We have sequenced Ice Mountain with North Apostle. One way mileage and elevation gain is measured from the summit of North Apostle. Round-trip mileage and elevation gain assume completion of the sequence.
This route description begins from the summit of North Apostle and follows the ridge that connects N. Apostle with Ice Mountain. If climbing Ice Mountain alone, follow the directions for N. Apostle to the saddle on the connecting ridge.
From N. Apostle, the view of the lower half of the ascent ridge to Ice Mtn. does not appear too bad. The real challenge comes on the upper half. The ridge can be followed for the most part on its crest until reaching the 13,800 foot level, at which point, the ridge becomes very narrow, precipitous and dangerous. The standard approach here has been to drop into a steep couloir to the right, ascend it back to a point on the ridge crest and then follow the remaining ridge to the summit. This couloir section is where the 3rd class work comes in. Roach has you abandon the ridge earlier at 13,620 ft. but the real crux is still the cliff on the ridge at 13,800 ft. Roach's book still advises utilizing the couloir on the west side of the ridge to avoid cliff. We all agree that this section at 13,800 ft. is the crux. Navigating the couloir when there is snow in it may require ice axe and crampons or at least micro spikes. When there is no snow, the couloir is so steep that more timid or less experienced climbers may be quite intimidated. The climbing is not that difficult but the exposure and insecure rock makes this section dangerous.
Here's what we did: From the saddle, we ascended on the ridge crest for the most part for a while and if we got off the crest, it was always on the right (west) side. There is now likely a path through this section with cairns marking the way as we found. We continued to ascend on generally good footing without difficulty, always near the ridge, but never quite on it. The path we followed, which was marked by cairns, clearly led us into a couloir. Once in it, we could not tell if we should climb out of it on the other side or climb to the head. We ended up ascending the couloir which became steepest as we approached the head. It was here that we were using hand-over-hand climbing and the steepness and exposure was intimidating. However, we never did rope up. Just when you might be inclined to turn back, we made a little push and came out of the couloir and back onto the ridge. The remainder of the ascent to the summit is Class 2 walking.
The summit of Ice Mountain affords a beautiful view. Below to the south is the less visited Texas Creek area and Waterloo Gulch on the east side of the summit. In the distance is the area around Tincup. Enjoy the stupendous view of this section of the Sawatch Range.
For the descent, we made an adjustment that seemed to work well, so keep this in mind for the ascent. From the summit, we descended the NE ridge on rock & ledges, avoiding re-entering the couloir we had gone up earlier. Instead, we followed a rib that paralleled the couloir until we could drop into it at a point close to where we first entered it on the way up. This led us back over to the more visible path on the lower ridge section. We found this descent marked with cairns in 1994. It may be tempting to depart the ridge lower down and short cut into the basin below using a steep couloir. Parties may find it to be a struggle to do so on all the loose rock and not put rocks down on each other. There re some scree sections however, that can expedite descent. The safer descent is to return all the way to the saddle and then head back down into the basin below Ice Mtn. and N. Apostle. For the remainder of the trip, return as you came.
Links to other information, routes & trip reports for this peak that may be helpful.