My daughter Kenndy has been going to the rock climbing gym a lot lately and recently expressed interest in ice climbing. As a result, I agreed to take her our for a day to see if she liked it as much as gym climbing and bouldering. I had all the gear for her except mountaineering boots, so we stopped in Golden, Colorado, to rent a pair from Bentgate Mountaineering. I wanted to take her somewhere with a short approach and beginner climbing. We initially decided on Secret Waterfall; however, when we drove to the trailhead the parking area was blocked off and it appeared as though the area was closed.
We drove farther up Clear Creek Canyon and saw that both Coors Lite and Mickeys Big Mouth were getting climbed. After debating our future, we surmised that a guided group was at Mickeys and would be there for a while. Therefore, we threw on our packs and made the short approach to Coors Lite. I climbed this ice back in 2007 and twice in 2019. There was only one party at the base of the first pitch and they accommodated us climbing next to them.
I lead the pitch and set up a top rope for us to climb and train on for several hours. Surprisingly, the party next to us left and only a couple other groups stopped by to climb through the first pitch up to the second pitch. We had the area to ourselves most of the day. Kennedy did a great job picking up ice climbing techniques and running laps up Coors Lite. To finish the day, I climbed up to the anchor and brought Kennedy up from above for her to somewhat experience multi-pitch climbing. Since there were other groups now arriving, we walked off and drove home to watch the Super Bowl.
Kennedy ready to climb her first waterfall ice.
Enjoying the climb so far!
Proud dad with his daughter.
A different angle of Kennedy climbing the bottom of pitch 1 of Coors Lite.
Kennedy establishing a good stance.
Clear Creek Canyon
Kennedy pulling the bulge on the first step of pitch 1.
Kennedy on the second step of pitch 1.
Kennedy topping out on pitch 1 of Coors Lite.
The three short steps of Coors Lite's pitch 1.