December 10, 2014
It’s December and guides are starting to arrive in Ouray for the winter season. We’ve been out exploring some of the area classics–the backcountry ice is coming in quite nicely, and some normally thin routes are in as fat as they’ve been in a long time. Currently the weather is temperate and clear, and low snowpack is making for easy approaches to climbs in South Mineral Creek–the road is often closed by this time of year. Today Mark Allen, Pat Ormond and I went out to climb the Direct North Face, up in South Mineral. Several pitches of great, fun, rambly climbing with a couple steep pitches thrown in. I’d never climbed up in that area–it was nice to explore something new! Yesterday I went out with some friends to climb in Eureka–ended up climbing the classic Stairway to Heaven, which is in great shape, with nice plastic ice and 800 feet of enjoyable climbing–nice to get out on old favorites as well! The rest of the Eureka climbs are looking great too!
The Ouray ice park is still working on building a base of ice and should be open later in the month, giving us access to an unparalleled ice climbing instruction venue. The backcountry is climbing well; December is a great time to beat the crowds and have some backcountry ice adventures! In January we’ll be in full swing running the gamut of ice climbing programs from beginner to advanced to custom. Come on out and climb in Ouray with us!