Known as the little Switzerland of America Ouray County, Colorado is almost as sweet as being back home in Western N.C.   If only N.C. ice got this fat.  Any ice climber that has not taken their obligatory trip to Ouray is just plain goofy.  When in town don't forget to stop in Ouray Mountain Sports for the best in beta.  Bill just loves to send you to the good stuff, not like many shops elsewhere who just give the cold shoulder to us Southern Folk.

    When I am out here I usually stay at the Riverside Inn.  The previous owners Aaron and Quinton (sp) were quite the hosts.  We have stayed here at least half a dozen times and were usually well pleased.  Our last trip found one of our favorite "homes away from home" under new ownership.  While the stay wasn't bad it didn't seem quite the same as before.  The normal management was away on vacation during our stay and things seemed to smooth up upon their return.  The most positive thing was that they worked hard to correct any problems we did have.  I think they are going to be o.k. and its hard to beat the quality to rate ratio anywhere.

The best thing they have going is kitchens.  Being a freaky vegetarian and cheap I like to prepare all of of my food myself and having the proper facilities really helps.  They also have a bunch of small cabins behind the hotel.  These units have no restrooms but they sleep four to six and are super cheap.  There is a bath house with showers just a few steps from your front door but the night time walk to the head requires a jacket and shoes.

    Webmasters update:  This season (2006/2007) we had reservations at the Riverside for the week of Christmas.  Over the holidays we had two deaths in the family and two personal friends die.  Due to this we were forced to cancel our reservations.  I called six days before we were to check in and was told "no problem" it would be o.k.  Talked to them again two days later just to make sure we were canceled and it was confirmed.  The other day I got my credit card bill and was charged for one nights stay.  When I called to ask why they said they had no record of me calling and the person that I talked to supposedly does not work there any more.  After 6 stays there through the course of three sets of owners they screw up and stick me for their mistake.  The funny thing is my cell phone bill shows both calls for cancellation to their number.  So ignore my endorsement in the above paragraph.

      If you want to be super close to the ice and don't need a kitchen then check out the Ouray Victorian Inn at  www.ouraylodging.com or give them a call at (970) 325-7222 or (800) 846-8729.  I have stayed here twice and really liked the atmosphere.  Webmasters note:  This year has been tough on me.  I had reservations for the Vic toward the end of January.  My mother-in-law was hospitalized about three days before we were supposed to leave and I had to cancel my second planned trip of the season.  I called them and they cancelled the reservation without charging me.  Good treatment deserves return business.  We will be staying at the Vic from now on, kitchens or not.


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Dexter falls, 3/3+ 300 ft.

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ice climbing by state