Type: Trad, Ice, Alpine, 100 ft (30 m), Grade III
FA: ???
Page Views: 472 total · 19/month
Shared By: mike d on May 10, 2020
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

You & This Route


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Description

This is a short pitch of ice in an awesome alpine setting, nestled at the base of the sweeping east face of 13,000-foot peak "S4."

30 feet of steep ice leads to 60 or 70 feet of WI2. The steep bit is longer and steeper than it looks from below, and it may be thin and delaminated. The upper section should be thicker.

To descend, either v-thread where the ice runs out (~30m to the base) or continue up a bit and rappel off your choice of bushes or stubby trees.

Location

From Ridgway, take CO 62 west 4 miles, then turn left onto CR 7 (signed for Dallas Creek), and follow this road south to its end at the Blue Lakes Trailhead. If you know where to look, you can see the route from CR 7 when "S4" comes into full view.

Follow the Blue Lakes Trail 2.5 miles, past a large clearing and into a strip of forest below the east face of "S4." Leave the trail (38.0085, -107.8206), climbing southwest towards the face. You should see the ice in a shaded, right-facing corner just left of a deeply inset couloir. Climb steepening snow to the base of the ice. It may be difficult not to bomb the belay.

This is a spring climb. Aim for early May. An alpine start is recommended--the route is in avalanche terrain, and the rock comes apart when things warm up. Extreme caution is warranted if there are not already avalanche troughs beneath the route and adjoining couloirs.

The Blue Lakes Trailhead may not be snow-free by May. Usually you can get close enough. Skis or snowshoes are recommended.

Protection

Short screws, two ropes, and a v-thread kit.

Photos