Created: Fri, 10 Jan 2014 12:49:00 MST
Updated: Sun, 12 Jan 2014 01:27:35 MST
OURAY, Colo. - The 19th Annual Ouray Ice Festival kicked off Thursday and brought climbers and spectators from around the world.
"It's the gathering of all the people, it's so much fun, from people who don't know anything about ice climbing and they just want to check it out, to some of the world's most famous athletes here competing," said Ouray Ice Park president Mike MacLeod. "It's just this great gathering of people and then the really cool thing is the entire town of Ouray steps up to volunteer and help us pull it off."
The Ouray Ice Park has been farming ice for weeks in preparation for the weekend event.
Professionals will compete and climbing clinics will be held for novice climbers.
"It's fun, it's a lot of fun," said outdoor athlete ambassador Emilie Drinkwater. "Steep ice, at least what I've been put on so far. But it does seem like a good variety."
"It's one of the most amazing, athletic test pieces in the industry and it's pretty cool to watch," said outdoor athlete ambassador Mark Allen.
"You can just show up. We'll put boots, cramp-ons, harness on you, give you some tools, give you a few pointers and try it out. If you've never tried ice climbing and you want to try it, this is the weekend to do it and you can do it for free," said MacLeod.
For more information on the festival and a schedule of events click here.