Ouray Ice Climbing
In Ouray, ice climbing is the main winter activity. In fact, Ouray is nicknamed the Ice Climbing Capital of North America.
The Ouray Ice Park is a world class destination, attracting ice climbers of all skill levels from near and far. The park is easily accessible to climbers and spectators alike; the entrance is located right next to the Victorian Inn. The Park is unique in several ways: it is free to all climbers although becoming a member to support the park is strongly encouraged, it is walking distance to lodging, restaurants, and Ouray hot springs, and it has more than 200 ice and mixed climbs, from beginner to expert, included in more than 3 miles of vertical terrain
The Ice Park is created each year through a network of sprinklers that spray water down the canyon walls. These giant man-made icicles of glacial blue ice sparkle in the sunlight attracting even non-climbers into the park. There are plenty of viewing areas from which to see the climbers.
Natural ice formations abound outside of the park as well, offering a different ice climbing experience. Bridal Veil Falls, Ames Ice Hose, Stairway to Heaven are some of the more popular natural ice climbs in the area.
Ice Park members receive a special Ice Park member rate while staying at the Victorian Inn.Each January, the Ouray Ice Festival attracts the best ice climbers in the country to the famous Ice Climbing Competition and everyone enjoys a weekend full of climbing clinics, demonstrations, and parties.
Ice climbing classes, clinics and private guides are available all winter to help new climbers master the basics or experienced climbers expand their skills. For more information on these offerings, contact San Juan Mountain Guides, Chicks with Picks, International Mountain Guides, or RMI Expeditions.