We took a trip to Ouray, Colorado to embark on an adventure and spend some quality time with good friends. The town was small, the ice was solid, the beer was perfect, and everything was incredibly beautiful. Many of us have been on climbing trips to other places like Bishop, but there is something very unique about climbing in snow-covered mountains with crampons, ice picks, and extreme cold. All in all, it was well worth the trip and highly recommended.
We flew into Grand Junction, rented a car and drove a few hours to Ouray. Several of the guys had all of their own gear, but I rented boots, crampons, and ice picks from the shop in town. A helmet, gaiters, and water proof pants are highly recommended.
We got up and got on the ice as early as we could, but we found a 75 year old women out there before us every day. It was her morning work out. She was climbing by herself so no one was belaying her. She would climb up a few feet, tie a knot in her rope and then repeat. That just raised the level of what it means to be hard core. My 75 year olds retire to their TVs and golf carts. She was solo ice climbing and was doing it quite well I’ll add.
There is also an incredibly refreshing hot springs pool in town. They have different temperatures in different pools, it’s all outdoors, and it’s surrounded by these majestic, snow-capped mountains. It’s great way to relax sore muscles after a full day of ice climbing.
Add this to your adventure travel list of things to do.
This is the entrance to the ice climbing park. You start by walking down this steel bridge, precariously attached the cliff side. Then look for spots to climb on the left. you can see someone on the ice in this shot.
After the initial bridge and cliff area, the trail pans out to a beautiful, backcountry hike. This does mean you have to carry the tons of climbing gear required back into the canyon… at high altitude. Needless to say, everything about ice climbing is a work out.