Saturday, January 20, 2018
On Saturday I headed down to Ouray, located at the edge of the San Juan Mountains, to attend the 23rd Annual Ouray Ice Festival. Even though I am not an ice climber, or any other kind of climber for that matter, I have been going to this event for a number of years because it’s fun to watch and photograph the ice climbers, plus it’s not too far from home. According to a member of the Board of Directors for the Ouray Ice Park, this year had the highest attendance of any Ouray Ice Festival to date!
I left home shortly before sunrise, grabbed some breakfast along the way and headed south through Delta and Montrose on my way to Ouray. When I arrived at the ice park I walked around for a few hours while watching and photographing the Elite Mixed Climbing Competition and other climbers enjoying the park. If you are interested in checking out photos from previous years, here are my last two trip reports on the blog:  . Now onto the photos from this year!
Welcome to the Ouray Ice Park.
Here’s a photo of the 2018 ice sculpture that was still being worked on.
Random climbers I photographed between the two bridges over the Uncompahgre River…
I caught three climbers here…
This is a little something different from me this year. Since I had a pretty good vantage point when Rudi Hauser #19 was competing in the Elite Mixed Climbing Competition, I took this series of photos during his climb, and watched him make it to the top! After checking the stats, it looks like he finished in 8th place of the competition this year.
The transition from rock to ice.
Nearing the top…
All twisted up…
As is the tradition of the festival, he enjoys a victory shot of tequila from the top of the wall.
Just a few more climbers on the ice in the Uncompahgre Gorge.
I haven’t seen ice climbing myself. I love the clarity and closeness in your captures of the climbers!
Thanks! It helps to have a long lens when photographing the climbers.
Next time you are in Ouray stop in for a drink at the distillery. I started following your blog for trail routes to direct customers earlier this Fall!
John-K J Wood Distillers 929 Main St. Ouray.
Thanks John! I probably won’t be back into Ouray until mountain climbing season starts for me in June or July.