Vermilion Peak Climber's Log

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coloradoman - Aug 25, 2023 11:02 am Date Climbed: Aug 16, 2023

Vermillion + Fuller from Fuller Lake  Sucess!

Started from Fuller Lake, an easy scramble up the Talus field until reaching the Cairns which we followed until the base of the saddle. Followed the climber's trail until about halfway up the saddle when the trail became covered in snow. Due to this reaching the saddle was likely the crux of the climb. Climbing to the right of the snow on the loose scree, I reached some slightly more solid rock, however, it was quite steep and still rather loose, (Class IV-) so I would recommend staying beneath it. Once reaching the saddle the climb became a cakewalk, following the climber's trail and cairns until reaching the Class III gulley, I opted to stay to the right on the more solid rock. One final Class II+ pitch to the summit and incredible views. Especially of Golden Horn and Pilot Knob. My friend opted to not continue up to the saddle, and we were able to rather easily talk with me on the summit and him down in the valley below. Super cool! He got some pics of me on the summit, I ate my summit applesauce took some pics, and was on my way. Climbing down the gulley was a bit harder than going up, but still pretty manageable. Fuller took me about 30 minutes total, and with no snow was extremely easy. Climbing back down the saddle was not my favorite, steep and climbing on scree until the snow finally came off the trail. A large snow patch covered the trail to Golden Horn above the cliff band, so I opted to save it for another day. If you are not comfortable climbing in snow, I would not recommend climbing until mid-August at the earliest if you are coming from ILB (Ice Lake Basin). I attempted this back in 2020 from the Hope Lake side and the route up to the saddle was clear from snow by early July. Had to turn back just beneath the summit due to a couloir filled with snow about 50 feet wide leading to certain death if an error was made. Overall an excellent climb, would highly recommend it, excellent views and fun scrambling. I would definitely recommend having decent route-finding skills and being comfortable with loose scree and decent exposure.


JesseSumrak - Aug 5, 2022 1:16 pm Date Climbed: Aug 1, 2022

Vermilion  Sucess!

Started off around 5am and made quick work up to Ice Lakes. Trail was in great condition and straightforward to follow. From the lakes, we began to work our way up the trail, and ended up going closer to Fuller Lake on the way up (which we descended staying further north). Missed the cairns and stayed too high on the way to the route up Vermilion, but it wasn't too difficult—just loose rock. Was surprised by how easy it was to ascend to the saddle. From there, there's a very evident trail all the way to the summit. However, a nasty little Class 2/3- gully right before the summit wasn't too fun to navigate. The grade and loose dirt made you have to hug the inside wall on the way up. Not too tricky, but definitely be careful with a group or if anyone is below you. Summit block is rather small (enough for 3-4 people tops), but we enjoyed the summit for a bit before making our descent.


BKiser90 - Aug 3, 2022 9:49 am Date Climbed: Aug 1, 2022

The Top of San Juan County  Sucess!

Started from the Ice Lakes TH at 5:08 am. Perfect weather all the way to the top and back. Some clouds in the morning. The route up Vermilion is very easy to follow, however, the final gully to the top is very loose. Good handholds exist on the east side of the gully. Great views west to the Wilsons, southeast to the Needles and Grenadiers, and NE to the Handies group. Monsoon weather has been hitting the area hard and the mountains were GREEN. With Jesse Sumrak.

Woodie Hopper

Woodie Hopper - Sep 14, 2020 5:07 pm Date Climbed: Sep 14, 2020

Combo with Beattie  Sucess!

Started at the San Miguel TH and climbed after Beattie. Nice day! Easier than I expected.

Brad Snider

Brad Snider - Aug 23, 2019 12:24 pm Date Climbed: Jul 26, 2018

Spectacular!  Sucess!

Best wildflowers and lake scenery I've ever experienced. Also visited Island Lake and involved in rescue. Trip report:

Senad Rizvanovic

Senad Rizvanovic - Jul 5, 2017 8:03 am Date Climbed: Jul 2, 2017

After Fuller Peak  Sucess!

Nice scrambling to the summit, pretty cool small summit, amazing views of surrounding mountains.


Kiefer - Oct 29, 2014 10:19 pm Date Climbed: Oct 28, 2014

NE/SE Ridges  Sucess!

What an interesting day. After scrambling up Golden Horn, I got to within 120' or so or Vermilion's summit following the NE Ridge. A crux filled with ice stopped me. Couldn't figure out how to bypass it. Downclimbed and traversed the east face & caught the NE Ridge above the saddle.
Hit Fuller afterwards and retraced my steps partially than plung-stepped down to the basin.



strudolyubov - Aug 24, 2014 2:14 pm Date Climbed: Jul 2, 2014

Standard route with Fuller  Sucess!

Climbed Vermillion with Fuller via standard route from South Mineral TH. Snow all the way to the saddle and in the summit gully. Nice hike, gorgeous views - another perfect day in San Juans.


birdhead - Aug 3, 2013 8:15 pm Date Climbed: Aug 3, 2013

Southeast Ridge  Sucess!

Ice Lakes Basin was very scenic. The climb up Vermilion was pretty straight forward with excellent views from the summit.


rockymountaindiva - Jul 26, 2013 5:20 pm Date Climbed: Aug 19, 2011

Standard route  Sucess!

Just me and a friend, easy route finding from the CG at the bottom via Ice Lake Basin.

Larry V

Larry V - Jul 10, 2013 9:15 pm Date Climbed: Jul 9, 2013

southeast ridge  Sucess!

Beautiful, exciting climb. Good trail from saddle to top. Very little snow up there this summer.


Trailboss88 - Sep 15, 2012 2:02 pm Date Climbed: Sep 14, 2012

NE Ridge from GH  Sucess!

Fun climb from Golden Horn, descended down SE ridge to Fuller


theREALCarpeDM - Aug 26, 2012 2:41 am Date Climbed: Aug 25, 2012

NE ridge after Golden Horn  Sucess!

This basin is awesome! With Dave B. We went up Golden Horn first, then headed up Vermilion's NE ridge. Nice ridge; one 10ft spot seemed tougher than c3 (per Roach), but we may not have been following Roach cuz we were baffled by his instruction to go around one point on the west. Anyway, the worst part was the last 40 or so feet up the dry Vermilion Dollar couloir. Afterwards, we headed to the saddle with Fuller, where I side-tripped up that one while Dave headed down.


sbkelley - Aug 9, 2012 5:10 pm Date Climbed: Jul 27, 2012

Hope Lake - west side  Sucess!

Started from the Hope Lake trail and traveled across the high basin to the Fuller-Beattie saddle. Getting to the Fuller-Vermillion saddle involved some classic San Juan scree crossing, but very solid and fun after that to the top. Storms were rolling in early, so we didn't linger long on the summit.

utclimber - Jul 29, 2012 6:46 pm Date Climbed: Aug 24, 2008

Standard Route  Sucess!

Two ascents. One in 2008, and another on a ridge traverse from Pilot Knob on 7/1/12.


seano - Jul 17, 2012 4:53 pm Date Climbed: Jul 17, 2012

From Fuller  Sucess!

Pretty well-define use trail from the saddle. Trip report.

Matt Lemke

Matt Lemke - Sep 27, 2011 11:54 am Date Climbed: Sep 25, 2011

Via. Ice Lakes Basin  Sucess!

Beautiful fall day and a great climb. Views of the Wilsons were fantastic. Threw in Fuller as well.


WalksWithBlackflies - Sep 14, 2011 3:50 pm Date Climbed: Aug 30, 2011

Fantastic Summit  Sucess!

Climbed from Fuller. Looks worse than it is. Great tiny summit. I was going to continue to Golden Horn, but the ridge looked like Class 4/5. Reading other statements, it appears I misjudged. It's OK, since I'd met my daily quota of crumbly scree and talus, and I spent the afternoon exploring the remainder of the Upper Basin.

Liba Kopeckova

Liba Kopeckova - Aug 27, 2011 9:29 pm Date Climbed: Aug 27, 2011

Fun hike with Duchess  Sucess!

We ran that morning from Mineral Creek Campground, and covered Fuller Peak, Vermilion, and Golden Horn. It was a nice day.


shanahan96 - Jan 9, 2011 10:40 am Date Climbed: Jan 8, 2011

a wonderful winter monster  Sucess!

climbed this nasty bugger w/ihinger on a wonderful, bluebird day....albeit a little cold before 10am. our broken track from the day before helped get us through the early morning darkness towards treeline where ski tracks assisted us for awhile.

vermillion itself was a stiff challenge with possibly dangerous slopes lurking everywhere, causing lots of of zigzagging. summited in the late afternoon light and scurried off the peak before darkness engulfed us once again in the upper valley. sunset on the wilsons was spectacular!


Viewing: 1-20 of 41
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