Ouray Ice Climbing Ouray Ice Climbing Festival, Colorado

IMG Ouray Ice Climbing Itinerary

Every program is different and catered to the participants and current conditions.

Day Itinerary
Day 1Group meets at 8:00 a.m. at your hotel or at a local coffee shop. After a general introduction of the guides and the team and a brief check of your gear, the group will walk to a nearby training area located in the Ouray Ice Park. We'll review or introduce proper crampon technique (flat footing, front pointing), and ice tool placement. Everybody will learn or review top-rope belay technique and rope management, then start the climbing with no-tool and one-tool climbs to build good footwork. The latter part of the day will be spent top-roping easy-moderate ice to develop technique.

Day 2Continued top-roping in the Ouray Ice Park, gradually increasing the difficulty of pitches 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 backcountry ice.

For the Three-Day Seminar add the following sessions:
Day 3For programs with a 2:1 climber:guide ratio there's an option to visit the backcountry for some natural, multipitch climbing. This will involve belaying the guide as they lead each pitch, then rappelling or lowering for descent.

3-5 day programs and private programs have time to introduce and work on more skills as time and motivation allows:

  • Lead climbing skills. Practice placing screws on the lead, setting up belays, and swapping leads. Students will simulate leads with a top-rope backup, and if skills allow, may be allowed to lead climbs without a backup.
  • Further multipitch climbs in the beautiful Ouray backcountry.
  • Advanced climbing skills: We can spend time working on climbing steeper and more delicate ice in the Ouray Ice Park, as well as mixed climbing and dry-tooling techniques.
  • We have the flexibility to work with you on whatever climbing skills fit with the group's goals, whether it's climbing in the ice park then having an afternoon coffee, spending all day climbing a long backcountry route, working on technical skills, or talking through gear for an upcoming expedition.

For private program custom itineraries, please contact the IMG office

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