Ames Ice Hose (WI5 M6 200m)
FA: Michael Kennedy, Lou Dawson, Steve Shea (1976)
Location: San Juan Range, Southwest Colorado
Equipment: (2-3 each) 10cm, 13cm, 16cm ice screws, (1) set of TCU’s, (1) set of wires
Approach: Park at the Ames Power Station (about 15 miles south of Telluride on HWY 145) and follow the trail behind the station for about 20-30 minutes to some old railroad tracks. Follow the railroad tracks to the right for another 20-30 minutes to a point below the climb. From here, hike up the steep drainage to the base of the first pitch. Total approach time varies with conditions, but is usually around 1 – 1.5 hours.
Description: Ames Ice Hose is a Colorado classic winter climb. Conditions can vary drastically and significantly change the character of this route. The first pitch is typically the crux, both mentally and physically. When it is in, this pitch can be steep ice with good protection. However, more often than not, the ice is thin and requires mixed climbing without any real protection. Belay from a bolted anchor on the left. The second pitch is a thin ramp of ice angling up to the right. It is usually about 2-3 feet wide and protected with a mixture of rock and ice gear. Belay from another bolted anchor on the left. The third pitch is typically the most straightforward, a steep flow of ice the ends at a tree anchor to the left.
Descent: Three double-rope rappels. First rappel is from a tree, and then the next two are from bolted anchors.