The Ouray Ice Festival, held in January, is an international gathering of ice climbers, gear manufacturing exhibitors, and ice climbing voyeurs simply thrilled to watch at a safe distance from the precipitous edges. The festival was first held in January of 1996 and promoted by ice climbing pioneer Jeff Lowe. In 2001 Lowe sold the Ouray Ice Festival to Ouray Ice Park Inc. (the local non-profit group that runs the ice park). The festival is now recognized as the premier international gathering of its kind.
Events over this incredible weekend include various climbing clinics from beginning to advanced, an opportunity to check out and try the latest and greatest gear and catch up with some of the world’s most famous and experienced climbers.
Conrad Anker will also be unveiling his fantastic full length feature film on the search for George Mallory’s remains on Mount Everest. The Saturday Night Petzl/Arcteryx “Zombie” party should “Raise the Dead”. Bring your wallets both nights to help support the Ouray Ice Park and Ouray Volunteer Fire Department during community dinners and multiple auctions.
Among those teaching clinics are Eddie Bauer sponsored athletes Chad Peele, Zach Christ and Eric Leidecker. “We are very excited to participate in this event for the second year in a row. Like Eddie Bauer, It embodies the untameable spirit of adventure.” says Lana Odintsova of Eddie Bauer.
The festival offers one of the best competition route’s that continues to challenge the best climbers in the world. Plus they are always adding or changing things up….be sure to check out the schedule of events for things like the ax throwing contest, tight rope walk across the gorge, and the mariad of other festivities.
The Festival isn’t just for climbers – There are gear auctions, film and slide show presentations and a Kids Climbing Wall away from the gorge to get the little tykes started off right.
Over half of the annual operating capital needed to run the Ouray Ice Park is raised each year by the Ouray Ice Festival and it’s corporate sponsors. As the Festival has grown, so too has the Ice Park, and the relationship has directly resulted in the fine ice climbing venue that we are all able to enjoy each winter here in Ouray.
Slide show lineup:
- Thursday Night – Jason Nelson and Chad Peele
- Friday Night – Zoe Hart, Sam Elias and Emily Harrington
- Saturday Night - Conrad Anker movie “The Wildest Dream”
- Sunday Night – Barry Blanchard