Our guide, Chad Peele – and his experience and confidence – comforted our nerves right out of the gate. Lindsay was in her typical pre-adventure mode of asking a million questions, and Lanee was in her usual mode of resembling a horse chomping at the bit before a race! We’re not going to sugar coat this. Ice climbing is hard!
We used muscles that we’re not used to engaging very often (like the front of the shin to keep your foot flexed to get the crampons a good grip of ice when you kick into it, and our non-dominant arms to throw in the ice picks), so naturally those muscles tired quickly and we needed to take several breaks along the way up.
It took us a good hour of channeling and challenging our Colorado ice climbing vixens within to get to the top of the beginner’s hill at Ouray Ice Park. At the end we asked Chad to do it, so we could see how ice climbing is really supposed to be done. As we expected, it took him less than 10 minutes — and without being roped in! Insanity.
While we left the Ouray Ice Park bruised and battered (smashing your knee into a hard, thick sheet of ice leaves quite a mark!) — we can’t wait to try it again, this time with the jitters and fear behind us and a little experience on our side. You do get the hang of it after some missteps and it begins to feel like a fun puzzle as you maneuver up the ice wall. Plus — it can be great therapy! Watch the video above to see why, and for a recap of our climb.
Ouray, Colorado Ice Climbing Resources
Ouray Ice Park Climbing Season: Oct or Nov – Mar
Ouray Ice Festival: Mid Jan
Ouray Ice Park Fee: FREE
Ouray Ice Climbing Guides: San Juan Mountain Guides
Hot Tips for Newbies: Discover Outdoor’s Beginner’s Guide to Ice Climbing
OURAY ICE PARK
County Road 361, Ouray, CO 81427
SAN JUAN MOUNTAIN GUIDES