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Ouray Waterfall Ice

MM Guide Matt Barela just fin­ished our first water­fall ice climb­ing trip in Ouray. Here are some some words and pho­tos to whet your appetite for the win­ter sea­son. Sharp­en your tools, tight­en your har­ness, and bring your puffy jacket…it’s ice climb­ing sea­son! Jere­my Allyn, North Amer­i­ca Pro­gram Director

I had a chance this week­end to spend a great cou­ple of days with Jonathan and Jon, a cou­ple of col­lege bud­dies who had not seen each oth­er for 6 years. They made it out here to Ouray, Col­orado for the open­ing week­end of the Ouray Ice Park. This year’s open­ing was made great due to cold temps and a new ice farmer who knows a ton about mak­ing ice. 

Matt Barela photo

We start­ed our day in an area called the Trussel which is a great place to fresh­en up some ice skills and learn new ones. Jon had spent some time in the Alps climb­ing ice and Jonathan was com­plete­ly new to ice. Both guys proved to be sol­id right off the start and we quick­ly made our way to The Ver­mina­tor which is a steep WI4 route in a great set­ting in the park. After The Ver­mina­tor we made our way to an area called South Park which we used to keep work­ing on our foun­da­tion­al skills and to intro­duce ice screws and how to build ice anchors. We end­ed the day feel­ing great!

Matt Barela photo

Day 2 we set our­selves up in an area called the school­room and made use of the area as we ran laps up climbs from WI3‑5. Jon and Jonathan both brought their A‑game on this day as they quick­ly made progress into great look­ing steep ice climbers. Jonathan spent parts of the after­noon learn­ing to lead as he had lots of lead expe­ri­ence on rock. Towards the end of the day we went over v‑threads and got ready for Jonathan to lead his first ice climb. We went to the end of the school room and Jonathan sent in great style. It was a jam packed cou­ple of days and the guys nailed it. Thanks for a cou­ple of great days guys — I look for­ward to get­ting out there some more.”

~ MM Guide Matt Barela

Matt Barela photo