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Can you hike Clear Creek ?

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Can you hike Clear Creek ?

Postby jomagam » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:16 pm

I was driving along it on 6 yesterday and it seemed that the ice was pretty thick with at most a couple of feet gap between the the left and right side ice sheets ? Do people hike up on the ice ? It would be cool to do if it's reasonably safe.

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Re: Can you hike Clear Creek ?

Postby pseudoghost » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:01 pm

You might be OK if you stay near the shoreline, but I'd guess its probably pretty thin towards the middle of the creek. I've seen some sections that are frozen over down in Golden that look pretty solid, but are actually overhangs. I've seen a few calve off on people who were on them... I might consider it after a coldsnap, but right now it might be sketchy.

Could be interesting though. Let me know if you decide to give it a shot.

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Re: Can you hike Clear Creek ?

Postby midwestcoast » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:23 pm

Personally, I'd never set foot on ice over running water, no matter how cold it's been.

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Re: Can you hike Clear Creek ?

Postby climbingaggie03 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:32 pm

Here's a pic from ten mile creek (near copper mtn) in january a few years ago
1941_510383890395_3629_n.jpg
1941_510383890395_3629_n.jpg (49.97 KiB) Viewed 810 times


a couple of weeks later, I put a foot through the ice crossing at the same spot

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Re: Can you hike Clear Creek ?

Postby Tory Wells » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:33 pm

midwestcoast wrote:Personally, I'd never set foot on ice over running water, no matter how cold it's been.

Agree.
"Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, am I." -David Gilmour, Pink Floyd

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Re: Can you hike Clear Creek ?

Postby MonGoose » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:05 pm

I think you'd be asking for serious trouble. Even in the back bowls of the ski resorts (Keystone, Vail) you can fall through the snow into little creeks flowing under the snow, which flat out sucks.

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Re: Can you hike Clear Creek ?

Postby midwestcoast » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:03 pm

The obvious issue is that running water doesn't like to freeze and will eat away at the bottom of what ice there is, limiting it's thickness.

The less obvious problem is that if its been cold for a while, creek/river ice can actually get MORE dangerous. When it's been cold for a while, melt runoff slows and the water level drops. Any ice that has already formed, especially if it spans the entire width of the creek, might stay where it is. This leaves an air gap between the ice and the water and even 6 inches of ice will break under your weight if there isn't anything but air below it.

Ice will also flow down stream and pile up when it's warmer, then it freezes and gets buried under snow during a cold snap and you can end up with multiple layers of ice/air/ice/air/water. It's just impossible to tell what you're really standing on a lot of the time. You might be fine or you might go for a swim, it's just a LOT less predictable than lake ice. If you know the creek well and know how deep it is, it might be worth the risk to you. Otherwise it could be a pretty big gamble. JMHO.

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Re: Can you hike Clear Creek ?

Postby RoanMtnMan » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:12 pm

A new sport perhaps? River walking. Or riverneering. I have actually walked up and down Clear Creek ice many a time while trying to eke out the last few days of the flyfishing season. I do suggest waders.
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Re: Can you hike Clear Creek ?

Postby sunny1 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:25 pm

midwestcoast wrote:Personally, I'd never set foot on ice over running water, no matter how cold it's been.


+1

Take a long pole with you to put across the hole, should you fall through, so you can pull yourself out. It'd be hazardous to fall through and be swept downstream under the ice.
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