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Routes in Cottonwood Creek (Sherman to Cuba Gulch)

Cotton Picker WI3 M4
Havana Nights WI5-
Open Casket / Closed Casket WI5- M4-
Señor Presidente WI5
Sherman Climb WI4
Type: Ice, 550 ft, 4 pitches, Grade IV
FA: unknown
Page Views: 1,414 total · 12/month
Shared By: Jesse Morehouse on Jun 5, 2008
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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This is a great outing for those who want to climb ice similar to that found in Silverton but not see another soul all day. It is a massive, beautiful flow with 2 large steps comprising the crux(es) and very moderate climbing in between. It is only the sporadic nature of difficulties that keep this from 4 stars in my book.

This climb is massive and South-facing getting lots of sun so even on cold days it can be warm and will not be subject to melting out on you.

P1. Scramble up moderate ice to position yourself below the first steep step. An easy solo here saves time.

P2. Climb the first steep step which is easier than it looks and belay from the slab above.

P3. Move the belay up the moderate slab to the base of the next step. Once more, soloing can speed up the process here.

P4. Climb the crux step to a position below the final, small headwall.

P5. (optional) If you have not had enough yet, surmount the final bit of the flow and grovel through snow to the crest of the spur above.

Descend the route using raps and downclimbing on climber's right. You will likely have to use at least one v-thread.


This is 2.5 miles or so up the closed Cottonwood Creek Rd. This is the furthest in of the "Cuba Gulch" climbs in the Roberts' guide. If you look at the topo map you will see that these climbs are actually NOT in Cuba Gulch but on the North side of the valley more or less directly across from the entrance to Cuba Gulch. Expect the approach to take 2 hours or more.

You will likely need either skis or snowshoes. The road doesn't get regular use and the final approach up the hill would not be fun in boots alone.

Both the approach (road) and climb are threatened by large avalanche slopes so make sure you have assessed the risks before leaving the trailhead.