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Ouray, Colorado
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Ouray, Colorado: a beautiful historic community wedged tightly into the awesome San Juan Mountains - and home to the "Ouray Ice Park". With the growing popularity of ice climbing, the creation of the Ice Park couldn't have come at a better time, and Ouray was the perfect place for it; you can litterally walk from downtown to the park in 10 minutes or less. Within a half mile or so of iced up canyon walls, you'll find over a hundred routes ranging from WI2 to WI5-6, with plenty of mixed route variations. This first shot was taken in the downtown area of Ouray and shows just how close and beautiful the mountains really are.

Down Town Ouray, Colorado with mountains behind

The Schoolroom Wall, as seen from the Upper Bridge, is probably the most popular area in the park and is a great place to warm up before attempting some of the harder - longer routes.

Ouray, Colorado - Ouray Ice Park, Schoolroom Wall taken from Upper Bridge

Suzy took this shot of an unknown climber ascending Dunce, WI3-4, on the Schoolroom Wall during our first climbing trip to the park in December, 2004.

Climber on the Schoolroom Wall, Ouray Ice Park

The Alcove and Lead Only Area host the hardest climbing in the park, and because of their location, right at the Upper Bridge, they provide some great photo opportunities.

Alcove and the Lead Only Area, Ouray Ice Park, Ouray, Colorado Ouray, Colorado - Ouray Ice Park, Climber in the Alcove, south side of the Upper Bridge

The Five Finger Wall has been my favorite area to climb during our two visits to the park this 2004/2005 season. The routes are long and challenging, most over 100 feet at WI4-5, and, I'm not sure why, but it's been a great place to get away from the crowds. In this shot, Malcolm Swan - from Santa Barbara, California, starts up Dead Ringer using a self belay device.

Climber starting up Dead Ringer, Five finger Wall, Ouray Ice Park, Ouray, Colorado

Dead Ringer, on the Five Finger Wall, is a great climb, rated WI4-5, with a cool 60+ foot vertical crux column. Chris Warner, also from Santa Barbara and using a self-belay device, probably had a good pump going as he worked up the column in this shot.

Climber on crux column, Dead Ringer, Five Finger Wall, Ouray Ice Park, Ouray, Colorado

Related Links

Ouray Ice Festival

Ouray Mountain Sports

Colorado Ice Climbing Guide Books

Colorado Ice Climber's Guide

Colorado Ice

Click for Ouray, Colorado Forecast