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GPS: 39.98116, -105.45459
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Shared By: Chris Zeller on Nov 29, 1999
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

Description Suggest change

Upper Falls includes two main flows approx 20-60 feet in length. The climbs are easily visible from the road as you drive up Boulder Canyon about a quarter mile past Castle Rock. These climbs, provide generally steeper and more challenging ice than lower falls although the routes are shorter. 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. Like Lower Falls, 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 ClimberÂ’s 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.

Regulations Suggest change

Eds. 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, no new bolts!!! The rules are clearly posted there. We as climbers need to make this work. There are regulations which have been posted for a number of years at this site. Please be aware before taking action into your own hands.

Getting There

Suggest change
About 12 miles up the canyon, Castle Rock looms up on the left side at the apex of a right hand turn. Continue past Castle Rock about a quarter of a mile, and park in a small gravel parking area on the right (The climbs are visible from the road 100-200yds. west of the parking area.) Cross the road and walk about 100yds. west. Alternatively, you can park about 200 yards uphill as for Surprising Crag/Sport Park. Follow one of several social trails to Boulder Creek. Cross the creek when frozen or on a large log. Follow more social trails to the base of the climb. Talk about easy access!

7 Total Climbs

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Location: Upper Falls - Ice Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Upper Falls - Ice

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
The Pencil aka Candlestick
Trad, Ice
M8-9 R
Master of Puppets
Trad, TR, Mixed
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Pencil aka Candlestick
WI4-5 Trad, Ice
Master of Puppets
M8-9 R Trad, TR, Mixed
More Classic Climbs in Upper Falls - Ice »

Sun & Shade Suggest change

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