Great White Icicle

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Great White Icicle Canyoneering Canyoning Caving
Also known as: The Great White Icicle.
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Difficulty:3C II PG (v4a4 II)
Raps:‌5, max ↨220ft
Overall:3-5h ⟷2mi
Rock type:Granite
Condition Reports:
12 Sep 2023

"We did an evening run on GWI. The approach is well-worn, but the tree debris from this winter's avalanches remains problematic. Descending GWI was str

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To approach The Great White Icicle, park about two miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon, approximately 100 yards down the canyon from the power plant. A small shoulder on the road can accommodate a few vehicles. Please make sure to park completely off the road. Carpooling from the park ride is also recommended to conserve the limited parking available.

After parking, find a well-worn path through the trees and into the river bed. The river is crossable during low flow but impossible to cross during heavy spring runoff. During times of high water, it's necessary to park further up the canyon and use one of the bridges along the Little Cottonwood Trail.

Once you have crossed the river, follow the Little Cottonwood Trail up about 300 feet. The trail to the base of the Great White Icicle will be on your right and requires some bushwhacking. Near the bottom of the Great White Icicle, continue to the right, bushwacking to a worn and primitive trail. Continue hiking and scrambling upwards through loose rocks and downed trees. Be careful with this approach to avoid rockfall hazards! There's a small stream on the left as you climb upwards.

Once you're near the top, cross over the small stream on the left, in front of a large rock slab, and continue to the left as you progress upwards. The worn trail under the rock slab should be obvious here. Nearing the top, you'll round an exposed corner (with incredible views of the canyon and valley below), downclimb several feet and cross a small creek just before the top of the Great White Icicle.


Rappel 1 (20 feet): The first rappel isn't mandatory and can be bypassed with downclimbing. A natural anchor consists of webbing slung around a broad tree trunk.

Rappel 2 (190 feet): Another natural anchor of webbing slung around a broad tree trunk. There are good ledges below to start your rappel. It's best to send the first person with a rope so they can rig the next rappel because rappel 3 starts on a (very) small ledge.

Rappel 3 (200+ feet): Bolted anchors on a (very) small ledge. With a 200-foot rope, you'll be 20+ feet short of the flat ground. Getting off rappel on the slab and downclimbing the remaining distance safely is straightforward. In low water conditions, you can get off the rappel to the left of the waterfall, allowing more people to meet at the rappel station. But there's still limited space, so sequence carefully.

Rappel 4 (200 feet): Bolted anchors extended with red webbing. The fourth rappel starts on a large ledge and is an ideal spot to meet as a group, have a snack, and enjoy the spectacular views. Rappel extends above the cliff side, with sharp rocks, so set your rope carefully to avoid unnecessary damage.

Rappel 5 (60+ feet): Another optional rappel. It can be downclimbed on the canyon left. But what's the fun of that? Bolted anchors make for easy rigging. Rappel is fun to slide in wet conditions.


Hike back to your vehicle and enjoy the rest of your day!

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Information provided by automated processes. Main photo by (unknown). Authors are listed in chronological order.

In all habitats live animals and plants that deserve respect, please minimize impact on the environment and observe the local ethics. Canyoneering, Canyoning, Caving and other activities described in this site are inherently dangerous. Reliance on the information contained on this site is solely at your own risk. There is no warranty as to accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information provided on this site. The site administrators and all the contributing authors expressly disclaim any and all liability for any loss or injury caused, in whole or in part, by its actions, omissions, or negligence in procuring, compiling or providing information through this site, including without limitation, liability with respect to any use of the information contained herein. If you notice any omission or mistakes, please contribute your knowledge (more information).


Incident:The canyoneer rappelled off the end of his or her rope on the Great White Icicle and fell 300 feet, resulting in fatal injuries in Great White Icicle 2023/06/04trueFatality2023-06-04