Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bridalveil Falls

Climbed Bridalveil last Sunday with Anthony from Australia. It was a gorgeous day with great conditions.

Cheers, CC

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Climbed Stairway today with Chuck. -7 when we left the car. Ice was a bit brittle and not a single pick hole to be found. Recent sun must have healed every thing. Complete virgin sticks end to end, had to actually earn this ascent, but the blue of the ice was absolutely beautiful. Well worth the effort, breaking trail and all.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Skylight climbing

Just wrapped up 3 days with B.K. from California. This was a quick tune up before we go to Canada and Alaska later this season We spent the first two days in the ice park working on techniques for different types of ice and mixed climbing. On day three we went up to the skylight area to try and crack out a bunch of routes.

It was a beautiful day and we climbed the Skylight, Slip Slidin' Away, Slippery When Wet, and then took a couple laps on the excellent alpine mixed climbing training climb Dumpster Diver M5. This type of climbing is very different from traditional ice technique, but Bill had it pretty smooth by the end of the second lap.

The Dumpster Diver M5
Opposing drop knee maneuver to reach up high.
Demonstrating the Crouching Tiger Technique.
Ouray is an incredible place to train for upcoming alpine objectives. Every year we train dozens of climbers for the greater ranges.

Cheers, CC

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Climbing in the Ouray Ice Park

Conditions are good in the Ouray Ice Park. Climbed in the Schoolroom, Pic of the Vic, and Lead Area on Wednesday. Then today in the Scottish Gullies, Fingers, and Paranoia areas. All are in good shape! Hardly anyone around all day!

Cheers, CC

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bailin' on the Brain

Not often do you get to read about a couple of guys running home with their tail between their legs. But sometimes it happens!

On Monday, my co-worker and I decided to try and climb Birdbrain. We had heard of a recent ascent and figured we could scratch our way up as well. We didn't look too close at at the forecast before we drove up there. All looked chill as we walked up and racked at the base. I took off and climbed up to the first pin anchor on the left. From there, Pat took the lead and headed into the chimney.

As Pat left the anchor, the wind kicked up, and a steady flow of spindrift quickly grew to rapid torrents. Somehow, Pat made it up to the next anchor, climbing the steep bulge with no ice through heavy downpours. I enjoyed my pitch of fresh faceshots, and we got the hell out of there!

There is no doubt that one could scratch their way all the way up Birdbrain right now. We felt like it was too risky with the spindrift. There are mandatory long run-outs with poor gear, insecure climbing, and marginal anchors. I doubt I'll be back over there this year, but it was nice to have a little adventure.
Cheers, CC

Monday, January 17, 2011

4-Day Intensive Lead Seminar

4-Day Intensive Lead Seminar

Feb 1-4, 2011
$875. 2:1 ratio
We are proud to introduce this new program. Senior SJMG Guide Mark Miller has been teaching climbers to lead water ice for over decade and has developed an incredible curriculum for the aspiring water ice leader. Within a small group setting, participants will be able to increase their confidence and push into more difficult grades with grace and style.
Topics will include:
screw placement, v-threads, and zero-threads
different anchor systems for ice climbing
movement strategies for lead
belays, rappels, and transitions
route selection, routefinding, and route planning
equipment and protection selection
single, half, and twin rope techniques and technique selection recommendations
multi-pitch climbs
rescuing a fallen leader
and tons more!
We will negin with a solid review of fundamental movement technique and then move quickly into more technical skills, practice exercises, and instructor demos. Participants will transition through mock leads and simulation exercises onto the sharp end. Students will lead climbs well within their ability as the instructor climbs next to them and evaluates protection and technique.

If you are serious about being an elegant and efficient ice leader, leading ice climbs with style and flow, and want to avoid the "kickin' chicken" technique; this is the course for you. Days will be packed full of instruction and information, as well as tons of hands on application time.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bridalveil Falls

Climbed Bridalveil on Thurs. It was very fun. WI5 climbing.

Cheers, CC

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gravity's Rainbow

Gravity's Rainbow WI5- 1/11/11
Pitch 1, still a little juicy at 1 degree F.
One good screw at the bottom of the pillar, one good one at the top...
Patrick heads up the stellar WI4 2nd pitch.
After Gravity's we went to the park for a couple laps in the lead area. Abridgement is a bit junky on the bottom. But the upstream WI5 pillars are both in super condition.
Have Fun! CC

Ice Climbing Progression

I recently had the pleasure of spending 3 days working with Steve and Mitch. They were on a father-son trip to Ouray to learn to ice climb. As an ice climbing instructor it is important to me to not only show guests a great time but to lay out a logical progression over multiple days. I strive to make each day challenging and educational and have each day build on the previous day's skills. By the end of a few days it is a joy to watch my guests make their way up Ouray's ultra classic ice climbs and say to themselves with a smile "I can't believe I did that!"

Steve, Mitch, and I spent a day in the Ouray Ice Park learning the fundamentals of ice climbing and laying the groundwork for the next two days. Day two we took on some small multi pitch climbs up camp bird road and practiced ascending and descending multiple pitches. Our final day took us to Ouray's famous ice climb The Ribbon. Steve and Mitch were lucky to climb this rarely forming classic. It was, in San Juan Mountain Guides owner Clint Cook's view, a proud tick. Hopefully it was a father-son trip Steve and Mitch will cherish for a long time to come.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Gravity Wall Conditions

Its been a good week on the Gravity Wall above Highway 550. Gravity's Rainbow and Kennedy's Gully have been seeing multiple ascents with the colder temps.
Cory and I climbed all of Kennedy's on the 2nd. The 1st pitch was super sweet.
The middle was kind of skritchy-scratchy, and the top was plastic. All in all a fun day on one of the best alpine lines in Ouray.

Gravity's still looks good this afternoon (the 10th). Kennedy's looks worse, though there was a party up high on it at 1630. Gravitational Pull is close, Gravity's Test is not, and you can definitely make your way Over the Rainbow. 
 Conditions can be highly variable on all those routes, so go prepared.

Cheers, CC

Ice Festival!

The ice fest was once again a huge success!

Thanks to everyone who helps make it such a fun and exciting weekend!
On to the Rest of the Season.
Cheers, CC