Ice Capades

Sunny days and quick approaches. This is winter in the 'rado.

I've had a great few days around Denver, enjoying rock and ice climbing, and starting work at an Italian restaurant only 7 blocks from home.

Last week I teamed up with Justin Selmanson who works at Trango, and we climbed "The Naked Edge" in Eldorado Canyon.

The route follows the sun/shade line, up the center of the photo.

I lead 6 of the 7 pitches and had a great time watching the party below us, which included a blind climber. Yep, Eric Weihenmayer and 2 others did the Naked Edge right behind us, and moved very fast. Their climb was filmed from several locations around the park, and Cedar Wright had fixed ropes for some close-up footage. I think the video may end up with other clips here. If you scroll down that site a bit, you'll see a video Cedar edited from our route on Mt. Stuart in July. On the walk off we ran into Malcolm Daly, also of Trango, who had us pose and look scared. It was pretty natural for me.

On the weekend I made my second trip to Thunder Ridge, a hidden area of beautiful granite face climbing. I was with Canadian Gordon Mcarthur, and we had a good time on the massively-overhanging "G-Route" and the only slightly overhanging "Reptile Tears".

Reptile Tears is 100' of overhung patina edges and flakes, is rated 5.10+ and protects with one set of stoppers. Amazing route.

Yesterday, my friend Jason Killgore roped me into ice climbing at Lincoln Falls, an area near Breckenridge. We had a good time on a half-dozen easy pitches of fat ice, and a bit of mixed terrain, leaving at noon so I could start work that afternoon.

During cold snaps, ice is reputed to form in Clear Creek Canyon, with would make for a 15-minute drive from my front door. I hope it happens this year.


  1. I'm glad you made it back to Thunder Ridge...that place was really cool. Did you check out any new rock beyond what I saw? I seems like there lots more good stuff...

  2. Yo Todd,

    We also climbed at the wall across from where you and I went (just across the echo chamber) and then we went to an awesome wall in the sun, up through the end of the canyon.

    These are on mountainproject listed under "Post Office Wall" and "Brown Wall". We didn't have any fun boggle this time.

  3. Nice Blake-
    Sounds like you're settling into CO in good fashion. I just saw the Climbing profile - again nice job.
    Can you change the color of the comment type? The black on dark grey is poor contrast and doesn't make for easy reading.
    Hope to see you this winter - Silverton or Ouray?

  4. Is this the comment site that is hard to read? It's black-on-white to me!

  5. Not enough chalk on that ice axe. don't forget all that I have taught you.

  6. B-
    Huh. When I posted my first comment, Todd and your comments were visible under your TR, only it was black print on the dark grey backgound - hence my comment. But clearly its not the case now.

  7. When I am viewing the blog at http://blakeclimbs.blogspot.com/ or the Blogspot comment page it views fine. It shows black text on grey in the comments field when I go to a specific article, like http://blakeclimbs.blogspot.com/2009/11/ice-capades.html.