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The Arkansas Valley is not known as an ice climbing destination; however, there are several areas where ice climbers can enjoy a quick ice bouldering session, an afternoon of single pitch ice climbing, or an all day adventure up a multi-pitch ice route.
Driving up into the mountains and out of the valley one will quickly notice the changing conditions. Bring snowshoes for most of the approaches and plan on being out of cell phone reception. Agnes Vaille Falls was one of the most popular ice climbing areas until a major rock slide in September of 2013 closed the area to all use. The Forest Service is in the process of re-routing the summer trail and evaluating the access for ice climbing. Check with the Salida Ranger District before climbing at Agnes Vaille Falls. Browns Creek Falls offers easy ice while the steeper and more committing Grade III “The Spout” (aka Paradise Falls) will, when conditions are good, challenge seasoned climbers with a mountaineering like adventure.
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