Back to Ouray, Colorado

Last weekend I ventured back to Ouray, Colorado with Matt Lloyd and Sam Benedict. We drove through white out conditions to climb in white out conditions. We got to Ouray Thursday afternoon after a seven hour car ride (prolonged because of bad weather) and got a couple of good pitches before dark. 

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After a long night’s rest we get set to spend the day in the Ouray Ice Park, a box canyon with artificially irrigated ice flows fed by water pipes that run along the top of the canyon. The free park is maintained by volunteers and has some of the best ice climbing in an extremely small amount of space. Many times ice climbing requires intense, multi hour approaches just to get to one or two ice flows. Having an almost endless amount of ice within ten minutes from the parking lot is quite incredible.

Matt pushes through despite very extreme conditions. 

The weather Thursday and Friday was pretty extreme. Friday, with the high winds and blowing snow, was one of the first days I actually admitted I was cold. Then came Saturday, an absolutely beautiful blue bird day. In the canyon the heat radiated from the sun and bounced off all of the light colored surfaces making it almost t-shirt weather, even though it was only 33ยบ on top of the canyon.

This is why belaying can be dangerous. 

Sam playing on the inside of an ice curtain