Mountain Project Logo
To save paper & ink, use the [Hide] controls next to photos and comments so you only print what you need.

Silver Cascade Falls

WI2, Ice, 165 ft,  Avg: 1.8 from 17 votes
FA: unknown
Colorado > CO Ice & Mixed > Colorado Spring… > N Cheyenne Canyon
Access Issue: Closed Details

Description

Silver Cascade Falls is a wonderful place for a quick, get-away romp over some moderate grade ice that is oh-so close to Colorado Springs. Merely drive to the top of Cheyenne Canyon and park at the Helen Hunt Falls trailhead. From there, it is only a few minutes walk to the base of the falls. Sporting moderately steep, this is a wonderful place to take someone to learn the basics of ice climbing or to get in a quick lap or two when you can’t get away from town.

From the parking lot at the trailhead, follow the trail for two switchbacks until you arrive at an obvious shoulder. This is also where the wooden fence pinches down into a very distinct corner. Hop the fence and follow an obvious trail down into the creek bed. There is also another way to approach the stream bed from below without having to climb over the fence, but I have never been that way. Once you are in the stream bed, follow it to the base of the climbing. You will know it when you get there. Here you will find some very nice logs that make a wonderful bench where you can sort gear and put on crampons, etc.

The ice follows two rolling bulges to reach the top of the overlook in about 165 feet of climbing or so. Actually, the technical stuff is over much sooner, and you will be walking over snow for the last little bit. There are some trees at the top of the bulges where a top rope can be set up. To get down, either rappel, scramble down to the climbers left, or walk down the trail from the overlook. Enjoy.

Protection

For gear; screws, quick draws, and some slings will be all that is necessary.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Solo with cheap beer!
[Hide Photo] Solo with cheap beer!
Nick Richardson following up to the anchor of Silver Cascade Falls, WI2.
[Hide Photo] Nick Richardson following up to the anchor of Silver Cascade Falls, WI2.
Shane Walter.
[Hide Photo] Shane Walter.
Andrew Simpson having a little solo on the steep right section.
[Hide Photo] Andrew Simpson having a little solo on the steep right section.
Marie finishing her lead, 1/23/14.
[Hide Photo] Marie finishing her lead, 1/23/14.
Marie leading the main wall.
[Hide Photo] Marie leading the main wall.
Melissa TRing Silver Cascade, 2013.
[Hide Photo] Melissa TRing Silver Cascade, 2013.
TRing the left-hand side of Silver Cascade Falls, 2013.
[Hide Photo] TRing the left-hand side of Silver Cascade Falls, 2013.
Finishing the short crux start to the upper slab.
[Hide Photo] Finishing the short crux start to the upper slab.
Nancy's second ice climb. 12/31/07 date stamp on photo is incorrect.
[Hide Photo] Nancy's second ice climb. 12/31/07 date stamp on photo is incorrect.
Bigwall soloing everything around. 12/31/2007. The date stamp on the photo is incorrect.
[Hide Photo] Bigwall soloing everything around. 12/31/2007. The date stamp on the photo is incorrect.
Dempsey, Christmas Eve 2008.
[Hide Photo] Dempsey, Christmas Eve 2008.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
[Hide Comment] FWIW, this place seemed really nice for a teaching area. The main slab can host 2 parties & is about 90 ft to a couple fat trees. There is a shorter slab, wide enough for 2-3 parties, up & left that is probably 30-40' to a tree. I hear this can get quite crowded on weekends. Jan 25, 2007
phil wortmann
Colorado Springs, Co.
[Hide Comment] Great learning/training area if you live nearby. I use to go up just after the sun went down and climb by headlamp. It's always quiet then, just you and the critters (big glowing eyes in the trees). Highly recommended. Grabbed a snowboard descent in March of 04 after a heavy wet spring snow. Very enjoyable. Mar 6, 2007
[Hide Comment] I found a piece of gear hanging from a tree at the base today. If you can identify it, I'll gladly return it asap.

Tony Dec 9, 2007
Jesse Morehouse
CO
  WI2
[Hide Comment] It is mostly low angle and dead easy so a safe place for someone learning to place screws. Can be fun to cruise around on and practice french thechnique or other silly stuff like climb sans toos, sans cons, or other desperate things you might find yourself doing if you are into ice climbing and stuck in the Springs! Jun 1, 2008
Tim Stich
Colorado Springs, Colorado
[Hide Comment] Go early, as it is a popular guided group destination. Jan 3, 2009
bigwallrog
the farside
WI1
[Hide Comment] WI2 is a stretch..... WI3 is fantasy. Two moves of poss WI2 at the top at best.

A fun place for laps, beginners, etc.

Very very crowded most days the are no less than 6 ropes hanging off this thing....

The upper left flow by the tree is a fun place to traverse L-R 'n' back
several times for max pump. Oct 10, 2009
David Hertel
Haines, Alaska
 
[Hide Comment] No offense, but WI1 is a rating for low angle slabs you don't need ice tools for. The entire place can be summed up as WI2, and when conditions are fat, there is a short 8-10 foot section starting above the main slab that could be considered WI3 if it were much longer. The only downside to this place is that it is climbed so frequently, it's all chopped up. The later in the season you go, the less likely you will find a solid placement that hasn't been picked. Jan 9, 2011
r.f
colorado springs
[Hide Comment] Soloed Silver today, ice was thin but a go. Easy cruise, great hour before work, not too hacked up. Dec 20, 2012
Patrick Yarbrough
Colorado Springs, CO
  WI2-3
[Hide Comment] Rope soloed here on 11/14/14. The ice was quite good, but my guess is that it has melted out after our most recent cold spell.

If you happen to be soloing, this can be done as one giant 60 m pitch all the way to the top (in reality, it's about 57m or something, but this is beside the point). However, the more challenging climbing is definitely the bottom section. I'm using "challenging" very liberally. :)

I would describe it as "WI2 punctuated with short WI3 sections", depending on your line.

Nov 16, 2014
[Hide Comment] Found an ice screw on 1/30/16 at the top of Silver Cascade. If you're missing one, send me a message with what size it is, and I can get it back to you! Jan 30, 2016
Ace Boogie
Hollywood, FL
 
[Hide Comment] A huge tree is laying across the entire face after the 'bomb cyclone', 3-14-19. Still climbable around the right. Perhaps some of our arboreal climbers could zip it outta there with a saw, but imagine what it would be like if the flow froze over the tree...! Mar 15, 2019