No one would travel to Steamboat just to climb Fish Creek Falls but if you find yourself in town and need a break from the high costs of commercial skiing then climbing here is a fun diversion.
There is enough ice to allow for several hours of climbing if you don't mind doing laps on the same 2-3 lines that may be in condition.
From the main street in the town of Steamboat (not Steamboat Village)turn north on 3rd Ave. and then right on Fish Creek Falls Road. Stay on the road for several miles until you see the lower parking lot. The upper parking lot is a quarter mile up the road. There is a fee station ($5 as of 3/06)and restrooms at the lot.
Once you are geared up head down the trail at the north end of the lot. The falls are visible well before you get to the stream. Cross the bridge and go left either following the trail over the snowy boulder or along the stream edge. There was a well defined trail when we visited.
The first snow slope look like it could be ice if condtions were perfect but this time it was just packed snow. Crampons were handy in getting to the base of the climb.
Close up of the falls.
The ice is only a single pitch of WI2. Our 60m rope was the perfect length. Either lead up the face or hike/climb on the right edge through the snow mushrooms to the top.
There is enough space for two to three ropes if the ice is full. Otherwise you might be limited to only one rope/line.
A large birch tree is centered at the top of the falls. Several new looking slings and rap rings were in place. Use your own judgement when using exisiting pro. Either use the pro or better yet use your own slings to anchor to the tree.
All the normal ice climbing gear is needed. (this list is only what we used.)