Neil Gresham
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Ice World Tour
Harderline M9, Ouray
Located in the gloomy depths of the narrowest part of the Ouray ice canyon, Harderline involves a series of powerful, upside down gymnastic moves across a thin crackline which is virtually horizontal. I did the route with Ian Parnell who proved that Alpinists can crank too.
Harderline M9
Harderline M9
Photo: Ian Parnell
Amphibian M8, Vail
Stevie Haston´s celebrated mixed route at Vail is a must-do for any aspiring mixed climber. The World´s first proper M8 is still a strenuous piece of climbing by any standards and the move over the roof onto the ice (pictured) provides the crux of the first pitch, after the long and arduous rock wall below.
Amphibian M8
Amphibian M8
Photo: Ian Parnell
The Fang M8, Vail
Never to be underestimated, we made the mistake of choosing a day when this world class ice pillar was in evil chandeliery condition. The cauliflowers and mushrooms just kept coming, and reliable protection never appeared. And to top it all there was a torrent of water pouring down the top half just to make sure that we´d go home soaked through as well as emotionally exhausted. It´s the ones like this that you always remember.
The Fang, M8
The Fang M8
Photo: Ian Parnell
Stonedry WI 5+ Rifle
A supremely photogenic pillar which lies in an area which is perhaps better known for its rock climbing. Half of the bottom pillar had just collapsed before we arrived which gave it an eiry feel and a short section halfway up consisted of some appalling ball-bearing ice which added to the sense of insecurity.
Stonedry WI 5+ Rifle
Stonedry WI 5+ Rifle
Photo: Ian Parnell