Wow! We are feeling grateful in the San Juans! Based on the wet September and the cycles of snow, cold night time temperatures, and sunny days in October, the ice flows are really shaping up beautifully. Hopefully, this pattern continues, and then solidifies into an epic winter with loads of great snow.
On November 3rd, my partner and SJMG Senior Guide Andrés, set out to climb the Ribbon, a classic WI 3/4 ice fall near Ouray, Colorado. It was a stellar morning, not too cold, perfect for a pleasant climb on a north facing route. It is so awesome to have ice this time of year, getting us pumped on climbing and swinging tools early, gearing up for an amazing winter, yet to come.
The approach, on this day, was smooth, the snow was not deep and we found a decent way to skip across the creek. It took us about a half an hour to get to the base of the Ribbon.
This route could be split into three or four pitches. There are great fixed anchor belays, as long as the snow doesn’t get too deep. Be leery of climbing the Ribbon after snowstorms and during high avalanche danger. There are considerably large snow bowls above that funnel down the route.
Climbing the Ribbon was super fun! The ice was in excellent shape, slightly thin in some spots, but overall fantastic!
We were stoked on the quality of ice!
Let the momentum continue and the flow keep growing! Early ice is on in the mountains of Southwest Colorado and we are ready for action. Give us a call at SJMG with any inquiries, we’d love to go climb ice with you this season, it’s going to be all time!
See you there!