photo by Will StrathmannLAKE CITYIce Skills 201

Lake City, CO
Feb 2 – 4, 2024

Skill Level:
Beginner to Intermediate

Level 4

Accessibility Rating:
1 = Least Accessible
5 = Most Accessible

Ice Climbing Skills

Shared Airbnb

Group Size:
10 – 12

COST: $225 per person

*If trip spaces fill and you’d like to join the waitlist, please email us at


Many of you have joined, or at least have heard of our annual trip to the world famous Ice Park in Ouray CO, but how many of you know there is another “farmed” ice park an hour closer to the Front Range, that boasts the same high quality ice climbing, and a friendly community that exudes warmth and inviting, mountain town vibes?

Lake City is a quaint and historic mining town, just 5 hours from Denver, in the stunning San Juan Mountains south of Gunnison CO. It is home to the under-the-radar-for-now Lake City Ice Park. The park is made up of three main climbing areas (Water Tower Wall, The Beer Garden, & Dynamite Shack), with dozens of routes graded from easy / moderate, to very difficult. It is also EXTREMELY accessible and user-friendly!

Paradox Sports will be heading down Feb 2-4, to eat, sleep and breathe all things ice climbing, and we’d love for you to join us! We have reserved a beautiful historic home (The Bonnie Rose) for our accommodations, which is a very short walk (or roll!) to downtown and just a few minutes from the ice park itself.

Similar to our Ouray trip, you’ll arrive Friday afternoon / evening to get checked in, geared up, and settled into the house, followed by a welcome dinner, intros and a briefing of the weekend’s plans, as well as a general layout of the town and ice park. Saturday will be a skills-focused day where we’ll practice efficient ice climbing techniques, as well as protection via ice screw placement / ice anchor building, and rappelling using “ice threads”. We’ll also discuss identifying good and bad ice for climbing, as well as chat through some of the risks and rewards specific to ice climbing. Sunday will be a half day of top-rope climbing before we head home.

As an added bonus, we’ll be at the park during the annual and ever-growing Lake City Ice Fest. There will be a speed climbing competition open to everyone on Saturday that is very fun to watch and even more fun to participate in (entry fee is required), so we’ll be able to break up the day a bit, if folks want! Many local shops and vendors will be open for the weekend with awesome gifts to take home, and tasty food & drinks as well.

So… whether you’re looking to hone your ice climbing skills for bigger objectives, or simply want to learn more about climbing ice with good friends in one of Colorado’s hidden gem locations, join us in Lake City, CO!


The approach is very short, but snow/ice conditions can vary. From the parking area at each wall, it is 100-200 yards of walking on snow and/or ice across a frozen creek, to the base of the cliffs. Between the parking areas and the walls, there are chairs and picnic tables, fire pits, and warming huts as well. The routes are all base-managed with plenty of flat ground to spread out to keep safe from the ice-fall zone. If you have limited mobility, we will have guides and volunteers to assist as needed. For folks with service animals, please note that off-leash dogs and children may be present in the park, as well as many other climbers wearing crampons/ice tools, and spectators. We will do our best to communicate the importance of not disturbing your service animal to the hoomans, but the dogs may not fully understand LOL. We’ll create a staging/sitting area a safe distance away from the wall, and ask that you keep your animals there, due to the dangers of falling ice and crampons. The local newspaper usually comes out to take pictures and may want to do some interviews as well, so if you want to be famous in a town of 450 people, here’s your chance!
Winter temperatures in Colorado can vary greatly and, while we’ll hope for sunny skies, all participants should prepare for sub zero temperatures, wind, snow and sleet by packing lots of warm clothing and layers appropriate for being outdoors in the winter. Please review our packing list carefully and let us know if you have any questions or will be unable to acquire a required piece of clothing or equipment. For your protection – boots, crampons and helmets (provided, if applicable) are required at all times once we arrive at the staging area. If you are unsure if any of your gear is appropriate for ice climbing, please contact to discuss, so we can ensure we have you covered.
Paradox Sports strives to serve all individuals regardless of ability, and encourages individuals considering this program to review our Essential Eligibility Criteria here. If you have specific questions about this program, please contact Sam Sala, Program Manager,


NOTE: This itinerary is subject to change.
A finalized schedule will be emailed to you before the trip.

FRIDAY (2/2):

2PM: Arrive at Lake City, check into house, get fitted and kitted with any climbing gear you need.
6PM: Welcome dinner, group intros, briefing on the weekend’s plans and general safety considerations.


7AM: Breakfast at house, lunch prep (build your own) and gear packing.
8:30AM: Depart for climbing, staging and gearing up at ice park (Water Tower).
9AM-4PM: Full day of ice climbing and skills practice, speed competition, lunch at the ice park.
6PM: Dinner at the house, feel free to explore town before and/or after dinner. Restless Spirits and/or Lake City Brewery should be open should you want to go out for drinks, or BYOB if you’d prefer to stay in.

SUNDAY (2/4):

7AM: Breakfast at house, lunch prep (build your own) and final packing (we will be checked out once we leave for climbing)
8:30AM: Depart for climbing, staging and gearing up at ice park (Beer Garden)
9AM-1PM: ½ Day of ice climbing, lunch at ice park
2PM: Depart from Lake City


We encourage participants to have basic outdoor experience and at minimum an introductory understanding of either rock or ice climbing.  All are welcome, but this will be a 201 level skills based trip. Check out our Chalk Creek Ice Climbing Skills: 101 if you’ve never climbed ice before, and want to get prepped for this trip!
We encourage climbers to bring their own personal gear if possible, including a harness and a helmet (and ice boots and crampons if you have them!). Some climbing equipment and personal gear can be borrowed as needed – please include these requests in your registration. You can see a full packing list for trips at the button above, and we are happy to answer any questions about gear that you might have!

All participants and volunteers are responsible for their transportation to and from the event as well as during the weekend.

Lake City is located 5 hrs driving from Denver, CO. Paradox Sports can help connect you with rideshare options from an airport en route or from the Denver/Boulder area with other participants or volunteers joining, depending on ride availability. During registration you will have the option to request carpool, and include where you will be coming from.
Paradox will provide all meals from Friday night dinner through Sunday lunch. All breakfasts and dinners will be group meals at the Bonnie Rose house.  Lunches will be build-your-own and we’ll eat at the ice park. If you have allergies or dietary restrictions, please include that in your registration.
Due to the nature of this program, volunteers should have previous experience on a Paradox Sports trip, attended a Paradox Sports volunteer training, Adaptive Climbing Initiative course, and/or be an experienced climber. We encourage all volunteers to have experience in the outdoors, be comfortable assisting others through variable terrain, and have at least an introductory understanding of ice climbing and the associated equipment. Paradox Sports reserves the right to assign volunteers to appropriate roles based on the assessment of experience, skills, comfort and overall ability.
Volunteers register through the link above, and select “Volunteer Registration”. The cost for volunteering is the same as the cost for adaptive climbers. As a non-profit, we need to cover our cost to operate and this includes both participants and volunteers pitching in to cover trips costs. Often the lines between “participant” and “volunteer” are indistinguishable as we enjoy a weekend of climbing as a community. Registration fees for everyone cover food, lodging, equipment, professional guides, extra programming, insurance, and other overhead for planning the trip. It takes a lot to make these programs succeed – we thank you for your contribution both physically and financially.
If you are an AMGA certified guide and want to volunteer guide time on any of our programs, please contact our Program Manager Sam Sala at

What’s Included:

•    Professional guides and instruction with a ratio of 2:1
•    Lodging: Shared rooms at the Bonnie Rose (Airbnb). We match people with roommates based on requests during the registration process and any other information that we have. If you are coming to the program with someone and are requesting to share a room, please include this in your registration.
•    Meals: Friday dinner; Saturday breakfast, lunch and dinner; Sunday breakfast and lunch
•    Gear: Technical ice climbing equipment provided if needed.  Please specify on your registration what you need so that we can be prepared.

What’s Not Included:

•    Transportation: All participants and volunteers are responsible for getting to and from the event, as well as transportation during the weekend.
•   Guardian / Partner registrations: Each registration is for one individual only. If your friends, significant other, guardian or personal aid would like to join, we ask that they register as a volunteer for the trip and help cover the costs of lodging, meals, logistics, guides, etc. and that they are eager and willing to be an active part of the community for the weekend!
•   Alcohol is not included, and not permitted while on Paradox Sports programs.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of our programs, Paradox Sports has a no pets policy.  If you have a service animal that you plan to bring with you on a program, please be sure to let us know in advance and familiarize yourself with this Service Animal Agreement.  We will require a signed copy of this agreement from anyone bringing a service dog with them on the trip.  If you bring any animals on a program that are not service animals, you may be asked to leave without reimbursement.
*Note: Please be advised that ice climbing trips include risks for your service animal including, but not limited to, extreme cold, falling ice, crampons, and more.  If a staff member or guide encourages you to leave your dog at home, it is out of safety concern for your animal due to the dangers listed above. 

We have a cancellation policy to ensure the maximum number of climbers can attend and spots do not go unused.

If you cancel:

•    2 weeks or more before the event, you will receive a full refund of your registration fees unless costs were incurred by Paradox Sports; in that case, we may retain 10% of your registration fee.
•   Less than 2 weeks before the event and we cannot fill your spot, you will be charged 50% of the registration fee.
•   Without notice (no-show) your registration fee is non-refundable and we will retain the full fee.
•   For cancellations due to emergency situations and special cases, please contact us to discuss options. We will work with you for the best solution.
*If you are asked to leave any Paradox Sports event by staff due to inappropriate behavior, you will not be refunded any fees in association with the trip or event, no matter the duration that you were in attendance. 

Questions? Please contact us at or by phone 720-638-5593