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Intro to Ice Climbing

Fri, 2020-01-17
Michael Altherr
Leader Email: 
Are dogs allowed?: 
Not allowed

Ever wonder about the physiological state referred to as screaming barfies, that strange attraction that some climbers have to water in its solid phase, or why some folks think having four pairs of gloves in their winter kit is better than a good idea? If you’ve ever thought that strapping sharp pointed objects to your feet, and that carrying objects in your hands that would make you a  serious threat on a medieval battlefield is an interesting idea, than this trip is for you. Welcome to ice climbing. 

I propose leaving LA on Thursday afterwork on Jan. 16, driving to Durango for dinner, than on to Ouray, and returning on Monday afternoon. That will allow us the opportunity to climb Friday, Saturday, Sunday and a half day on Monday. Others may choose earlier or later departures. For those interested in an off day from climbing (or not interested in climbing), there are a variety of backcountry skiing opportunities and the Telluride Ski Resort are within easy drives from Ouray. 

We are renting a large home in Ouray with enough beds to accommodate a large party. The town of Ouray is a truly unique place in the winter with the ice park as a focal point of activity. There are hot springs, a variety of good restaurants and a couple of nice pubs for apres’ climbing. If the group were interested we could arrange one or more community dinners.

For those who are interested, that do not have, and do not want to make a commitment to purchase the required accoutrements, rentals are available from Ouray Mountain Sports, Tools can be shared while climbing top ropes in the Ice Park, but everyone needs to have crampons to access the climbs. The trip leader encourages true first time ice climbers to consider professional instruction. The trip leader has taken courses from International Mountain Guides:, and San Juan Mountain Guides: Both organizations provide instruction in the Ice Park. I have found both organizations to be reasonably priced and to provide competent instructors. If there is a group of folks wanting to avail themselves of instruction, I am willing to attempt to coordinate a group lesson with one of these organizations. There are also a variety of other organizations that provide instruction that I have no personal experience with that you might also consider.

Introductory ice climbing participants are expected to be experienced top rope climbers. Although non climbers might also enjoy spending the weekend in Ouray and taking advantage of skiing or other activities available in the Ouray area. Experienced climbers are also welcome to participate and utilize the house as a ‘bivy'. They will know that Ouray is centrally located and that interesting climbs can be found from Silverton to Telluride. 

Housing costs are expected to be approximately $200 pp for the weekend. A $50.00 deposit is required to secure a spot on the trip. The trip will be limited to 12-15 LAM members depending on the house we are able to procure. If you have any interest or questions regarding this trip, contact the trip leader.

Trip Location: 

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