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President’s Day Ice Climbing in Ouray!

Marc Rip­perg­er report­ing from Ouray, Col­orado. The snow has final­ly been falling this Feb­ru­ary, we are still enjoy­ing great climb­ing here in the San Juan’s. The ice is hold­ing strong in the box canyon of Ouray Ice Park. I enjoyed a two day pri­vate course this Pres­i­den­t’s Day. Sharad com­mut­ed out from Chica­go to enjoy a taste of the alpine in the San Juan Moun­tains. A long time client of Moun­tain Mad­ness, Sharad was look­ing to improve his tech­ni­cal ice climb­ing skills in order to cut his teeth on the tech­ni­cal routes in the Pacif­ic North­west and even­tu­al­ly Ama Dablam.

Day 1: We enjoyed an intro­duc­tion to ice climb­ing skills. We talked about effi­cient climb­ing move­ment and climbed in the Scot­tish Gul­lies of Ouray Ice Park. We prac­ticed dif­fer­ent climb­ing exer­cis­es such as no tool and one tool climb­ing in order to improve bal­ance and cram­pon place­ment. After log­ging sev­er­al pitch­es of climb­ing we talked about anchor build­ing and ice screw place­ments before con­clud­ing our day.

Marc Rip­perg­er photo

Day 2: Sharad and I walked a bit fur­ther down canyon and climbed in an area called South Park. We spent the day refin­ing climb­ing move­ment and learn­ing mul­ti-pitch tech­niques. This was the per­fect venue for us to max­i­mize time climb­ing with lit­tle approach. Sharad felt good about his per­for­mance and is excit­ed to dive into some fun alpine climbs this sum­mer with Moun­tain Madness.”

~ MM Guide Marc Ripperger

Marc Rip­perg­er photo