Ames Ice Hose TR


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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 15, 2012 - 02:54am PT
Ames Ice Hose Trip Report
January 9, 2012
Ed Hartouni

Part of the Colorado trip was to climb ice, not just in the Ice Park, but out in the San Juans. Jeff Lowe had provided the perfect tick list, one that seems relevant even today, 33 years after it's publication. I am referring to Ice Experience, and specifically to Chapter 4 "The Hardwater Guide." The section on Colorado, one finds a climb in the entry for Telluride: Ames Falls, 150m WI5+ and this image:

with caption: The 175-meter Ames Fall is one of the finest Colorado ice climbs. (Photo by Mike Kennedy)

Mike Kennedy wrote of the first ascent in Alpinist 18.

Before that, the climb was described in Mountain 82 by Glenn Randall, where it is referred to as the "Ophir Ice Hose".

It was definitely a wonderful climb... and great to get on it after so many years away from ice climbing. Thanks to Bill for the ride, and Frank for the comradeship.


Trad climber
Jan 15, 2012 - 08:57am PT
Looks like a great day out, Ed! Way to go!

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 15, 2012 - 09:28am PT
Thanks Ed that was a fun view.
As the ending credits rolled I laughed when the "Wish you were here 1975" came up since
I was there in those daze and diggin' on the same music. You should feel damn good about your ticks in the San Juans and you really should get geared and keep kickin' it. It's a New IceMerican Century out there.
And that is straight from the horses...uh, mouth.
Can we tall Mr Ed?

Trad climber
Jan 15, 2012 - 09:49am PT
Ed - Great choice of music and such a wonderfully created TR! ... route history, too.

Excellent trip and fun - and there's so much more to do. Thanks so very much for coming to Ouray and climbing.


Cardiff by the sea
Jan 15, 2012 - 09:59am PT
SICK!!! Nice work gentlemen.

Trad climber
Jan 15, 2012 - 10:31am PT
Fantabulous! Nice send Ed and company, stellar climbing!

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 15, 2012 - 10:43am PT
Though the earlier and well earned SERIOUSLY FIERCE reputation of climbs like Ames & Bridalveil is somewhat diminished by Modern Gear and frequent ascent they have lost none of their luster or bite. They were and should still be considered plumb ticks on your cicle list. Possibly even resume' bullet points. Big congrats Ed you plumb picking CallyCat.

Bridalveil Falls is still to me one of the most remarkably picturesque ice climbs anywhere. It is an absolute Classic.
The only allure or challenge it has lost as far as I can tell is that you no longer have to trespass in the dark to do it.

Trad climber
OC in So Cal
Jan 15, 2012 - 10:49am PT
Great climb, great video. Thanks!!!!!

Trad climber
Jan 15, 2012 - 11:55am PT
Pretyy sweet Ed!

Jan 15, 2012 - 01:11pm PT

Nice (intentional?) timing as Frank stalls stemming off the belay, eyeing the scary narrows over his Jesus screw, and then gets after it just as the meat of Shine kicks in.


Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jan 15, 2012 - 01:12pm PT
Nice Ed!

Quite jealous now!

Trad climber
Ridgway, CO
Jan 15, 2012 - 01:18pm PT
Nice Ed!

Big shout out to Bill Mac . . . did the Reg. NW Face Half Dome with him many moons ago.

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
Jan 15, 2012 - 01:28pm PT
Hey Ed, nice TR, thanks. Now that climbing in CO is on your radar, come out sometime this year for some "prancing"!

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jan 15, 2012 - 03:27pm PT

Nice stuff, Ed! What'd you shoot it with? An SLR or an actual
video camera?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 15, 2012 - 04:24pm PT
Flip MinoHD
(model #F460B)
(4GB memory holds ~1hr of video)

John Mac

Trad climber
Littleton, CO
Jan 15, 2012 - 04:31pm PT
Awesome footage and great TR. Thanks for sharing.

Almost made we want to get back into ice climbing!


Trad climber
Concord, Ca
Jan 15, 2012 - 05:46pm PT
What a great climb! The video and trip report are wonderful.
Brian Biega

Truckee, CA
Jan 15, 2012 - 06:39pm PT
Way to go Ed!

Thanks for the story.

Cheers, Brian
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 15, 2012 - 06:45pm PT
It's amazing that there would be a climb like the ice hose in Ames, Iowa. So much for fables about flat prairie states.

Somewhere out there
Jan 15, 2012 - 06:50pm PT
Great choice of music, that's fo'sho

thanks Ed
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 15, 2012 - 06:54pm PT
there are 10 places in the US named "Ames" (according to Wikipedia)

additionally, there is also an Ames Monument of more than passing acquaintance to climbers who are enjoying a day off...

here is the origin of the surname:;

which apparently was introduced after the Norman Conquest of 1066...

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jan 16, 2012 - 02:25am PT
ice conditions looked good!

nice job


Trad climber
Jan 16, 2012 - 02:30pm PT
Great video, nothing like starting off easy after 30 years away from ice. Next assignment is bridalveil falls in telluride. I lived there for a number of years back in that 70s, and always wanted to get up the thing but with my lack of sack' and my dated (even for the time) tools I never got on it. I too got back into ice climbing 3 or 4 years back and its on my list. Hell, with new tools its a different game. Why don't you take a shot at it and let me know how it goes. :)

(Written before I saw post of accident. - if rumor is true, so sorry for all involved)
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 16, 2012 - 09:02pm PT
don't know about the M grades, they were invented well after my pause in ice climbing... the chimney, for me, was the easiest pitch because I got to scum off the rock in lots of places, as well as use the ice...

the first pitch was my crux...

I'd say the ice climbing was probably WI4+ with the picked out holes... steep, but there was always something to find for a hook...

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 17, 2012 - 12:00am PT
images from the FA:

more history:

Guy Lacelle solos Ames Ice Hose

another thread:

thinner first pitch conditions:

beneath the valley of ultravegans
Jan 17, 2012 - 01:22am PT
Well done Ed!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Jan 17, 2012 - 02:01am PT
Congrats to all you with the ascent, and thank you for sharing!
steve shea

Jan 17, 2012 - 10:07am PT
Ed, that was fun to see. The hardest part of the first ascent was getting off the ground if I remember correctly. It was back in the day of Terrors and Dachsteins we thought it was serious but not as hard as Bridalveil. Did the second ascent of Bridalveil with Gordon Smith earlier. And Neither were as hard as Hidden Falls in Glenwood Canyon at least in the conditions that we did it. We had the Terror, Dachstein and wool penalty. It would be interesting to do them again with modern tools. Thanks for the memory. SS BTW it looks fat, must've been fun.
David Wilson

Jan 17, 2012 - 10:40am PT
whoa ! great job on that Ed. somehow the music adds a dark and cold component that makes that seem even more burly.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jan 17, 2012 - 12:04pm PT
Ice Hose indeed. Fricking thing is like a foot wide at spots. My knees knock just looking at that thing.


Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jan 17, 2012 - 01:02pm PT
Wow! Super nice job Ed. Finally got to see this on a fast connection. that 1st pitch looks horrid. looks like the gear must have been sketch and the ice super abused.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 17, 2012 - 03:44pm PT
you would need to do the ascent early enough in the year (before everyone else), with traditional gear and garb, to capture the difficulties of the first ascent, except the biggest one: that it can be climbed

but that is the nature of ice climbing, ice climbs change with weather and use

to tell you the truth, I thought I had no chance getting on this climb, given the length of time I'd been away from ice climbing but I have to say the one thing that modern tools (and clothing) have done is make it more a "climbing" sport, and my rock climbing experience over the intervening decades helped. And I'm always game for a challenge...

as far as the mechanical integrity of ice as a climbing medium, well, if at any point in your life you convince yourself that it's ok, you probably can recreate those same delusions later in life... and it requires a lack of imagination as to what falling with all those pointy implements might imply, you basically don't think about falling... and you don't fall... which doesn't always happen, unfortunately.

Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Jan 17, 2012 - 04:10pm PT
Ed, let me know if you are interested in doing some local ice climbing. MAY go to coldstream canyon this weekend (wi3-5 lines 50m from what I heard), let me know if interested!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jan 17, 2012 - 04:10pm PT
Ed that was great. Nice job to you and those that were part of this.
steve shea

Jan 17, 2012 - 05:04pm PT
To duplicate the first ascent one would need substatially thinner conditions also. Ed's photos are as fat as I've seen it. Last year in the west we had record snow amounts creating a solid ground water table. Ames Falls is as much a seep as a creek. It looks really fat SS

Social climber
granada hills
Jan 17, 2012 - 07:42pm PT
Wow nice video! Thanks, Ed for taking the time to put this TR together. Super Bad! :)

Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
WA, & NC & Idaho
Jan 18, 2012 - 04:05pm PT
Very nice Ed, Thanks!

Trad climber
Lander, WY
Jan 19, 2012 - 11:29am PT
Nice video and a fine job of climbing. You all made it look easy. Yes! I love it!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 19, 2012 - 11:42am PT
Great TR Ed!

So ya like that frosty stuff, eh?

More Ames history from Glenn Randall's Vertigo Games.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 21, 2012 - 12:32pm PT
Frosty Professor Bump...
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