Ames Ice Hose
WI5 M6 R
Avg: 3.9 from 88 votes
|Type:||Trad, Mixed, Ice, 520 ft, 3 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||1/76 by Lou Dawson, Steve Shea, and Michael Kennedy|
|Page Views:||20,888 total, 140/month|
|Shared By:||Bryson Slothower on Sep 15, 2005|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
DescriptionI think this route is a three-star-classic on a worldwide scale.
The Hose may not have a postcard view or alpenglow ambience, but the climbing is spectacular, and there is always plenty of air below your heels. This route is dangerous at the bottom and will humble most any dry-toolin' psychopath, but at the top it gets fat and widens out to a steep slab of blue ice clinging to the black wall.
Approach: 1 hour. Start at the power plant and find a trail which heads towards the lower Ames Falls (don't take the right fork down to the base of the Ames Practice Area and base of Ames Falls), and walk past the top of them to the railroad tracks which run through the canyon. Follow the tracks away from the highway until you are at the bottom of the drainage where the climb forms up on your left. You can see ice from where you need to leave the railroad tracks. Follow the steep gully to the base of the climb.
Pitch 1: 120' WI4+ to M6 VS Yikes. Conditions vary greatly on this pitch and it can be anything from a difficult mixed climb with no pro to a WI 4+ pillar. When I belayed Mike Ivie up this pitch in 2000, it was WI5 with some sections of thin ice and was reasonably well protected, this is not usually the case. If there is no ice or if it is too thin to climb, head up to the right of the ice (or wet spot) and bring some small wires and some huge nuts! There is a bolted anchor at the base of a gully that diagonals up and right. There can be a protected nook from which to belay on the right.
Pitch 2: 200' WI4-5 Head up the gully to the right to a large ice covered ledge below the spectacular upper pitches, and belay from screws on the right side of the ledge. Be very careful not to knock ice on your belayer at the base of the gully!!
Pitch 3: 200' WI 4-4+ *Classic* Follow the best looking line up the massive ice flow in front of you. Save some screws for the top and belay off of a tree on the left hand side of the flow when the ice turns to snow. On a warm day, this pitch can run with water.
Descent: 3 double rope rappels starting from the tree and following the left hand side of the climb. The 2nd rap is off rock slings on the left or V-threads if you have 60m ropes. You may reach a 2 bolt anchor with 70s. The last rap is from the bolts on top of the first pitch. Allegedly, there is a walkoff far left, but it looks arduous.