"I just wanted to drop a note and say that we had an outstanding time over the weekend. Matt was truly exceptional as a teacher and guide, which I'm quite sure you know, but we really appreciated the wonderful introduction to ice climbing and without a doubt will be back."
Intro to Ice Climbing Course
"I have to tell you, we had a really great time ice climbing with you. All four of us are already excited to get back!"
Intro to Ice Climbing Course
Learn to Ice Climb in the Ouray Ice Park
Learn the fundamentals of ice climbing in the spectacular Ouray Ice Park during this 2-day Introduction to Ice Climbing Course. Located just 10 minutes from our office in downtown Ouray, the Ouray Ice Park is the premiere venue for ice climbing in North America. Using this exceptional venue, we will teach you how to swing ice tools, kick your crampons, and position your body for smooth progress up the ice. You will also learn how to build anchors, belay, and rappel. In just two days, you will get a thorough introduction to ice climbing at one of North America's top ice climbing destinations.
Climb with a Local Ouray Guide Service
As a local Ouray guide service, we have an intimate knowledge of the Ouray Ice Park and the surrounding San Juan Mountains. Our AMGA certified instructors/guides are some of the longest running ice climbing instructors in the area, with over 6 decades of experience amongst them. We use this local knowledge and depth of experience to select the most appropriate routes for your development and we go out of our way to show you the very best of the Ouray Ice Park. In addition, our office on 7th Avenue provides a comfortable and convenient location for pre-course meetings, equipment outfitting, and route planning.
Photos From Your Course Included
Your guide will take photos during the course so you will have a way to remember your ice climbing experience. There is nothing quite like a photo to record your once-in-a-lifetime ice climbing adventure. This service is included free of charge on all of our programs.
Fun For All Ability Levels
With our expert guidance and instruction, ice climbing can be enjoyed by all ability levels. No previous climbing experience is required for the Introduction to Ice Climbing Course. We have helped many kids, adults, families, and people just like you to experience the joy of ice climbing. Join us this winter to build your ice climbing skills in the Ouray Ice Park!
2-day Introduction to Ice Climbing Sample Itinerary:
Course participants will meet at our office in Ouray at 7:30 am on the first day of the course. We begin with introductions to get to know one another's background and goals. This creates a foundation for two days of fun, educational, and exciting climbing together. We'll then get outfitted with equipment and properly packed for the day. Upon arrival at the nearby Ouray Ice Park, which is just a few minutes away from our office, we'll begin with sessions on proper crampon use, ice tool technique, and how to “build a triangle” with the body for optimum balance on the ice. Everyone will have a chance to climb numerous routes to practice the new skills. When we need a break from climbing we’ll discuss anchor building with ice screws, natural anchors, fixed artificial anchors, and “V-threads”. We’ll teach you the SRENA acronym as a tool for remembering the qualities of a safe anchor. The remainder of the day will be spent learning skills for steeper ice climbs including the two-tool and zig-zag techniques.
As a way to improve everyone's comprehension of anchor building from the previous day, we’ll have the group construct the anchors for today’s climbing. With the oversight and feedback of the guide each participant will gain valuable insight into building top rope anchors, a vital skill for anyone interested in climbing on their own after the class. Once the anchors are built we’ll take a few warm up laps to get refreshed and ready for the day. After we're loosened up we'll venture onto steeper climbs in the Ouray Ice Park in order to refine each climber's movement. By offering focused feedback to each climber, our guides ensure everyone in the class gets personalized coaching throughout the day. Some of the details we focus on include proper orientation of your elbow and arm while swinging the tool, proper placement of the front points perpendicular to the ice, and proper execution of hip movement while progressing up the ice. It all sounds technical, but it will make perfect sense once we guide you through the steps. By the end you’ll be ice climbing gracefully and without fatigue, and smiling the whole way! When we need a break from climbing we can do a rappel, build additional anchors for practice, discuss other questions you have about climbing, or just relax to take in the splendor of the environment. During the afternoon, we’ll visit one of the classic routes in the Ouray Ice Park so you can apply your new skills to a great challenge. You may surprise yourself at what you can do now!
*Peak Mountain Guides' Introduction to Ice Climbing Courses are located on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests under priority use permit from the Forest Service, USDA. Peak Mountain Guides is an equal opportunity service provider.*