A trip to the 17th Ouray Ice Festival


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Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jan 14, 2012 - 08:06pm PT
Ed. here in the NE most people lead. the ice is hacked up pretty good in keene valley and frankenstine but mostly virgin sticks in Smuggs and Willoughby as well as some of my other spots. the black dike gets pretty hacked up once everyone knows it is in but when I led it the day after Christmass a few weeks ago it was virgin sticks the whole way up. was anyone climbing leashless but useing teathers?

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Jan 14, 2012 - 08:11pm PT
Thanks for the TR Ed.

How'd ya like the mono points. They scare me, like they'd skate out when twisting a bit reaching around.

Jan 14, 2012 - 09:52pm PT
Thanks for the nice report! We were out there too and had a blast, definitely going back soon.

Trad climber
Jan 14, 2012 - 11:32pm PT
You nailed it on he Head Ed,

Most climbs in Colorado are hacked out staircases.

Ya need to head up to Aarons neck of the woods to Cody for the really long fun beautiful climbs of the South Fork........

Beautiful long routes, no pick holes......

Ice climbing like it used to be....

Oh and did I mention there is no one else or just a few more people in the valley....
em kn0t

Trad climber
isle of wyde
Jan 15, 2012 - 01:15am PT
Waiting with worms on my tongue* for part II of this TR...onward to Ames Ice Hose!?!!

*(baited breath)

Ice climber
dingy room at the Happy boulders hotel
Jan 15, 2012 - 01:19am PT
Ouray is a great place to ice climb. was hoping to go this year, but probably not going to happen. maybe next year.

Trad climber
OAK (nee NH)
Jan 15, 2012 - 01:36am PT
And not even a mere mention of the BEST PARTY in all the San Juans.

I moved to the area in 1998... pretty much exclusively to climb ice. The Ouray Ice Park was in full swing by then, starting to get picked out, etc., but there was always virgin ice to poke at if one had the motivation to find it. The Park itself, although incredibly fun and technically challenging, was (at that time) still a training ground. Myself and partners would try to combine Bridalveil, Ingraham, and the Ames Ice Hose in a day, for example.

(The Hose will forever be a kick ass route.)

I'm glad you had fun, Ed! The area is full of good stuff to explore, and remember that you were there for the busiest, most zest-filled moment that punctuates an otherwise quite wild place. You'll be back.

(Jacket looks good btw. If you want to buy some new crampons to replace those old Footfangs, they will be on sale at Marmot very soon........)

Trad climber
Concord, Ca
Jan 15, 2012 - 02:29am PT
Ed on 1st pitch of Ames Ice Hose
Ed on 1st pitch of Ames Ice Hose
Credit: FBaker
Ed on 2nd pitch of Ames Ice Hose
Ed on 2nd pitch of Ames Ice Hose
Credit: FBaker
Ames Ice Hose
Ames Ice Hose
Credit: FBaker
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 15, 2012 - 03:10am PT
Ho Man,
at my age I can either party or climb, but not both...
so I climbed...

here's my trip report:

actually, I just made a video of it... hopefully that will capture it better than words.

Jan 15, 2012 - 10:56am PT
Thanks Ed

Good video of the climb.

After seeing you guys doing that scary thing I'm running away ......

Jan 15, 2012 - 01:17pm PT
Glad to see you got out to Ames and the Ribbon. I'm so thankful to Ouray for its dedication to the ice park (and for having that resource for high-avy days), but the real gems of the San Juans are, obviously, not in the park. There is a lot of ice to be had outside the park.

Trad climber
Jan 16, 2012 - 01:42pm PT
Great video & TR, Ed. I second the soundtrack props!
Ames looks amazing, and I would loved to have done it too, but the partner who was up for it could not make the Festival ;(

Was so cool to meet you and figure out that the name on the clinic list that seemed so familiar led back to ST and all your excellent posts & research.

I had a blast out there too, and here are a couple of photos to add:
Intermediate Mixed Clinic, fun flailing on M8!  I did manage to slog m...
Intermediate Mixed Clinic, fun flailing on M8! I did manage to slog my way to the top.
Mike, Ed, Connie, Markus Beck instructor, Malcom Daly & Ginger
Credit: hucklebear

We hung out after the clinic and had some fun on this sort of thing, TicTac which is apparently M7 just now due to "not so much" ice. Really fun movement finally getting into the little icicle.
Tic Tac in pretty thin condition, but super fun!
Tic Tac in pretty thin condition, but super fun!
Credit: hucklebear

My friend Kathy stylin Little Sausage.
Nasty, slopey feet on lower section
Nasty, slopey feet on lower section
Credit: hucklebear

Ouray is fun even fun when you get to climb out of a mixed route hole, into a cool ice chimney and thereby use rock moves!
Just like wide granite cracks, right?
Just like wide granite cracks, right?
Credit: hucklebear

And then the general joy of just steep, fun ice...
Scottish Gullies, near Popsicle
Scottish Gullies, near Popsicle
Credit: hucklebear

Safe climbing, everyone...

Jan 16, 2012 - 01:48pm PT
Good stuff !

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jan 16, 2012 - 02:56pm PT
how very scottish of you on the Black Dike pics! ;)

just saw a pair of strappy cramps at Factor 4's house the other day.

I so love my step ins when I think about how we used to rent those at Western BITD.


dig it Ed. thx
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