Guided Ice Climbing in Ouray, Colorado


Ouray Ice Park Climber.

A climber practices mixed climbing in Ouray Ice Park. Zach Lovell.

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

Pricing and Details

Pricing by Ratio: (per-person/day)

Day Trips or multi-day with no group camping:

  • 1:1 $525/day
  • 2:1 $355/day
  • 3:1 $290/day
  • 4:1 $245/day

Overnight programs:

  • 1:1 $650/day
  • 2:1 $465/day
  • 3:1 $350/day
  • 4:1 $300/day
  • 5:1 $275/day

 *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.

Rental Equipment

The AAI Gear Rental Package includes crampons, ice tools, helmet, and harness. Please contact the office to rent any/all of this equipment.

For boot rentals, we recommend that you contact the following local business directly:

  • Ouray Mountain Sports (970) 325-4284

All rentals should be arranged in advance. 

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. 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 Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance, the company we recommend. Please contact Ripcord, directly, to discuss options.

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.

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. 

Please see our Ice Climbing - Introduction to Waterfall Ice page for public course dates.

Guided Ice Climbing in Ouray, Colorado

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