Ouray Ice Fest

I had the opportunity to attend the Ouray Ice Climbing Festival last weekend. Some friends I met in town had an extra seat and invited me to tag along. Ice climbing is something I've never really had an understanding of. The closest I've been to anything of that sort is wearing microspikes for hiking and using an ice axe for keeping myself from going too fast when sliding on my butt down snowy passes in the Sierras. Nothing like these people dangling their bodies from a pick and climbing a vertical sheet of ice. It was pretty amazing, actually. There were people from all over the world there. And the ice park itself is something totally worth seeing, even if you don't climb. Its a narrow canyon about a mile long with ice running over the edges and down to the bottom. The park has a sprinkler system lining the top of the canyon that they run occasionally to maintain the ice, which sounds lame, but in reality it makes these beautiful cascading icicles that stack on top of each other all the way to the bottom. Its pretty spectacular. Anyway, here are some photos of our road trip and the festival.  

I could watch people ice climb for days. Its simply astounding, not only because its risky and requires a lot of skill, but because seeing a tiny figure master an indifferent mass of rock and ice is actually unbelievable. Its definitely one of the more aesthetic sports to photograph. I only wished I could've been there longer.

Thanks to Maddie, Alex, and the cutest pup at the festival, Ollie, for letting me tag along.