Ice Climbing

Silver Plume Ice

Silver Plume, Colorado

Above the old silver mine at Silver Plume, Colorado, a curtain of ice forms
without fail every winter. From the very top to its very bottom, it is
almost a hundred feet high, divided into two sections by a low angle
shelf of ice and snow. There are two sets of bolt anchors on top. As
roadside icicles go, this is one of the best practice areas around.

Rod on the plod

Rod Lauer plodding
above Interstate 70
16 January 2004

The creek bed is a good warm-up

Rod nears the falls
of the frozen creek
16 January 2004

Rod's an adept ice climber

Rod beginning the
steep upper tier
16 January 2004

This was our first climb together

Rod Lauer, safe
on a toprope
16 January 2004

We top-roped for starters

He made short work
of the this section
16 January 2004

Later, we led the routes.

Rod nicking small
holds in the ice
16 January 2004

Rod displays an obvious high level of experience.

Moving toward the
secure bolt anchors
16 January 2004

Ben Boykin

Ben, absent-mindedly
losing his head...
16 January 2004

Stacy Bender

Photog Stacy Bender
arrives at the base
2 February 2004

Upper tier

The main upper tier
at Silver Plume
2 February 2004*

It's a bit of a drive from Cheyenne, but I have managed
to while away the better part of a day on this formation.
Its southern exposure assures that Silver Plume is one
of the first ice climbs to sun-rot and fall apart in the Spring!

Another half day at Silver Plume

Dropping my pack
at the base
2 February 2004*

I think this was the first lead of the day...

Heading straight up
the very middle
2 February 2004*

Reaching for a quickdraw

Ben's lead on the
middle of the route
2 February 2004*

Eye protection is essential

Ice shards flying,
Stacy climbing
2 February 2004

Today, we took learns leading

Stacy's lead on
the left pillar
2 February 2004

Stacy's lead

We could hear the
creek below the ice
2 February 2004

Stacy's lead

Moving toward the
secure bolt anchors
2 February 2004

This is one of the more difficult lines there.

Erich Bochmann
leading the far left
30 December 2008

Greg Handelman & Erich Bochmann

Profile of the falls
at "closing time"
30 December 2008

Greg Handelman

Squeak gets down at
the end of the day
30 December 2008

All photos Ben Boykin, except
* photos 2004 Stacy Bender

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