Sunday, January 18, 2009
Have an Ice Day
So goes the motto of the Ouray Ice Park. Here there are miles of pipes bringing water to the edge of the gorge for the sole purpose of making ice on the canyon walls. Why? So that people can strap sharp objects onto their bodies and climb the frozen water falls. Yes, here I am part way up one of the ice climbing routes in the ice park.
My last post was all about the weathering seen in the San Juan Mountains because of the south facing steep slopes creating many more cycles of freeze-thaw than the more frigid north facing slopes. This is a very tight gorge that sees very little sun. It is very cold belaying on the bottom of the gorge! I must imagine that the extra water being poured on the walls has increase the incidence of rock fall, at least in the spring. I don't know if anyone has done any research.