Although lesser-known, Durango quietly holds some spectacular ice climbing. From easy cruises in areas like East Animas ice and Cascade Creek to difficult classics like Upper Haflin Falls and The Seven Year Itch. The Durango area holds in a veil of tongue-in-cheek secrecy some amazing ice routes. Here are some of our favorite areas:
US Highway 550
Vallecito Lake Ice
Lemon Reservoir-Transformation Buttress
A fairyland of ice columns and frozen waterfalls, Cascade Canyon was recently featured in Rock and Ice Magazine and is on the radar for local climbers and visitors alike.
Many of the routes in Cascade Canyon are bolted and well under a pitch tall, making the area a great spot when you can’t afford to ice climb for a full day. The area is just a few miles past Purgatory Resort at the hairpin, on Old Lime Creek Road. You can rap into the canyon or hike down on the trail to the base.
Haflin Creek offers two and occasionally three climbable falls. The Lower falls are an easy fifteen-minute hike and provide some great toprope and ice "bouldering" opportunities. It is also an excellent place to learn and practice leading. The upper falls (when formed) offer up extremely picturesque and challenging climbing. It is a healthy 2.5-mile hike into the falls.