Climb Ouray’s Towers of IceOuray has found its groove as the country’s ice climbing capital. And apparently, chicks dig it. This winter, the tiny Victorian town ensconced in steep red canyons launched the first annual Betty Ice Ball, a series of clinics for female climbers and post-climb shindigs (chickswithpicks.net). If you miss the festival, though, San Juan Mountain Guides has a ready solution: the two-day Basic Ice Climbing Course, held on weekends between December and March ($320, including gear rental; ourayclimbing.com). In the Ice Park, students learn ax and crampon techniques, energy conservation tactics (use balance, not brute strength), belaying methods, and safety procedures. By the end of day one you’ll learn to suspend more than yourself while high off the ground in a frozen blue kingdom.
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