San Juan Ice Conditions
Ouray, Silverton, and Telluride Ice
We take pride in staying current on Ouray Ice Conditions and for all major ice climbs in the Ouray, Silverton, and Telluride areas. Check back often for updates, pictures, and trip reports!
Update 02/08/15: High pressure and generally warm temperatures have dominated the forecast in the month of January and now into February. Despite this, most routes are in good condition and getting climbed regularly. In fact, many routes (such as the Ames Ice Hose) have grown to historic proportions. The continued periods of warm weather have definitely had an effect on the ice conditions throughout the range. For example, bonding is an issue in places like Eureka Canyon so expect lots of dinner-plating and potential for ice bulge failures.
There is a little bit of snow in the forecast so pay close attention to how that develops and the winds associated with the system. With long periods of sunny warm weather between storm expect poor bonding to surface snow and potential for avy hazard to rise quickly depending on production from this system.
As always, be safe out there and watch the winds and avalanche hazard (click here for CAIC North San Juan forecast) carefully as they relate to your plans for ice climbing. Enjoy!
Check out this recent report of a cool link-up that a few of our guides did recently: The San Juan Quinfecta
Ouray Ice Park [Updated 02/08/15]
Despite the warm temps the Ouray Ice Park still boasts great conditions throughout. Pay attention to spot closures throughout the park, which should be clearly marked, but if you have any questions check in with the office at the upper bridge.
If you would like to become a member of the Ouray Ice Park click here and become a supporter of this incredible climbing resource!
|Ouray Ice Park Climbing Areas||Status|
|School Room to Lead Area||Open|
|Lead Area/Upper Bridge||Open|
|Between the Bridges||Open|
|Scottish Gullies||Open. Spot Closures|
|Sh%thouse & Gazebo||Closed|
Camp Bird Road Climbs [Updated 02/08/15]
Most climbs in the Skylight area are holding and climbing well, though it would be advisable to start early and end early to avoid the shower. The Ribbon has seen a good deal of traffic recently but as always watch the avy hazard and potential for spindrift on that route. The first pitch is a bit sublimated and harder to protect but the rest of the route climbs well.
|Camp Bird Area Ice Climb||Status|
|Racing Stripes||Not In|
|The Ribbon||IN. 1st Pitch Sublimated. Watch Avy Hazard and Spindrift|
|Birdbrain Boulevard||Thin. Sublimated. Seen a few ascents recently.|
|The Talisman||In. Starting to sublimate. Seen a few ascents recently.|
Ouray Valley & HWY 550 [Updated 02/08/15]
It has been too warm and sunny for any of the climbs near the Engineer Pass turnoff to come into condition. Horsetail Falls is in good condition and getting climbed regularly.
|Ouray Valley & HWY 550 Ice Climb||Status|
|Dexter Creek Slabs||Major rockfall hazard present|
|Cascade Falls||Not in|
|Oak Creek||Not in|
|Horsetail Falls||In. Getting climbed regularly.|
|Sunslpash/Solar Circus||Not in|
|The Dungeon (North Silver Creek)||Not in|
|Kennedy’s Gully||Not in|
|Gravity’s Rainbow||Not in|
Silverton Eureka Canyon [Updated 02/08/15]
Click here for the current avalanche hazard forecast for the Northern San Juans before you go!
Stairway, Goldrush, Highway 666, Hosers Highway, Whorehouse, 1st Gully and 2nd Gully are all in and seeing regular ascents. Dukes of Hazard has seen many ascents this year. Most climbs have grown to historic proportions due to the robust melt/freeze cycle associated with the warmer than average temps. Watch the outer layer ice on many of the climbs for bonding issues and large dinner plate possibilities. Low avy hazard in that zone recently but some snow is forecast for this Tuesday/Wednesday.
|Eureka Canyon Ice Climb||Status|
|Dukes of Hazzard||In. Awesome this year.|
|Giant Steps||Sun baked. Looks unappealing|
|Whorehouse Ice Hose||In. Right side 3rd pitch has some rockfall hazard|
|Highway to Hell||In|
|Stairway to Heaven||In. Huge.|
|Hoser’s Highway||IN. Seen a few ascents this year|
|Gully’s 1 & 2||In|
|Goldrush||In. Starting to get a little sun baked|
|Tempered by Fire/Fat City||In|
South Mineral Creek [Updated 02/08/15]
Road is not open. Be prepared to go in on skis if you want to go. Check avy hazard too.
|South Mineral Creek Ice Climb||Status|
|Road Conditions to Climbs||Road Closed. Approach on Skis!|
|Direct North Face||In|
Telluride Area [Updated 02/08/15]
…where the big kids go to get pumped on ice.
On the other side of the ridge, the Ames Ice Hose is all the way in and has formed up superbly this year – about as fat as we have ever seen it. Bridalveil Falls has been getting climbed regularly and is a bit harder than it has been in previous seasons.
|Telluride Area Ice Climb||Status|
|Bridalveil Falls||In. Stout this year|
|Ames Ice Hose||IN. Awesome and huge this year. Start early ; )|
|Ames Falls||Wet but climbable|