Rifle Falls State Park. No ice climbing but a beautiful winter destination when in the area of Rifle Mountain Park.
Despite a week of sun and warm temperatures in the valley, the ice in Rifle is super solid. Minus the typical stuff that suffers with prolonged exposure to the sun (Ice Palace for example), there is plenty of stuff to throw your picks at. Here’s an updated look at conditions in Rifle. Get out there and, as always, give us a call at 970-319-0656 for a guided day or personal instruction.
The Final Curtain in Rifle Mountain Park on 1-20-14. Still fat with some ill effect of the sun, particularly on the Pleasure Pillar (far right) because it gets an extra hour or more of sun a day. The nights have been cold to help things stay in shape.
Lone Tree (aka Upper Ice Cave) at Rifle Mountain Park on 1-20-14. The right side hasn’t come in like it has in recent years but the left side is a little fatter, illustrating the fickle nature of ice.
Lower Ice Cave in Rifle Mountain Park on 1-20-14. Usually of little interest to ice climbers, it’s currently looking kind of interesting and may be worth a trip, particularly if you’ve done everything else. The right side looked particularly fat, steep and sustained.
Soul On Ice in Rifle Mountain Park on 1-20-14. The lefthand pillar at the bottom has been climbed but it just doesn’t seem to want to get any fatter. Many have chosen to lead it by starting on the right and traversing left but have reported it to be pretty hard.
Stone Free and Ice Palace in Rifle Mountain Park on 1-20-14. Ice Palace, as expected, has been hammered by the sun but Stone Free has been getting climbed and looks pretty good.
Glenwood Falls on 1-20-14. Just for curiosity’s sake, Glenwood Falls is quickly disappearing with the sun and warm temperatures. Elsewhere in the canyon, Hidden Falls is fat, with a Tyrolean across the river and a trail broken in. Mystery Falls looks good from the road although it’s hard to be sure of the first pitch.