Frequently Asked Questions

What does Cirque offer?

We offer customized ice climbing, backcountry skiing, and rock climbing. We are based in Ouray, Colorado but run trips in many other locations including: Moab, Indian Creek, Black Canyon, Maple Canyon, Ouray Ice Park, Silverton, Eureka, Telluride, Cody, Lake City, Red Mountain Pass, 14ers, 13ers, the San Juan Mountains and international destinations. We can put together customized trips to most locations.

Where did the name Cirque come from?

Cirque is a geologic formation that is a glacier carved valley. It is also the name of a peak outside of Ouray, Colorado.

What makes Cirque awesome?

We are a small guide service that focuses on individualized climbing and skiing trips.  We are all fun to hang with and good human beings. AMGA Rock, Ski, and Alpine Guides are the foundation of Cirque. All of our guides work within the AMGA Scope of Practice.

Travel advice for visiting Ouray?

Ouray, Colorado is nestled in the San Juan Mountain range. Please visit getting to the San Juans.

What is the Ouray Ice Park?

The Ouray Ice Park is America’s #1 ice climbing destination.

What is the Ouray Via Ferrata?

Ouray Colorado is home to three via ferratas and just down the road is the Telluride via ferrata. These via ferratas offer something for everyone and are just a ton of fun. 

Why do ice climbers travel from all over the world to visit Ouray, Colorado and the Ouray Ice Park?

As Jason Nelson writes in this guide book Suffer Candy, the San Juans Mountains are “God’s gift to ice climbers.”

How do I learn to ice climb?

Ice climbing is a great sport for all fitness levels and abilities. Experienced rock climbers take to ice quickly. But people who have never climbed or think of themselves as “too weak” to ice climb often excel immediately under the expert coaching of a guide. Participating in a clinic or taking a private lesson with an AMGA Rock or Alpine Guide is the quickest and safest way to pick up this rewarding sport.

How do I learn to rock climb?

Rock climbing is a challenging, rewarding sport for all ages and skill levels.  You don’t need to be able to do a pullup or hang off one finger for an hour. If you want to learn, that’s all you need! Hire an AMGA Rock guide from Cirque to meet you where you’re at.  We’ll set you up with equipment, teach you cutting-edge techniques, and help you work towards your personal climbing goals.

How do I learn to backcountry ski?

Expert instruction from Cirque’s AMGA Ski Guides is the best way to get your feet under you.  With a clinic or a private lesson, you’ll learn about equipment, avalanche safety, uphill techniques, and pow skiing.