Campbird Road. Marc Ripperger photo
Campbird Road. Marc Ripperger photo
Great ice pillar. Marc Ripperger photo
Ouray Ice Course. Geoff Unger
Park Area. Marc Ripperger photo
Sondra on Tic Tac. Kasten Delap photo
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Courses and Guided Climbs

Colorado Ice

Imagine strapping on your crampons, taking your ice tools in hand, and climbing straight up a frozen waterfall. That's just the kind of adventure Mountain Madness has in mind for you during this winter’s ice climbing season. The alpine setting of the San Juan Mountains near the famed towns of Ouray and Telluride, Colorado offers world renowned ice climbing. Combine the easy access and great ice of the Ouray Ice Park (host of the popular Ouray Ice Festival) and numerous backcountry ice climbing opportunities and you have an ideal winter climbing destination. In the evenings, climbers can enjoy fine dinning, a soak in the Ouray Hot Springs and the comforts of one of the area's many Bed-&-Breakfasts.

 

 

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Courses

2 Day Basic Ice Climbing Course

Our two-day seminar is taught in the Ouray Ice Park. This course is for people with little or no experience on technical waterfall ice climbing. This course is an excellent option for people who aspire to improve their technical climbing skills for steeper snow or ice routes. 

Student/Instructor Ratio: 4:1

Dates

Custom dates available. 

Land Cost 

(2 days, per person)

$399 min 2 participants

Course Curriculum includes:

  • Ice climbing movement skills
  • Snow and ice anchor selection, construction, and equalization
  • Anchor station management
  • Ice climbing and crampon usage techniques
  • Ice protection
  • Rope management
  • Rappelling and belaying in an alpine setting
  • Multi-pitch climbing techniques
  • Hazard assessment including: discussion of objective vs. subjective hazards, assessment of avalanche danger, rock and ice fall dangers
  • Discussions include proper clothing and ice climbing equipment for survival in an alpine setting, efficient, competent and self-dependent climbing techniques, and Leave No Trace ethics.

QUALIFICATIONS: Students should know basic climbing skills such as belaying, rappelling and tie-in knots.

 


 

2 Day Intermediate Ice Climbing Course

Learn how to lead technical waterfall ice climbing. This course teaches the techniques of multi-pitch ice climbing, placing ice protection, equalized anchor construction and more! 

Student/Instructor Ratio: 2:1

Dates:

Custom dates available.

Land Cost

(2 days, per person)

$399 min 2 participants

 


 

Intro to Mixed Climbing

Our guides have been regularly competing in the famed Ouray Ice Festival held each January. Ouray has been at the forefront of mixed climbing in the U.S. and is an excellent training ground for this unique sport. Join one of our local guides and get a taste for some mixed action! 

Dates

Custom dates available. 

Land Cost

(2 days, per person)

$399 min 2 participants

 


 

 Guided Climbs

2 Day San Juan Backcountry Sampler

Enjoy classic multi-pitch ice climbs in the Ouray and Telluride backcountry. 

Dates

Custom dates available.

Land Cost

(2 days, per person)

$399 min 2 participants
 


 

Custom Guided Climbs

Maximize your learning. Pick your own dates and routes!

Client to Guide Ratio Price/Per Person

Cost

1:1 Person $399/day
2:1 People $279/day
3:1 People $259/day

Included in cost:

  • Group climbing equipment
  • Guide services 

Not included in cost:

  • Airfare
  • Hotel accommodations
  • Transportation
  • Meals
  • Guide gratuities
  • Personal equipment

 


 

General Ouray Information

How to get there:
Ouray is located in the SW corner of the state of Colorado. The airport nearest Ouray is approximately 40 miles away in Montrose, Colorado. If you fly, plan on arriving the day before the course begins. Rental Cars are available at the Montrose airport.

What to bring:
You will be provided with a complete equipment list upon registration for this trip. Ouray Mountain Sports has great rental gear and can be reached at call 970-325-4284. Their address is 722 Main Street. Try to arrange to have your rentals picked up the night before your course or climb so that you can get an early departure on the first day. Your guide can assist you with this process so feel free to be in contact with them before your trip,

Accommodations:
Participants are responsible for hotel and meal expenses. Mountain Madness recommends several B&B and Lodges: 
 

  • Ouray Victorian Inn ($65-$120; 800-846-8729)
  • China Clipper Inn ($70-$165; 800-315-0565)
  • Manor B & B ($70-$95; 800-628-6946)
  • Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs ($65-$110; 800-327-5080) offers shuttle service from/to the Montrose airport if you stay 3 days or longer
  • Comfort Inn ($39-$120; 800-438-5713) may offer Montrose airport shuttle service for a slight fee

Where to meet:
We will meet at your hotel at a pre-arranged time on day one of your trip.

About Ouray:
Ouray is a wonderful little town nestled in the heart of the San Juan Mountains or Colorado. Ouray offer access to an abundance of outdoor sports. For those interested in skiing, either before or after the course, it's a short drive to the ski slopes of Telluride Ski Resort. Two hours from Ouray there is brilliant desert rock climbing in the areas surrounding Moab, Utah. A 2-day desert rock climbing extension can round out your adventure!

Current Conditions:
Ouray Ice Park condtions

Addtional Resources:
Ouray Ice Park Trip Planner
Ice Park Facts

 


 

Guide's top 5 Recommendations: Ouray Ice Park and Ouray/ Colorado Backcountry

 

Ouray Ice Park WI 2-6  

Take a virtual tour of the Ouray Ice Park

  • Pick O the Vic: WI 4
  • Tic Tac: WI 4+ M 6
  • Tangle up in Blue: WI 3+
  • Recess: WI 3-4
  • Cartman's Mom: WI 2

 

Ouray Telluride Backcountry WI 2-6
  • The Ribbon: WI 3-4
  • Dexter Slab: W3-4
  • Horsetail Falls: WI 3-4
  • Skylight: WI 4-5
  • Ames Ice Hose: WI 5

 


 

Equipment List

This equipment list is what you will need for your course or climb. Please Contact us with all of your equipment questions. See our suggested gear and attached links below.

 

Climbing Gear

 

Upper Body
  • Baselayer T-shirt wool, capilene, or equivalent: Patagonia R1 Hoody
  • Sports bras for women, synthetic
  • Long sleeve baselayer wool, capilene, or equivalent
  • Mid-heavy weight base layer wool, capilene, or equivalent
  • Mid-weight insulation layer: Patagonia Nano Puff with hood
  • Soft Shell Jacket (e.g. schoeller fabric or equivalent)
  • 1 Down/Synthetic warm jacket (ideally with hood) (to fit over all layers): Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Parka
  • 1 Hard shell jacket with hood waterproof and breathable. (Gore-Tex or equivalent)
  • 2 pair mid-weight “action” gloves: Arc'teryx Venta SV Glove
  • Modular shell gloves or mitts Arc'teryx Alpha SV Glove 
  • Warm hat 
  • Balaclava or neck gaiter optional

 

Lower Body
  • 2 pair of liner socks 
  • 2 pair heavy wool/synthetic socks 
  • 1 pair midweight-heavyweight long underwear 
  • 1 pair soft shell pants (e.g. schoeller fabric or equivalent) consider a lightly insulated ‘winter’ soft shell pant
  • Shell pants waterproof/breathable with full side zips (Gore-Tex or equivalent) optional depending on soft shell pants
  • Gaiters 
  • Swimsuit (Many of the hotels have hot tubs)

 

Backpack
 
Miscellaneous
  • Insulated thermous or Hydorflask