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WI3 M4, Mixed, Ice, 400 ft, 3 pitches, Grade III,
Avg: 3.2 from 6 votes
Colorado > CO Ice & Mixed > Lake City > Cottonwood Creek (Sherman to Cuba Gulch)
This climb seems to form consistently and typically forms 3+ pitches.
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 for about 70 feet to the base of the third pitch. Climb the third pitch, and either find a tree or v-thread to rappel to the belays to reach the bottom.
Note: double 60m ropes are required for the rappel beta.
Rack: rock pro and screws.
Drive 1.3 miles past the seasonal closure to a pullout on the left side of the road. From here, look directly left and see the ice. Cross the stream and hike up the gully to the base.
Bring a good set of screws with stubbys and some small rock pro (wires and TCUs).
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Fat conditions on 2015-01-03, no rock on route. Beware of avy conditions. We did it after it had recently slid and felt safe, but before would have been scary.
A view of the climb from the road.
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Colorado Springs, CO
WI3 M4 PG13
Climbed this to the summit with a client over three days. First day was a late start on the ice to a small bivy on the right before the snow gully turns. The next day was some snow and easier (M4ish) climbing to the left of where the snow ends at a headwall. I imagine in late winter or in a wetter winter there may be a another pitch of ice. As it was, we pulled some mixed shenanigans and traversed back into the gully. From there, we climbed about 1000' of steepish snow and then some easy mixed to another nice bivy just above 12,800 (more spacious one at 12,100'). The last has couple of hundred feet has some fun snow ridge, a little rock scrambling, and some great views. Overall, it was about 3000' of climbing with at least half of it worth bringing the rope for. The climbing was WI3 M4 50 degree snow. Great as an alpine route. We took packs for the fun of bivvying on the route, but a fast party should be capable of doing it in a day in good conditions. A less fast party could probably get to the spacious bivy at 12,100. If anyone has any FA info or knowledge of whether it's been done to the top, I'd love to hear about it.
Digging deep! 12,100' bivy in the background.
Apr 14, 2015