Monday, September 22, 2008

Canyoneering in Ouray.

We have been exploring some of the canyons around Ouray this summer. They have gotten a little publicity in the canyoneering community, so we thought we should investigate. The first foray was down Portland Creek, known as Ivan's Trail. It was nice and scenic with one significant rappel under the Ampitheather Bridge. Kevin pulls the rope in the photo below.
Next up was Oak Creek Canyon. It was much longer with incredible atmosphere and soaring cliffs on both sides. We did many long rappels, including the 200 footer down the main falls seen below.

We wanted to check out Cascade Creek Canyon next, so we invested in the 600 feet of canyoneering rope that greatly facilitates the long rappel over Cascade Falls itself. We entered the canyon halfway up its distance to Chief Ouray. It was pretty wild negotiating the numerous drops, slids, and down-climbs. There was one especially entertaining 3 stage waterfall. Eventually we got down to the big tree anchor for ice climbing Cascade Falls. We tied a macrame anchor with the 600 foot rope and rapped down. I must say it was a little unnerving at first to rappel such a long waterfall, but good clean fun. The last 3 photos show some of the cool canyon scenery on the way down Cascade.