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Ames Wall

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Ames Wall Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 8,500'
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Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Tristan Perry on Aug 21, 2007  with updates from Gaea
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A soloist high up on the most popular climb in the...

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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!

Getting There 

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.

Per Gaea: folks are welcome to park in the Ames Power Plant parking lot, but please walk up the Forest Service road that leads behind the Power Plant and house. The Ames Power Plant has installed SIX new "no trespassing" and "no parking" signs this year, but I continue to have people walking through my yard (often waking me up at 5:00 am).

There area trails from the power plant to the house, but I maintain these for my personal use. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE be more courteous! I want everyone to enjoy the ice falls, but please stop doing so at the expense of my privacy!

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.7 miles from here

1 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Ames Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Dave Marsonowski leading the first pitch of Seamst...

Seamstress Corner 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a 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

Photos of Ames Wall Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: View from CO Hwy 145, circa 1986.
View from CO Hwy 145, circa 1986.

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