Peak(s):  US Grant Pk - 13,767 feet
"V 4" - 13,540 feet
Vermilion Pk - 13,894 feet
Fuller Pk - 13,761 feet
PT 13,300 D - 13,300 feet
Date Posted:  05/23/2012
Date Climbed:   05/19/2012
Author:  FireOnTheMountain
Additional Members:   Boggy B
 Tomata Juice and Dolla Bills   

"Did you guys go all the way up to the lake?"

Harboring a grimace from our faces we replied kindly that we had. Nice folks you come across on a beautiful day in the San Juans...

The plan this go around was to hit some peaks around Ice Lake. Frankly, I would not have bothered with a TR for this trip, but there is not much info on these peaks with snow on them. Besides, who doesn't want to look at some San Juan porn (as my fellow coworkers label my mountain obsession).

We pulled onto county road 7 20 miles south of Ouray around 11 and found ourselves awake 5 hours later hiking up. What planning we did involved Day 1, but we would soon find out our plan would have to wait another year so we headed for Grant, groggy and unsure of what would lie in store.
Snow climb on the approach! Right branch taken

As we reached Island Lake this is the view that greeted us. I know its a little brazen to name features, especially with such an obvious line and short approach, but how about the Union Couloir just between you and I.
The General's Union Couloir

About to turn the right corner for the final pitch

Final Stretch

Massive sun cupping killed the grade, however any disappointment we experienced vanished once we topped out the line. Awaiting us was an outstanding view of the Ophir Valley and a great line to the summit ridge.


Summit of Grant ahead

From the summit of Grant we traversed the south slopes to the V4-Grant Saddle where we veered north and headed for V3.
Our traverse off Grant

Looking up TRs for V3 (ex post facto) all the routes come up from Ophir and there is a damn good reason for this as we would find out.

The west side of the ridge and the summit pitch on the SW aspect seen below in the first pic did not look very inviting so we hopped on the other side of the ridge where we knew a SE facing couloir could lead us to the summit.
Mike adsconding. If you look closely you can see V3's smug grin.

One problem....giant cliff bands. Denied.
Salvation lies up the couloir, death awaits over the edge

Defeated, we grabbed "V 4" which did not entail anything really crazy and descended down to our cache way below Ice Lake and hiked back up to the Lake to spend the night there.

The next morning we headed for Vermillion and its million dollar riches.
Gooooood Morning San Juans

Mike attempting to communicate with our E.T. friends, Golden Horn awaking

Vermillion Dollar Couloir...We took the steeper left branch

In all honesty, both Mike and I were not super impressed with the line after researching it, but it was actually quite enjoyable and got to mid 50s in some places. The cornice at the top can be circumnavigated easily going climber's right. Snow was continuous from Ice Lake to the top of the line.
View up the line

Take me to your leader - Boggster toppin out

Pilot Knobb lookin sumptuous

Once we both got the snow climbs out of our systems, we switched gears for peak bagging mode.
Fuller upahead

After tagging Fuller, we headed over to Beattie and then got our tomato juice on.
View of Fuller and its rowdy neighbor from Beattie

Ridge to V8

The ridge to V8 required lots of class 3 rock hopping, we stayed ridge proper 95% of the time.

Heading to Fuller-Vermillion Saddle with our ridge in the background and Rolling Mtn behind that

Overall, the total ride was about 19 miles with ~6000' of vert and a pretty fun glissade. The snow is lightly freezing over night (just ask Mike whose water bottles froze outside of his bivy) making the snow really nice for climbing (minus the sup cups on Grant).
View from our bivy spot


Tread lightly my friends!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Comments or Questions
Boggy B
try 8500
05/24/2012 05:02
feet of gain. Did it really seem that easy to you?

Nice report. Especially the technical characterization of Fuller and Co. And yes I was getting excellent signal.

nice porn
05/24/2012 10:42
I like this. Great area, and I'm glad you two made it to the lakes. ;)

Brian Thomas
Crunk Ain't Dead
05/24/2012 14:59
I am very much looking forward to visiting this area in 6 weeks. Thank you for posting this!

Naming couloirs, huh?
05/24/2012 15:30
I bet you refer to yourselves in the third person, too

Boggy B
Hulk can't name couloirs?!?
05/24/2012 16:15

Abe Like mountains.
05/24/2012 16:20
Abe go high on mountains. Abe like run. Abe go on snow.

'Bout time Boggy B...
05/24/2012 17:12
made it to the San Juan 13ers... That is a pretty sweet view from camp. Man, I can't believe I almost missed this report. It was buried halfway down the page.

almost missed this too...
05/24/2012 20:48
...nice to discover it as I languish in my cubicle on a Thursday afternoon.

Excellent report, sweet photos. Looks like you guys had a great trip. Ice Lakes Basin sure is tough to beat... been there once and now I'd like to try it with some snow!

Boggy B
about time indeed!
05/24/2012 21:45
I've not been ignorant. Just waiting for the snow to get right.

very very cool!
05/25/2012 02:51
Thank you for this! Nicely done. And sweet photos!

05/25/2012 23:51
Frankly wouldn't have bothered? Dude! Glad you did the write up. That's some sweet terrain and a reminder that I need to expand my horizons some this summer.

You and Mike have been on a roll. Enjoyed the Ypsilon write up and video too. Well done guys.

   Not registered?

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

Please respect private property: supports the rights of private landowners to determine how and by whom their land will be used. In Colorado, it is your responsibility to determine if land is private and to obtain the appropriate permission before entering the property.

© 2022®, 14ers Inc.