Type: Ice, 250 ft, 2 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 178 total · 17/month
Shared By: mike d on Jan 30, 2018
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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The lower falls presents a worthwhile short pitch of WI3 and is a great alternative to slogging up another switchback and through the forest to reach the upper tier.

The upper falls is a broad, sustained, excellent full pitch of ice at about WI4.

To descend, rappel the upper falls, and then walk off climber's right (north) through the trees to intersect the switchbacks on the Lizard Head trail.


Roberts' description of this climb had us wandering all over Sunshine Mesa. Here is the easy way:

From the Wilson Mesa trailhead, hike, ski, or bike up the old road. After 2 miles, cross Bilk Creek to join the Lizard Head trail. The crossing is just before the trail peters out in a talus field.

On the west side of the creek, the trail soon begins to climb up the hillside, traversing an open talus slope before heading back into the trees. At the first sharp switchback at the edge of the creek, leave the trail, and contour into the creek to reach the lower falls.

The total distance from the trailhead to the lower falls is about 2 3/4 miles of easy hiking. This is best done early in the season before significant snow accumulation increases the avalanche hazard and lengthens the approach.


6-8 screws, 2 60m ropes, anchor material. There are rap stations on trees to right at 50m and 60m, but both trees are not long for this world.

Getting There

From the USFS site:

From Telluride: travel west on CO 145 for approximately 5.7 miles to County Road 63L, Ilium Road/South Fork Road. Turn south on to CR 63L, and continue for about 2.5 miles to County Road 63J, veer right, and continue south on this road. Follow CR 63J for another 4.5 miles to its end at the Wilson Mesa Trailhead. The last mile of this road is steep and rocky. High clearance, four wheel drive vehicles are recommended.