/ Colorado ice climbing
I'm thinking of heading to Colorado with my girlfriend for ice climbing from boxing Day until mid January. Has anyone who has been there got advice on the following...
A) I've read it gets busy. Given the festive period is it likely to be unbearably rammed?
B) is it suitable for novices? I bash about in gullies in the UK for a bit of winter fun but not been on proper sustained steep ice (though my girlfriend is more experienced).
C) any advice on accommodation? Seems very expensive at first glance (probably the season).
Thanks a lot
I live in Colorado. Colorado has excellent ice climbing and lots of it - from ramble-y east routes to some of the hardest ice and mixed. Yes, there will likely be other climbers around. However - Colorado is huge. If you avoid places like Ouray and Vail you will likely be able to find something that isn't too crowded, or may even be totally empty. Have a look on mountain project.com to get an idea of routes, etc...
If the two of you are relative novices, I might suggest ponying up for a few days in Ouray being toprope heros. Ouray is SUPER FUN so long as you go into it thinking "this is an outdoor ice climbing gym" and not "I'm here for a peaceful wilderness experience". Everything is toprope-able just about and you can get tonnes of milage in with very minimal effort. If you go on a weekday, you'll likely have the place (mostly) to yourself. The town is set up for climbing, too. If you get a hotel (can be found for $60ish/night or so with a shitty breakfast) in town, you can walk to the ice park. There is also a tonne of "backcountry ice" around too, should you want to explore. There is another ice park in Lake City, but it is much smaller and the town is... quaint. Will be cheaper than Ouray and caters more to noobs.
Thank you Graham. It sounds absolutely great! We can play in the ice parks getting a feel for it before venturing out to something more adventurous.
If we can find some cheapish accommodation and make the figures work I think we'll go for it. Probably around the Ouray area