Plenty of places to buy beer. The biggie is the Mexican food. Try the Taqueria and Nino's in Alamosa. The Hungry Logger in South Fork is all right. The SLV Brewing Company brew pub has good microbrews and food.
Classic Routes are anything on Wolf Creek or up above Crestone. Try Treasure Falls, Tasty Freeze or Willow Falls.
As far as History: Jack Hunt (The first American on Chamonix's Supercouloir and Local Badass) and Alan Haverfield were most likely the first ice climbers in the area. Jack and Alan have most of the first ascents too. The Rangers at the Sand Dunes have a few also. A few years back, Jack and a Czech kid, Jacob Gajda, put up lots of insane mixed stuff.
It's pretty easy to get into the Mysterious Valley. Just take 285 either south or north, or 160 east or west. Just like if you were going to Penitente.
You can get beta at Casa de Madera Sports in Del Norte, or at Kristi Mountain Sports in Alamosa. Both are on Hwy 160.
BOOK:"Life By The Drop: Ice and Mixed Climbs Surrounding Colorado's San Luis Valley" by Jack Hunt.
The ice a couple miles north of Creede is still very thin. Only one route is climbable and it is M5.
Put in a first ascent at the Gator Farm pinnacle yesterday. It's a 20 footer from a hose over an steel tower. Holly and Ben Bruestle, Alex Colville, and Scott Gibson were in on it. Jay, the Gator Farm guy, seems to welcome more ascents
Jack Hunt's book "Life By The Drop: Ice and Mixed Climbs Surrounding Colorado's San Luis Valley" is finally out. I heartily recommend it to all Colorado and New Mexico ice climbers. It's the best way to finding over 100 climbs that are hardly touched. Ask for it at you local climbing shop/bookstore.
We went up here this weekend. Did Treasure Falls (altough I had to climb with one hand due to an injury) on Friday, don't miss this climb!! We went up to the Chain Station area on Saterday, and met Jack Hunt (Author of "Life By The drop") he was climbing a stiff looking mixed line to the left of Bigcicle. Jack is a really cool cat, and he gave us some beta on the crags in the area. The book was great, and helped us find plenty of ice. Nice people, fat ice!!!
Scouted out Wolf Creek Pass today. Temps were in the 40's with about a foot of snow on the ground. All climbs are either bone dry or waterfalls. Give the area a few more weeks to ice up. Good snowshoeing though.
The East side of Wolf Creek Pass is coming in. -Salty Dog up Park Creek is almost in.-Hip Czech is in in the High Tea area. You just have to figure out how to cross the Rio Grande. -Honeymoon Gully is in at the Chain Station. The lower section of Columbine Falls is in. The Second Tier has some thin possibilites as does the Columbine Picnic area.
Everything should be good within 2 weeks.
Still no word on the west side of the pass. Treasure Falls has a couple icicles on it.
Finally drove all of Wolf Creek Pass today.Park Creek: Champagne Bubbles and Pop a Cork are in. Salty Dogs top is missing. Chain Station: Honeymoon Gully, Bigcicle, and Chimney are in. Columbine Falls is also formed up. High Tea Area: High Tea and Gully Mon are in. Big Meadows: Damfino is in. Wolf Crrek Pass/ West Side:Alpha Male, Sheeps Clothing, The Cub, Romulus, Remus, The Lair, Millers Tale, Dumb and Dumber, TreasureFalls and Tasty Freeze are all in. Topless is missing its top out and See Through has a scarey finish. Sangre De Cristos: Zapata Falls and Willow Lake are in.
Somebody buy his man a beer. Thanks for the homework Ben. Climbed with Jack this week, Bigcicle and the chimeney on its right at the Station.Great routes, easy to get to, and good gear. Highly recommended.
Climbed Zapata Falls WI3 (near Sand Dunes). Main flow was in great shape! Very plastic! Flow to the right was very bullet. Interesting to see the two distinctions so close. Great setting and would recommend to anyone. WI 2/3. The road had 4 to 6 inches of snow and would recommend 4 wheel drive. The hike from the top parking lot took 10 min!