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Lake City

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Cataract Gulch 
Cottonwood Creek (Sherman to Cuba Gulch) 
God's Cave 
Gunnison River Valley 
Henson Creek Road 
Lake City Ice Park 
Sunshine Peak Flows 
Ute Ulay Mine 

Lake City  

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Elevation: 8,671'
Location: 38.02563, -107.32047 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 51,426
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ben Bruestle on Mar 19, 2006






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Lake City is beautiful, historic mining town located deep in the San Juans. The town is already well known by Alferd Packer fans and as a summer retreat for Texans. It has always had a quiet history of backcountry ice climbing. Ice farming around Lake City began over a decade ago. Since then a few new ice park destinations have been created near town. New modern mixed lines by Ryan Nelson and Jared Ogden should keep even the world's best mixed masters busy.

There are many opportunities for lodging in Lake City. Climbers will be pleased to find reasonably priced cabins with kitchenettes at a couple locations. There are a few motels too. No hottubs in town, yet. Beer and restaurants can get kind of tricky. One of the liquor stores closes by 7:00pm! Many of the restaurants seem to close on the weekend leaving only upscale dining as the only option. This situation should change in the future as more climbers frequent the area during the winter months.

The classic route is the Sherman Climb/IXel Peak (previously misnamed Half Peak route). Three+ pitches of wilderness ice with a relatively short approach. Beware of the avalanche bowl on top. Many of the backcountry climbs can have serious avalanche danger, similar to Silverton/Eureka. Ice areas to check out around Lake City include the Lake City Ice Park, Ute Ulay Ice Park, Sunshine Peak climbs, Gods Crag and Cataract Gulch to name a few. Future plans are for continued ice development along Henson Creek.

The Official Lake City Ice Climbs Website

Getting There 

Lake City is located along State Route 149, between Gunnison and Creede. US Hwy 50 meets up with 149 west of Gunnison at Blue Mesa Reservoir. 149 is reached from the south via US Route 160 in South Fork.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.7 miles from here

18 Total Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',8],['2 Stars',4],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Lake City:
Illusional - aka Talus Hill Climb   WI4- PG13     Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 130'   Gunnison River Valley
Unknown WI4   WI4     Ice, Alpine, 1 pitch, 150'   Cataract Gulch
Unknown WI3   WI3 M4     Mixed, Ice, 3 pitches, 400'   Cottonwood Creek (Sherman t...
Sherman Climb   WI4     Ice, 4 pitches   Cottonwood Creek (Sherman t...
Browse More Classics in Lake City

Featured Route For Lake City
A view of the climb from the road.

Unknown WI3 WI3 M4  CO : CO Ice & Mixed : ... : Cottonwood Creek (Sherman t...
The pictures and this description are valid for Nov. 10, 2009. Note at the time of ascent the climbing was no harder than WI3+ M4. Once the ice gets fatter this has potential to be a really cool climb with great views.Rack: Rock pro and screws.P1: Follow the low angle slab to the ledge belay from a the fixed webbing on a tree 20 feet up and right.P2: From the tree move left and climb up to the next shelf. Belay from a tree with fixed webbing about 10 feet up and right.P3: Slog through the snow f...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

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By Jesse Morehouse
From: CO
Jun 6, 2008
Check out the official Lake City ice climbing page - mediocre accuracy but it gives you the general idea and has links to local lodging.


Check out the link to the activity map which lists some of the locations on a topo map of the area. You can order a free copy from the Lake City Visitor Center via this site as well- now that's service!
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