In 2020 I was an instructor for the High Altitude Mountaineering School and each year we would take a new cohort of students down to Ouray for a weekend of ice climbing and bonding with other students. All the instructors traveled down a day early to climb together before the students arrived. Typically we didn’t get as much climbing in the days they were there as we wanted them to climb as much as they wanted.
Four of us carpooled from Golden and had a blast on the drive down stopping for tacos and drinks in Ridgway Colorado at the amazing Gnar tacos! We linked up with others that evening to decide the game plan for the following day.
We Climbed all morning into the afternoon the following day and then met up for dinner before the students arrived. Saturday we met for breakfast and then took all the student groups into the park for the day swapping ropes and teams spread out in different areas of the park.
After the students were done climbing for the day we all went for dinner, drinks and lastly karaoke! Ending the night pretty late a few of us opted for breakfast over another day climbing on Sunday. We scored some goodies in town before piling into the car and making the long drive back to Denver!
Support the Ice Park:
In early 2021 at the end of the season, the Ouray Ice Park was dealt a devastating blow: 12,000 pounds of rockfall spontaneously fell from the cliffs above the most iconic entrance into the Park, the Trestle, which accesses one of the most popular parts of the Park, the Schoolroom. The rockfall also took out their water supply line that feeds the ice farming infrastructure to the south end of the Park. Because of this, 70% of their ice climbing routes are now offline.
As a small non-profit, Ouray Ice Park, Inc., was forced to pony up more than $50,000 to replace the bridge and the water supply. A massive project, urgent timeline in order to complete prior to next season’s opening, and a very large bill to pay without means.
Luckily, the ice climbing community showed up and supported their GoFundMe campaign in enormous proportions, enabling them to increase for a stretch goal and necessary park renovations.
Without these repairs, their 2022 operating season and the world-renowned Ouray Ice Festival and Competition will be in jeopardy. I’m elated the community stepped up to collectively help our beloved Ice Park.
There’s still time to donate to their GoFundMe campaign or support the park directly.