Well it was a great trip for Clive and David they each climbed approximately one and a half miles of steep ice, try that in Scotland, which is what we went to Ouray for.
Unfortunately I injured my hand and lagged some distance behind in the mileage stakes, I couldn’t hold an axe for four days, even when I had partially recovered I couldn’t climb the things I wanted because I just kept making my hand worse. However there is next year.
Reasons to climb in Ouray
1) The locals speak English, although in an archaic form, so communication is possible as is misunderstanding. Whatever you do don’t walk on the pavement.
2) The ice is a lot more secure than Moroccan rock. Yes on occasion huge pillars collapse but you can generally see when they are going to go.
3) No flies.
4) The bears are hibernating.
5) We are reliably informed there are no Black Widow spiders at this altitude (we haven’t told David yet)
6) You will climb a lot of ice
7) If it is safe to do them there are some huge climbs in the backcountry (we just say hills but it doesn’t sound as dangerous)
8) You can actually use 22cm ice screws.
9) The food is marginally better than Morocco, if you cook your own it can be spectacularly better.
10) Sometimes you can climb ice in the sun.
Reasons not to go……none.
It has become more expensive in recent years due mainly to a large devaluation of the pound and robbing politicians imposing air travel duty and telling us they are saving the planet. Does anyone really believe that?