Ouray Ice Park Rules
Welcome to the uncompahgere gorge Recreation area & the ouray ice park (Area starts at 3rd ave. & box canyon falls road, extends south to county road 361 then along west side of gorge to 100 feet south of the hydro dam. the dam is specifically excluded.)
Use of this recreation area is by permission of Federal Agencies, County of Ouray, City of Ouray, and private landowners. No person shall be denied access to this area on the basis of race, color national origin, age or handicap. Your continued use and enjoyment is conditioned on the following:
1. The permitted uses are: Hiking, Mountain Biking, Backcountry Skiing, & Rock & Ice Climbing. All other uses are specifically prohibited and violators will be prosecuted for trespass.
2. Their is no charge for your use and it is therefore subject to the Colorado public recreational use statute, CRS, 33-41-101, et seq, the Colorado landowner liability statute CRS, 13-21-115(1.5) The conservation easement provisions of CRS, 38-30.5-101, et seq. and the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act.
3. If you choose to use this recreation area you are voluntarily assuming the risks of known and unknown hazards that exists thereon including, but not limited to: steep unguarded cliffs; slippery surfaces; steep and unmaintained walkways, trails and roadways; loose and unstable rocks and ice, falling objects; and the conduct of other users.
4. Please respect the private and public ownership of this property and...
A. Act in a safe & reasonable manner.
B. Be courteous to other users.
C. Stay on existing trails and roadways.
D. Remove all trash & equipment
E. Climbers - Do not anchor to any metal or wooden objects constructed as part of the penstock system (large metal pipe).
REMEMBER: IF WE ABUSE IT....WE LOSE IT!
Ice Park Etiquette
Just like on the ski slopes or your local biking and hiking trails, there are some basic steps you can take here at the Ouray Ice Park that will make your experience and that of everyone around you a better one that will be fair for all. Following the Ouray Ice Park rules is the perfect place to start!
- The Park doesn't open until 8am on weekdays and 7:30am on weekends, and it always closes at 4pm.
- Always wear crampons and a helmet in climber only areas and while in the gorge. And please remember that there are no dogs allowed down in the gorge.
- There is no reserving of anchors and there are no unattended ropes allowed. Basically, if you are not climbing on a rope, or using an anchor, even for a couple of minutes, you should take it down so that others can enjoy that climb. Closed climbs and areas are closed for a reason, so please respect these closures at all times. Closed areas are clearly marked with bamboo, poly rope and signage.
- Please set up only the number of routes you can efficiently use. For example, a party of two should only have one rope set up at a time. You should be moving onto a new route at least every three hours. If you are planning on leading a route, you should have the anchor at the top of that route occupied so other climbers know that you are below and climbing. If you see an anchor with no rope on it, there is a potential that someone is leading the route below it. Soloing is discouraged.
- For your own safety, it is a good idea to always be alert and aware of climbers near you. Keep your head up, and never turn your back to the ice. Belayers should always position themselves in an area where they are out of the line of fire from falling ice. While you are climbing, whenever you knock loose a piece of ice you should be yelling "ICE!" to alert all of those around you to the potential danger, and never throw the ice to one side or the other. Instead, let it drop below you.
- Knocking ice down for the sake of knocking it down is frowned upon. The ice farmers are working hard to build that ice and try and get it to connect to the rest of the climb. Another thing to keep in mind is the proximity of yourself to other climbers. If someone is way up on a route and your rope is nearby, you should probably wait until they return to the ground until you start your ascent to minimize the potential of you getting hit by their ice chunks. This is also true when a climber is down low on a route and you are in the same proximity as them, where you will be lowering from the top; wait until they get back up to avoid knocking ice down on them. Often times climbing side by side is a convenient way to address the previous two situations.
- There are many different styles of climb, belaying and setting anchors. If someone is doing something different than you are used to, that doesn't mean it is wrong. If you are very concerned for their safety either contact the Ouray Ice Park staff or politely have a conversation with them.
- Please use the outhouses and porta-potties to relieve yourself. If you do take a pee in the Park, kick some snow over it and do so away from the ice, anchors and any other Park infrastructure.
- Smokers, please be aware of and respect those around you. There is no weed smoking allowed in the Park.
- Parking is only allowed in town, at the turn on county road 361 between the rescue barn and the upper bridge, or at the large parking area located at the turn on U.S. Highway 550 across from the Five Fingers area. Drop-offs in any area other than the two parking lots are not allowed; the ice farmers and staff need this access. The only exception to this are for handicap access and with special permission from Park staff.
Remember you are in Ouray and we are all at the Park to enjoy and challenge ourselves. Be happy, say hello, and watch out for each other. Together we can make everyone's experience one to remember for a lifetime! Here's to winter!
Ouray is likely the only city in the world where it is illegal to be without crampons and a helmet. In addition to the rules listed below, please be aware of “Area Specific Rules” posted throughout the Ouray Ice Park. Above all… Be courteous. Respect your fellow climbers.
per chapter 13 of the ouray municipal code, It shall be unlawful:
Crampons and helmet required...
- To enter the Uncompahgre Gorge or be climbing without wearing crampons and a helmet or be in an area designated as “climber only” without wearing crampons.
- For an individual under the age of 18 to enter the Park without a supervising adult.
For any owner or custodian of any animal to fail to have the animal under effective and immediate control of the owner or custodian by leash, cord, chain or other restraining device at all times that such animal is within the Ice Park. No animals, except service animals, are permitted at the bottom of the Uncompahgre Gorge.
To attach climbing anchors to any manmade structures within the Park, except for established fixed anchors such as chain and bolt anchors. Anchors may not be placed on or impede with the ice producing system.
For any unauthorized individual to enter or remain within the Ice Park after 5 p.m. or before 7:30 a.m. from December 1st through March 31st for the purposes of ice climbing.
To leave ropes, anchoring material or other items on a climbing route unused or unattended with the intent to reserve that climbing route.
For non-commercial groups of eight or more persons to occupy more than two climbing routes, as designated, in a specific area, or occupy any one route for more than three hours.
- To conduct any commercial activities or uses within the Ice Park are subject to Section 13-22 of the Ouray City Code without permission from the City.