(open to all ice climbing levels)




January 23 & 24, 2023


The Ouray Ice Park is the best venue in North America to learn to ice climb.  It is the sort of place where you can show up as a person and leave as a climber.  Or show up as a climber and leave as a send-bot. If, of course, you have excellent instruction!

Never kicked crampons or flicked picks into ice?   You’ll start off by learning how to stay warm and dry (this is CRITICAL- and actually a skill rather than a disposition or body-type.  If you are warm, you’ll have more fun. And the best climber is the one having the most fun!).  We’ll move on to skill progression lessons on the ground, and then get you climbing up that ice. One bite at a time.


Seasoned ice hero?   We’ll get you working through steep ice movement skills and technical systems (anchors, top belays, lowering… all depending on where you’re at). You fancy? We can do fancy!


IRIS guides are EXCELLENT educators;   skilled at communicating and coaching, great at taking a big concept and breaking it into digestible steps, and dedicated to facilitating an educational environment where participants can absorb and apply the information. 


The folks you’ll climb with will become fast friends.   And a two day program will be enough time to make progress on your ice climbing -and build new belaytionships- while keeping you fresh for your return to the office. Join us!

**This itinerary is subject to change. 


January 23:

7:30am: Meet @ Ouray Inn

8am-4pm: Climb in the Ouray Ice Park


January 24:

7:45am: Meet @ The Ouray Ice Park Entrance

8am-3pm: Climb in the Ouray Ice Park

3:30pm: Trip Wrap-Up / Hang Out and Happy Hour Location @ Ouray Inn


2 Days of Guided Climbing in the Ouray Ice Park

4:1 Guest to Guide Ratio

minimum of 2; maximum of 8

Ice Climbing Gear: Harness, Helmet, Ice Tools, Technical Ice Climbing Boots, Crampons (if you have your own personal gear, please bring)


Not Included:

Meals and Personal Snacks


Transportation to/from/while in Ouray

Personal Climbing Clothing

Guide Gratuity

Travel Insurance (highly recommended!)

Incurred costs by leaving a trip early

Incurred costs as a result force majeure


Travel Recommendations:

Closest Airports: Montrose (MTJ) & Grand Junction (GJT)


Hotel Recommendation: 

Ouray Inn

(970) 325-4445

West, 120 6th Ave. Ouray, CO 81427

IRIS guests receive a 10% discount at the Ouray Inn. After IRIS registration, guests will receive a booking code to utilize on the Ouray Inn website or while booking over the phone. A to-go breakfast will be provided if you alert the Ouray Inn a week in advance of your program start date.

**This list is a guideline. You do not need the exact layers but will need something of similar warmth. If you have questions please ask us.**


Climbing Clothing

Baselayer Top Wool Recommended (100-150 weight)

Breathable Insulation Layer Fleece (such as Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoodie or Patagonia R1)

Medium Weight Puffy Jacket

Down Vest (optional: recommended if you run cold)

Hard Shell Jacket (waterproof)

Belay Puffy Jacket or Parka (such as Black Diamond Belay Parka)

Long Underwear Wool or Synthetic (150-200 weight)

Soft-shell climbing pants (such as OR Iceline Pant)

Puffy Pants or Puffy Skirt (optional: these are great for belaying and if you run cold)

2-3 Pairs of Gloves (lightweight to heavyweight: such as BD Terminator or CAMP Gecko Pro Ice and BD Legend)

Warm Hat (to be worn under a helmet)

Buff/Neck Gaiter

Sunglasses (for sun and eye protection)

2-3 Pairs of Wool Ski or Snowboard Socks (light to medium weight cushion)


Climbing Equipment

Backpack 35-40L (such as Black Diamond Speed 40)

2 Total Liters of Water (one of which should be a thermos 🙂

6 pks Handwarmers

Food / Snacks About 1lb per day (jerky, nuts, candy bars, protein bars, Twinkies, cheese, dried fruit, etc.)

Sunscreen and Chapstick


We provide the following or you are welcome to bring your personal gear if you already own it:


Belay Device


Ice Climbing Crampon w/ Vertical Front Points (not mountaineering crampons)

Technical Ice Climbing Boot (crampon compatible with toe and heel welt)

Ice Tools


Kristin Arnold guide and climber

IFMGA Mountain Guide
AMGA Ski Guide
AMGA Alpine Guide
AMGA Rock Guide

Sheldon Kerr climber

IFMGA Mountain Guide
AMGA Ski Guide
AMGA Alpine Guide
AMGA Rock Guide

Heidi Wirtz climber and guide

AMGA Rock Guide
AMGA Apprentice Alpine Guide