February 09, 2009


I made it down to the San Juan Mountains for the second weekend in a row. This time, I went with Keith, Dane, Rachel, and Rainbow to Ouray, CO, which is known for its ice climbing. The ice that makes the town famous is not quite naturally forming. Pipes transport water along the top edge of the shady side of a cliff leading down into a narrow river canyon. This pipe has spigots every few feet. At 4:00 pm every below-freezing weekday, the town turns the water on and more ice forms. This strategy for attracting tourists has been so successful, I'm surprised more towns have not tried to employ it.

We spent all of Friday ice climbing in the park.

We spent Saturday backcountry skiing on Red Mountain Pass, a few miles above town.

Indecisively, we spent the first half of Sunday backcountry skiing at the same local as the previous day, and the latter half ice climbing in the park prior to driving home.

Dane leading a climb in the South Park area (yes, all the climbs here are named after South Park episodes and characters)

Keith in The Schoolroom

Dane in The Schoolroom

More of Dane gettin' his learn on in The Schoolroom

This was a fun, steep, and pumpy one

Rainbow in the snow on "Pic o' the Vic"

I think I'd turn in to a good ice climber if I lived in Ouray for a winter. MORE PHOTOS

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