Monday, January 9, 2012

Toledo, OH to Ouray, CO

It seems like a long way to go to climb frozen waterfalls, but judging by the grins on these guys faces, it was well worth it. I got to spend 2 days climbing with Brian and Walt from Toledo.  Both of them had done some ice climbing before and Brian recently climbed Everest and completed his seventh summit. Both wanted to improve their climbing skills and came to Ouray to do it.

We spent the first day in the Ice Park working on their technique in the Scottish Gullies and South Park and the School Room. Both improved their foot work enormously and climbed some steep lines! The second day we enjoyed the backcountry gem Dexter Creek Slabs. At the base we sampled the delicious smoked cheddar cheese and sausage that Walt shared with the team.

Thanks for a great day gentlemen! I hope to see you back for other classic like Whorehouse Hoses, Stairway, or 2nd Gulley.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Making Ice Climbing Safer

Here at San Juan Mountain Guides we are all about ice climbing in the winter. However, part of what makes us different is our emphasis on education. I like to take part of my days out with folks to explain how the safety systems we use in ice climbing work. For those interested, we talk about placing your own protection, building anchors and leading ice climbs.

The internet puts a great deal of information about ice climbing at our finger tips, if you know where to look. Understanding the forces involved and the dynamics of the medium and equipment helps me climb safer. Together with a day or two of instruction this collection of links and articles will surely help you climb safer, enjoy!