February 13, 2012
In late January IMG guides met in Ouray, Colorado to review ice guiding skills and to share the latest techniques and technologies. With over 200 routes in the ice-park and dozens of backcountry climbs a short drive from town there is never a shortage of ice real estate to play on in Ouray. The town of Ouray is nestled in a cul-de-sac of the San Juan Mountain range and boasts a multitude of hot-springs and good beer: two very good things to follow up a day on the ice with.
Our first day of guide training was spent on ice and top-rope anchors, various rappelling and lowering techniques, and instructional methods. Who better to learn from than the people that are out there using these skills every day. IMG lead guides Justin Merle and John Race led our training with the same expertise and humor that they bring to the “office” every day.
The second day of training was used to review multi-pitch ice guiding methods. This training covered much of the skills that we use on longer alpine ice routes, like the Kautz Route or Liberty Ridge on Mt. Rainier. One of the more difficult skills to get dialed is managing hundreds of feet of multiple ropes while hanging from the side of a ice fall.
It was another great winter IMG guide training. There’s no better place than Ouray, in my opinion, to work on your ice climbing skills. Hopefully you can join us there for one of our ice climbing seminars.
Nick Laws, IMG guide