Guided Ice Climbing in Ouray, Colorado

Overview

Our private and instructional Colorado ice climbing programs are based out of downtown Ouray, a charming alpine village nestled in some of the most rugged and towering peaks in the Rockies.  Surrounded on three sides by 13,000 foot snowcapped peaks, Ouray’s Ice Park is located in the Uncompagre Gorge, which holds more than 200 iced and mixed climbing routes of all ability levels.  The Ouray Ice Park is the best outdoor setting in the United States for learning ice climbing and mixed climbing in a user-friendly setting.  With town just a short walk from the ice, you can climb until you’re worked, go into town to relax and rest, then go back out for more climbing.

From mid-December through mid-March, the staff at the Ice Park maintains an “ice farming” array of piping, nozzles and hoses that they use to produce hundreds of excellent routes, and over three miles of climbable ice.  With runout, scary testpieces like Mighty Aphrodite (M9 R/X) and bolted routes like Water Torture (M8) only paces away from classic moderate terrain such as the Schoolroom, Ouray is the best place in the United States to learn to ice climb or hone your skills.

Guided Ice Climbing in Ouray, Colorado

Prices and Details

Per-day Pricing

  • $340 - Private
  • $225 - (per person) 2 people
  • $190 - (per person) 3 people
  • $175 - (per person) 4 people

 

*Private guided ice courses in Ouray are scheduled on a per-trip basis; please contact the office at 360-671-1505 to discuss dates and availability.

Meeting Time and Location for Full-Day Programs

Courses are available for climbers of all levels; participants will meet their guide the lobby of the Victorian Inn (The Vic) in downtown Ouray at 8 am, with the day wrapping up around 5 pm.  If you would like to do a backcountry route, please request the route by name and the AAI office will work with both you and the guide to set an appropriate meeting time and location. 

Rental Equipment

Here at AAI we are in the process of updating our rental program for Ouray.  If you need to rent equipment for your course, we recommend you contact the following local business directly. Gear available for rent includes:  crampons, ice tools, helmets, boots and harnesses.  Rentals should be arranged in advance and package rentals are available.

  • Ouray Mountain Sports (970) 325-4284

 

Lodging, Shuttle Service, and Directions

If you are traveling by air, Telluride is the closest airport, but Montrose is not much farther and is usually better to fly into. Your travel dates should allow for an arrival in town the day before your program begins and for departure the day after your trip ends. We do not recommend that you fly out any earlier than the day after your course.  If you would like assistance arranging travel or a rental vehicle please feel free to contact our Travel Coordinator, Lisa Greif, at 509-972-4028.

You won’t need a car if you only climb in the ice park, as you can walk to the ice park from the Victorian Inn. You will, however, need a rental car if you plan on climbing any backcountry ice, skiing or mountaineering; you should come prepared to drive yourself and your instructor to and from the trailhead and climbing areas if this is the case. Vehicle rental options are available in Telluride and Montrose.  A 4-wheel drive vehicle may be required to reach trailheads in some conditions.

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend that you purchase comprehensive travel insurance that includes trip cancellation coverage.  Our climbers and trekkers have had good experience with Travelex, the company we  use, over many years. The Travel Select Plan covers climbers with the purchase of the Adventure Pak add-on.

Unlike many vacations that are less physically demanding, a climbing and trekking vacation can be ruined by an illness or relatively minor injury that occurs before departure. While you can still tour a city or head to the beach with a sprained ankle or a very bad cold (albeit, less conveniently), such an injury or common illness can stop you in your tracks short of your climbing or trekking destination.

Trip Cancellation

Trip cancellation insurance provides reimbursement of non-refundable program expenses in the event that an illness or injury prevents you or your traveling companion from going on your journey. It also protects you if a family member or business partner of you or your traveling companion has an illness or injury that prevents you from going on the trip. Coverage also is effective for many other listed causes.

Trip Interruption

You will also be covered for trip interruption (the value of the unused portion of your trip), if you or your traveling companion has to cut it short because of illness or injury so long as you purchase the Select policy along with the Adventurer Pak which covers mountaineering, extreme skiing, etc.

Guided Ice Climbing in Ouray, Colorado

Scheduled Courses

The Ouray Ice Park and San Juan backcounty are home to literally hundreds of beginner, intermediate and advanced level single- and multi-pitch ice and mixed routes. Our regularly scheduled programs will have you working on techniques from basic climbing skills, movement, anchor building, rescue technique, to leadership skills on single-pitch terrain or leading multi-pitch routes. 

Ice Climbing - Introduction to Waterfall Ice

Introductory level climbers will learn the basics of ice climbing, crampons, ice tools, ice screws, ice bollards, belaying, knots and hitches as well as to top-roping techniques. Climbers will learn the basics required to be a competent top-roping partner for more experienced climbers.

Ice Climbing - Intermediate/Advanced Waterfall Ice

Intermediate and advanced level students learn to apply ice climbing techniques on steeper ground and gain the skills to follow and lead climbs in a multi-pitch setting.

Guided Ice Climbing in Ouray, Colorado

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