Type: Trad, TR, Ice, 90 ft
FA: unknown
Page Views: 14,955 total · 67/month
Shared By: Ben Mottinger on Mar 9, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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This is a nice fat flow that starts off mellow for about 20 feet up to small ledge--then about 55 feet of near vertical right up the middle of this flow. It definitely gets the blood flowing toward the end. Exiting left gains a tree for a TR anchor. Another tree to the right-center is good for the other side. The route is wide enough to allow two TRs at the same time. Some mixed terrain is fun to attempt on TR on the far right side.


About 3 17cm ice screws should be enough.

If or when the top part is not filled in enough, there is a 2 bolt anchor in the alcove to the left about 12' from the top.

Toprope Protection

Several slings about 10 feet in length.


We went in to Hidden Falls on 11/28 and decided, for the greater good, not to climb it. The start of the climb is only a few feet wide and 4-12 inches thick. There was a lot of water coming over the top of the cliff, soaking the upper part of the climb thoroughly. The upper WI4 pillar, if it is left alone, will be quite large and solid in a week or so.

The best thing would be to leave the climb alone for a few more days. It will only take one person with more enthusiasm than skill to ruin it for the season.

The far left side chimney was mostly rock with a little ice. There was a short steep smear off to the right that looked interesting but hard. Nov 30, 2001
Hidden Falls, RMNP, 12/20/01. Main flow in center is fat, dry, brittle, and not yet hacked to pieces. Good fun. Easy gully on left is fat and wet. Thin stuff on right is not touching down. Approach is packed snow, with many bare spots. Dec 21, 2001
Ryan Farris
Missouri City, TX
Ryan Farris   Missouri City, TX
Falls pretty well formed now. Lots of traffic past few days, getting hacked out already. There is now a trail heading toward the falls due to heavy traffic. Dec 31, 2001
This is a great route (on the rare occasion that it isn't crowded). I climbed it the second week of December 2001. I decided to venture too far to the right onto some thin, brittle ice near the top. Some pieces broke off, as did my leg. Whoops, I hope I never do that again. Next time I'll stay a little closer to the center. Jan 23, 2002
Michael Komarnitsky
Seattle, WA
Michael Komarnitsky   Seattle, WA  
The main flow is definitely in, though crowded, as is the easier flow to the left. The flow to the right (WI4?) has come in in just the last two weeks, from talking with people there. A little thin at the start, but after 5' it's nice. Photo to follow. Jan 28, 2002
Julian Smith
Colorado Springs, CO
Julian Smith   Colorado Springs, CO
Hidden Falls is good and fat. It is very hacked up though, with nice ledges for the feet all the way up. Cold temps made it very brittle today and hard to start a screw. Both the right and left side variations are looking good. Feb 10, 2002
Trail in is packed but lots of dirt and rocks - don't use skis. Main flow is stepped out but still a challenge to lead due to difficulty placing screws in brittle ice. Julian solved problem by soloing to the top. No crowd at all on Sunday only two teams all morning. Careful climbing under others, saw several death blocks come down, one smashed my lunch. Belay from fallen tree but be alert and wear helmet at all times. Mixed line at right looks doable but thin at the start and mixed finish (M-4?) Overhanging vertical crack with drytooling and camming with adze. Top-ropeable. Has anyone climbed this on lead to the top?? Name of route?? Feb 11, 2002
Hidden Falls is a hookfest (as anyone who would climb there is probably aware), at about straight WI4. Both sides are in (2-3 lines possible simultaneously), and it was cold and brittle on 3-3. The heavy winds probably have blown off most of the spindrift that would have melted to reform anything; it's pretty ugly right now, but the mixed left-side stuff was fun for my partner. Me, I sketched out on my 2nd lead and got a rope from the leftside anchor. Difficult pro, not much left to screw into. Have at it. :) Mar 4, 2002
I Climbed Hidden Falls In RMNP today. The Ice is thin and cauliflowered. Mostly stubby screws. The pillar on top is touching but did not seem so solid. We did the little mixed finish going left out of the cave. The river is not frozen completely. We had to walk a dead tree down stream from the normal crossing. The trail is all snow, but snowshoes aren't needed. We skied all the way in on nice snow. In a couple more weeks of COLD weather it should be in really good. Nov 2, 2002
Ben Mottinger

Ben Mottinger    
The falls are climbable, but not fat by any means. The pillar at the top is barely attached so be careful. Nov 24, 2002
Jim D.  
We climbed it on Sunday 12/1/02. Main falls is in but still not very fat. The lower third is not as broad as usual. The middle third is comprised of a lot of icicles, and was dripping on Sunday. The WI4 upper pillar is a bit smaller than usual, and is only attached to the top lip with about one square foot of contact area. We were too nervous to lead it, but when we toproped it, it felt and sounded pretty good. A brave party after us led it fine. Small climb to left is in (short WI2?); small climb to right does not touch down the last 12 feet but can be led. We walked up to Ouzel Falls - the short cliffband 100 yards south of the falls that often ices up is bone dry. Dec 3, 2002
Climbed at Hidden Falls on 12/20. Main pillar has come in nicely, but is quite wet; doubt that a screw would hold much. Fine for TR'ing, but perhaps not for leading. Weird day; never made it above freezing, but the ice was running with water all day long. Trail is well packed. Dec 22, 2002
On the left side of the main flow lies a short 15-20' problem that has been sractched up many times. The moves are dicey and steep (M6+) with a little overhanging ice at the top. Really fun way to toprope this ice is to start on the M6+ mixed problem to the WI3 ramp, then traverse right to the overhanging, mixed cauliflower (M4). It gives the climber a good pump and great technical diversity. Too bad it can't be lead safely or without bad rope drag. Jan 27, 2003
I know this will not be a popular opinion, but I have to speak out. I have always really loved mixed climbing considering it to be one of the finest expression of what climbing is all about. BUT... The current raging fad of dry tooling is taking a toll on the environment that is not yet being addressed. One needs only look at the left side base of "Hidden Falls" to see what I am refering to. The dry tooling start here is so scratched up by the poor technique of a multitude of well intentioned ascensionists that it has the appearance of a permanent chalk tattoo. Certainly in the long run this environmental degradation has the same potential for damage as early iron mongery did. Pin use and the subsequent scar damage has been significantly reduced by a consensus of climbers agreeing to change their practices. I am not suggesting that everyone stop dry tooling, or that only the elite few practice it. I am saying that everyone should endeavor to climb without ruining the medium of ascent. Use good technique or wait till your good enough to not flail at it. I'll crawl back to my den of obscurity now. Thanks for the soap box. Phil Broscovak Jan 30, 2003
Well said, Phil. Jan 30, 2003
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
Thanks for the well-needed reminder, Phil. Please tread lightly. Feb 4, 2003
Hidden Falls is still in great but is REALLY hooked out. Still had a great time. We did the thin dihedral just to the right of the flow. (It goes up to a ledge just below a steep offwidth.) Then traversed right on the ledge for about thirty feet right. Another steep, short rock pitch to the top. Don't know anything about it but it was killer. A little bit of ice at the base of the second pitch made it a legit mixed route. If anyone has done this or knows a rating let me know. tomjensen393@hotmail.com Mar 24, 2003
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
Main Falls look steep, are very fat, & are way hooked out making it feel 3+. L is fat. Both R lines are in nicely. Trail is stomped out.

Also, S. St. Vrain is very anemic-looking. Mar 1, 2004
Ice is a very fragile, transitory medium. It is after all slow moving water. Icicles need to be nurtured often by being left alone till later. Climbing ice too soon is tantamount to the farmer tugging at his shoots to get his crop in sooner. Maybe soon we will see a plethora of indoor ice climbing gyms where all the hackers can dang and hangle. Till then let the ice grow! Remember there is a "special place" in hell for 'cicle sackers. Nov 30, 2005
Eric Goltz
Boulder, CO
Eric Goltz   Boulder, CO
A bit wet today. Dec 16, 2005
Climbed Hidden Falls today. The ice was the best I have observed in the last couple of years. Water was running down the middle and right side. Jan 4, 2007
Denver, CO
jbarnum   Denver, CO
I climbed several variations today at the falls, and had an awesome time. Believe it or not, no one else was around. I was however a little concerned about the two anchors in the rock, on the upper left. Only two anchors I saw. One anchor appears to have some type of epoxy on it, and the other was loose, bolt and hanger. I am by no means an anchor expert, and I am sure they are fine for the time being. However, for as much traffic as the falls see, and the poor conditions in which these anchors live, it is only a matter of time. Any word on replacement? What is RMNP stand on such things? Just want to keep the climbing safe. Willing to help out if need be. Feb 19, 2008
Jay Eggleston
Jay Eggleston   Denver
It would be nice if everyone could have a little more patience and wait till it forms a little more before climbing it! Dec 7, 2009
Longmont, Colorado
Joshinator   Longmont, Colorado
Climbed this route today. First time on ice. Main line seemed good enough to me. However, everything else seemed a bit too thin to me and my more experienced partner as well. Dec 13, 2011
Jim Davidson
Fort Collins, Colorado
Jim Davidson   Fort Collins, Colorado
Hidden is in pretty good. There were about 12 climbers there today. Dec 28, 2011
Kevin Gillest
Winter Park CO
Kevin Gillest   Winter Park CO
Great conditions considering the lack of snow.

Feb 19, 2013
Ice is pretty beat up 2/27/13. Feb 27, 2013
If there is any one who could give an up-to-date condition report, that would be greatly appreciated. Trying to make the trip within the next two days, and that would save me some time and money. Mar 25, 2013
Greg Miller
Westminster, CO
Greg Miller   Westminster, CO
FYI, when I was there at the end of December 2014, we rapped from up top down in to the alcove to set a top rope, and found one of the two bolts to be loose. We didn't have a wrench, so we hand tightened it and put in a screw to back it up. If someone else gets up there before I make it back, it would be good to crank on it before hanging on it. Jan 26, 2015
Jack Barker
Boulder, CO
Jack Barker   Boulder, CO
Easiest to take the horse trail in. Then you'll see the falls pretty easily on your left side. Just past the Copeland Falls sign. On 12/7/18, the trail is packed out, no need for snowshoes or skis. Dec 7, 2018