The Ames Wall is a seldom visited crag across the way from the Ophir Wall. The two share certain characteristics - adventure climbing, loose rock, scary situations, talus approach...but other than that they are really as different as two multipitch crags could be. Think of the two as heaven (Ophir) and hell (Ames). While Ophir is sunny, warm (you can climb rock there virtually any month of the year) and generally inviting, Ames has a dark and foreboding feel to it. It hides away year round in the shade, is cold, damp, and correspondingly mossy and vegetative. The rock type at Ophir is of mostly granitic composition (this is subject to debate), but the Ames Wall supposedly has three distinct layers, like a cake; from bottom to top it goes Dakota Sandstone, Rhyolite, and finally Mancos SHALE. For those of you who don't know rocks well, shale is generally avoided like the plague. To give an idea of how avoided this crag is, the most popular season is likely the winter...where people flock all season long to attempt one climb only: the all-time classic Ames Ice Hose. Nevertheless, several full-length, high-quality routes go up various sections of the wall. They seem to be few and far between. For those looking for a "different" experience...give it a shot!
Drive south from Telluride on the Scenic highway until you descend a long hill into Ophir and Ames. Ames Wall stares right back at you on your right. At the bottom of the hill, turn right down a dirt road (heads up for falling rocks!) and go down for a few hundred yards until you take a SHARP left down to the historical Ames Power Plant. Park here and head up the trail, across a river (with a raging waterfall close by), and up a hill to the Galloping Goose Trail (a good running trail!). Mosey along this to the right and pick your route.
Browse More Classics in Ames Wall
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Ames Wall:
Seamstress Corner 5.11+ R Trad, 6 pitches, 500 feet, Grade III
Featured Route For Ames Wall
Seamstress Corner 5.11+ R CO : Telluride/Norwood area : Ames Wall
What can you say about a route that has kicked your ass? This is what I have to say: this route is far and away the most unique climb that I've ever had the fun to (partially) experience. I would love to hear more about it from others who've been there, so I will submit a description here in hopes that others will also rave about the route. This climb is awesome, no doubt about it. The loose rock and a bit of grunge and munge give way to superb climbing up a perfectly cleaved dihedral for se...[more] Browse More Classics in CO