Ouray Ice Festival starts tomorrow and runs through Saturday

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From the Montrose Daily Press:

Elite ice-climbing athletes will strut their stuff Thursday through Sunday on the sheer ice cliffs of Ouray. The 14th annual Ouray Ice Festival provides visitors a free opportunity to meet top ice-climbers and attend more than 80 climbing clinics for everyone from beginners to experts. Top manufacturers of climbing gear also will be on hand to show off their wares.

Young mountaineers can try the sport at the Ouray Ice Park Kids Area. Observers can cheer on mountaineer Will Gadd as he challenges himself to the “Endless Ascent” — a 24-hour climb up 30,000 vertical feet of ice — to raise money for the dZi Foundation. The Ridgway-based foundation helps people in the most remote Himalayan communities of India and Nepal — building schools, sanitary facilities and clean-water taps, among other things. The festival also will feature gear auctions, films and slide-show presentations.

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