The Ames Ice Hose: A Colorado classic!
The Ice Hose is 500 feet of steep ice climbing, right near Telluride, and only an hour's drive from Ouray. Two of my friends and I climbed the Ice Hose the other day, and had a blast. It hosts three long pitches of pure ice climbing, though sometimes the first pitch is mixed - it depends on the time of season. Here are some pictures that we took along the way...
The stunning Ames Ice Hose.
Matt, fueling up for the big day - two pieces of homemade toast with eggs, cheese, bacon and beans. Power fuel!
Once again, getting psyched. This time with mere tea. Apparently, it was that easy to get excited.
Approaching the Ice Hose. The approach itself is about 45 minutes along a well-trodden path. This picture is the final push of the approach, a steep gully that climbs a few hundred feet to the climb. At least it's a fun slide down on the way home!
My roommate Matt (an AMTL 1, 2, and 3 graduate) and one of my favorite climbing partners finishing up the first pitch as I belay him up.
Matty starting to lead pitch two. This is the classic "ice hose" pitch: nearly sixty meters of climbing up a chimney in the rock. The ice flow forms in the chimney, and creates a brilliant pitch of climbing.
After the crux of pitch 2, running it to the top.
Ethan (a Ouray local and really nice guy) starting up the third pitch. This is the business, people! The WI4+ Mega Pitch! It's a full 60 meters of WI 4+ ice - a nice fat, blue flow. The ice was incredible today - a lot of new, plastic ice, what we endearingly refer to as "hero ice." Today's hero = Ethan. Thanks for putting the rope up, buddy! (photo credit: Matt Van Biene)
Well, that was the day in a nutshell. It is a great climb in a beautiful location. And, there's a bit of history here, too...
The Ames Station (next to the climbers' parking lot) is the location of the "World's first generating station to produce and transmit alternating current."
--Mike Pond, Instructor and Guide