Ophir Wall

Ok so Paddys'weekend in Telluride. 6.5 hours drive from here. Arrived 3am paddy's morning and camped in the snow. Went to the local gear shop, Telluride Mountaineer, and asked about routes. Hiked through the snow behind a small post office, seemingly the only building in a nearby "town" called Ophir, to the base of the awesome looking mirror-wall look alike Ophir Wall, to start the "post office crack". 2.15pm. Girls (Cheri and Erika, the housemates) were to pick us up at 7.30. Led the first pitch, beautiful 5.8 chimney, so nice you didn't want to stop to place gear but did any way as there was some loose stuff. Matt (still my climbing buddy) took the next and stopped short of a nasty looking wet roof. I managed to pull it soaking my fleece bottoms while hanging from a left fist jam swinging for the above jugs. We hardly seemed to be getting up the bloody thing. We were loosing the afternoon and Matt was stuck, he lowered and I climbed easily to his high point being top ropped. The holds were there but it kind of was like being 4 feet from a wall and dropping against it, except this was over an exposed traverse. I looked up at the dwindling sun (the snow that had been falling while I lead the first pitch was gone) and said fuck it and dropped.

There were now two ways up, the photocopied guide said there were variations, but that's it. The most obvious way looked undoable and the way I picked didn't seem to have been climbed before. I literally kicked out a foothold in the soft sandstone and made some freaky exposed moves. I was in the zone now, an awesome place to be, so I stayed at the sharp end and climbed two rope lengths in the dark with no head torch over wet and loose rock, with minimal gear. Being in the zone it seemed easy and brilliant fun but I did hear insane mentioned. no biggie really. We "topped out" at 8 or so, quotes because we never seemed to reach the top, but it just seemed like we should take of the rope and try and get off.

Where the hell was the decent gully, we were sinking into snow up to our bellybuttons as we tried to traverse. When there was rock I still living in the zone, climbed for a minute and then sat for 10 freezing waiting for Matt, the poor lad, there was some room in the zone, you just had to knock. It was looking bad, we would be out for the night. A gully, traversed to it bellybuttoned in the deep snow, time to slide, down we went. No go, the gully was going the be a sheer drop off. This is where insane decisions can be made. Should we rappel off the trees and see what's down there. No fucking way mate. Hike back up for ages and keep traversing.

Another gully. Frozen waterfall? Looks good. 11pm. We slide down this the whole way, encountering only a few tricky sections and passing an awesome ice climb. We road it at 10 to midnight, the girls are there, 10 shy of calling rescue having seen our torches at 8 but not since. Shivering in the van I am completely wet, got to get the clothes off, buck naked I throw my fleece pants on the floor and notice 2 large holes in the ass. Matt's 3 week old jeans have similar airy patches. Run that in your advertisement campaign motherfuckers.

The town was reached for beers, free green hats and badges and pizza. Half day skiing the next day was brilliant. An awsome steep scary bumpy hill.

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