Ouray Ice Climbing Ouray Ice Climbing Festival, Colorado

IMG Ouray Ice Climbing Itinerary

Day Itinerary
Day 1Group meets at 8:00 a.m. at the Ouray Victorian Inn's breakfast room. After a general introduction of the instructors and the team and a brief discussion of appropriate clothing and equipment, the group will walk to the nearby training area located in the Ouray Ice Park. Prior to the start of training, the guides will discuss standards of safety and Leave No Trace ethics to be maintained by the group throughout the program. Topics to be covered on Day 1 will likely include: French technique/flat footing skills on lower angle ice; working on balance over the feet, flat footing and then front pointing; top-roped climbing without tools. The latter part of the day will be spent top-roping Grade II to III ice to develop technique. Other skills to be introduced include belaying, rappelling, and rope management.

Day 2Continued top-roping in the Ouray Ice Park, gradually increasing the difficulty of pitches up to Grade III with the introduction of additional techniques as appropriate. Other topics of discussion and applied practice will include anchors (screws, bollards and threaded runners), anchor systems and rappelling. Climbing will cater to the group's ability level and goals, and could include visiting backcounty ice.

For the Three-Day Seminar add the following sessions:
Day 3Lead climbing skills. We will practice on single and possible multiple pitch climbs placing screws on the lead, setting up belays, and swapping leads. Students may simulate leads with a top-rope backup. Options including climbing outside the Ice Park on natural ice.

For the Five-Day Seminar add the following sessions:
Day 4Advanced skills. A multiple pitch climb will be attempted as conditions permit to introduce students to an array of advanced skills. Smaller instructor/student ratio (1:2) will allow for fine-tuning of individual technique. We will likely visit one of the natural ice formations nearby. This is a great day, putting to use all of the skills we have learned to this point. The climbing will not be more difficult, just a "real life" climb led by the guide, natural belay stations and a beautiful view.

Day 5Advanced skills, continued. We will have the opportunity to top-rope harder problems, grade IV and up. Techniques will be introduced for dealing with the steepest and thinnest ice as well as mixed terrain. We may also take the opportunity to visit another of the areas surrounding Ouray for more fun climbing.

For private program custom itineraries, please contact the IMG office and Justin Merle, Ouray Program Director.

International Mountain Guides leads 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

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