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Routes in Dark Side

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Shared By: Jeffrey Dunn on Feb 12, 2014
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Description

In front of you as you descend through the Devil's Kitchen, there is a mostly hidden series of rock walls across the valley high above Bridalveil Falls. The name the Dark Side comes from its north facing aspect. The area has both an upper and lower section. There are very attractive moderate ice falls, some mixed lines in leaner conditions, and some more exciting variety in fatter conditions. Most routes are less than half a rope length.

Getting There

Follow the directions to Platte Clove. Although you can approach via the Devils Kitchen, it makes little sense to drop all the way down into the ravine and then climb back up. The easiest approach is via the wooden bridge near the road side parking area. About 50 feet after walking over the bridge, cross the small stream on your left and head towards the steep drop-off. You should be able to recognize a faint trail that starts off traversing above the drop off. Keep traversing generally maintaining your elevation and crossing several icy gullies (microspikes highly advised0. Eventually, the ice curtain dropping over a steep roof will be visible up and right. This is the upper wall.

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To approach the LOWER Dark Side, park at the red artists' cabin and descend there to the stream a short ways below Plattekill Falls. Cross the stream and follow the right bank downstream until you see the brink of the next waterfall (upper Bridalveil). Continue on a mostly level track past this until it's easy to angle downhill. In a couple minutes you'll come to the right end of the lower DS cliffband. Cross under the flows with extreme care (crampons on!) as the slope below you is steep enough to bust you up if you take a tumble.

The upper and lower tiers are not that far apart - you can see the upper from the top of many lower tier routes. So moving between them isn't that hard if you're not where you want to be. Mar 21, 2015

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