Enjoy an icy day at festival in Ouray

Photo by William Woody—Climber Caroline George rests her hand while navigating a wall of rock hundreds of feet above the Box Canyon floor just outside Ouray Colo., Saturday Jan. 12, 2013. George was one of 25 climbers from around the world competing in the annual Elite Mixed Climbing Competition Saturday during the 18th annual Ouray Ice Festival. Climbers were tasked with navigating a composed of rock, ice and wood within a time limit of 12 minutes. The festival, which concludes today, is the largest in North America. More at http://www.ourayicepark.com.

The 19th annual Ouray Ice Festival on Jan. 9-12 will host North America’s largest gathering of ice climbers at the Ouray Ice Park.

Considered one of the world’s premier ice climbing venues, the festival includes more than 75 interactive climbing clinics, free demo climbing for adults and children, the elite mixed climbing competition, the Hari Berger Speed Climbing competition sponsored by Lowa, and a full schedule of evening entertainment.

Clinic topics this year include “Intro to Ice,” “Moderate Mixed” and “Steep Ice Techniques,” all starting at $49.

Seminars focused on backcountry skiing and climbing will also be available.

Clinics are taught by both professional climbers and professional climbing guides in conjunction with San Juan Mountain Guides.

Climbers can demo the latest gear from Black Diamond, Grivel, Scarpa, La Sportiva, Lowa, Asolo, Zamberlan, Petzl and Sterling Rope.

The general public and families are welcome at numerous free events including the Kid’s Climbing College and Walk-Up Demo Climbing for adults at the La Sportiva Zone.

New this year will be a family friendly ice-skating venue in the Ouray Box Canyon visitor’s center parking lot. Ice skates will also be available for a modest rental fee.

Evening presenters include Ueli Steck, Adrian Ballinger and Kristen Kelliher, the youngest U.S. female highpointer.

The historic Wright Opera House on Jan. 10 will show “The Road from Karakol,” presented and narrated by Kyle Dempster. On Jan. 11, the Opera house will present Aaron Mulkey with the premier of “The Pursuit.”

Gear, climbing art and collectibles will be auctioned off during live and silent auctions.

Proceeds from admission to these events supports the Ouray Ice Park and includes beer from the Ouray Brewery and other local craft brewers including Two Rascals, Colorado Boy and Ourayle House.

Information:  http://www.ourayicepark.com.


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