Mixed Climbing Course Ouray, CO
With Andres Marin
Come learn the fundamentals and specialized climbing techniques of this demanding, yet emerging, discipline. SJMG Guide Andrés Marin is a leading mixed climber in the country. Andrés is an Ouray Ice Festival Competitor, and has represented the USA in various World Cups of Elite mixed climbing competitions.
In addition, he is fun to climb with and enjoys sharing his passion for mixed climbing with guests who are new to the sport, or would like to learn new techniques in the country’s best venue for ice and mixed climbing.
We guarantee you will get pumped, learn how to get less pumped, and have a lot of laughs in the process. The scheduled programs take place over two days, and as always you can schedule private guiding if you would like to arrange your own customized course. The skills learned on this program translate very well to mixed alpine climbing in destinations such as Alaska’s Ruth Gorge.
The mixed climbing course allowed me to really sharpen my mixed climbing and dry tooling skills. Andres is a very patient teacher who gently and safely helped me push my boundaries and get more comfortable climbing mixed routes. He was very flexible, adapting to both the situation and my requests/needs to become more competent on mixed terrain.” – Phil H., Mixed Course February, 2017
Mixed Climbing Course Itinerary
Meet at 0730 at our shop in at 725 Main St. in Ouray. We recommend grabbing breakfast and/or lunch from Backstreet Bagel across street. Your Course Leader will give you a quick briefing, help you fill out a couple forms, and fit you in whatever demo equipment you might need.
You will then carpool to the Ouray Ice Park for a full day of instruction. Return to the shop is usually between 1500 and 1600 depending on the group. The first day generally covers: Movement skills for up to M6 o M7 terrain, with special emphasis placed on developing techniques for conserving energy, increasing lactic acid tolerance, mental focus etc.
Meet at 0730. The group may decide to go to either the Skylight Area or return to the Ice Park to review fundamentals from Day 1, and then take off on more advanced climbs and alpine scenarios designed to maximize your learning through hands-on practice and feedback. We usually try to do at least one route on this day that maximizes dramatic photo opportunities as well. Leave the park around 1530. Check in rental gear and do a group debrief and give out completion certificates.
We have honed our curriculum and itinerary through many years of ice climbing instruction. These courses offer a great way to introduce yourself to the sport of ice climbing in a fun, more affordable group atmosphere.
Mixed Climbing Course Equipment List
- Water Bottles: 2 liters
- Small Thermos: Optional, but nice to have
- Day Pack: Approximately 35 – 50 liters.
- Lunch Food & Snacks
- Socks: A pair of heavy wool or polypropylene.
- Base Layers: tops and bottoms. Mid-weight, synthetic material.
- Mid-Layer: Versatile fleece or similar mid-layer piece.
- Soft Shell Jacket & Pants: Shoeller or similar soft shell jacket.
- Down Jacket or Insulated Parka
- Shell Jacket: Be sure that it will fit over all your other clothes. Gore-tex recommended.
- Shell Pants: With side zippers are best. Gore-tex recommended.
- Gloves: A pair of heavy gloves and a pair of thin weight gloves.
- Hat: Warm pile or wool hat. Try to size it so that it will fit comfortably under your helmet.
- Balaclava or BUFF: A must have for cold days and wind.
- Sunglasses: Category 3 or 4 lenses
- Sunscreen and Lip Balm: At least SPF 30.
- Digital Camera
- Personal First Aid Kit
Provided by SJMG, however, you are welcome to use your own.
- Harness with Ice Clippers
- Locking Carabiners: 2 pear shaped, wide mouth.
- Belay / Rappel device: ATC Guide or similar.
- Climbing Helmet
- Ice Climbing Boots
- Crampons: Mono point crampons are recommended, step in vertical point.
- Ice Tools: Technical Mixed Ice climbing tools. Ergonomic tools, such as the BD Fusion are recommended.
- Cordelettes: 2, 6-7mm, 20 feet lengths
- Spectra Runners: 2 double, 4 single
- Quickdraws: 4 – 6
Training & Follow Up Climbs
As always, being in excellent physical shape is an important component of our our programs. A good mixture of cardiovascular fitness, muscular fitness, and especially core strength will help you to maximize the potential rewards that are possible on a great climbing trip.
1Before Your Trip
Familiarity with basic climbing principles such as knots, belaying, rappelling, and rock climbing technique can be very helpful for our Intro Course participants. Though not required, prior rock climbing experience will help you to acquire and assimilate the information covered in our ice climbing course progression as quickly as possible.
2Follow Up Climbs
- Intermediate Ice – Ouray, CO
- Lead Seminar – Ouray, CO
- Pre-Season Training Camp – Ouray, CO
- Ruth Gorge Customs
We very much enjoyed our time in Ouray! The private 2-day climbing program was impressive. Our guide, Mark, was/is an excellent teacher. He took the time to build the skills for each of us, listened to the concerns and course corrected to ensure we were achieving what we wanted to achieve. Basically, Mark rocks! We look forward to coming back. – J. Bowers, 2011 Private Program
Ouray, Colorado: Getting Here
Ouray is located in the SW corner of Colorado, approximately 30 minutes south of Montrose. Known as “The Switzerland of America”, the town of Ouray is a vibrant outdoor oriented community. All local businesses are very friendly to the ice climbers who flock each winter to climb in the Ouray Ice Park and surrounding areas.
Flights: The best option for flying to the area is to fly into Montrose, CO. Many airline options exist, and most connections originate from Denver, CO. It is also possible to fly into Durango, CO, Telluride, CO, or Albuquerque, NM. It may be necessary to rent a car and drive to Ouray if you’d like to fly into one of either of these airports.
- TelluRides offers shuttle services from Montrose to Ouray.
Driving: Below are some approximate driving times if you’d like to drive to Ouray. If you plan on renting a car, please consider the winter weather when selecting your vehicle and at a minimum choose something that offers either front wheel or all-wheel drive.
- Montrose, CO: 45 mins
- Durango, CO: 2 hours
- Denver, CO: 6 hours
- Albuquerque, NM: 4.5 hours
- Salt Lake City, UT: 6 hours
Hotels: Ouray has a number of great hotels, suites, and vacation rentals for you to stay in while you’re in the area. Give our office a call at 800-642-5389 if you have any questions about what would suit you best for this trip!
- Cost Includes:
- Guiding and instruction
- Group climbing equipment (ropes, ice screws etc.),
- Harness, helmet, ice tools, crampons and ice boots
- Not Included:
- Transportation to Ouray, CO
- Hotel costs before, during or after the courses
- 5% land use surcharge
- Trip cancellation insurance – recommended
- Personal climbing clothing
- Guide gratuity
- Registration and Cancellation:
- Advance Registration is required for this program. You have the option to either call our office and register via phone, fill out our pdf Registration Form and send it in via fax or email, or utilize our secure Online Reservation System. All participants must read and sign an Assumption of Risks/Liability Waiver and agree to our Reservations and Cancellations Policies.