Ouray Visit with Eric, Matt, Kevin, and Della

Matt looking baller.
Matt looking baller.

January 17-18, 2015

Since about the beginning of December I’ve been in Salt Lake.  Weather hasn’t been good or bad enough to really dictate an out of SLC weekend.  However things are getting a bit dire. We had a good storm last week but before that the ice all but melted and the snow was crusty crap.  Last week as the the weekend drew closer I realized Carly would be in Avy I class all weekend and I could use a weekend out of town.  Eric, Matt, Kevin, and Della were headed to Ouray for some ice climbing and I joined in.
Leaving Friday after work we rolled into Ouray at 11:30.  After finally figuring out which room we were in we dropped into bed.  7am came quickly and we packed our gear for the day to head up Camp Bird Road just outside of town.  This area has a lot of one and two pitch routes some moderates and some crazy mixed stuff.  There’s also a few classic hard ice lines as well, The Ribbon (WI4), Bird  Brain Boulevard (WI5 M5-6), and Talisman (WI6 M6).  The last two are a bit above our pay grade and we weren’t early enough to get in line first on The Ribbon.
As such we walked up the road and got on some single pitch stuff.  Eric and I teamed up and Della, Matt, and Kevin tied in together.  Kevin and Della aren’t ice climbers but they are strong enough rock climbers to keep up with Matt.
Eric and I did a nice chimneying pillar and thin ice traverse called Chock Up An Other One (WI4).  After that Eric lead an easier variation to the left.
Moving up the road we met up with the others and I lead a short mixed line called Mile 4 (M6).  Everyone got a burn and we split up again with Eric and I moving to Chockstone Chimney. There was left variation I did that was pretty steep and a bit difficult to protect.
Eric and I did one more route that was really fun and a bit tricky.  The route went up a 30ft pillar and the into a narrow slot.  There was enough ice to not have to be mixed but it was tight and required some precise footwork.
Sunday we headed to the ice park so we could all get some laps and only spend a half day before we burned out. Misson accomplished.
Ouray was good to me again.  Splitter weather, plenty of ice climbing, good food, and good beer.  I’m hoping that I can get on some the longer routes in the area.