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Trip Report    

Franklin Falls Ice Climbing

Fantastic Washington water ice after a freeze

  • Sat, Jan 20, 2024
  • Franklin Falls
  • Climbing
  • Successful
  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • I-90 was clear to Snoqualmie Summit parking. Trail was packed down enough to walk without snowshoes or microspikes. Original plan was to park at Kendall Katwalk trailhead but it is not accessible due to road being blocked by snow and debris from plows. 

Private trip to get some ice climbs in not too far from home. Very busy day at Franklin Falls--more than a dozen or so ice climbers and many more hikers in the area. 
Parked at Summit and hiked down to the falls along Denny Creek road, which was fully covered in snow.

The routes are around WI3-5. Sturdy ice toward the lower half but some brittle chandelier ice as you approach the top half. Lots of accessible ice between the bridge and main falls. We mainly climbed on the left half of the ice. Some routes looked deceptively dry from the belay but farther up you get a continuous whole body spray of freezing ice water.
Top rope access available by going far left (under the bridge) and up and over the logs into the trees above the ice flows. Be very careful of kicking down snow and ice, which happened multiple times when people were setting up top ropes. Most led up and built an anchor on the ice. 
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View from the top of a route. 
Minus 1 star only because the snow plow would drive over the bridge every now and then and rain brown chunks of snow onto all the climbers, belayers, and our stuff. 
Gaia route: link