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Big Thompson Canyon Ice

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??? T,TR 
Approach Gully T 
Disney Land 
Hahn's Solo T 
Hidden Agenda T 
Horrooooooooooooom T 
Ice Age T 
Ice Station Zebra T 
Lower Falls T 
Novacaine Game T 
Once in a Blue Moon T,TR 
Peace Break T 
Sharky's Machine T 
Treebeard T 
Unknown T 
Upper Falls T 

Big Thompson Canyon Ice Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 6,686'
Location: 40.4172, -105.3724 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 14,603
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Andrew Gram on Nov 30, 1999
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Who'z thez guys? EP News paper took the photo last...


The ice in Big Thompson Canyon is some of the more popular ice in Colorado. The easy approach and very nice moderate climbing make this a good place to learn to climb or lead. There are two, regularly-forming, distinct pitches here with a short but fun step along the approach. In addition, there are more ice climbs that can form in the vicinity of the Beige Siphon Tube and the next 1.5 miles upstream with the right conditions. Definitely can be a fun place, especially for locals. It may not be worth the drive for non-locals.

Getting There 

Big Thompson Canyon is along US 34 between Loveland and Estes Park. To reach the ice, look for the handicapped fishing access sign. The ice is fairly high on the hillside on the south side of the canyon near here. Crossing the Big Thompson is the crux in early season before the river is frozen over.

Link to Big Thompson Canyon rock 



You may find this webcam helpful to look at conditions: Click on the camera icon.

Climbing Season

For the CO Ice & Mixed area.

Weather station 6.6 miles from here

17 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',11],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Big Thompson Canyon Ice
Rock Climbing Photo: If you want a little road side fun........the Play...

Playground WI2+  Colorado : CO Ice & Mixed : Big Thompson Canyon Ice
Crux is exiting the top. I had to loosen my axes and find slippery rock holds. If you fall from the top out it is R. I gave it that rating because of the lack of screw placements. Short and fun. You can pull up, get out of your car, and be back in in 5 minutes to drive to the next one....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Big Thompson Canyon Ice Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Ice at the tube.
BETA PHOTO: Ice at the tube.

Comments on Big Thompson Canyon Ice Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 2, 2014
By Mark Wheaton
Dec 27, 2001
Lower Falls are out.

Upper Falls are in; center is fat, left and right sides thin and brittle.
By allen simons
Dec 30, 2004
12-28-04-falls are in really good. Surprisingly I was able to walk across the river without any difficulty. Ice was very plastic and hardlly chopped up at all. I'm sure this will change with any colder weather.
By Tom Walker
Feb 20, 2006
Has anyone been up to Thompson Falls recently? What are the conditions like and can you get across the river without falling in?
By kyle kingrey
From: Loveland
Feb 21, 2006
Climbed at Big Thompson on 2/19/06. Lower section still not in and will not come in at all this year. I'm curious as to why the lower section comes in great one year and not at all the next?
Upper section in good..left side has the best ice, middle section is slowly forming and right side is thin.

New area found! Approx 200yds past the Dam Store on the left side of the road about 100yds up, a nice section of ice has formed up due to the recent cold snap. 3 distinguished sections of ice have formed up nicely. WI3 to 5 for 30' to 50'
I climbed the main section WI4 for 35' on 2/20/06 with Allen Simons and Joe Stiles. This area is melting rapidly.
Pictures to come soon.....
By Tom Walker
Mar 11, 2006
Climbed the upper falls at Big Thompson ice today. There is enough ice on the Big Thompson River so you can cross over to the gully that leads to the ice. The ice was in pretty good for the upper falls and no ice was present for the lower falls. If the cold weather stays for several more days, the ice on the left side should get much thicker due to the water running down the ice. The right side of the upper falls was quite brittle.
By Eli Helmuth
From: Ciales, PR
Dec 7, 2006
Well, two things are probably happening here: Until last week, it had been relatively warm up here with temperatures not dropping below freezing at night. Usually these falls do not come into shape until the end of Dec. even when it is cold and wet outside.

As well, we are in a drought; despite what the media and developers say about our water problem. Bear Lake at 9500' in RMNP is showing a total of 7.5 inches of water there for the entire year. Less than 20 inches is considered a "desert ecosystem", and we had little or no moisture up here between January and July this last year with some good rainstorms in the summer that unfortunately don't reach everywhere and in the end leave little water for consumption, ice, forest health, etc.

And the forecast is for a low moisture winter again....
By Tom Walker
Jan 10, 2007
Has anyone been up to Big Thompson to see if the ice is in?
By Tom Walker
Dec 30, 2007
Has anyone been to the Upper or Lower falls at Big Thompson? What are conditions like and can you get across the river?
By Annette
Jan 2, 2008
I haven't been to the Big Thomson Flow yet this season, but I went a few times last season... There's a log to get across the river... it's a little sketch, but it's doable. The approach is very steep but it's quick. When we went last time, my friends were able to do both ice and mixed climbing. Enjoy!
By Brandon Miller
From: Ft. Collins, Colo
Jan 2, 2008
Was up there yesterday, not much ice. The lower falls have nothing and the upper falls is climable, as usual. The crossing is easy and solid. Fun solo.
By Phoenix
From: louisville, colorado
Oct 19, 2008
How far do the borders extend before you hit established rock climbing on either side?
By kyle kingrey
From: Loveland
Jan 6, 2009
NO ice on the Upper or Lower BTC falls. First time that I know of that no ice has been reported on the Upper flow.
By Tom Walker
Feb 20, 2010
Rumor has it Big Thompson is in and not too bad of shape. I was talking to a couple of guys from Fort Collins this morning while climbing and they said it was in and in good shape. Have not been there this year yet to confirm it.
By kyle kingrey
From: Loveland
Mar 17, 2012
Climbed lower and upper falls evening of 3/16/12. Warm weather made for exciting river x-ing. Lower falls was in but sounding a bit hollow. Upper still in but a lot of melting going on. It was 55 degrees up there at 7pm.
By Steve Hoskins
Oct 26, 2012
Anybody know if this early snow and cold snap has formed anything in the canyon yet?
By allen simons
Mar 2, 2014
Drove up the canyon last night, 3-1-14, looks like Once in a Blue Moon and ??? are in and look pretty good.

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