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Killer Winter Weekend: Ouray

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1) Soak it up at the Ouray Hot Springs

This massive 1,000,000-gallon mineral hot springs is set at the foot of the San Juan Mountains’ rugged skyline. Divided into threes sections – hot, shallow and deep – the waters come directly from their source just a mile south in a box canyon near the Uncompahgre Gorge. From boron to sulfate to lithium to calcium, the elements in these waters are said to promote anti-aging, bone health, muscle repair and brain function. Do yourself a favor and take a dip.

2) Chill out

The Ouray Ice Park is a world class destination for ice climbing, but you don’t have to be an expert to have some fun. World renowned Alpininst Conrad Anker, captain of the The North Face climbing team, said he’s been coming to the park for decades, and that it is a unique opportunity for climbers of all abilities.

“It’s got a lot of ice in a very concentrated area,” Anker said. “Here you’re climbing instantly – you can get a lot of time in and really improve your skills.”

3) Be sweet

Mouse’s Chocolates, a chocolatier owned and operated boutique is also beloved for its in-house coffee roasts, plus the fact they use only Belgian chocolate. Try the dark chocolate marzipan mice, the white chocolate chai truffle, the milk chocolate almond bark or grab a few scrap cookies. Still hungry? Join the chocolate of the month club and have it sent to your door.

4) Drink it in

Swing by The Ouray Brewery and grab a seat a the bar – and keep swinging. Made from cable from a Utah gondola, these swinging bar chairs are perfect for sampling the pub’s wide selection of craft beer, brewed next door. While they’ve won a Best Summer Beer award at the infamous San Juan Brew Fest with their Camp Bird Blonde Ale, don’t shy away from Stormy’s Imperial Stout, with eight percent alcohol to warm up those icy mitts. And speaking of warm, try the Box Canyon Brown. A contender at the Great American Beer Festival, this sipper is best enjoyed a little warm, when its caramel and nut flavors come to life. Not only are the brews top quality, the menu is hearty as well. Try the pulled pork sandwich, served with coleslaw and house-made Bar-B-Que

5) Don’t go it alone

With their shop right downtown, a few blocks from the Ouray Ice Park, San Juan Mountain Guides are among the tops guide services in the world, traveling the globe to climb and ski. Co-owner Nate Disser calls the San Juan range some of the best climbing he’s ever done, and he’s got quite a resume. “I’ve guided all throughout North America and South America, the North Cascades, Alaska, Denali, Ecuador, Peru, but every time I come back to the San Juans, I’m just reminded – what a fantastic place to train, and what a lifetime worth of pursuits we have here.”

From days in the park to ski mountaineering, avalanche education and trips around the world, SJMG has you covered.

Contact editor Brandon Mathis, bmathis@bcimedia.com, 970-375-4576

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