Youve got to love ice climbers, says Erin Eddy, executive director of the Ouray Ice Park. Anybody whos up for playing in the snow and ice when its 5 degrees out is somebody who loves the outdoors and has a positive attitude. And the annual Ouray Ice Festival, presented by Asolo and Rock and Ice magazine, is made for anyone who fits those frozen parameters, whether its kids who want to take ice climbing classes or the worlds most experienced climbers looking to take on new competition routes.
To hold the event, the non-profit ice park and the Ouray Chamber of Commerce tap into the towns 500,000-gallon water tank to shower a mile-long stretch of gorge into one giant, man-made winter playground. The festival, which kicks off tonight at 6:30 p.m. on Ourays Main Street and runs through Sunday, features climbing clinics, gear auctions, adventure films, sponsor swag and slide shows; it typically raises about half the revenue necessary to keep the Ouray Ice Park running throughout the season.