Half-Day Telluride Ice

Telluride is home to many amazing moderate ice climbing areas that are perfect for beginners. If you’re new to the sport and looking for a fun alternative to skiing, ice climbing is an exciting challenge for the whole family. If you’re ambitious, the techniques taught on day one of ice climbing will open up the door to more intermediate and advanced routes in the San Juan Mountains and beyond.

Our half-day ice climbs offer instruction from an experienced and knowledgeable guide on moderate ice in a top rope setting. A typical half-day will focus on basics, including an introduction to proper ice climbing technique, equipment, terminology and communication, top rope belay and lowering, and risk management. Following the outing, climbers should have a basic familiarity with ice climbing gear and technique, and be reasonably confident climbing low-angle ice flows.

Lower Ames and Bear Creek are two areas we love to guide and instruct, both of which feature quality ice and excellent routes. We find that a half-day of ice climbing is often best for beginners and families of all ages, and those looking to engage with Telluride’s winter beauty outside of the norm.

To make a reservation, please click below.

Half-Day Telluride Ice

For ice climbing closer to Ouray, see our Ouray Ice Park and Full-Day and Hard Multi-Pitch Ice options.

If you have questions or are looking for more advanced instruction for mixed ice climbing, multi-pitch routes or hard alpine objectives, please contact the Mountain Trip office at [email protected] or (970) 369-1153.

The following is a list of guide-recommended gear for ice climbing with Mountain Trip. In general, you’ll want a selection of warm layers that work together. Clothing designed for a day of skiing is fine; however, dedicated ice climbing clothing is better. Whatever gear you choose, please make sure it fits well so you fully enjoy your experience in the mountains.

We provide all of the necessary technical climbing equipment: ice tools, helmet, harness, crampons and mountaineering boots. (Gaiters, lightweight gloves, parkas and backpacks are available upon request). All of our equipment is top-of-the-line gear. Climbers are also welcome to bring and use their own gear upon inspection by one of our guides.

In addition to what we provide and have available to rent, there is also a good selection of gear available in Telluride and Ouray. If you have any specific questions about what you might need, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Mountain Trip office.

Print Equipment

Footwear

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Climbing BootsTechnical routes or steep day climbs are often best climbed by wearing lightweight insulated boots. Waterproof and breathable, these give a climber more "feel" than do double boots. The caveat is that they are hard to keep dry over time, so certain double boots are better for technical alpine routes. Our favorite double boot for climbing technical routes is the La Sportiva Spantik, and a great single boot is the La Sportiva Batura 2.0 GTX.
GaitersGaiters are required unless your pants fit tightly around your boot, many boots have built in gaiters.

Torso Layers

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Base Layer Top(1 or 2 sets) of Wool or Capilene light weight base layers. Long sleeve or short sleeve base layers work well.
Light Fleece HoodyLight/mid weight fleece (or wool) top with a hood. You will wear this over your light weight base layer.
“Puffy” Light Insulated JacketSize this layer to fit over your light fleece hoody and wind shell, and it is often layered underneath your expedition parka. Synthetic is easier to deal with and not worry about getting wet than a similar down filled layer. A hood on this layer in mandatory! *** Guides Tip! Use two lightweight puffy layers in the early season or if you are worried about being cold. A Micro or Nano Puff jacket with a Ultra Light Down Jacket or Vest allows versatile layering options.
Hard Shell JacketThis jacket should be large enough to go over your light puffy jacket layer. You do not need the burliest/heaviest Gore-Tex jacket you can find, and we prefer the lightest weight versions.
Soft Shell Wind JacketMany high alpine peaks are cold and dry. We are huge fans of very lightweight softshell wind jackets for high, dry, cold peaks. Weighing just a few ounces, these can be carried in your pocket or in the lid of your pack for rapid deployment. This layer is used in addition to your more waterproof hard shell jacket.

Leg Layers

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Base Layer Bottoms(1 or 2 sets) of Wool or Capilene light weight base layers.
Light Fleece BottomsAs the air thins and the wind picks up, you'll want a bit more insulation on your legs. This should be a slightly warmer layer that can go over your base layer bottoms when it gets cold.
Soft Shell PantsSoft Shell pants are the workhorse on Denali, you'll be wearing these day in and day out on most expeditions. On peaks like Denali and Aconcagua, you can wear them in lieu of your hard shell pants for much of the expedition.

Head and Hands

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Heavyweight GlovesWarm, insulated gloves are the day-to-day workhorses on cold peaks or for cold days of ice climbing. We prefer gloves with removable liners for ease of drying.
Medium Weight GlovesA Mid-weight glove will generally be a softshell type glove with some light synthetic insulation.

Packs and Duffels

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Climbing PackSuitable climbing packs will be 30 - 45 liters in volume and have the capability of easily attaching crampons, and ice axes if used for a day of ice climbing or if needed for a peak ascent. For a day climbs, any pack in the 30 - 45 liter range will work, but we recommend that you consider the weight of the pack carefully. Overnight, alpine routes require larger (45L) packs that also let you strap your sleeping pad to the outside.

Climbing Gear

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Climbing HelmetMake certain it fits over your warmest hat and under the hood of your shell. The super-lightweight foam helmets are great, but can get crushed in your duffel bags during travel, so protect your lid!
Climbing HarnessAn aspect of technical climbing is hanging in a harness. Having a padded, comfortable harness will make you much happier than will a thinly padded, alpine harness, and, should you find yourself at a semi hanging belay, your legs are less likely to fall asleep from lack of circulation.
CramponsSelect a pair 12-point Mountaineering Crampons that fit your boots well. Step-in or strap versions work equally well; just make sure they fit your mountain boots and overboots. You may need to lengthen your crampons to accommodate your overboots, please make sure you can make this adjustment in the field. Aluminum crampons are not acceptable for expeditions.
Belay/Rappel DeviceA plaquette style belay/rappel device.

Other

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Two (2) One-Liter Water BottlesYou will need two, 1-liter plastic water bottles. Please bring wide-mouth bottles, such as those from Nalgene, as these are much easier to fill than bottles with small openings.
Lip BalmBring a tube of quality lip balm with sun protection (SPF).
SunscreenThe sun can be intense in Colorado, so please apply high SPF sunscreen prior to your trip and bring a small tube along to reapply during the day.
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