I did send emails to both guys,, apologies for the condition of the ice- i was truly thinking after the dry summer that the flow would be similar to the FA, but,, it didnt even resemble those conditions. Too much flow? froze to quickly? combination? Ice has always puzzled me. Any one with some falls beta out there?
Ron since you did not give perfect beta about the waterfall we want our money back for watching this thread. Also their Second Ascent does not count. They have to do it some other year now. LOL
As I understand waterfalls form differently every year and it depends on MANY things. So first second third or w/e ascent, they can be different even 2-3 days after you climbed the route. That's why ice climbing is so cool- the location of the climb is known, but what you gonna get there is usually a mystery. Especially in CA!
Well the falls at cascade are normally predictable even the kirkwood stuff seems easier to predict. Cold stream, even the flume leaks in the truckee canyon are quite predictable. It almost makes me wonder if the rock on the top of the falls has changed? It used to be a fifty five degree ramp of smooth granite for thirty feet or so above the vertical bottom drop of about fifty feet. Guess ill have too look this coming summer - it may be just the flow..
And their ascent most definitely counts,,there was ice, and the mixed climbing and the scheming of the approach and the walking around with a hungry bear = bonifide 2ND evah...Its quite the hidden little spot to get into nowdays- we used to park by the water tower, and it was ten minutes to the falls. Friggin houses and five acre parcels and such make that approach far more difficult.
Hey Ron no worries, Had a great morning up there. A beautiful little spot, Always enjoy checking out someplace new. And hey we did get to climb some ice! In Nevada not Cali! Which I think is the first time I have done that lol
Basically the problem at the moment is too much water flow and a good snow year. Temps were good for formation last week. The flow is making the middle into open water or very shaky thin stuff over heavy running flow. The right side was pure cauliflower mist aggregate. The snow covered the upper ice. We had about 10' of near vertical, 20 feet of steep 50ish deg, then snow on lower angled stuff then we cut right up a steep little mixed (no ice really) gully about 15 feet.
Some ice climbs are very predictable and consistent, Others are like this one .. quite variable. Both of us suspect it forms nicely on low snow years when it gets cold enough for a few days. It's in a good shaded location.
Again no regrets had a great time and met a great new partner!
As far as the approach we simply started lower down the road (at most an extra mile probably a bit less) and walked by the water tower and then across to the little gorge.
Glad ya had a good time anyhow.. I barely recognize it in that shape ! Our approach was from the top at the rock pass as it were the down the right side- rapped from a willow cluster down into the hole which was solid ice at the base and was dead vert for about 45/50 feet of nice steps and bulges then onto the slab part which was rolling 55 degrees to the belay back at the top from the rock on the left. It was rather GORGEOUS ice actually- we were all giddy n shyt when we saw it. Only three lousy pics were taken of the whole stinkin event bitd. I was hoping it would be better for you guys..
Checked it out yesterday figuring that after all this cold it would be formed up again, but it was still flowing pretty hard, though a line was building up on the left and right side. Brought my gear and was hoping to climb it, but it was too hollow and a fall into the drink would have been grim with the huge cfs. Very cool area and aside from the potential private property issues at the beginning of the slog in. I would have no problem heading over there again if the weather stays cold. Thanks for the beta Ron. I'm wondering though.... how did you guys ever discover this hidden gem?[photo
How we found this is that we used to do a lot of over nighter camp outs in little valley- which sets above and south of the falls- the creek flows out of little valley and down through that canyon and the falls. Good fishing in little valley for creek brookies and there are boulders up there around as well. But the valley itself is gorgeous, and populated with bears- has a large alpine meadow and great camping.. The trail head to get into little valley proper is on the hill as you travel south on franktown, just before the dairy ranch- a small pull out on the west side of the road is the parking for that trail head.
Ron, Thanks for the beta. Do you think the trailhead is still there? I don't remember seeing any potential access to the NFS land, but I'll take another look next time I'm in the neighborhood. Much of that area seems to have been privatized and cut off. Although if I had the dough for one of those housed back there in the forest I guess I wouldn't complain.
Yes the trail head is still there although there is no signs etc.. Its a small pull out at the top of the hill of franktwon road- if traveling from the north end it would be before the dairy ranch just on the south side of the hill..That accesses little valley- above the falls..