International Mountain Guides Climbing and Mountaineering Expeditions

Ouray Ice Climbing

Ouray Ice Climbing Festival, Colorado

Ouray Ice Climbing with International Mountain Guides

Ouray Ice Climbing with International Mountain Guides

Ouray, located in the San Juan Range of southwestern Colorado, is one of the few locations in the lower 48 states where quality ice climbing is virtually guaranteed in the winter months. A combination of good weather (285 sunny days per year), easy access to quality climbing, and the small, picturesque resort town setting have contributed to Ouray's nickname, "Ice Climbing Capital of North America."

IMG always stresses safety in every aspect of the trip, and the 3 day Ouray trip was no different. Ice climbing for the first time can be nerve-racking enough, but when you know that every knot is secure, crampons are on your feet the right way, and the person on belay is not going to let you fall, the nerves subside so you can focus on climbing! The entire trip was incredibly fun, and I cannot believe how much I learned in such a short time period. I think this trip should be on everyone's list even if you don't plan to climb in the Himalayas or Denali. This 3 day trip left me with such a sense of accomplishment and reward... not to mention, some really cool looking pictures!
~Becky B.

Ouray Climbing Highlights

These programs are an excellent choice for those considering participation in an expedition or climb that requires confident cramponing in icy conditions. Focusing on the balance and technique necessary for climbing steep water ice gives one a real advantage when the going gets tougher. Upcoming IMG expeditions for which this seminar is useful training include Everest, Denali, Alaska, Mt. Logan, Aconcagua, the big peaks of South America and the Himalayas.

For you skiers, ice climbing is the perfect complement to a ski vacation. Telluride is just 47 miles or an hour drive away from Ouray! Bring the family skiing, then come spend a few days training with us.

A typical climbing day will start with breakfast at the hotel. Access to the Ice Park is a stroll across the street to the start of the box canyon. There are at least 14 distinct areas in the Ice Park with all levels of climbing and more than 200 named routes. The 3 day, 5 day, and private guided programs have the option of visiting "natural" ice outside the Park on Forest Service land. In the evening head to the hot tub or the hot springs pool in town to soak and relax, then finish with dinner at a local restaurant.

Seminar instructors are selected from IMG's premiere staff of ice guides: Justin Merle, Matt Farmer, Andy Polloczek, Eric Remza, Marc and Sondra Ripperger, Cedric Gamble, Dan Zokaites and other local experts. George Dunn still makes an appearance occasionally; it is too fun to miss!

The focus of the programs will be on improving individual climbing skills and having fun ice-climbing. With a small instructor/student ratio there will be lots of close attention for all levels of climbers. Participants are encouraged to progress at their own pace and comfort level.

No previous ice climbing experience is required. Sign up for a two-day, three-day or five-day course, and come have a great time with us!

Just wanted to let you guys know that the course this weekend was amazing. Having climbed with IMG, I went in with high expectations, and they were exceeded. Mark and Gary were great guides and mixed in lots of mileage with technical stuff... Thanks for a spectacular weekend.
~Scott M.

George Dunn and International Mountain Guides lead climbs outside of the Ouray Ice Park on land located on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests under special use permit from the Forest Service, USDA.

International Mountain Guides is an equal opportunity service provider

Ouray Brand Spanking New

IMG Ouray Guides in the News
For those with ice climbing on their bucket list

2015 Ouray Ice Climbing Seminar Trip Report
Story and photos by Sarah Cousins Hoopes

2012 Ouray Ice Climbing Seminar Trip Report
Story and photos by Cale Hoopes

Updates from Ouray in the IMG Blog »

Dates and Prices

Ouray, CO 2-Day Beginner's Program
Recommended for first time climbers. A great introduction to the basics of ice climbing in the close by and easily accessible Ouray Ice Park. If you aren't sure if you will enjoy ice climbing, try this first. You'll be back next year for a longer program!

Jan 2-3, 2016
Feb 6-7, 2016
Ratio: 4 students per guide
Landcost: $350

Ouray, CO 3-Day Beginner's Ice Climbing
This is the recommended short program to get you started out right with a smaller guide ratio, more time to learn skills and practice them.

Jan 9-11, 2016
Jan 30-Feb 1, 2016
Feb 19-21, 2016
Ratio: 3 students per guide
Landcost: $600

Ouray, CO 3-Day Intermediate Ice Climbing
A short program recommended for those who have taken an ice climbing program previously. Focus will be on climbing more routes on varied terrain and working on advancing skills.

Feb 13-15, 2016
Ratio: 3 students per guide
Landcost: $600

Ouray, CO 5-Day Ice Climbing
Open to all levels of experience, suitable for first time ice climbers AND repeat climbers. Participants are teamed up based on ability and learning styles. An in depth learning experience with lots of climbing and time to really improve skills.

Jan 18-22, 2016
Ratio: 2 students per guide
Landcost: $1,250

Ouray, CO Everest Skills Private Consultation
For climbers looking to brush up on skills required for climbing Everest or any high, technical mountain, Ouray is the perfect training ground. Learn the best ways to efficiently ascend and descend fixed lines, cross ladders, and generally prepare for your upcoming expedition. While you're at it, have some fun ice climbing! The movement skills will greatly aid your climb through the Khumbu icefall or on the technical pitches of any big mountain. Get personal advice about your climb, your gear, and your training. One of our top Everest guides will show you the ropes and consult with you about your upcoming trip.

Custom dates only, based on guide availability. 3-5 days recommended based on your needs.
Landcost per person:
     1:1 $500 per day
     2:1 $300 per day

Private Guided Programs
Create your own program with our expert guides to suit your schedule. For first time climbers looking for an introduction to the sport and advanced climbers seeking longer/more technical guided routes.

1:1 guiding $325/half day or $450/day
2:1 guiding $250/day per person
3:1 guiding $200/day per person
4:1 guiding $175/day per person
Register early to confirm your preferred dates

5-day Veteran's Seminar
Open to past participants of Ouray programs. We do not expect participants to be experts, but rather to have had previous experience and be ready to tackle different climbs in different areas. This is the ultimate fun Ouray program, drawing repeat visitors from many years back.

Jan 4-8, 2016  (Come a few days early for the Ice Festival, Jan 14-17, 2016!)
Landcost: Cost: $1,250

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