Guided Ice Climbs in Colorado with Mountain Trip!
The San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado are home to some of the most inspiring, classic ice routes in the US. Whether you are new to the sport and seeking instruction or a seasoned alpinist, we’d love to give you a taste of the ice outside our doors.
We are a permitted guide service in the world famous Ouray Ice Park. This unique venue hosts over 200 man-made ice routes located in the stunning Uncompahgre Gorge, just steps from downtown Ouray. Most routes are less than a 15-minute walk from the Park entrance. Routes are farmed from water pipes above the gorge and are therefore almost always in really good condition. Also known as Little Switzerland, Ouray is a Mecca for ice climbing, and is also famous for it’s hot springs. With easy access, routes of all grades, and hot pools to relax in after climbing, the Ouray Ice Park is one of the best places to learn how to climb ice on the planet. There is even an area for children to learn, so bring the whole family!
Mountain Trip also holds US Forest Service Permits to guide outside of Ouray, where we have access to routes that range from 100’ to 1,200 feet long! We can also facilitate getting you onto some of the long, alpine ice climbing routes near Silverton or Telluride.
We provide instruction in the latest techniques that will help you push yourself and improve as a climber and also guide hard, challenging routes. Emphasis on efficiency and how to organize your systems will help you build a foundation, which will help prepare you for your next big route or just help you have more fun with this exciting sport.
Training Climbs and Follow Up Climbs
We are very fortunate to live and guide in one of the highest concentrations of water ice in the world. Our southwest corner of Colorado is home to numerous classic ice routes of all grades. We will work with you if you are a novice ice climber to pick routes suitable for your level of experience. More experienced climbers can access routes that will push their limits such as the iconic Bridalveil Falls (WI5+), above Telluride, the Ames Ice Hose (WI 5+ and perhaps the best 3 pitch ice route in the state).
When you feel that you are ready to take those skills onto bigger alpine routes, consider the following:
- West Face Couloir of Mount Huntington: Alaska grade V, 85-degree ice, ca. 4000’
- Ham and Eggs Couloir on Mooses Tooth: Alaska Grade V, 5.7, AI 4 ca. 2900’
- Shaken not Stirred on Mooses Tooth: Alaska Grade V, AI 5, ca. 2200’
- Deprivation on the NW Buttress of Mount Hunter: Alaska Grade 6, ED+, 90 degrees, ca. 6000’
Leashless climbing is the way! Technology has changed the sport of ice climbing and it is easier than ever to learn the skills required to get vertical in the frozen world. Ice climbing feels much more “natural” now than it did even a few years ago, and we are finding that climbers are progressing much more rapidly in the sport.