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If the Skiing is Bad, Go Ice Climbing

Marc Rip­perg­er vet­er­an ice climb­ing guide report­ing in from Ouray, Col­orado. Despite a slow start to the snow year in the North­west and Rock­ies there is always good ice here in Ouray, Col­orado. While the turns in the back­coun­try and on piste are less then ide­al, it is a great time to break out the ice tools and swing them here in Ouray. 

Marc Rip­perg­er photo

Jake Car­man and I had a great sev­er­al days here in Ouray. We enjoyed some of the high pres­sure I think every­one is expe­ri­enc­ing. Lucky for the cold night here in Col­orado the ice was in per­fect con­di­tion. Jake and I ticked off many of the clas­sics here in Ouray. We vis­it­ed the famed Ouray Ice Park to get warmed up then took our refreshed skills up on Camp­bird road. The high­light of our trip being our ascent of the San Juan test piece Bird Brain Boule­vard, with over 1,200 feet of phys­i­cal ice and mixed climb­ing this climb is tru­ly a big under­tak­ing and proud accom­plish­ment for any alpine climber. Con­grats Jake! 

Marc Rip­perg­er photo

Climb­ing is always the high­light here in Ouray but the addi­tion of hot springs and good food is always an added bonus to the climb­ing. Not every­body will have their sights set on Bird Brain but there are plen­ty of back­coun­try ice climbs and ice park climb­ing action here for begin­ner to advanced climbers.

~ MM Guide Marc Ripperger

Marc Rip­perg­er photo