SCARPA Climbers Earn Top Positions At Ouray Ice Festival Comp

By Keith Cozzens
The Ouray Ice Festival

The Ouray Ice Festival

Climbers, families, locals and more descended upon Ouray, Colorado for the 15th annual Ouray Ice Festival. The event hosted ice-climbing clinics for all ages and abilities, over 50 vendors’ tents and an estimated 5,000 spectators. Not forgetting the entertainment, which included live music, a film and a superhero party for Saturday night. Jeff Lowe, a renowned mountaineer, who started the Ouray Ice Festival 15 years ago would be proud! But, the main event, is and always will be the competition! And this year, SCARPA cleaned up, or should we say “iced” the competitors.

Josh Wharton, SCARPA athlete, took the lead, and kept it, with an impressive climb on one of the most difficult competition routes ever; watch the video below. 2nd place belongs to Sam Elias, Greenwood, Colorado native, and talented climber with very few years of actual climbing under his belt, according to an interview with Urban Climber. Both reached high points during the comp with impressive, acrobatic moves on ice and rock. Ignoring their swollen hands, the two go into Ouray Ice Festival history with incredible ascents! But don’t take our word for it, check out the links below to read more about the event and the stories behind the stories…

  • Will Gadd’s attempt to climb 24-hours non-stop for fundraiser…
  • Guy Lacelle, renowned ice climber and winner of the 2000 and 2001 Ouray comp remembered
  • ChicksWithPicks bring women to ice climbing, great attendance at the festival…


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Keith Cozzens

Director of Client Services, Action Sports & Lifestyle