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Out of the Mainline, Fall Creek Drainage, Camp Bird Road

San Juan Ice Conditions Nov. 16, 2012
November 16, 2012
Ouray Backcountry Ice Climbing Tour
December 22, 2012

Recently, I took great pleasure in climbing “Out of the Mainline,” a unique flow that forms in the Fall Creek drainage.   This ice climb rarely gets traffic due to its grossly humongous basin lurking above.  Most years, the Fall Creek climbs  have far too much risk of avalanche danger to go anywhere near them.  I guess this is a small reward of having a dry start to this season, we can hike in and climb without the hazards of avalanches, on routes that are typically not enjoyed in a regular type season.

The approach to this drainage is full on, but completely worth it in my opinion.  There is a good deal of willow whacking,  steep and loose terrain, a bit of route-finding and within an hour you should arrive in a beautiful gully off-shoot of the “Mainline,”  Fall Creek proper.

There is some great ice!  Stair-stepping lower angled ice takes you to  a couple super WI 3 and WI 4 pitches.  The views are fantastic and the adventure is high on the fun factor.  We rappelled the route.

This gem of a climb makes me eager to seek out more north facing flows and see what other rare goodies are out there for our enjoyment.