Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bridalveil Falls

Guided Bridalveil today. It was good. We climbed the fresh left pillar, it looked like most folks had headed up the right hummocks. Only 6 parties had signed in as doing the route so far this year. Both lines are WI5.
Halfway up the steep opening pillars.
Rounding the corner into the first cave.
The final 30m headwall of sweet WI4.
It's open. Come and get it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Gravity's Rainbow

Climbed Gravity's Rainbow on Saturday. There were three parties and everyone knew how to work together to share the fun.

A couple local boys start up the last pitch.
It was in super shape despite a fresh snice layer, which I was obliged to plow through. Kevin was on it today and said it was getting slushy. It may be done till the next cold cycle.

Cheers, CC

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

General Conditions

The ice park opened on the 20th. Things are a little snowy and thin in the park, but good ice on the steeps. Explore a little, clean off some snow, and belay back from the ice.

A comp climber does his park to clean up the 07 Qualifier.

Outside the park, things are in variable condition. Everything is in at the Skylight, but has some snice plastered to most routes. Gravity's Rainbow and Kennedy's have been getting climbed, and it looks like Gravitational Pull would go. Skyrocket is in and offers a nice get away close to town. Cascade is frozen, though I haven't heard of an ascent yet. Dexter Slabs look all together, but I haven't made the trek up there to see first hand.

Cheers, CC

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Camp Bird Road Climbs

Camp Bird Climbs are in interesting shape. The Racing Stripes are the best routes around, but I wouldn't go over there this week with the snow! I heard someone climbed the Ribbon and BirdBrain, but neither look like they are worth it to me. All the Skylight climbs are doable but thin, don't expect any quality pro on the top-outs. Killer Pillar might be good soon! All routes had parties on them today.

Chockstone Chimney
The Skylight
Slip Slidin Away in 2 pitches? It goes with 1 60m rope.
Choppo's Chimney
Pocket-Pool Pablo Poking Pebbles.
Comp climbers warming up before they go send in the lounge.
Caio, CC.

Whorehouse Hoses

Guided the Whorehouse Hoses last Monday. The first pitch is in good shape. Nice WI3 on the left, sticker WI5- on the right, hollow in the middle. Nice work Don and Paige!Enjoy the snow? CC

Friday, December 12, 2008


Bridalveil is not only legal again, it is in. Grey Squirrel and I climbed it today. The center at the bottom still has a small hole through to the water. We went to the right to avoid the very thin veneer and found chandeliers topped with large cauliflowers to navigate around and over. There is a good belay cave at half height, followed by about another ten meters of spicy climbing and then it backs off and cruises to the top. The first pitch was one of the coolest pitches of pure ice I've climbed in a couple years.

Bridalveil Falls is IN!!!

Greetings fellow ice enthusiasts!

The "ice addict" and I took a trip over to Telluride today to check out conditions on Bridalveil Falls. As many of you are aware, the climb is now legal (as of 12/5/08) so long as you follow some basic rules.

For starters, their is a mandatory climber register located near one of the mine buildings on the left side of the road; approximately 100m from where you park your car outside of the gated area. According to the register, we were the second party on the route this year. The initial registered party from Frisco climbed it on the first legal day last Friday. Strong work!!

There is no walking off of the route. It is mandatory rappel. There are new bolted rap stations on the 'climber's right' side of the climb. It would behoove you to look at the topo in the registration box for the station beta. We didn't. Made it a bit of an Easter Egg Hunt on the way down. No big deal.

Please play by the rules. If we abuse it, we'll lose it. Having not been on it since the last time it was legal around 2001 or so, I can tell you it stinks not having access.

Thanks to Steve, Damon and company in Telluride for getting the route open; and a big thanks to Idarado Mining Company for allowing us to play in your backyard!

We had heard that the climb might not be in and that the first pitch was suspect. It was certainly plenty spicy, but the ice was thick enough to take full depth screws (that sounds a bit odd doesn't it?).

The climbing was classic Bridalveil hard conditions with heady maneuvers around and over cauliflowered formations with eggshell top-outs. Very full value, but also reasonable.

Be forewarned that the first pitch path of least resistance is currently climbers right which puts you under a big steady drip; bring the shower cap for the deluge.

A great day on a great climb. It sure is nice to have winter back.

Respectfully submitted,

Grey Squirrel

P.S. Sorry for spacing the camera; it looks like it normally looks save for a bit thinner at the bottom.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Eureka Ice Conditions

Busy weekend over in Eureka. I counted 11 parties on Saturday and 9 today. Most things are in ok shape. We climbed the 2nd Gully on Sat., and Stairway today. Whorehouse, Highway to Hell, and Tempered by Fire are all in good shape as well.

Don on 2nd Gully.
Climbers at the base of 1st Gully.
The crux 3rd pitch of Stairway. Funky WI4+. More parties have bailed than have climbed this pitch so far.
Don at the top of the 3rd.The Stairway to Heaven, 900ft. WI4+ 12/7/08

I talked to a guy from Lake City who said the ice is pretty good over there.

OIPI will be evaluating the park condition on Wed., but it does not look good for opening weekend. There will be an update posted on the 13th regarding the park opening.

Think Cold!!! CC

Thursday, December 4, 2008

General Conditions

Whorehouse is in decent if snowy shape. The road to South Mineral is passable but not easy. Skylight routes are still forming. Ames should still be good. Bridalveil opens Tomorrow, though I heard the bottom looks interesting right now. Lots of wind and snow have made for challenging travel.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Ames Photos

Here are a couple more photos from Cindy of the ice hose today.
I punched myself with my hammer cleaning a tool, nice. Goes well with my rock-chipped tooth.CC.

South Mineral and the Hose

I was over in South Mineral on Sunday and apparently ice climbing has become very popular. There were multiple parties on every thing but Snowblind. We climbed the middle and left Campground couloirs and they were in great shape. First anchor on the middle has new cord and biner, 2nd needs replacing. We rapped off a quite small but stout tree after the first pitch of the left couloir, needs a v-thread higher.

Today I was back over on the hose, and it is holding together well. The last week of traffic has made it a bit more friendly, but plenty pumpy. This was Cindy's first day of ice for the year, pretty good for off the couch.
The first pillar is still the crux, though the glazed chimney up higher is excellent as well.Cheers, CC.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

South Mineral

Went over to South Mineral with Andres on Thursday. He hadn't done these great early season routes, and they are in super shape right now.He put the the rope on his back and started up. The first pillar is good WI4 climbing on solid ice.
The second pitch is also in great shape.The last couple steep pillars were good and we rapped and down climbed the route.
After that we went over and climbed Snowblind. It is really cool right now.
Andres shows some gymnastic WI4 technique.Water's on in the park. Tune up! CC

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ames Ice Hose

We had heard the hose was looking in, so we went to investigate. The approach was pretty mellow, and the climb in good shape. I won the flip and headed up the first pillar.

It was in nice thin condition with soft ice and plenty of spots for 10cm screws.
I stretched all 70m of rope to the second belay thru the chimney pitch. This is probably my favorite pitch in the area, and it is fantastic right now. There's not much for screws, but you can get 3 good cams half way thru the chimney.
Kevin took all the screws for the ensuing 230 foot WI4 mega pitch, and off he went.
This pitch is only 12-20 feet wide right now and very sweet, and wet. It should grow to normal size rapidly.
2 70meter rappels get you down very easily. I have never rapped of the blocks to the left of the route. There should be enough ice for a fat v-thread station soon as well for those without 70 m doubles.
Great day on one of the best ice climbs anywhere.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Campground Couloir and Sandia Ridge

Another beautiful day in paradise. We climbed the middle campground couloir today, and it is fine WI3 shape right now. River crossing is casual as well.We were back in Ouray by 0900 and the weather was super nice, so we decided to have a look at the newly installed Sandia Ridge Climb. This is the prominent red sandstone ridge above town. Some guys put in a 7-8 pitch route with some bolts and gear. It offers nice position and good views, although the climbing itself isn't the best.
All in all a pretty nice dual-sport day! Should be nice weather for more rock climbing ths week.
Cheers, CC.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Climbed Snowblind today. Conditions were pretty good. The top-outs on the pillars were a little spicy, but very fun. My partner was nursing a sore thumb, so you'll have to deal with looking at me.Pitch 1

Pitch 2

Pitch 3
Have fun out there! CC

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Eureka Ice Climbs

A few of us went back to Eureka to have a look at some other things. They had more snow than expected, 6-8" on the road, but we were able to drive to the gullies. Once they plow this storm cycle the berm at Eureka may be too big to surmount though. Things looked to have grown in the last few days but are still very lean and snow covered, perfect for bludgeoning new picks. We climbed Tempered by Fire, a nice 1 pitch route up the road from the gullies. It was a little hollow and thin but ok overall.We had a look in South Mineral on the way home, and things are looking bigger but very wet on the pillars. Back to drytooling for a couple days.Snowblind is fat but look pretty drippy.
Cheers, CC