Picture of the Week – Ibex

Spring is in the air here in the Roaring Fork Valley. Warm temperatures and sunny skies have been quickly melting the snow away and prompting climbers to hit the cliffs and to venture out on weekend trips. This is a great time of year to get out.

Below, the picture of the week, is from The Cape, a climbing area south of the main climbing areas at Ibex, an obscure, out-of-the-way area in western Utah. It’s a great place to escape and get away. In November, we climbed here for three days and saw one car. Glorious!

View from The Cape at Ibex, Utah.

View from The Cape at Ibex, Utah.

 

 

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Monday Movie – An Eye at the Top of the World

I recently read Pete Takeda’s An Eye at the Top of the World. Not my favorite book but an interesting story about climbing, the CIA and a Cold War attempt to spy on the Chinese with a plutonium-powered surveillance device. What’s not to like about a story with those elements? Check out this video to hear about the story and if you’re really interested, check out the book.

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Picture of the Week – The Pleasure Pillar in Rifle

The Pleasure Pillar in Rifle Mountain Park, CO.

The Pleasure Pillar in Rifle Mountain Park, CO.

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Monday Movie – Alex Honnold Free Solos El Sendero Luminoso

Prepare to have your palms sweat while watching Alex Honnold in Mexico on what may be the biggest, hardest free solo ever. Enjoy you Monday!

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Rifle Ice Conditions – 2-19-14

Warm weather has hit the area but have no fear, there is still ice to climb! Here’s a look at current conditions in Rifle Mountain Park. As usual, give us a call at 970-319-0656 if you’re interested in sticking your tools into some ice!

Final Curtain at Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 2-19-14.

Final Curtain at Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 2-19-14.

Tree Slab at Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 2-19-14.

Tree Slab at Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 2-19-14.

Soul On Ice at Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 2-19-14.

Soul On Ice at Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 2-19-14.

Stone Free and Ice Palace at Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 2-19-14.

Stone Free and Ice Palace at Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 2-19-14.

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Picture of the Week – Rappelling from Glenwood Falls’ Right Side

On the far right of Glenwood Falls is a lower angled, easier climb that is less susceptible to the dangers of sun and warm weather than the main, traditional line. A large pine tree is the customary rappel point for the route but the uphill side of the tree has been hammered by rock fall and has a large gouge in the bark with oozing sap from at least one quartzite block making impact. A few old slings are partially or completely severed from that rock fall and serve as a stark reminder of the importance of checking what you are trusting for rappel.

Rappelling from the far right side of Glenwood Falls in Glenwood Canyon, CO.

Rappelling from the far right side of Glenwood Falls in Glenwood Canyon, CO.

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Picture of the Week – The Final Curtain in Rifle

The Final Curtain in Rifle Mountain Park is some of the most consistently forming ice in western Colorado and is a virtual playground of climbing opportunities with lines ranging from WI3 to challenging WI5. Here, Martin tackles a variation on the center or standard middle line up the Final Curtain on a beautiful, sunny day.

Ice climbing on the left side of the Final Curtain in Rifle Mountain Park, CO.

Ice climbing on the Final Curtain in Rifle Mountain Park, CO.

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Rifle Ice Conditions 1-20-14

Rifle Falls State Park

Rifle Falls State Park. No ice climbing but a beautiful winter destination when in the area of Rifle Mountain Park.

Despite a week of sun and warm temperatures in the valley, the ice in Rifle is super solid. Minus the typical stuff that suffers with prolonged exposure to the sun (Ice Palace for example), there is plenty of stuff to throw your picks at. Here’s an updated look at conditions in Rifle. Get out there and, as always, give us a call at 970-319-0656 for a guided day or personal instruction.

The Final Curtain in Rifle Mountain Park on 1-20-14.

The Final Curtain in Rifle Mountain Park on 1-20-14. Still fat with some ill effect of the sun, particularly on the Pleasure Pillar (far right) because it gets an extra hour or more of sun a day. The nights have been cold to help things stay in shape.

Lone Tree (aka Upper Ice Cave) at Rifle Mountain Park on 1-20-14.

Lone Tree (aka Upper Ice Cave) at Rifle Mountain Park on 1-20-14. The right side hasn’t come in like it has in recent years but the left side is a little fatter, illustrating the fickle nature of ice.

Lower Ice Cave in Rifle Mountain Park on 1-20-14.

Lower Ice Cave in Rifle Mountain Park on 1-20-14. Usually of little interest to ice climbers, it’s currently looking kind of interesting and may be worth a trip, particularly if you’ve done everything else. The right side looked particularly fat, steep and sustained.

Soul On Ice in Rifle Mountain Park on 1-20-14.

Soul On Ice in Rifle Mountain Park on 1-20-14. The lefthand pillar at the bottom has been climbed but it just doesn’t seem to want to get any fatter. Many have chosen to lead it by starting on the right and traversing left but have reported it to be pretty hard.

Stone Free and Ice Palace in Rifle Mountain Park on 1-20-14.

Stone Free and Ice Palace in Rifle Mountain Park on 1-20-14. Ice Palace, as expected, has been hammered by the sun but Stone Free has been getting climbed and looks pretty good.

Glenwood Falls on 1-20-14.

Glenwood Falls on 1-20-14. Just for curiosity’s sake, Glenwood Falls is quickly disappearing with the sun and warm temperatures. Elsewhere in the canyon, Hidden Falls is fat, with a Tyrolean across the river and a trail broken in. Mystery Falls looks good from the road although it’s hard to be sure of the first pitch.

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Rifle Ice Conditions 1-4-14

Here’s the latest look at conditions in Rifle Mountain Park. Things are climbing great and there is plenty to do. Give us a call at 970-319-0656 if you want a guided trip or personal instruction from Glenwood Climbing Guides. Happy climbing!

The Pleasure Pillar in fine shape at the Final Curtain in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 1-5-14

The Pleasure Pillar in fine shape at the Final Curtain in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 1-5-14

Final Curtain in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 1-4-14

Final Curtain in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 1-4-14

Lone Tree (aka Upper Ice Cave) in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 1-4-14

Lone Tree (aka Upper Ice Cave) in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 1-4-14

Soul On Ice in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 1-4-14

Soul On Ice in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 1-4-14. Made some decent growth in recent weeks but hasn’t been climbed yet (we think).

Stone Free and Ice Palace in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 1-4-14

Stone Free and Ice Palace in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 1-4-14. The recent sunny, warm spell laid waste to Ice Palace but Stone Free has faired well but doesn’t appear to have been climbed yet (again, we think). Update from 1-7-14: I did hear word that someone climbed Stone Free but word was that it was pretty heads up. 

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Rifle Ice Conditions 12-21-13

Climbing the Pleasure Pillar in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 12-21-13.

Climbing the Pleasure Pillar in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 12-21-13. It’s very climbable with a lot of steps and solid ice with a little thinness in spots. Enjoy!

The ice in Rifle has been great and we had the place to ourselves on a fine Saturday. The ice suffered in some areas due to some sun and warmer temperatures this week but in other areas things have grown. There was a lot of good, solid, cold ice while there was some extra wetness in spots due to the warm weather. All in all, it’s in fine shape for climbing. Let us know if we can help you get out there (970-319-0656). It’s going to be a great Christmas for ice climbing!

Here’s a look at what’s out there:

The Final Curtain in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 12-21-13.

The Final Curtain in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 12-21-13.

Lone Tree (aka Upper Ice Cave) in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 12-21-13.

Lone Tree (aka Upper Ice Cave) in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 12-21-13.

Lower Ice Cave in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 12-21-13.

Lower Ice Cave in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 12-21-13.

Soul On Ice in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 12-21-13.

Soul On Ice in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 12-21-13.

Stone Free and Ice Palace in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 12-21-13. Ice Palace lost the battle with the sun this week but Stone Free faired a little better.

Stone Free and Ice Palace in Rifle Mountain Park, CO on 12-21-13. Ice Palace lost the battle with the sun this week but Stone Free faired a little better.

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