Ice Climb the Ouray Ice Park
Colorado › Ouray Ice Park
Added by Eric Schuette
Ice climb in the nation's premier ice climbing park! You can also attend the nation's premier ice climbing festival in Ouray every winter! There are a wide variety of routes from beginner to expert. Over 200 named ice and mixed routes exist in and around 14 separate areas in the park. If you'd prefer a guide, there are many local guides in the area to assist those that want to try it out or increase their skills.
Over a mile of the Uncompahgre Gorge is farmed for ice every year and they have gotten very good at it!! The ice park begins at the southern edge of town and continues south through the gorge for approximately 1 mile. The ice park is typically open from mid December-late March.
If you enjoy getting your crampons and ice tools out every winter then you will love the Ouray Ice Park! Some areas can be quite crowded, especially during weekends, but many areas remain uncrowded if you are willing to walk upstream. If you are unsure of climbing there are also many viewing areas where you can watch the climbers give it there all on the ice.
Those that have ice climbed understand how intense and ultimately rewarding an activity it can be! For those who have not yet experienced it, do yourself a favor and give it a shot! It can be cold, humbling, difficult, intense, numbing, but ultimately very rewarding. There's something very special about hearing the ice pick make solid contact with ice and start kicking your way up with crampons. When done correctly it can look like a vertical dance on ice and that's just cool!
Disclaimer-this is not meant to teach you to ice climb, if you are unsure of your abilities/gear please consult guides and professionals for guidance. Also check out http://ourayicepark.com for more information
Winter Weather Gear (not only for climbing but periods of rest that can get very chilly at the bottom of the gorge):
- Sturdy boots (must be able to accept clip on crampons)
- Very warm socks (multiple pairs)
- Synthetic long Johns-uppers and bottoms
- Shell Pants
- Medium Soft Shell or Fleece layer
- Waterproof Shell
- Warm Parka
- Warm climbing gloves
- Warm Hat
- First Aid Kit
Ice Climbing Gear (not an exhaustive list):
- UIAA approved climbing helmet
- Two ice tools
- Clip-on crampons (rigid are best but semi-rigid can work)
- Belay Device/harness
- Prussik Slings
- Carabiners, Ice Screws, cording, rope
Photography, Rock Climbing
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