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