To get to Ames, bike or drive five miles west on Hwy. 145 from Telluride, then turn left at the “Ilium Road” turnoff that parallels the San Miguel River (south fork) to the historic Ames power plant. It is six miles one way with a 1,250-foot elevation gain. Ames is the site of the country’s first alternating current power plant, built by L.L. Nunn, with engineering design by George Westinghouse of Nikola Tesla’s concept of alternating current electricity. The San Juans are renowned for both rock and ice climbing. Ames Ice House is a Colorado classic winter climb. Conditions can vary drastically and significantly change the character of this route. To learn more about ice climbing in Ames and to find an alpine outfitter, click here.