Hubba Hubba, possibly the most popular ice climb in the Leavenworth area, is a prominent flow visible from Icicle Creek Road near the Bridge Creek Campground (better known as the turnoff for the Colchuck/Stuart Lake trailhead and the end of the maintained road in winter). Martin and Krawarik call it “a beautiful classic climb that tends to come in early in the season and stay in for a good portion of the year.” (Washington Ice, 113)
Although a slightly longer trek than some other popular ice climbs in the Icicle Creek area, Hubba Hubba is an excellent training ground for the beginning ice leader, due both to its aesthetic value and to the quantity of low-angle ice that comes in.
Matt Lemke nearing the top of the second pitch
Ryan Hoover leading through the crux
Getting ThereFrom Hwy 2 follow Icicle Creek Rd approximately 8.4 miles to Bridge Creek Campground, this will usually be as far as the road is plowed. If the parking lot is packed, do not despair, the area is very popular with snowmobilers.
From the parking lot, follow the dirt road across the river, turn right at a gate, and then shortly afterward head up the hill. The popularity of this climb means that if the route is in, there will, in all likelihood, be a well-beaten track to the base of the waterfall.
Although it looks simple enough, this approach should take about an hour and is fairly strenuous toward the end.
The trail up the hill is, as of January 2013, marked with a stick
Route DescriptionFrom the base of the main flow (Hubba Hubba proper) there will be three clearly visible routes: the central WI3 line, a thinner WI2-3 sheet to the right, and a discontinuous WI 3R line up the gully on the left. Hubba Hubba itself is two pitches, but is often done in more to train for multi-pitch climbs; the route on the left is also done is two short pitches while the route on the right is just barely doable in one pitch with a 60m rope.
An AAI guide leading the first pitch of Hubba Hubba
Pitch 1 – most groups start on the right side of the falls, where the curtain touches down most fully, other variations are possible, but likely delicate, chandeliered, and wet. Once above the first 30 feet there are several ways to finish the pitch, either stay to the right and make an anchor along the rock corner, or find a stance on the left, where there are several low angle steps.
Pitch 2 – follow the ice upward through rolling WI2-3 steps, generally speaking the route gets more moderate toward the top.
Descent – rappel off of trees to the climber’s left of the route, this can be done in two rappels or three, depending on how high one finishes on the route.
The main and left lines
Left of Hubba Hubba
Pitch 1 – “climb the first short, but slightly run-out pitch to a good belay on a ledge.” (Martin and Krawarik)
Pitch 2 – ascend the thin smear on the same aspect as Hubba Hubba, protection is supposed to be very difficult, rock pro and pitons advisable.
Descent – rappel the route or walk off to the climber’s right, it seems like it should be possible to get to the tree anchors for Hubba Hubba
The main and right lines
Right of Hubba Hubba
Begins to the right and up about 50 ft from Hubba Hubba, the ice tends to be somewhat thin, although the flow is not nearly as steep as it appears from a distance and overall the climbing is easier than on Hubba Hubba. Ice screws can feel a bit insecure, bring stubbers and rock gear.
Descent – rappel off of a tree toward the left edge of the top of the route.
Essential Gear- Standard ice climbing kit: harnesses, helmets, ice tools, double ropes (at least 60m) advisable and will make rappels much easier
- Small rock rack for the variations, including, reportedly, pitons for the second pitch of the left line.
- Snowshoes may be necessary for the approach after a major snow dump, trekking poles and gaiters may be helpful for the approach as well.
External LinksWashington State Ice website
A few external trip reports
March 2010 (includes left variation)