Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ice Climbing Progression

I recently had the pleasure of spending 3 days working with Steve and Mitch. They were on a father-son trip to Ouray to learn to ice climb. As an ice climbing instructor it is important to me to not only show guests a great time but to lay out a logical progression over multiple days. I strive to make each day challenging and educational and have each day build on the previous day's skills. By the end of a few days it is a joy to watch my guests make their way up Ouray's ultra classic ice climbs and say to themselves with a smile "I can't believe I did that!"

Steve, Mitch, and I spent a day in the Ouray Ice Park learning the fundamentals of ice climbing and laying the groundwork for the next two days. Day two we took on some small multi pitch climbs up camp bird road and practiced ascending and descending multiple pitches. Our final day took us to Ouray's famous ice climb The Ribbon. Steve and Mitch were lucky to climb this rarely forming classic. It was, in San Juan Mountain Guides owner Clint Cook's view, a proud tick. Hopefully it was a father-son trip Steve and Mitch will cherish for a long time to come.