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

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Eureka Ice Conditions

Went to Eureka today. Everything was pretty bony. We climbed all of the 2nd Gully and walked off. We ran into some other Ouray folks at the base and they headed up after us. We went over and climbed the first 3 pitches of 1st Gully, but the ice ran out in both the left and right forks up higher. The first pitch pillar is a little fragile, but should continue to get better. It will be a while before any others are ready over there are ready as well.Stairway, Whorehouse, and Hoser's all need more time. One could probably climb Highway to Hell. Other reports from South Mineral Creek are not good either. Think Cold Thoughts!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Rock is In!!!


The drytooling has been more reliable then the ice so far. I just returned from 5 days in the Maze of Canyonlands with family and it looks like what ice that was around before fell down during that beautiful autumn weather we enjoyed. In the photo above new Ouray resident Chris takes a lap on the dry routes left of the Skylight. There was was a bit of wet ice on all the routes, but a ways to go still. The Racing Stripes looked the best of anything.