Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ouray, Willard and Joe


2 weeks ago Court joined Izzy and Anna and I for a weekend trip to Ouray Colorado.  We drove down early on a Friday and made it into town with time to climb.  Izzy and Anna hung out at the hotel while Court and I learned what all the Ouray hype is all about. Holy Cow. Wow! So imagine a mile long narrow gorge that is over 100 feet deep in the one of the prettiest spots in the Rockies. Then install hundreds of shower heads along one side and freeze. Waalah! Result = better ice climbing than even the the holi-deck on the Enterprise could generate.  I'll let the pics say the rest.

Most routes we top-roped off trees, but that does not mean they were mild in any way.

After climbing we hit the awesome hot springs in town.

Viewing areas on the other side of the gorge where Izzy took some sweet pics of us climbing

 My New Friends Willard and Joe:

On Wednesday after work I met Court in Layton and we cruised down to Willard for an evening gulley scramble.  The hike up was 1.3 miles of tracked snow, 28 degrees temps, and overcast skies.
Approach up to the WI 3 falls

Cool Cave by the base of the route
Court topping out the first pitch. Lots of snow on the route
Great Tree Belay
The top pitch. The ice was steep and fat. By the time I cleaned we had to flip on our lamps for the walk off

After cutting our teeth on low angle gullies and farmed ice we felt ready for a Utah Classic Destination, Joes Valley Reservoir.  Joes is huge bouldering mecca, evidenced by the bouldering guide books at the local gas station, but we came for the ice flows that are on their way off the Wasatch Platea down into the San Rafael Swell.  The short drive from SLC makes for an awesome all dayer or overnighter.

We first climbed CCC falls. 2 pitches of WI3 and WI4.  Then the Dead Bolt gulley which had 2 pitches of WI3 and a half mile of bouldering. Then we cruised over to the WI5 Dorncicle main event. Court sent it in style and I followed on brittle ice that turned to soft sticky ice up in the sun. Lovely.
On the way home we pulled off the road after Price, and I lead the WI4 Dirtcicle (Pricicle)
Court rockin the "alpine sit start." typical of the half mile of ice bouldering between pitches up Deadbolt

The Dorncicle WI5

The Dorncicle WI5

The Dorncicle WI5

The Dorncicle WI5

Pic off Mountainproject of the Pricicle

The Pricicle (Dirtcicle) WI4. Great way to break up the drive and round out a day at Joes


Stats for OURAY:
12 hours of driving.  11 pitches of Ice (most on TR, but very long route)

Stats for Joes:
6 hours of driving. 6 pitches of ice (all on lead)