Ice climbingOuray is the capital for ice climbing in USA. It hosts a yearly Ice Climbing Festival, and the town gets flooded with ice climbers from all over the world.
The climbs are on man made ice - pipes with water are brought to the top of the gorge, and sprinkle water overnight. There are hundreds of routes ranging from WI2 to WI6. And you don't need a partner for climbing here - just pick up Ushba ascender in Ouray Mountain Sports, and you are set up for a safe climbing.
The best description of park routes and etiquette is Ouray Ice Park Guide Book. Most people climb here leash less, and if you happen to drop your tool, which can end up on the bottom of the river, there is a help. Ouray Mountain Sports carries a magnetic device, which will help you retrieve your tools.
I am so lucky that I live only 1/2 hr away, and have the opportunity to pick up this wonderful sport. This is my 3rd year of living close by and each year I make frequent visits to the park. I do buy membership, which is not required, but I do enjoy supporting this amazing gorge, park, ice and its ice farmers.
2012/20132012/13 season started poor - November was very dry and warm, Ice Park had to postponed opening till mid December, and Camp Bird Area did not get much ice in. Later on, conditions excellent...
External LinksOuray Ice Park
Ouray Mountain Sports = best place to rent or buy ice climbing gear. Owner Bill and his assistant Trish are both ice climbers, and great in helping out with renting, ordering, or even fixing your gear.