Fellow RfR instructor Tim Pasek and I got out for some November ice climbing in the San Juan’s a few days ago. Southwest Colorado received a very cold blast of arctic air in the early part of October that contributed significantly to bringing in the high country ice climbs – about a month earlier than we are normally used to seeing.
Tim and I selected Highway to Hell as our climb du jour. The climb is located to the right (south) of its more famous neighbor, Stairway to Heaven. Stairway itself was looking a bit anemic on the bottom pitches. Highway to Hell was quite the opposite. It is in fat condition right now. So much so that a name change should be considered: “Sticker, Blue Goo Highway.” The absence of snowfall for the past three weeks has delivered a sweet window for getting on some normally high hazard climbs like HTH.
Here’s to winter!