Ice climbing in the Pikes Peak region is limited to smaller natural flows in and around Colorado Springs and beautiful alpine ice on Pikes Peak. The flows on the peak will be very weather dependant but offer some of the best alpine ice in the state! Prepare for along approches on the peak and possible avalance hazards. The local flow in town is in North Cheyenne Canon and offers WI 2/3 climbing in the silver Cascade flow. Its a smaller area that is frequented by groups on the weekends so get there early.
Before You Get Started
City parks - Every climber will need to fill out the yearly permit to climb in any of the parks. The permits can be found online. Your permit will have a number that you need to be able to show if you are approached by a ranger. All of the city parks have managed anchor replacement processes, no new route development or fixed hardware are allowed without following the proper procedures. More information can be found by contacting the Pikes Peak Climbers Alliance.
The alpine climbing on Pikes Peak can be accessed by hiking the Barr Trail a no cost or by the highway with a $15 per person charge. The road to the top is paved the whole way but does have rules regulating entry and exit times and emergency weather procedures. More info can be found here.
Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics for Rock Climbing
Plan Ahead And Prepare
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area where you plan to climb.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards and emergencies.
- Schedule your climbing to avoid times of high use.
- If you are climbing with a group, communicate your expectations.
- Bring the appropriate equipment for the route(s) you intend to climb.
- Acquire the necessary technical skills including first aid knowledge.
- Check local regulations and ethics regarding the installations and use of fixed protection.
Travel and Camp on Safe, Durable Surfaces
- Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock gravel, dry grasses or snow.
- Always use durable roads and trails to access climbing routes.
- When unpacking gear at crags, choose a durable location for your staging and belay areas.
- Use existing anchors when available.
- Protect water sources by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
- Good camp sites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
Dispose of Waste Properly
- Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your camping and climbing areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food, tape and litter.
- Carry out abandoned or forgotten gear and webbing.
- Minimize the use of chalk when possible. Keep chalk bags closed when not in use to minimize spills.
- Consider packing out solid human waste using an approved method.
- If allowed, deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
Leave What You Find
- Preserve the past: observe, but do not touch, cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects as you find them.
- Avoid developing new routes near archaeological or historical sites, or critical wildlife habitat.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
- Do not build structures, furniture or dig trenches.
Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Consider using a lightweight stove for cooking and bring a headlamp for light.
- Where fire are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
- Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
- Don't bring firewood with you. It may be contaminated with tree killing insects or diseases. Instead, buy local wood near your destination or gather it upon your arrival.
- Burn all wood to coals and ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
- Learn about seasonal route closures and be prepared to back off a route if you disturb wildlife.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach wildlife.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
- If bringing dogs to crags, ensure they're under control or consider leaving them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times. Mating, nesting, raising young or winter.
Be Considerate of Other Visitors
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
- Larger groups should try not to monopolize popular climbing routes, especially during times of high use.
- Maintain a cooperative spirit by being courteous to other users on the trails and at crags.
- Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises unless necessary for communicating with your climbing partner(s).
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles are reprinted with the permission of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. For more information, visit www.LNT.org.
Where to Go
Near Colorado Springs | Pikes Peak Blind Assumption climbs the icy chimney system on the left side of the Corinthian Column. Overall it is more sustained and harder than its cousin, Total Abandon. For 400 feet, it makes its way up 3 pitches before finally relenting on the summit snowfields. For the approach, see Total […]
Near Colorado Springs | South Cheyenne Canyon A good 2 pitch ice climb in the Colorado Springs area. First pitch, I believe is 40 or so feet. Second pitch is close to 110 feet. Top rope off the tree on the right of the 2nd pitch. We used a 70 meter rope and had a […]
Near Colorado Springs | 0.7 Miles | Easy | Out & Back Silver Cascade Falls can be reached by a short and easy hike at the heart of Cheyenne Canyon. Starting at Helent Hunt Falls cross the bridge over the waterfalls and then continue up the well maintanined trail. There are handrails and graded steps […]
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