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Ames Wall 
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Elevation: 8,750'
Location: 37.9355, -107.803 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 150,839
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Malcolm Daly on Dec 15, 2001
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Night climbing in Bear Creek.

Ice Climbing 

This area is host to the best ice routes in Colorado: Bridalveil Falls, Ames Ice Hose and Ingraham Falls. All three are visible from afar, all are gorgeous and long and all are hard. Best of all, they are all classics. You can't lose here if the ice is in.

Telluride is now an expensive town to stay in but with all the local climbers, finding a place to doss is usually a good bet. Climbers seem to hang out at at the Last Dollar, Limegruber's, the Floradora, the Steaming Bean, or Sophio's.

For climbing gear, route beta and to hook up with local climbers, stop by the Telluride Mountaineer. Many of the climbs are approached via avalanche paths so if it dumps, bag the climbing, grab your boards and head up to the mountain for some turns. Beware, though, the local like the bumps and build 'em steep and tall.

Getting There 

From Montrose, take US Hwy 550 South to Ridgway, then Hwy 62 over Dallas Divide to Telluride.

Mileage: Albuquerque, 319; Denver, 335; Durango, 122; Grand Junction, 127; Moab, 131; Montrose, 68; Phoenix, 475; Ridgway, 35; Santa Fe, 280; Silverton, 66.


For those seeking more pleasant accomodations that the back of a SUV or a tent, there are some barely tolerable prices here. Mountainside Inn in town, at the south end of twisty Davis St offers rooms in the $100/night range. There is a website for lodging. Note, remember this is a town where the cheapest studio runs $240K, a house downtown could run you $4.8M, and realtors help pay for first time, 1st home, home owners!


Wow, some things are pretty pricey here. In addition to the above, consider Fat Alley BBQ place on 122 S. Oak St; Pacific Street Pizza & Subs, 627 W. Pacific; the Baked in Telluride with pizza, sandwiches, salads at 127 S. Fir; Merle's Brown Bag Telluride, 126 W. Colorado; West End Tavern, 573 W. Pacific; Las Montanas, 453 W. Pacific; The Burger Bungalow, Mtn Village. Many places require dinner reservations.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.2 miles from here

17 Total Routes

['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',7],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Telluride:
Bear Creek Gorge   WI3-4     TR, Ice, 1 pitch, 50'   Bear Creek
Cornet Falls   WI4-5     Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 120'   Cornet Falls Area
Ames Falls   WI4     Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 90'   Ames Wall
Bridalveil Falls   WI5-6     Trad, Ice, 3 pitches, 400'   Bridalveil area
Ames Ice Hose   WI5 M6 R     Trad, Mixed, Ice, 3 pitches, 520'   Ames Wall
Browse More Classics in Telluride

Featured Route For Telluride
Thin first pitch, spring 2004.

Ames Ice Hose WI5 M6 R  CO : CO Ice & Mixed : ... : Ames Wall
I think this route is a three-star-classic on a worldwide scale.The Hose may not have a postcard view or alpenglow ambience, but the climbing is spectacular, and there is always plenty of air below your heels. This route is dangerous at the bottom and will humble most any dry-toolin' psychopath, but at the top it gets fat and widens out to a steep slab of blue ice clinging to the black wall.Approach: 1 hour. Start at the power plant and find a trail which heads towards the lower Ames Falls (don'...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Telluride Slideshow Add Photo
Mountains near Ames.
BETA PHOTO: Mountains near Ames.

Comments on Telluride Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Dec 26, 2014
By Malcolm Daly
From: Boulder, CO
Dec 4, 2001
This just in from Clay Wadman in Telluride: Thin and steep with lots of snow. 0" in the last week or so, so significant avi danger. Micheal Gilbert thinks Bridalveil might be climbable but no one's going to try it for a bit. lots of other drips, very little touching. Another week or two.... Ames no-existent, whats up with that? Big question will Ingram touch down this year? Only forms about 30% of the winters.

Cheers, Clay
By Ben Hoyt
Dec 4, 2001
Ames isn't non-existent, exactly... just a crucial 15 foot section on the top of the 2nd pitch. We attempted it on Saturday (12/1) - 1st pitch do-able on 100% rock, 3rd and 4th pitches are typical fat conditions, at least from visual inspection. The top 15 feet of the 2nd pitch chimney aren't climbable (by me, at least) right now... overhanging snow. The bottom of the 2nd pitch is still frightening in itself - took only one ice screw inside a sort of narrow cave in the back of the chimney, the only part of the pitch with ice more than 1".
By Anonymous Coward
Dec 15, 2001
What a waste of a drive from the Park! Thin & hollow is not the correct term. Anorexic Ice is more like it, and those rich folks have the clouds wired cuz they have got like 6 feet of snow since [Thanksgiving]. hugely slabbed out over marginal ice! A tiny hotel room cost over $125! half decent Beers are $5 each! Waste! waste! waste! of time and money! I am back to the Park & Vic where I am at least appreciated a little and have ice.
By Max Nuttelman
Dec 30, 2001
Everything in the [San Juans] is looking pretty sweet. I am also looking for a bent shaft adze Black Diamond Black Prophet. I don't care how used it is, and I will pay 100-120 bucks. maxnuttelman@hotmail.com
By evan freeman
From: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Dec 3, 2002
It's still illegal to climb on the falls. People go up on Sundays when no one is around, but you didn't hear it from me.
By evan freeman
From: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Dec 14, 2002
Silverpick road: Silverpick falls is coming in, but Silver Secret and the others are dry.
By evan freeman
From: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Dec 14, 2002
Lower Bear Creek is in and very fat--excellent practice and bouldering area! the upper falls are also in nicely.
By Will Cobb
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 14, 2005
My wife and I tried to climb Silver Secret and Silver Stairway on our way to Ouray last weekend. There were No Trespassing signs and not a lick of ice to be seen anywhere. Does anyone know the story on this area?

Will Cobb
By Joanna Spindler
From: Ouray, CO/ Telluride, CO
Dec 26, 2014
Due to complex Town of Telluride water projects, Bridal Veil Creek has undergone some diversion. As of now, the Falls seem to be forming up beautifully (if a bit irregularly). Town of Telluride engineers and Telluride Mountain Club staff assure me that they are interested in input from climbers.

Please message me here if you have input on the current conditions of Bridal Veil Falls. I will do my best to pass on info and feedback to the parties in charge of the project!

Joanna S.
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