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More Ice Climbing in Silverton and Ouray

Level 1 AIARE Avalanche Course in the San Juan Mountains – Take Three
January 14, 2010
Level 1 Avalanche Course in Durango and the San Juan Mountains
February 2, 2010

Last week, Ari and Alex joined us for a 3 day blast of ice climbing in Silverton and Ouray.  On the first day of our trip, we decided on a climb of Whorehous Ice Hose.  The conditions on Whorehouse are superb this year, and the 3 of us had a great day on the climb.  The lower pitch is probably in WI 3+ condition on the left, and WI 5- on the right.  The upper pitch is a solid WI 4 on the right and WI 4+ on the left.

At the belay on top of the first pitch of Whorehouse.

At the belay on top of the first pitch of Whorehouse.

The second day of our trip took us to the Ouray Ice Park, where we worked on perfecting steep ice technique and did a little mixed climbing as well.  We followed that with an asent of Horsetail Falls, which is in fantastic shape given all the cold temps and lack of snow recently.  Alex opted to go skiing on Red Mountain Pass on this day, with our guide Josh Coffin, while Ari and I climbed Horsetail.

Above the crux on Horsetail.

Above the crux on Horsetail.

Perfect technique!

Perfect technique!

Ice conditions are great in the the San Juans right now, though it looks like with snow in the forecast we’ll be steering clear of areas like Eureka Canyon with avalanche danger sure to rise.  Stay tuned!

Horsetail Falls, WI4

Horsetail Falls, WI4