Home » Ames Ice Hose » Recent Articles:

Freshly Motivated

January 4, 2010 Climb 1 Comment
Scott DeCapio on Bridal Veil Falls in early season: Ice the way it was meant to be climbed. Photo by Kelly Cordes

Scott DeCapio on Bridal Veil Falls in early season: Ice the way it was meant to be climbed. Photo by Kelly Cordes

By Kelly Cordes

We shoulda stayed at Indian Creek, I thought, followed quickly by, I hope he’s at the anchors, so we can bail. Midway up Scott DeCapio’s lead—our first pitch of the day—he’d whined down, “Man, I’m getting old and soft…I’m a-scairt!” Then he tapped a column of ice tentacles that promptly snapped and thundered onto the cone at the base of the climb, half of them deflecting my way and sending me into the hot-potato dance in my crampons. Then he rocketed upward.

We’d started the day with grouchiness from our alpine start (leaving at 7 counts as inhumane in my book), and half an hour later we got grumpier when we found two rigs already parked at the trailhead for the Ames Ice Hose, which, according to the Internet and the view from the road, seemed to be in great condition.

“Goddamnit, Cracka,” I said, “whatdya think? Maybe they’ve just left and we should try that stupid footrace-to-the-base thing?”

“Naw, that sucks,” Scotty D replied. “Let’s see if the reports are wrong—maybe Bridal Veil is in now. Where them Twizzlers at?”

It’s too easy to fall into a comfortable routine in a place like Colorado, with so much great weather and so many great climbs. You get spoiled. Before you know it, adventure and all of its often-uncomfortable yet unparalleled rewards becomes secondary to classic, beautiful, overclimbed routes, with follow-the-tape chalked holds, a yellow TCU at the crux (the Internet said so), and drafting in pick holes. Great fun, of course, and great for the ego and the arms guns. I don’t know why that’s not enough, but I know that just a little shift in mentality—like the willingness to hustle and try for more, or to take the tools for a walk (even to classics the Internet says aren’t in yet)—can squeeze the most out of normally overpicked Colorado. … Continue Reading

Turkey Day Ice Conditions

November 26, 2009 Climb 1 Comment
Sherman Climb

The Sherman Climb. MountainPro.ca

Just a quickie today. There’s turkey to fry.

• Some nice photos from the Sherman Climb, near Lake City, last Thursday.

• A good look at the climbs of Glacier Gorge in RMNP on Sunday: plenty to do near Black Lake.

• A closer look at All Mixed Up in Glacier Gorge, also on Sunday.

Lots to do around Silverton, and rumor has it the Ames Ice Hose has been climbed. The Ouray Ice Park opens on December 19—possibly earlier if the ice continues to grow at its current pace. Vail is still weak, but it’s all comin’…

Happy Turkey Day!

Join Us…

We welcome stories, photos, video, and cool trip reports. Drop us a line, and we'll get you started.

Recent Comments

  • Jamie Jones: The secret chute was only a secret top all you easterners....
  • Jeff: Awesome!!!! Are they ever going to be published in book form! These stories need to be made into a movie!!!!...
  • Karen D McCall: What a story, I read every word, absolutely enthralled. As an aging outdoor enthusiast headed for hip replacement, I can...
  • Kirk Miller: New rats in the Platte. Well done sir....
  • Dale: I met Clerin Zumwalt hiking on the Long's Peak trail back in the 1990's. He was with his family and was wearing his RMNP...
  • Ben Collett: Dougald, I miss the updates on this site. Anyway, there is a great route on the 4th Flatiron (see MP.com for details) th...
  • Tim: Thanks for the great writeup. We just did this loop yesterday and had a blast. Do you know if anyone has skied the coulo...
  • 14er Sports: Awesome accomplishment!...
  • Kailas: Yes Wick there are that many people. And they are all from back east or Texass... booooo. I've skied up here for ove...
  • jeff: What amazing experiences Dr. Cook had. I feel so fortunate that I've found this website and have been able to enjoy Dr. ...

Supported By…

Category RSS Feeds

Firsts

A Fine Line on Arrowhead

March 26, 2010

A Fine Line on Arrowhead

Climbers Scotty Nelson and Gil Weiss have discovered (or maybe rediscovered) a great-looking moderate mixed route in Rocky Mountain National Park that might take pressure off overcrowded climbs like Dream Weaver or Martha. The line, which they called Deborah, splits the south face of Arrowhead above the high bench to the west of Black Lake [...]

Shelf Road’s Hardest Route Climbed

March 10, 2010

Shelf Road’s Hardest Route Climbed

Colorado’s Shelf Road , a network of vertical limestone cliffs near Cañon City best known for sunny moderates, has a new 5.13d pitch and may soon get its first 5.14. On Sunday, March 7, Mark Anderson redpointed a striking, super-technical arête at Cactus Cliff that was bolted in the early 1990s but apparently never free-climbed. [...]

New Route Likely Platte’s Hardest

February 14, 2010

New Route Likely Platte’s Hardest

Jason Haas, who’s working on a new guidebook to South Platte rock climbs, has just redpointed what’s likely the Platte’s hardest pitch, a roof seam that’s protected with removable pro and might be 5.14a. The new route, Comprometido, took about a year and a half to complete. Here, Haas tells the story.
While researching routes [...]

Supported By…

Classics

Brain Freeze on Mt. Otis

March 18, 2010

Brain Freeze on Mt. Otis

In the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park, a granite spindle called Zowie protrudes from the convoluted south face of Mt. Otis. Just to Zowie’s left is a zigzagging chimney and gully system that holds an unlikely mixed-climbing gem. Brain Freeze was discovered very recently (early 2008) by Andy Grauch and Chris Sheridan. Several parties [...]

Lake Agnes–Seven Utes Loop

February 19, 2010

Lake Agnes–Seven Utes Loop

Kevin Landolt is a skier/climber/student, based in Fort Collins, who writes the fun Alpine Ambition blog for the Mountain Shop. Here, Kevin describes a favorite midwinter ski tour near Cameron Pass offering a little of everything.
Trailhead: Lake Agnes Road, 2.5 miles west of Cameron Pass
Tour Distance: 7.3 miles
Total Vert: ca. 2,900′
Season: Midwinter to spring; two [...]

Mr. and Mrs. Mesa

January 28, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Mesa

Two of the wildest and most difficult water-ice pitches in the state are in plain view from Highway 50, en route to Ouray and Telluride from points north, plunging down the sheer face of Grand Mesa. Yet few people notice them, and far fewer have climbed them. The routes are tough, to be sure, but [...]

East Ridge of Mt. Bancroft

December 28, 2009

East Ridge of Mt. Bancroft

Mt. Bancroft’s rocky east ridge is a terrific mountaineering adventure for Front Range climbers, beginning less than an hour from Denver. The 13,250-foot peak is relatively close to the road, and avalanche danger can be easily managed, making this perhaps the most accessible technical winter summit on the entire Front Range. The east ridge offers [...]

Wild

Rarities: Wolf Moon, Arapaho Peaks

February 5, 2010

Rarities: Wolf Moon, Arapaho Peaks

Photographer James Beissel sent us this fantastic dawn-patrol shot of the full moon setting over South and North Arapaho in the Indian Peaks, shot from Flagstaff Mountain. Said Beissel: ”The first full moon of the New Year is often called the Wolf Moon. The name comes from Native American culture, in which it was associated with [...]

New Deal for Great Sand Dunes

January 20, 2010

New Deal for Great Sand Dunes

By Bob Berwyn
Stakeholders in the San Luis Valley have taken a giant step toward protecting Great Sand Dunes National Park from mining, energy development, and water exports. Lexam Explorations has agreed to sell its mineral rights if a $9.7 million deal can be finalized by May.
Great Sand Dunes National Park was created by Congress [...]

Supported By…