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Uncompahgre Gorge aka Ouray Ice Park

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Alcove/Pic of the Vic area to the Upper Bridge 
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School Room 
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Uncompahgre Gorge aka Ouray Ice Park  


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Elevation: 7,700'
Location: 38.0174, -107.6752 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 127,249
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Leo Paik on Nov 30, 1999
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Todd Felix - Looking Strong in the Upper Bridge - ...

Description 

This section covers an area of ice climbs that are farmed within the Uncompaghre Gorge. Note, the original submission didn't seem to match the area.

Through volunteer work from lots of dedicated individuals, this ice park has been created to host a great wealth of routes of all sorts of variety of difficulty and style. There are rules for the park. Annually, there is a fabulous ice festival in January with a terrific ice competition and great demonstrations and lectures. Enjoy!

Thanks to a $5,000 donation from the Access Fund, a $7,000 donation from the Ouray Chamber Resort Association, and a $20,000 anonymous donation; the Ouray Ice Park now has a reliable and constant source of water and a brand new plumbing and delivery system. Also, an extremely generous Ouray family (non-climbers) donated $30,000 in 2008 to help keep the park going.

One note, this area, especially the School Room and Below the Lower Bridge areas have become quite popular on winter weekends. Plan accordingly. A second note, often late in the afternoons, the spigots get turned on to restore/reform ice for your climbing pleasures. Be aware of this, and please don't complain. Finally, be particularly careful with the pipes, spigots, and infrastructure used to create the ice. It is the lifeline for the stuff you love.

Getting There 

From Ouray, take US Highway 550 south. Shortly after you begin to ascend, take a right on the Camp Bird Mine Road. Park before the bridge which crosses the gorge. Alternatively, you can park in the southern end of town and hike up the road to the ice park.

Park season 

The park is typically open from December 15 to April 7.

Membership 

There is a volunteer membership for the ice park which can be purchased annually. Its revenues help to support the continued creation of wonderful ice climbing in this venue. Also, this membership and its card can provide discounts at local Ouray establishments. Consider supporting them. Ice Park shirts are available at the Ice Park for sale. You can contact Erin Eddy at 970.325.4288 for more info.

Ice Park website 

There is a website that provides additional information.

For an ice video by Ouray Ice Park:
.

History 

Climbers have visited this area at least since the 1970s. In 1994, Bill Whitt and Gary Wild started to farm ice with hoses, pipe, and showerheads off the 3 foot pipe that connects a reservoir to a hydroelectric plant. In 1997, this area became an official ice climbing park with the amazing cooperation between a local climber who leases his property along the gorge, the city of Ouray, the county of Ouray, and the Forest Service. Apparently, this has resulted in a winter revival of the area with $4 million brought into the area a year. This goes to show how climbers can work with a variety of groups and create a win-win situation for all!

Phone number 

There is a phone number listed at the Ice Park Office, 970-325-4288.

Gear Rentals 

You can rent ice tools, crampons, boots, helmets, etc. at the Ouray Mountain Sports (970-325-4284, ouraysports.com, 732 Main St.) or the San Juan Mountain Guides (970-325-4925, ourayclimbing.com, 474 Main St. - moving 4/10 below Backstreet Bagel) in town.

Lost Tools 

Per Climbing Vol. 280, Bill Leo, owner of Ouray Mountain Sports, keeps a big magnet that can help retrieve tools dropped into the river.

Lodging 

There are many options for lodging in the area.

The Ouray Victorian Inn offers both hotel room and condominium options. 800-846-8729.

Ouray Realty & Rentals at 609 Main St., 866-325-0482 has many options for rentals for groups or those seeking more room.

There is a Comfort Inn on 5th Ave. with wifi.

There is the Wiesbaden with its vapor caves on site.

There is the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs with its hot springs. 970-325-4981 or 800-327-5080. 45 Third Avenue.

Hot Springs 

There are a few options for apres ice climbing soaking:

The Ouray Hot Springs has multiple outdoor pools that range from 70 F to 106 F that are open until 9pm most days. The cost is $10/day/person. There are multiday discounts. No alcohol is allowed. Main St., here is a little info on our largest pool: Ouray Hot Springs Pool. 970-325-7073

The Wiesbaden has natural vapor caves at 108 F and outdoor pool from 99 F to 102 F with hot springs (77 F to 128 F) available when not full for $15/3 hours/person. No smoking within 3 months of soaking is allowed. 625 5th St. 970-325-4358.

Additional video 


Climbing Season



Weather station 0.4 miles from here

112 Total Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',52],['2 Stars',47],['1 Star',10],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',1],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Uncompahgre Gorge aka Ouray Ice Park:
Chinese Water Torture   M8     Mixed, 1 pitch   Lower Bridge to Scottish Gu...
Sisters of Mercy   WI4-5 M8     Sport, Mixed, Ice, 1 pitch   Lower Bridge to Scottish Gu...
Seamstress   M8     Trad, Sport, Mixed, 1 pitch, 100'   Lower Bridge to Scottish Gu...
La Ventana   WI5     Trad, TR, Ice, 1 pitch, 100'   Five Fingers area
Stone Free   WI5     Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 90'   Lower Bridge to Scottish Gu...
Grandma's Glass Pony Shop   WI5 R     Ice, 1 pitch, 180'   Between the Bridges
Duncan's Delight   WI5 R     Trad, TR, Ice, 1 pitch, 130'   Alcove/Pic of the Vic area ...
Popsicle   WI4-5     Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 110'   Lower Bridge to Scottish Gu...
Cartman's Mom   WI4+     Trad, TR, Ice, 1 pitch, 85'   South Park
Super Dave   M7+     Trad, Mixed, 1 pitch   Lower Bridge to Scottish Gu...
The Verminator   WI4     Trad, TR, Ice, 1 pitch, 100'   Alcove/Pic of the Vic area ...
Mighty Aphrodite   M8-9     Sport, Mixed, 1 pitch, 90'   Lower Bridge to Scottish Gu...
Tic Tac   WI4+ M6-7     Trad, Mixed, Ice, 1 pitch, 100'   Lower Bridge to Scottish Gu...
Tangled Up In Blue   WI3-4     Trad, TR, Ice, 1 pitch, 135'   Alcove/Pic of the Vic area ...
Pick o' the Vic   WI4     Trad, TR, Ice, 1 pitch, 150'   Alcove/Pic of the Vic area ...
Dizzy with a Vision   WI5 M7+     Trad, Mixed, Ice, 1 pitch   Lower Bridge to Scottish Gu...
Brass Tacks   WI4-5     Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 120'   Between the Bridges
Wildebeest   M9     Mixed, 1 pitch, 80'   Lower Bridge to Scottish Gu...
Berserker   WI4     Trad, TR, Ice, 1 pitch, 135'   Alcove/Pic of the Vic area ...
Jesus Christ Built My Finger Crack   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b WI4 M6-7     Trad, Mixed, Ice, 1 pitch, 120'   Alcove/Pic of the Vic area ...
Browse More Classics in Uncompahgre Gorge aka Ouray Ice Park

Featured Route For Uncompahgre Gorge aka Ouray Ice Park
Stuart Paul looking slick starts up Pick o' the Vic.

Pick o' the Vic WI4  CO : CO Ice & Mixed : ... : Alcove/Pic of the Vic area ...
Classic. This is a sustained, steep climb up the side of the first icy prow visible from the upper bridge....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Uncompahgre Gorge aka Ouray Ice Park Slideshow Add Photo
Welcome.
Welcome.
Jenny Parkison enjoying some afternoon laps in the Ice Park.
Jenny Parkison enjoying some afternoon laps in the...
2014 Ice Park map.
BETA PHOTO: 2014 Ice Park map.
Easter Rising, M7/8 trad in the box.
Easter Rising, M7/8 trad in the box.
2014 Ice Park map, side B.
BETA PHOTO: 2014 Ice Park map, side B.

Comments on Uncompahgre Gorge aka Ouray Ice Park Add Comment
Show which comments
By Dan Mottinger
Apr 1, 2002
As of March 27, 2002 the climbs in the ice park were in and not too hacked out. The park below the lower bridge is closed due to the warm temps but the Schoolroom area is in. Some of the harder lines are melted out but the lower angle flows in the shade were O.K.
By Kevin Craig
Jan 14, 2003
Spent 4 days at the Ice Park. The ice is in great condition. Definitely check out the "New Funteer" area between the Schoolroom and South Park. Everything from mellow WI2-3 to some steep mixed stuff. Cool area (rap in, climb out but there's a solo-able gully near the middle). There are 6 new routes south of South Park also. All are steep with some very "interesting" ice.

Pic' o the Vic is WAY fat though getting pretty hacked out. Tangled up in Blue seems to be getting less traffic. Paranoia is in awesome shape and the Schoolroom is better than I've ever seen it. The lower gorge climbs, which were pretty thin last year, are also in nicely.
By TBD
Mar 12, 2003
The ice is in relatively good shape. However, due to the recent warm temperatures, they haven't been able farm any new.
By Jim D.
Mar 18, 2003
We arrived in Ouray on 3/13/03 to find the temperature = 60F! Climbed 3/14 & 3/15 in the Gorge. They had not made any new ice for a while, thus the routes were a bit worn, but still good. The tools sticks were soft and easy, though screws seemed to melt out in 10 minutes - we toproped! The dripping water was only annoying on 3/14, but worse on 3/15 when it got warmer. We quit mid-day on Saturday due to melting ice. The last route we wanted to climb in the lower gorge seemed unstable so we bailed. As we left, just 50 yards down canyon we found the Poodle Sex route mostly fallen down, and the lowest route in the gorge was a very fresh, very large, pile of rubble on the gorge floor! Be careful. Colder temp may help now, but you had better call ahead to check. They may/may not farm any more new ice this year.
By Jim D.
Mar 19, 2003
We arrived in Ouray on 3/13/03 to find the temperature = 60F! Climbed 3/14 & 3/15 in the Gorge. They had not made any new ice for a while, thus the routes were a bit worn, but still good. The tools sticks were soft and easy, though screws seemed to melt out in 10 minutes - we toproped! The dripping water was only annoying on 3/14, but worse on 3/15 when it got warmer. We quit mid-day on Saturday due to melting ice. The last route we wanted to climb in the lower gorge seemed unstable so we bailed. As we left, just 50 yards down canyon we found the Poodle Sex route mostly fallen down, and the lowest route in the gorge was a very fresh, very large, pile of rubble on the gorge floor! Be careful. Colder temp may help now, but you had better call ahead to check. They may/may not farm any more new ice this year.
By The Vic
Mar 26, 2005
There is still lots of ice in South Park, New Funteer and the Schoolroom. Picked out for sure, but plenty to play on. The park will be open until next weekend for sure. Cold and snowing now so get after it before it is gone.
By Buff Johnson
Oct 30, 2007
Hey, the next time someone goes into the park; take a pic of the climber's entrance gate near the Upper. It's funky!