Ryan’s Field Notes #26 – Climbing the Treacherous Mountain

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Ryan’s Field Notes #26 – Climbing the Treacherous Mountain
Hope every one is making it through the winter okay. 
So far we are doing fairly well here.

Took a trip up to Ouray Colorado this last week.  Known as the “little Switzerland of America”.
It was an enjoyable trip, of course how could it not be.  It’s such a beautiful place.
Ice Climber, Ouray CO
Here in Western Colorado when we face the mountain, even if it’s covered in ice, we climb it.

Okay, well I don’t, I take pictures of those who do. 
I just thought that would be a great line. Haha
Watching the ice climbers as they traversed the treacherous ice walls is a unique experience.
I’m sure being the one doing the climbing is an even more unique experience.
There would be times as these dedicated people would pause and look upward after having made very little progress for a lot of effort.
In this moment you would see them brace up to the challenge ahead. 
Taking a breath they would evaluate the ice before them and decide on the best path forward.
At times exhausted their arms would hang for a moment as they would try to regain strength to continue.
 
The cold wasn’t what they were most worried about. 
The climbers were exerting enough effort that I am sure they were sweating.
Driving their ice tools into the face of the ice you would see times that the fragile ice would break off on impact and they would have to try again to get a good anchor. (and yes these are called ice tools and not ice axes I am told)

One inch at a time sometimes, other times they would move full body lengths.
The strain on the arm and back muscles was tiring.
Watching the climbers after awhile the excitement got to me and I started to get a tingly feeling, oh wait, never-mind.
It wasn’t the excitement. 
It was the fact that I wasn’t wearing gloves while I took pictures and my fingers were feeling the effects.
In the pockets they went. 

It was fun and I hope to make an other trip up there soon to capture some more images of this sport. 
New work available in the print gallery
On the way home I made a slight detour up Dallas Divide so that I could catch the last light of the day dancing across the San Juan mountains. 
I wasn’t disappointed.  A sight I never tire of seeing.
This print is now available in my prints gallery. Check it out.

Hope you have a great day.
See you all next week,
Ryan McGehee

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