Dexter Creek slabs is a great place to do some multi-pitch ice climbing on moderate ice. The entire area (including the lower section) is close to 500 feet of fat ice. The slab is good early to mid winter - a great place for some first leads.
Before Ouray on Highway 550 turn left onto county road 14. Continue on this several miles, taking a right turn at a fork in the road. Park as far as the road is plowed, and take the trail up to the slabs. They are visible from near the parking area up on the hillside.
First pitch - 20 feet of Grade 3 followed by about 150 feet of easy scrambling on snow/ice.Second/third pitches (depending upon how you do it) - Grade 3-4.Final pitch - Grade 4, awesome pitch!...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
We climbed this route the day after Christmas. Took us about 90 minutes to get to the foot of the ice, and we passed a busted-up, scavenged buck deer carcass on the way. Sobering, but thankfully it didn't stink since it was frozen solid.
Four pitches of fun stuff, though first and third entailed quite a bit of wallowing in hip-deep snow (hip-deep on me, anyway; I'm 5' 4"). The steep sections on two and four were closer to WI 4 than to 3, but took good pro. What ice was exposed on one and three was nice. The surrounding country provided fantastic views as well.
Two rappels with paired 60m ropes, plus a few (like 10) feet of down 'climbing' put us right back at our packs. One more rappel after a 100' traverse wallow to the south let us miss a short wall of ice that would have provided more excitement than we wanted right then.
Good adventurous climb; good place to lose the crowds; good place to know how to rig your own anchors!