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Two Top Places for Ice Climbing

Dec. 29, 2018
Travel, Vacations & Trip Planning
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Rock climbing not extreme enough for you?

Want to add freezing temperatures and slippery walls to the mix? Ice climbing is the pinnacle of extreme sports. Scaling a vertical cliffside covered in ice with nothing but a couple axes and a pair of crampons is not for the faint of heart. So if you’re looking for your next big adventure travel, here are two top places to go ice climbing in America.

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Ouray, Colorado

Colorado, as a veritable playground for all manner of wintertime activities, hosts one of the country’s best ice climbing hot spots (or… cold spots?). The Ouray Ice Park is home to more than 200 ice and mixed climbs, most of which are within a 15-minute walk of the park’s entrance. The climbing season is December through March, and the annual Ouray Ice Festival, which is a major international gathering of world-famous climbers and gear manufacturers, takes place every January.

Valdez, Alaska

Still in the United States but a bit harder to reach for most American climbers, Valdez, Alaska is located on the northeast side of Prince William Sound. It is probably known to most as the terminus of one of the longest oil pipelines, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Valdez is the site of dozens of climbing walls and frozen waterfalls. The Keystone Canyon is perhaps the area’s best-known ice-climbing site. The Canyon is loved for its quality, length and accessibility. Keystone’s most popular walls are Keystone Greensteps and Bridalveil Falls. Other climbs can be found in Mineral Creek, Solomon Gulch, Hole in the Wall Canyon, Bear Creek and Sheep Creek. There is a 17-mile wall on the north side of the highway leaving Valdez, and a 19-mile wall west of the highway.

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