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.