Ouray Ice Park 2010

< BACK

In Ouray, CO there's a deep narrow canyon that has been converted into an ice climbing park - the biggest in the US - by a series of sprinklers that run up and down the canyon for a half mile or so. I've done some ice climbing closer to Colorado Springs, but those ice falls are not more than 40-50' high. Some of the climbs in Ouray are as much as 120-130'. This was a spectacular weekend!

We started out on Friday afternoon in the "Schoolroom," which has some moderate climbs. Here's me, at the top of what was about a 120' climb, having been lowered to the bottom and then climbed up.
This is Dan Battin, a former student of mine, on the same climb. He's a top-notch ice climbing competitor.
This is Dan leading up another route in the Schoolroom. On this one, we walked to the bottom of the canyon, and as he climbs he puts in ice screws and quickdraws, which prevent him from falling more than about 20' or so if he does fall (he didn't).
Here's me following. He's belaying me from above as I climb and remove the hardware he has placed. If I fall, I'll fall only a few inches (I didn't fall!).
Saturday morning. I'm climbing a route called "Pick o' the Vic" after having been lowered down into the canyon.
A place I can stop and wave to the camera.
The next route on Saturday. Dan starting the lead up "Dead Ringer."
Me after I had climbed Dead Ringer, stripped the gear, and was lowered back down.
Sunday morning. Dan and I setting up the anchor for "Slushy."
Me climbing the lower part of Slushy.
Stopping to warm my hands a bit before the final push up Slushy.
A view of the mountains at sunrise from our motel, the Ouray Chalet Inn.