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Kitty Hawk 

Kitty Hawk 


Type:  Ice, Alpine, 3 pitches, 500', Grade III
Original: WI5 [details]
FA: David Thompson, 1980
Season: winter
Page Views: 796
Submitted By: Kris Gorny on May 20, 2013

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Dave Rone going up first pitch.


Classic climb in a very cool location and with beautiful views of Abrahams Lake. The climb consists of the 60m WI4 pitch followed by a 50m steep and sustained WI5 pillar. The third pitch is a 30m WI3 with a bolt station on top (to climbers right). First ascent of Kitty Hawk was accomplished in 1980 as a roped solo following several attempts which reportedly involved a giant whipper, rescue, and 26 stitches.


From Saskatchewan Crossing drive ~38km along Dave Thompson Highway (Hwy 11). The climb will be to your left (north) and is easily recognizable from the highway. Park in an obvious pull out in front of the climb.

To reach the climb, head straight for it through the woods. Once through the woods, locate the gully leading to the base of the ice. The gully, which is initially wide (we chose the right bank to ascend), quickly narrows and fills with WI2-3 ice steps. When we did it, the icy sections was filled with powdery waist deep snow. In lean snow conditions it may be necessary to pitch it out.


Ice screws

Photos of Kitty Hawk Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Kitty Hawk from up close.
Kitty Hawk from up close.
Rock Climbing Photo: Abrahams Lake from Kitty Hawk.
Abrahams Lake from Kitty Hawk.
Rock Climbing Photo: Wading through deep snow in the approach gully.
Wading through deep snow in the approach gully.
Rock Climbing Photo: Spectacular pillar on the 2nd pitch. Photo: Dave R...
Spectacular pillar on the 2nd pitch. Photo: Dave R...
Rock Climbing Photo: Kitty Hawk from Dave Thompson Highway.
Kitty Hawk from Dave Thompson Highway.

Comments on Kitty Hawk Add Comment
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From: Alpine, Utah and Almo, Idaho
Mar 5, 2014

This is an unbelievably cool and huge climb. No one ever on it. If this climb were in Provo Canyon, Ouray or close to Vail, it would be climbed several times a day during season.

It would also be the best climb by far in either area. Bigger and better than Ames Ice Hose and almost the equivalent of Bridalveil in Telluride.

It is a long hour plus hike - but just look at these pictures taken by Kris Gorny and Dave Rone.
By Kris Gorny
Mar 6, 2014

Hey RKM, thanks for the kind words! Beautiful climb for sure. I actually kinda liked not having many people there (none when we climbed it). Adds to the serene feeling of being in the middle of nowhere on unreal ice.
By Drew Spaulding
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 26, 2017
rating: WI5

Great memories! Kittyhawk is a beautiful bowling alley! Only 1 party at a time is strongly suggested! In March '96, Doug Hall and I saw no cars parked on the D.T. Hwy, so we charged up there only to find "Verm" + partner gearing up. They had gotten dropped off and we were very surprised to see them. Choosing not to get pulverized by shrapnel, we buried our gear w/plans to return the next day. Too much whiskey while camping around the fire required Jon Allen to sub for Hallsy the next day... Great climb!!
By Kris Gorny
Mar 24, 2017

A short vid from climbing Kitty Hawk 5-years ago.

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