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OURAY, Colo. (KDVR) — People say that once you get mountain climbing in your blood, you just want more. Maybe that is why so many climbers will continue their season well into the winter.

It’s called ice climbing and it’s popular, it’s dangerous, and it’s right here in Colorado.

To the casual observer, the first question might be, “Why on Earth would anybody want to climb a vertical sheet of ice?”

“We have been climbing in the mountains for centuries. With technology, we’ve been able to climb steeper and steeper routes,” said Todd Rutledge, Mountain Trip co-owner.

Compared to other forms of climbing, like on terra firma, trying to get a safe grip on frozen H2O is, well, kind of dangerous. 

“The sound when you sink a tool in ice is just so satisfying, you get this thunk,” said Rutledge.

Ice climbing is a kinship of people who share this risky passion. They all look forward to the annual Ouray Ice Festival.

“It is a four-day event that is a combination of competition, a reunion of old friends and a party,” said Rutledge.

Rutledge not only talks the spice but climbs the ice. He is a climber himself and loves the chilly challenge that is ice climbing.

“Learning certain skills that allow you to sink an ice tool into the frozen mass of ice in a way that you can hang onto it and trust, essentially, your life to it,” said Rutledge.

Colorado is a destination location for ice climbers from around the free world. All you need is to be here in the winter with a sense of adventure, one you can only find in outdoor Colorado.