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.
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.
Havana Nights is a long ribbon of ice that comes down only a few hundred yards to climber's right of Seņor Presidente. Although Jack Roberts book mentions a WI3 approach pitch (which he says can be bypassed by skirting the left side of the climb), this pitch was not there in November of '13.P1 started with a long pitch of WI5- up a pillar to a curtain then a slab and a belay off of rock pro on the right side(50m). P2 involved a mixed start and then 50' of WI4 curtain followed by small steps ...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
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!