All climbs are located on northern facing slopes of Peak 12579 (watch out for avalanches!)
Most people climb first 4 pitches, higher up there may be some eaasier flow of ice I have no explored since it was covered with snow. The crux of climbing is right in the middle and 2nd crux towards the end.
Silverton is a popular ice climbing destination. Most people head towards Eureka with a high density of multi pitch ice routes. South Mineral would be the 2nd most popular ice destination, and typically popular early in the season when one can drive in.
Ouray ice park is located 23 miles north from Silverton along Million Dollar Hwy. The road from Silverton to Ouray goes over Red Mountain Pass, 11,018 feet high pass (3,358 m), with very exposed road, amazing scenery, and prone to avalanches. The road does get closed if there is a lot of new snow fall for avalanche control. Red Mountain Pass is a popular back country ski destination.
Remember the area if prone to high avalanche danger for much of the winter. Always check on conditions before your adventure.
In the winter, it is another story. The road is not snowplowed, and I heard stories about people camping at South Mineral Campground who got stuck there during a snowstorm. Bring chains for your vehicle and a shovel just in case. Do not drive in if there is a lot of fresh snow and if you don't see any other tracks. Do not follow snowmobile tracks with your car. Also many people use this dirt road for cross country skiing.
It is 4.5 miles from Highway 550 to the South Mineral Campground. Snowblind is about 4 miles in. Park in the side of the road about 0.5 mile before South Mineral Creek Campground (or 0.5 mile past the turn off for Clear Lake dirt road branching to the left). You should be able to see Snowblind in a deep cleft from your parking spot.
Remember avalanche danger is high on this one.
Cross South Mineral Creek and head for the ice climb through some willows (not too bad). You may be lucky and there may be a trail in the snow.
Pitch 1: mostly easy rolling ice, there may be a short WI3-4 step, but mostly WI2-3, all the way to the steep ice
Pitch 2: Steep ice could be WI5 or mixed early in the season. I have done this climb 2x and each time if was very different and running with water.
Pitch 3: easier climbing above to get you to another steep flow, WI2-3
Pitch 4: steep, but not too long to tree anchors at the top.
Descent: 3 double rope rappels and one then one single rappel down. We used tree anchors at the top, then some old nuts on climber's left and then we made a v-thread too. There was some old v-thread set up, but it got engulfed by ice.