Ouray Colorado Trip Report
A couple days before we got out there they had 16 inches of snow, but the roads were clear when we got there. We arrived Friday and were able to scout out the town and get our gear squared away with the guide service that day. Mitch got in Friday night, and our first day of climbing was Saturday.
The park was MEGA crowded, we barely got a route when we got there in the morning, but it ended up being a pretty good one. Because the climbs are so close to town, we went back into town for lunch each day which was good for warming us back up, but the cold really wasn't bad at all.
The climbs in the afternoon were much easier than the morning, not because the route was easier, but because we were getting the hang of the climbing. Because of the crowds we arranged to switch our second day of ice climbing to Monday, and went snow boarding in Telluride instead.
The drive to Telluride is about an hour in good weather, which we fortunately did have. Telluride is an awsome town with great resturants and shops. They also have a pretty good amount of beginner and moderate terrain. One of the trails we did was a 2.5 mile long green route. The snow was groomed powder.
Monday we climbed again. Mitch had to leave in the afternoon to make it back to work on time. In the afternoon we stepped it up a notch with a 150' climb that was also a little bit tougher. We then finished the day with some practice setting ice screws. Placing ice screws is harder work than placing trad gear, and it is often a two handed operation, so I can see why ice leaders end up running out their gear more.
I definitely don't want to lead on ice. Looks like it is beyond my comfort zone. I enjoyed the ice climbing, and want to do it again... but I think I'll be content with it being a once a year outting. I recommend the Box Canyon lodge, nice rooms and great natural hot springs hot tubs... perfect for recoving at the end of the day. Next time we'll spend more time in Telluride too.
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