Posts Tagged ‘Ouray Ice Park’

Ice Climbing – Ouray Ice Park, CO (Day 3)

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

Ice Climbing Chicks at Ouray
Becca, Shannon, Erin, Hannah, and Clare after a great day of slicing ice at Ouray.

Clare at Ouray Ice Park
Climbergirl at Ouray Ice Park (Thanks to Jay for taking this rad picture!)

On Friday, when we got to Ouray Ice Park, all the routes with bolted anchors were taken.

So, in order to secure a couple bolted anchor climbs, we arrived before sun-up. At 6:30am, the place was totally pitch black. We hiked to the School Room crag, by headlamp. We were the first party, so we had our choice of routes. Oh goody!

Ouray Ice Park - Report Card Anchor 9 Ouray Ice Park - School Room Anchor 10
We picked route #9 (Report Card WI3) and route #10 (Teacher’s Pet WI3).

(more…)

Ice Climbing – Ouray Ice Park, CO (Day 2)

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Ready For a Challenge
Erin, Becca, Hannah, and Shannon ready for ice climbing!

Becca At the Top of WI2 in New Funtier
Becca Topping Out at a Climb in New Funtier

Erin...Or...The Wizard of New Funtier
Erin stays warm belaying by using “The Wizard technique” aka draping a sleeping bag around oneself. I’m really happy I brought my Cat’s Meow Bag, it came in handy!

Silly Girls Ice Climbing New Funtier
Ice Climbing at New Funtier

For the first day at Ouray Ice Park, we are treated to a blizzard. We drive to the trailhead in wintry conditions. The entire day turns into one huge adventure!

When we get to the entrance of the main area, we strap on our crampons. A few of the girls have troubles getting theirs secured on their boots, so we need to make some adjustments later on in the day. I’m happy we are able to figure it out eventually…climbing with loose crampons is nearly impossible!

Walking into the school room area, all of the easy, bolted top ropes are already taken which means we are forced to go to another area. Since it is my first time there AND we are walking around in a blizzard, I’m completely disoriented. I’m nervous about finding a place we can climb safely. As we trudge through at least a foot of fresh powder, my excitement diminishes. In the flat lighting of the blizzard, it is difficult to judge distances, which complicates things greatly. (more…)

Ice Climbing – Ouray Ice Park, CO (Day 1)

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Ouray Bound - Girls Going Ice Climbing
Becca, Erin, Hannah, Shannon, and Clare

To celebrate my recent graduation from the CMC Ice Climbing Class, I decided to help organize a girls climbing trip to Ouray. Erin had already been twice this season and, quite frankly, wouldn’t shut up about it. “OMG, Ouray is awesome…we should totally go there!”. With a pitch like that, who could resist!

Before I know it, we have a total roster of 5, super stoked chicks: Erin is the most experienced ice climber of the bunch and our energetic sparkplug. Hannah is a world traveler, accomplished peak bagger, and somehow manages to make you smile no matter what’s going on. Becca is game for just about any adventure, is an excellent dancer, and exudes a quiet, reassuring confidence. Last but not least is Shannon; strong, quick-learning, and agile on the ice! We each brought something to the table, so we made an excellent team.

We all pile into Hannah’s car on Thursday and make our way to Ouray. Thankfully, we have a cargo carrier for the climbing gear! And, even better, Becca has secured us lodging at a friend’s rental. It’s a totally decked out 3 Bed 3 Bath, about a mile from town!

It takes 9.5 hours and we have to use the rumble strip to ensure we are actually driving on the road. In white out conditions, we pass a couple dozen cars who have spun out of control. This doesn’t deter us from our goal. It is a team effort; two girls watching each side of the road, one girl peering into the white out searching for obstacles, one girl checking the maps for mileage updates, and Hannah – our brave pilot maneuvering the vehicle.

We get to the house at 12:30am and unload the car. Wake-up call is set for 7:30am. I manage to get about 5 hours of sleep and am excited for my first day at Ouray!