Ouray Ice Park Needs Our Help: ‘Our Water Our Future’ Campaign

Ouray Ice Park in Ouray, Colo., is a must-do on any ice climber’s list. But just like your local crag, increasing pressures burden limited resources. And the primary resource is water — lots of it.

The current water supply for Ouray Ice Park is limited to the city’s overflow. There isn’t enough water to farm ice for the entire park. The park saw 22,000 visitors last year, and a 9% increase this year, all free of charge. This all leads to overcrowding and its negative effects.

Ouray Ice Park ‘Our Water Our Future’ Campaign

Ouray Ice Park announces its Our Water Our Future campaign with this video. This effort aims to increase the water supply five-fold without impacting the environment.

The campaign’s goal is a cool $1 million, and private donations have already garnered $250,000. In this video, Executive Director Peter O’Neill asks climbers to donate an additional $250,000. He explains how this money will secure the park’s future, not only for the climbers but for the town. The park is its primary economic driver in the winter months.

The Our Water Our Future campaign will provide the funds necessary to draw and store water from the confluence of Canyon Creek and the Uncompahgre River to farm ice in the winter. This supply will be independent of the town’s water. And because melt-off will return it to the Uncompahgre River each spring, the impact will be negligible.

If all goes to plan, the entirety of the ice park, including new sections, will have the required resources for PHAT ice! And the increased water supply and frozen formations will allow climbers to spread out and should keep routes from getting beat up so badly.

Take a look at the video for an explicit explanation, and donate if you can!

Runtime: 5 minutes

ouray ice park
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Seiji Ishii
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Seiji Ishii is the climbing and cycling editor at Gear Junkie and has enjoyed a lifetime of outdoor adventure and sports, from participant and competitor to coach and trainer, and finally as an editorial contributor. His interests have spanned cycling, climbing, motorcycling, backpacking, and training for all of it. He has also designed outdoor and off-road motorcycling gear. He lives in Wimberley, TX, with his daughter and a small herd of pets. Read more of his musings at seijisays.com.

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