Head to Colorado’s backcountry and have a blast on an exhilarating ice climbing adventure in the quaint mining towns of Ouray and Silverton. Explore the frozen structures and various routes ranging from single-pitch roadside crags to breathtaking 1000 ft mixed climbing routes, and you’re guaranteed to find something just right for you. Let your professional guide navigate you through various backcountry ice climbing crags and tailor an unforgettable adventure specific to your goals!
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Ouray and Silverton, CO, please refer to Colorado’s COVID-19 Travel Guidelines and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get on this adventure:
- An experienced, local ice climbing guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- A full day of ice climbing
- Group equipment (climbing rope, rock/snow/ice protection, anchor material, stove and fuel)
What’s not included:
- Personal clothing and climbing gear
- Food and snacks
If you can climb a ladder, you’re good to go. Being in good shape is always a plus but far from necessary. Ice climbing is all about using good movement technique rather than muscling up ice structures using brute strength. You’ll also need to be able to go on a 30-45 minute approach hike. To ensure you have a fun day, your guide will choose routes that best suit your skill and fitness level.
Ouray and Silverton have plenty of options for beginner ice climbers. Whether you’ve never ice climbed before or are transitioning from the rocks to the ice, your guide will customize the day to suit your skill level and objectives. With a guide by your side, you’ll learn something new, stay safe on the ice, and most importantly, have fun!
For intermediate to advanced ice climbers, Ouray and Silverton have loads of routes to spend the day on, including jaw-dropping 1000 ft WI4 routes and challenging mixed climbing test-pieces. Your guide will discuss your objectives and customize the day to your goals. Let your guide plan the day so you can focus on developing your skills while ice climbing the classic routes or best hidden gems the area has to offer.
All group equipment will be provided by your guiding service and the rest can be rented. If you have your own gear, feel free to bring it. You’ll need:
- Climbing helmet (UIAA certified)
- Vertical frontpoint crampons and crampon pouch
- Technical ice tools
- Tubular belay device with round bar stock locking carabiner
- Sewn nylon sling (48 in/120 cm)
- Two or three locking carabiners and one or two non-locking carabiners
- Two ice clippers
- V-thread tool
- Prusik loop — optional
- Accessory cord (20 feet 6 mm) — optional
- Ice tool tether (umbilical style) — optional
- Ice screw (22 cm) — optional
Here’s a list of the equipment we suggest you bring:
- Sun hat and warm hat thin enough to fit under the helmet
- Insulated parka
- Neck gaiter
- Synthetic underwear
- Sports bra for women
- Heavyweight socks
- Mixed and softshell climbing gloves
- Midweight top base layer
- Heavyweight bottom base layer
- Midweight fleece jacket
- Midweight vest — optional
- Active insulation jacket
- Softshell jacket and pants
- Crampon-compatible mountaineering boots
- Snowshoes or approach skis — optional
- Sunscreen and lip balm
- Small first aid kit
- Water bottle and 2L of water
- High-energy food and snacks you can eat on-the-go
- Trekking pole with snow basket
- Knife — optional
- Hand warmers — optional
- Headlamp with fully charged batteries
- Climbing backpack (35 liters with ice tool attachments) — can be rented
Your guide will provide a more detailed equipment list before your trip. If rental gear is needed, please inform your guide of your specific needs in advance of the trip.
Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.
Group sizes and prices:
- The max. Guest-to-guide ratio for this adventure is usually 3:1.
- Costs per person decrease as the group grows for this adventure, so it’s the perfect opportunity to climb with friends and family.
Ice climbing days in Ouray and Silverton can be arranged for bigger groups. Contact us prior to booking.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
- Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to climb on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
If your group has ice climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
To get to Ouray and Silverton, most people fly into Denver International Airport about 6 hours away from Ouray and Silverton. From there, you can rent a car and drive to Ouray and Silverton. Alternatively, you can take a local flight to Montrose, CO, and rent a car or take a shuttle to Ouray, where most routes begin.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet. Most routes begin by meeting in Ouray at first light and involve a 30-45 minute approach hike—an early start ensures a more relaxed and secluded day ahead of other parties and gives flexibility on longer routes. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.