For many people the Ouray Ice Park and front country ice climbing is the extent of their ice climbing horizons. However, for the first time this year among the many terrific seminars offered at the Ouray Ice Festival, participants had the chance to hone their skills on backcountry ice in a seminar run by athlete and super guide Angela Hawse and Me.
Climbers in the seminar learned to negotiate the varieties in character of backcountry ice. We went up to Senator's Gulch up on Camp Bird Road. We got a rope up on a steep pillar, another on some dead vertical fat blue ice, and the last on some cauliflower.
Even though the Fest is over, the backcountry ice and skiing is great and getting better. With all the new snow and cold weather the powder is deep and the ice is fattening. If you are looking to expand your climbing horizons, consider getting out into the backcountry with the SJMG team.