As many of you have heard, the Ouray Ice Park closed on Friday, February 10th due to unseasonably warm temperatures and deteriorating ice conditions. Ice Park Staff, Board Members, Local Guides, and City Officials met this morning to evaluate the current conditions and consider options for the remainder of the season. At the present time, the plan is to capitalize on cold nighttime temperatures that are forecasted for this week to see if additional ice can be built. If so, it is possible the Ouray Ice Park will reopen. We will keep you updated on the status of the park as the situation develops.
Fortunately, for all of us who love ice climbing, there are a multitude of other options in Ouray this season. The backcountry areas outside of Ouray are in great shape and getting climbed daily. Several of these areas have easy access to moderate climbs that are suitable for beginners. Routes such as Chockstone Chimney, Slippery When Wet, and Slip Slidin’ Away provide good terrain for learning and are in good condition. There are also many advanced climbs in shape, including Stairway to Heaven and Whorehouse Hoses in Silverton, and the venerable Ames Ice Hose in Telluride. Using these venues, we are continuing to operate our programs as normal.
The backcountry skiing is also uniquely good right now! Record breaking snowfall in January created a huge base and at the time of this writing, long range forecasts are calling for above average precipitation in February. It is shaping up to be an outstanding month of skiing ahead, and a promising spring season too.
Please let us know if you have questions. We are evaluating conditions on a daily basis and we are happy to share our observations with you. As we move forward with the season, all of us at Peak Mountain Guides remain committed to providing an exceptional experience for you and we are looking forward to many days of enjoyable and successful ice climbing and skiing ahead.
President, Peak Mountain Guides