Vailís Firehouse area is another popular destination offering several climbs from the same approach trail. While the climbs here are shorter and less spectacular than the Designator Area, these climbs offer sustained steep sport-ice climbing on fat water ice or rock as fine as anywhere in the state.
Take I-70 West out of Denver to Vail Ski Area. Exit on Exit #180 and follow residential roads (Bighorn Rd) to a dead-end. Park here on the right side of the road clear of the fire hydrant (marked by a flag). Parking here is at will of the residents so be very respectful of private property and leave plenty of room for the residents to access their houses. Parking in the Vail area is already highly restricted. The availability of access to these climbs rests with the behavior of the climbing community. Donít spoil it for everyone. Continue along a trail parallel to the cliff for a few hundred yards. Follow a steep gully a couple hundred feet directly up to the obvious ice above, Lowe Gravity Day. To get to FireHouse Pillar, move left on a narrow trail around the arÍte, past an overhung bulge to the ice.
Eds. Apparently, there may have been a change in the parking situation as of 2008. Please be aware. Anyone with better information is welcome to help update this situation.
Per Rob Griz: Updated 2/10. It appears that the owner of one of the duplex units on Willow Way is not psyched to see climbers park respectfully there, and has been calling Vail PD to ticket cars. After talking with Vail PD, your only options are to park in the public lot, just off of the East Vail exit or further down the road at Big Horn Park lot (not actually a lot, more like parking along the street adjacent to the park). From either location, you will need to walk down Lupine Rd to Willow Way to access the trail. Not a big deal, but a hassle in a town that is clueless in dealing with their parking issues. If you can find parking near a bus stop, use that and ride the bus to the intersection of Big Horn and Lupine Rds.
work in progress, please be patient
Thanks to Colorado Mountain Journal for the info & to inspire the update.
A. Full Pressure, M?, 1p, bolts.
B. Firehouse Pillar, WI4-5, 1p, 70', screws. Varies in location annually.
CD. Feel the Pressure, M8- PG-13, 1p, 65', bolts.
D. Lowe Pressure, WI5 M6, 1p, 80', bolts & screws.
E. Curtain (various lines), WI3-4, 1p, 70', screws.
F. The West of The East, WI2, 1p, 80', screws.
A. Lowe Angle, M5, 1p, 80', gear & bolts.
B. West Corner, WI3+ M4, 1p, 95', gear.
C. 2nd Leftmost of Left of Right, WI4-5 M4, 1p, 95', TR?
D. The East of The West, WI3+, 1p, 95', screws.
DE1. Variation, WI3+ M3, 1p, 100', screws.
E1. Lowe Gravity aka Right of Right, WI4, 1p, 95', screws.
E2. Meat Puppets, WI5 M7+, 1p, screws & bolts, prow to curtain.
F. Eastern Xpansion, WI4+ M6+, 1p, 105', bolts & gear.
G. Rehab is for Quitters, M6+, 1p, 85', bolts.
H. Modus Operandi, M7-, 1p, 70', bolts.
I. Silver-Tongued Devil, WI5+ M6, 1p, 80', gear.
150m further right/west
J. Unknown, M6+, 1p, 85', gear.
15 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',12],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in Firehouse Area
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Firehouse Area:
WI5 M6-7 Mixed, Ice, 1 pitch, 85'
M6+ Mixed, 1 pitch, 85'
Featured Route For Firehouse Area
WI5 M6 CO
: CO Ice & Mixed
: ... : Firehouse Area
The route starts on the right side of Firehouse Pillar under the rock and ice cave. Start up the ice inside the cave and climb 20 feet to a ledge. Traverse left on the difficult ledge past two bolts. Clip a third bolt on the right face of a dihedral. Traverse left and up by puling the dihedral. Clip a fourth bolt on the face above the dihedral and move up the rock face over small ice blobs to the free-hanging ice. Clip one more bolt on a ledge and move onto the delicate ice. Climb t...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
News and Events For Firehouse Area
Latest Regional Forum Messages
BETA PHOTO: FireHouse area from I-70 on 01-22-10. Note that th...
|Comments on Firehouse Area
|By Jason Nupp|
From: Denver, CO
Dec 13, 2001
Climbed Pumphouse falls with Ben Schultz on 12/10. Solid WI3 to 3+. Middle section was pretty wet but held screws well, some mixed possibilities to the far left and right. Somebody has fixed webbing and rap rings to the tree at top-thanks!
|By Leo Paik|
From: Westminster, Colorado
Jan 21, 2002
1/19/02 Firehouse/Timber Falls area: Left of left pillar touches down with a cone, very chandeliered, and pretty brittle. Not sure it will take pro but it is vertical. There's a 2000 lb block that fell off not too long ago and a 400 lb mini pillar that fell off with a tool swing in the center. Right of right touches down in 2 spots now.
|By Bryan Gall|
From: New Castle, CO
Mar 1, 2004
Climbed Firehouse Left (right, center, & left) on Saturday 2/28/4. Suprisingly the whole area was still in pretty sweet shape. Left of left pillar was a hook fest; I didn't have to swing once. Got stuck in West Vail on my way home to New Castle because of a pile up on I-70; stopped in at "Bullcrabs" right at the exit; happy hour boasts $2 dollar pints, 50cent oysters on the half shell, & buckets of steamed shrimp and crawdads. An unusual after ice feast that I highly recommend...
|By Legs Magillicutty|
Feb 8, 2005
As usual, the climbing was fun out here 2 weeks ago but what I have to boast about was the descent off of the cliff. We slid on our butts ALL the way down to the base of the trail. It was like an amusement park ride, The Firehouse Alpine Slide. What a kick!
From: Arvada, CO
Jan 11, 2008
FYI; As of last weekend, two friends of mine received parking tickets at the trailhead parking for the climbs. I myself have always parked in that same spot for the past 5 years while climbing there, as well as other local guides and visitors. I never noticed anyone of us blocking access to the apparent vacation home cul-de-sac. I wonder if the owner complained or something, or the annoying vail PD are just getting more aggro.
|By Dan Welch|
From: Boulder, CO
Dec 28, 2009
Someone kindly shared these directions with me, thought I'd share with everyone.
Take the first Vail exit, 180 and go to the fire station that is in east Vail. To reach the climbs follow Bighorn Road south.
|By Rob Griz|
Feb 1, 2010
PARKING at the Firehouse! Updated 2/10. It appears that the owner of one of the duplex units on Willow Way is not psyched to see climbers park respectfully there, and has been calling Vail PD to ticket cars. After talking with Vail PD, your only options are to park in the public lot, just off of the East Vail exit or further down the road at Big Horn Park lot. From either location, you will need to walk down Lupine Rd to Willow Way to access the trail. Not a big deal, but a hassle in a town that is clueless in dealing with their parking issues. Griz