Belay with Confidence in the Ouray Ice Park
With the Ouray Ice Park set to open this weekend (Saturday December 14th, 2013), we thought it would be a good time to cover some important considerations to take into account when establishing your belay stances and anchor systems while down in the canyon. In the video below, SJMG Guide Chad Peele demonstrates an excellent method by which you can belay your climbing partner, and not get pulled off of your belay stance.
Due to the configuration of the climbs in the Schoolroom area of the Ice Park, we will often observe people that have NOT clipped in to a back-tie anchor getting pulled dramatically off their feet when their climbing partner falls or needs to be lowered down the climb. In some cases, we have seen people get dragged through the creek once the weight of their climbers gets transferred to the belay device. This obviously creates a potentially hazardous situation for both belayer and climber. Simply put, it’s tough to give a good belay when you’re getting dragged through freezing water.
Watch the video below to learn about how to properly orient your belay and back-tie anchor set up. Though this video focuses on the Schoolroom Area, these techniques will be effective throughout the Ouray Ice Park climbing areas.