Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ouray Ice Festival 2011 - Part 3

Well the third day at Ouray was much like the first two.  We got up early, stopped at a breakfast place in town and headed to the park to climb.  We knew that it would be a busy day, because of clinics and other festival happenings, but we wanted to get on a few more routes before we left.  This was Ryann's and my final day in Ouray.  We were going to climb all day and then leave first thing the next morning.


Friday 1.7.11 - Scottish Gullies, Grad School and New Funtier
Mike climbing with Jason catching
So we started the day out in the Scottish Gullies near the North end of the park.  I first had to stop at the Black Diamond tent to pick up some Fusion ice tools to use for the day.  Jack Tackle, a rep for BD who I work with at Sierra Trading Post, was at the Festival and said I could use his tools for the day and test them out.  I took him up on his offer and grabbed them before we got on our first route. Since Mike and Crystal had clinics to attend later in the day we decided to get on a couple routes before lunch.  We got on the last two routes in the Scottish Gullies area because it was so crowded.  We setup on a WI 3+ and a WI 2 to warm up on for the day.  Both routes went pretty well, but the ice wasn't that great.  It was in the sun and so it had been cooking the last few days.  Even though the park puts new ice on every night, you still get the melt and freeze action that a natural ice route gets as well.  Everyone climbed well and had a good warm up for the day.  We were nearing lunch and so Mike and Crystal needed to head out and meet with their clinic group.  Jason, Ryann and I decided that a couple other areas in the park might have some open routes.
Me climbing in the New Funtier


The Grad School and the New Funtier are both farther South in the park and offer dozens of routes.  Grad School has ridiculously long routes and New Funtier has a good mix of easy and hard ice/mixed routes.  We got on one route in the Grad School and had a great time.  It was a longer WI 3 and offered some steep climbing, but we quickly found that the ice would be better in the New Funtier, so we hiked a little farther and found a great route.  It was super crowded, but one route was open that had some good ice and some technical climbing.  There was a little mixed climbing, thick ice, thin ice, and even a technical corner to overcome.  Jason, Ryann and I had a tremendous time running laps on the route and hanging out in the bottom of the gorge with everyone else.  The day went really well and the Festival was a success for everyone involved. We all climbed really well and had an amazing time.


As the sun started to set we hiked out and met up with Mike and Crystal.  They both had a great experience participating in their clinics with professional climbers helping them with technique and training.  Everyone was exhausted from the long day and we all decided to get a drink in town and then hit the Ouray Hot Springs!!!
Mike in the Scottish Gullies

Check out more after the break!

Jason (in the middle) climbing in the New Funtier
Crystal doin' work in the Scottish Gullies
Tools of destruction!!!
Lowering into the Grad School
Me in the New Funtier
Jason in the New Funtier
The business
Poor little guy had his owner's down vest on!
Ryann and I after a long day
I love Ouray and can't wait to get back.  For now though I have plenty to write about.  Look for updates coming about Winter Outdoor Retailer, SIA in Denver and ski/snowboard videos.  I'll be working hard over the next week to get some new content up.  Enjoy!!!