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Workshops Description

in development

Ouray Canyon Safety Workshop


Topics will include:

  • Mountain/Alpine environment - Special challenges related to the alpine environment: weather, altitude, sun exposure etc.

  • The Canyons - Loose, slick, SHARP rock edges. Natural/bolt anchors. Down-climbing (slick rock).  

  • Crowding -This will likely be the highest number of people in Ouray canyons during one week. Safety issues associated with lots of people in the same canyon. Loose rock/rock fall. Crowding/bottle necks at anchors (suggest staggered morning starts particularly in canyons like Angel and Oak, Cascade w/ its multiple bail out points). Willingness to assist parties having difficulties etc.

  • Water - Not sure what water levels are like but if they’re high or if people are inexperienced w/ water the usual caveats.

Weather - Afternoon storms – start early and check weather before going in to canyons later

  • Flashes – USUALLY not as intense as other canyon locations, but the bigger problem is even a small amount of water increase can start moving rocks (i.e. dangerous at rappels).  Only a few canyons have good exits, but many have safe places to wait out a flash. Pull ropes from rappel if waiting out a flash, as falling rocks can damage ropes.

  • Hypothermia – Have adequate cold protection

Anchor 3
Anchor 4

Basic First Aid Skills - The skills every canyoneer should possess (not offered this year)


Introduction to the skills every canyoneer should possess. The course will be taught by Ruth Stewart a Ouray county EMT and canyoneer. The course will be taught from a "canyoneers" point of view and will cover basic first aid skills and what the canyoneer should consider carrying in their kit.


The basic plan for the class will be to do a little show and tell of what sorts of emergency supplies you typically carry in your pack, discuss the decision tree for self-rescue vs. needing a rescue team, talk a bit about some trauma things (since that the most likely type of emergency to have to deal with in a canyon), and do some hands on practice.


So if all of you would plan to bring your canyon kits, or at least anything you would consider emergency supplies, that would be great!


This is precisely the type of knowledge we all want our canyon partners to possess.

This clinic is free but a minimum of three (3) student registrants is required.

Anchor 1

Traverse/Hand line


Introduction to the skills of setting up different traverse lines, fixed, retrievable, and with a partner. The course will be taught by Eric

In Ouray traverse lines are used in many of the canyons for safety and to reduce rope abrasion

points. We will cover the many ways to set up and retrieve a traverse line, plus how to use a handline when one is set up.

Bring your harness for practice.

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