The 2016 Ridgway School Learn To Ice Climb program capitalized on the Ouray Ice Park, a unique community resource to introduce Ridgway 9th grade students to the spectacular sport of ice climbing. Over three Wednesdays in January and February, the students learned how to ice climb under the professional guidance of Ouray County’s two local guide services, Peak Mountain Guides and San Juan Mountain Guides. The guide services kindly provided their services at cost in order to support the program. Funding was provided by the George Gardner Scholarship Fund and the Mount Sneffels Education Foundation.
With fantastic ice conditions, great weather, and excited students, the program was a huge success. Everyone learned how to swing the ice tools, kick the crampons, hold the rope for a friend, and climb the ice! Most importantly, as they learn skills for ice climbing, they also learned about teamwork, trust, and overcoming challenges. The challenge and excitement of ice climbing creates a potent environment for personal growth. After ice climbing each morning, the group spent the afternoon at the Ouray Hot Springs where they debriefed the experience and hopefully learned some of the deeper life lessons that could be gleaned from the experience.
We at the GGSF are very happy to support this valuable experiential learning opportunity for Ridgway 9th graders.