Monday, December 17, 2007

Ouray Ice Climbing

On Saturday, the Ouray Ice Park opened. It was a very sunny and chilly day, just perfect for ice! I signed up for a clinic sponsored by Ouray Realty and Investment and San Juan Mountain Guides. For a couple of hours in the morning, I actually kicked ice. It was very exhilarating and a real thrill.

My instructor was a very mild mannered guy named Kevin. He was very nice, easy going and patient. He helped me get equipped (the San Juan Mountain Guides loaned me all the necessary gear) with crampons, boots, and the appropriate hand tools.

With great prowess, he demonstrated and explained a few things and we were off. We were on the Kids climbing wall (It isn't just for Kids anymore!) and we made a couple of climbs. Learning how to kick your feet into the ice, balance on the smallest of edges, maneuver the ice axes, and navigate the terrain were all challenges.

My hands were the sorest part of my body. I gripped the ice axes with a death grip and at the end of the day, they were very, very tired and sore. Other than that, no serious pain!

I am not going to say I am an addict at this point, but, I did sign up for more instruction next week. The 1/2 day intro to ice class is a real winner. For a little more than a downhill ski ticket, you too can experience the thrill and it includes the equipment. I highly recommend it.

Karen @ Box Canyon Lodge

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