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North America, United States, Colorado, Ice Climbing in Colorado

Ice Climbing in Colorado. A number of new ice climbs were discovered and climbed in the winter season. Several icicles were found in Paradise Creek Canyon near Rifle. Jim Balog, Jim Logan and Jon Krakauer climbed Parachute. They ascended three pitches of 80° to overhanging ice; a tube or chimney of lacy ice capped by an overhanging curtain was the crux. The climb was thought to be harder than Bridal- veil. Bridalveil Falls, one of Colorado’s classic winter ice climbs and one of the most important ice climbs of the 1970s, has recently been the scene of controversy. The falls, which run over property controlled by the Idorado Mining Company, have been climbed numerous times since the 1976-1977 season. However, since mid-winter of 1979, Idorado has restricted access to the falls. Although Bridalveil Falls lie within a national forest, the company owns patented mining claims for the land and has a legal right to prevent people from using it. On February 20 Kevin Cooney and Tom Pulaski made the approach to the falls under the cover of darkness (the mining company has taken to posting guards near the entry), climbed it and descended to find the sheriff waiting, ticket in hand. At a court hearing, Cooney was sentenced to a $250 fine, seven days in jail, or two years’ probation.

Michael Kennedy