Once again Carly and I headed to Ouray for some ice climbing in Ouray around Christmas/New Year’s. This year was a little shorter trip but we still had a great time and were able to see some friends. Hilary and Micah in Ridgeway for dinner and a quick crash at their place (thanks so much!). We also got to hang with Matt and his lady Kyla. Matt is just working through a major climbing accident with injuries to his hip and ankles. Despite only being able to walk on his own about a month and a half ago he was back at it again, though on a top rope at the ice park! NICE!
The weather when we arrived in Ouray was pretty anti-winter feeling. No snow in town was to be found and the temps were in the mid-40’s, not very late December feeling. However, we knew a storm was rolling in so we took the opportunity on Tuesday to climb Dexter Creek which is a multi-pitch just outside town we hadn’t done before. It is a fairly moderate 2 pitch climb. We got the beta from Micah that the walk-off isn’t difficult. Despite the look of the descent slopes, crumbling semi-high angle dirt, we opted to do the walk-off rather than V-thread. This was a good choice as the walk-off was pretty easy and fairly secure, especially with crampons still on. It was fun day that capped off with a pitch in the ice park before the rain started to fall.
Tuesday night it pissed rain in town which was very uninspiring for the ice park. At our usual bivy site at Thistledown CG on Camp Bird Rd it was dumping snow. Just a few hundred feet above town it had switched. Wednesday morning there was about 8″ of fresh snow we needed to drive through to get back into town for breakfast.
Wednesday we met up with Matt and Kyla for a park day. It was good times with some friends. Kyla was killing it only being her third day of ice climbing ever.
Since the weather was stormy Wednesday and Thursday we opted for the park again on Thursday. We’d been intending on getting a soak at the hot springs while we where there, but didn’t get a chance until Thursday afternoon. With a wet storm heading towards SLC we opted to get a jump on driving back Thursday evening.