner may have different regulations. Some have even posted them on site. This is important for maintaining good relations and climber access. Thanks.
About 12 miles up the canyon, Castle Rock looms up on the left side at the apex of a right hand turn. Turn off just past the rock to a large dirt pullout directly underneath the west face. Head right across frozen Boulder Creek to reach a well-packed trail, continue 100 yards to the right to the ice. Talk about easy access!
Classic Climbing Routes at Castle Rock/Lower Falls Ice
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season