Tuesday, March 8, 2011

While many are turning their attention to the coming spring time, a few hardy souls know that the ice climbing is not only still good, the crowds are gone. Scott and I enjoyed two quiet days in the ice park. The second day we were joined by Dave and had the whole scottish gullies area to ourselves.

Scott and Dave both had ice climbed before but were looking for a refresher on the foundations of their ice climbing skills. We worked our way through San Juan Mountain Guides uniquely effective ice climbing curriculum. From triangles to monkey hangs to flagging and using your hips, Scott and Dave quickly moved from low angle ice to vertical ice to
over hung chandeliered ice. Exercises like climbing with no tools then with one tool and climbing without kicking or swinging taught the duo how to stay stable on their feet and how to move creatively on the deceptively varied medium of ice.

Great job gentlemen we look forward to going even bigger next year!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Train to Go Big

Matt has big plans. This spring he is headed to Mount Rainier's Liberty Ridge, a spectacular objective in and of itself. The ice tower some climbers in Michigan constructed near Matt's home was not quite enough training. So Matt decided to come out to Ouray, Colorado for four jam packed days of steep snow and lots and lots of ice.

Matt and I hit the must see venues of Ouray ice climbing. We spent the obligatory day in the ice park honing Matt's technique over the course of around a thousand feet of climbing. The next day we figured, why not a thousand more? So we headed over for a sunny day on Eureka's Stairway to Heaven. Though the good weather did not hold Matt and I were able to get plenty of climbing in over the next two days on Horsetail Falls, several routes at the Skylight area, and a few long laps in the Pic o' the Vic area in the ice park to wind down the day.

Matt is climbing strong and certainly ready to take on Liberty Ridge. Good luck Matt!

P.S. Watch the top outs on Skylight they are a bit slushy/non-existent.