The UIAA 2017 International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation Ice Climbing World Cup Tour made its first stop in Durango, Colorado, in December, thanks to local climbing ambassador and climbing coach Marcus Garcia.

Drawing on a pool of the world’s strongest competitors,  UIAA Ice Climbing competitors  from around the globe stepped up to the man-made routes outside popular Ska Brewing’s World Headquarters, where they, along with spectators, endured a variety of Colorado winter conditions, from sunshine to hail, snow to wind.

We took a candid look and spoke with climbers from several countries, to learn more about the sport that hopes to soon be an Olympic event.