To the west of Silverton (North on US Hwy 550) up the South Mineral Creek Road (FR 585) there are a number of high-quality ice climbs in the WI3-5 range. Nearly all of these climbs are north facing and can form early in the season. Similar to climbing in Eureka, the South Mineral Creek area is exposed to high avalanche danger. Be aware of the current avalanche conditions before climbing here.
From Silverton, take US Hwy 550 North towards Ouray. After about 2 miles, there will be a sign for the South Mineral Campground off to the left. This is FR 585. There is usually a plowed pullout here to park at. Ski or snowshoe along FR 585 passing below the climbs. FR 585 may be passable early in the season before the snow starts to really fall.
Browse More Classics in South Mineral Creek
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for South Mineral Creek:
Sundance WI4-5 Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 190 feet, Grade III
Snowblind WI4 Trad, Ice, 1000 feet, Grade III
Campground Couloir WI3-4 Trad, Ice, 1000 feet, Grade IV
Direct North Face WI4 Trad, Ice, 1500 feet, Grade IV
Featured Route For South Mineral Creek
Direct North Face WI4 CO : CO Ice & Mixed : ... : South Mineral Creek
The Direct North Face is a Silverton area classic that follows a series of ramps and steps up Peak 12,579'.Start by heading up the drainage, directly to the base of the first steep curtain/pillar. Depending on the conditions, this can be short, easy ice steps (WI2) or snow slogging (easy to solo or simul). Climb the first pitch of steep ice up to a ledge (~70', WI4) and an optional belay. Continue up more steep ice (~100', WI3/4) to a large terrace. Some snow slogging leads to the base of the ne...[more] Browse More Classics in CO