Ouray Ice Climbing


To give the knee a break I went ice climbing instead this past week.  Ouray (pronounced You're-ay) Colorado is 6 hours drive from Denver so it is best visited for several days.  My group of four met in Ouray for several days of climbing.  We met up with another group (of 6), some of whom I know via the web from Summitpost.

For anyone who isn't into ice climbing (which is almost as crazy as ultrarunning) Ouray has a managed ice park in the natural canyon south of town.  There are a couple hundred possible lines to climb of various difficulties.  Since is dynamic and changes all season you really can't get tired of climbing there as each day presents different conditions.

Colorado offers many ice climbing opportunities throughout the state but Ouray has such a concentration that one weekend of climbing in the park can be more ice time than you can get the whole season.  The reason is the ice is farmed.  That is, it is actively created with a network of hoses that build the ice beyond what nature would allow during the various freeze-thaw cycles of a normal winter.  Often climbers commit to a climb only to find it isn't in condition which turns a potential ice climbing day instead into a hike.  At the park that is not possible–there is more ice routes than you can hope to climb in a season let alone a weekend.

We climbed for 2.5 days and left happy, sore and satiated.  I guess its now time to get running again?


Get out and Explore the World!

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About Haliku

Mountain climber, ultrarunner, scuba instructor, world traveler, student of life
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