Ice climbing and the climate crisis

A dirtbag ice climber and a wookie walk into the Ouray Brewery.

“What are you drinking?” the bartender asks them.

They order shot after shot of ice cold Rumple Minze.

“What’s wrong with those two?” a fellow yet far less ambitious imbiber asks.

“Today was the day the ice died,” the climber and wookie answer in unison before passing out.

This is not the article I recently wrote for, an Australian-based digital publication, about the intersection of ice climbing and climate change. Nor is it very funny. Because the Ouray Ice Park and the sport of ice climbing really are in danger.

But honestly, who cares? With entire coastal communities, forested communities, species, and coral reefs existentially threatened by climate change, how do we have any empathy or attention to spare for phenomenon like ice climbing or skiing going extinct in a warming world?

While there are far bigger problems to focus on, I couldn’t help but do a quick investigation into how the Ouray Ice Park, one of my favorite places in the world, will fare as winter shortens and becomes more temperate.

Check out the story, with testimony from the Ice Park director, an ice farmer, and climbers.

Ouray Ice Park

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