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Routes in Glenwood Canyon Ice

Alcatraz T M11
Deep Throat T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a WI5-6 M7
Glenwood Falls - Left / Right / Center WI4-5
Hidden Falls WI4-5
Hidden Falls (Secret 4th Pitch) WI4
Leftmost Corner at Hidden Falls WI5+ M5+
Unknown WI4-5
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Type: Ice, 250 ft, 3 pitches, Grade III
FA: Lou Dawson / Michael Kennedy, 1977
Page Views: 4,078 total · 32/month
Shared By: Knockneed Man on Apr 25, 2008
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Park at the Shoshone rest area, underneath I-70.

From here, the real crux of the day, can actually be crossing the Colorado River to obtain the south-side of Glenwood Canyon. There is water that's diverted from the river around here, so there are some shallower portions of river that, during cold weather, can form an ice bridge providing access to the other side. There is a dam, but crossing that is illegal, and I believe there are cameras that monitor this.

Once across the river, follow the train tracks West, but do not walk on them, as this too is considered trespassing. Be discrete.

Head South up a gully towards the rim of the canyon, where a large sheet of ice should be visible. This is the object you desire.

The left side of the curtain provides some steeper and mixed options, though the most obvious line follows the right-hand side of the curtain from a chimney area. This is usually WI4. There is a cave that forms behind the curtain about 100 feet up which can provide an interesting belay, or continue up and right to belay. Above that there are two more pitches, one with moderate ice, and an upper pitch which is steep and mixed and being more in the WI5+ range.

Come prepared for a night out when you do this climb as the ice bridge you crossed early in the morning may not be there in the afternoon.


Screws. Rap from V-threads.


Per Tombo: Tree sling raps were available when we climbed the route from the top of the 1st and 2nd pitches. Raps for 2nd pitch are in the small bushy trees down and climbers right from base of third pitch. Raps for 1st pitch are in the trees on climber's right above the snow gully above the little rock band.
Tombo   Boulder
Tree sling raps were available when we climbed the route from the top of the 1st and 2nd pitches. Raps for 2nd pitch are in the small bushy trees down and climbers right from base of third pitch. Raps for 1st pitch are in the trees on climbers right above the snow gully above the little rock band. Apr 26, 2008
Julian Smith
Colorado Springs, CO
Julian Smith   Colorado Springs, CO
Fishing waders can be very useful for getting across the river. I rent them at Anglers Covey in Colorado Springs. Jan 3, 2009
Kevin Fox
Kevin Fox   parker
Route was good...long approach for a little ice. Minimal trail and lots of wallowing in deep snow. 2 hours for the approach. Whew! Jan 11, 2009
We did Hidden Falls on 12/29/09.

As an FYI, at the top of the third pitch there is a single, very rusty and manky 1/4" bolt with slings. Above it is a very tenuous tree (3-4" in diameter) with a sling on it that looks to be set-up to back-up the bolt. Unfortunately the sling had been blown up into the tree and was unreachable. One may be able to reach it, but that would require standing on top of the ice and yarding straight out on the bolt.

I left a biner and lowered off the bolt - slowly and smoothly. This is an accident waiting to happen, so either bring a bolt kit to replace the bolt or be prepared to set-up a v-thread anchor.

Paul Dec 30, 2009
Jay Eggleston
Jay Eggleston   Denver
Thanks for the update, Paul! Rapping puts less force on the anchor than lowering. Although I am in no way saying to trust the bolt. Just a general comment on rappelling vs. lowering on a sketchy anchor. I suppose you may have been backed up by a screw below though. Dec 30, 2009
Jay - What you are suggesting would be highly dangerous in this particular situation. If one were rapping on a single suspect bolt, and the bolt pulled, you would go to the deck. By smoothly lowering off one still has the gear placed on the pitch as a back-up - the fall if the bolt pulled would still be ugly, but it would be worse otherwise. Dec 31, 2009
Jay Eggleston
Jay Eggleston   Denver
I agree with your comment Paul. I wrote, "you were probably backed up by an ice screw when you lowered". You could have been backed up by the same screw, and other gear on the pitch, if rappelling. Either way you would have a backup. Rapping still puts less force on an anchor than lowering, smoothly or not. No more danger involved. Of course the gear has to be cleaned by someone at somepoint, so perhaps this is all a moot point. Ultimately, when cleaning the gear your only backup is the belay anchor below. Dec 31, 2009
Kevin Gillest
Arvada, CO
Kevin Gillest   Arvada, CO
We climbed all 3 pitches of Hidden Falls on 1-09-10, looked at that bolt, and didn't like the looks of it. We also saw no way to get that 48" sewn runner down from that extremely small tree. The ice on the top is too thin for a solid V-thread, we downclimbed about 6 feet down and lowered off a new V-thread. Jan 10, 2010
Ran into Union Pacific security on 2-3-13. He said we were "called in" by the state troopers (though I think it might have just been the folks at the Shoshone plant?). He was firm, but mostly reasonable. We acknowledged that we were on UP property, that we were trying to be quick and discrete, and asked if we could cross to the uphill side. He let us go (but we were already close to the approach trail - we would not have been so lucky 200m further back, and in fact he turned another party behind us around!). This is just and FYI to try and stay as far away from the tracks as possible, as hard as that might be. I hope this doesn't turn into a bigger problem with them.... Feb 5, 2013

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