Elevation: 10,167 ft
GPS: 39.251, -106.295 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 9,300 total · 47/month
Shared By: Leo Paik on Dec 15, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
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Ice Climbing

This area lies south of the I-70 corridor and has at least a smattering of ice that might be best considered local ice rather than destination ice. However, for the curious, like me, there is some information. Multiple encounters with ice climbers in Vail and at Lincoln hinted at some ice of low-end difficulty near Leadville called Chalk Creek. Yet, it seems it's well-known enough to attract CMC classes. This one I've confirmed.

Whispers of ice on private land in the Climax mine are out there. A conversation with another ice climber has me wanting to search out Belford Falls ice. Other information suggests possible multi-pitch ice on the north face of Quandary Peak. Then, a bit of ice on Belford. Some ice drainages (including the fickle Sword of Damocles) on Mt. Antero and Mt. Princeton.

Probably, this brief list is just a start for those with the inclination to wander or the cognoscetti.

The town of Leadville probably serves as the destination for food, drinks, B&Bs, hot tubs, and other amenities, if not the home for those who climb in this area.

Getting There

Most of the climbs are probably best described from Leadville. There are climbs to the north of Leadville off of CO 91 or south of Leadville off of US Hwy 24. This is the principal road in the area. This area lies to the south of Copper Mountain Ski Resort and I-70.


If you are going through Leadville & need coffee, bakery goods, or wireless internet, the Provin' Grounds Coffee Shop (508 Main St.) may have what you need.

Avalanche Risk

Chalk Creek does have avalanche prone slopes. Beware if you are wandering around above.

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I've known about this area(s) for years and out of consideration for locals and others who wish to have some place that is not documented in order to keep the crowds at bay I've left it out of the guidebook but now that it is posted here, well, the question is......Should these falls in Leadville area (and there are two others) be included in the new, revised Colorado Ice guide? Dec 20, 2002
I lived in Leadville 6 years ago and went wandering into the Chalk Cliffs area above Princeton hot springs saw some ice up there, anybody been in that area lately and seen anything worthwhile? Jan 16, 2003
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
Yes, there is a bit of ice up that way but it is south facing, decent water volume. You probably need a good cold stretch to play up there. There was ice & lots of water up there in December 2002. It can be quite warm up there with sunshine. Jan 18, 2003
Leadville holds a lot of goods for those who look and work for it. Chalk Creek decent, it forms as a low angle pile with about 20' of vertical ice above. CMC, COBS and HMI all hold classes there, and it is hard to have it to yourself, or worse yet, be shut out. Climax is trespassing, and I was greeted By Lake County Sheriffs, beware. Buena Vista also has some goods! Feb 20, 2003
PLEASE NOTE: The Leadville climb is on Rte. 91 NOT US 24 as the above directions say. From Leadville, go NORTH on CO 91 to the 8 mile marker and the pull out for parking in on the LEFT directly across from the 8 mile marker sign and JUST PAST SOME OVERHEAD HIGH TENSION WIRES.

Mar 29, 2012
Zak Munro
VT,CO, Bar Harbor ME
Zak Munro   VT,CO, Bar Harbor ME
Pretty scary experience today up at the falls. While a buddy of mine was hiking on top of the ridge to accesses the anchor, I was underneath the cliffs to right of the falls and he ended up letting loose a huge wind slab that triggered the slope below. Before I had a chance to run, I got swept up and was carried around 60ft downhill and was completely buried. Luckily I had several people right there, and they had my head unburied in under a minute. BE CAREFUL when accessing the trees at the top of the falls from the ridge, Chalk Creek does have avalanche prone slopes, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to take a beacon when climbing. Feb 7, 2014