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Early season ice climbs near Boulder

November 18th, 2009

The Osprey Brand Team, a group of 10 ambassadors reporting from the field at consumer outdoor events across the country as well as reporting on adventures in their own neck of the woods, checks in with Erie, Colorado resident Joey Thompson. Joe is a ski patrol member at Boulder’s local hill Eldora and an AMGA Certified Rock Guide. Here he tests his early-season ice climbing skills…

My friends and I wear really psyched for ice climbing after all of the recent snow fall here in Boulder. We took a chance to scout out some early ice conditions. What I knew was that some areas are more likely to have ice that others. I was looking for cooler temps and shaded aspects with higher elevation for forming ice. Also considering the hike in and a recon misson, I thought that Lincolon Falls would be a great venue to check out. Little did we know what was to be in store.

The drive to the parking area was a great time to confirm there would be good ice. Once we saw the main gully in a mild blue hue I knew that there was potential for some climbing.

The 1st pitch was a little more wet on the right side with H2O rushing down the ice fall. Over all there was pretty deep ice. The ice fall took screws and swings.

The second pitch was a bit more interesting. With chandlers and steeper terrain I was paying closer attention to where my placements went. During early season one must try to tread lightly on this forming ice. Ice that is not ready to lead must really be avoided for later-in-the-season climbing.

We found great mixed top roping with out bashing the ice pack that was still forming.

Working together we were able to come up with a plan. As mountain guides we are trained to be conscious of the resources and lead by example.

When the early season has you pumped to climb remember to think about preservation and the future of the season for you and especially others.

Joey Thompson
Colorado Mountain School Mountain Guide

For more information about the Osprey Variant 37 please click here.

For more information please see Joey’s bio page here.

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