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 ADVANCED
Rigid Designator Amphitheatre
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
"Dolly Madison" S 
"Unnamed" S 
7th Chakra T,S 
7th Testicle T,S 
Aberrant Behavior aka LoweKey Lunacy 
Amphibian T 
Built for Comfort S 
Choss Corner S 
Cupcake Corner S 
Dr. Delicate T 
Fang, The T 
Fatman and Robin 
Flying Fortress, The S 
For The Ladies S 
Godzilla T 
Hooded Cobra 
King Cobra/King Cobra Extension S 
Little Higher S 
Lucky S 
Octopussy T 
Pitch Black T 
Red Beard S 
Red Bull and Vodka S 
Reptile T 
Resurrection 
Rigid Designator T 
Rigid Designator Steps, The T 
Seventh Tentacle T 
Somnambulist T 
Superfortress S 
Tatranka 
Thang aka Frigid Inseminator, The T 
Unsorted Routes:

The Fang 

WI5-6

   
Type:  Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 130', Grade II
Consensus: WI5-6 [details]
FA: Alex Lowe, 1981
Season: Dec-Apr
Page Views: 16,883
Submitted By: George Bell on Apr 13, 2005

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (26)
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Photographer: Joe Leonhard.
The Fang 3/22/03

Description 

This is the coolest looking ice climb in Colorado (in my opinion). It is a 120' free hanging icicle right of the Rigid Designator and used to form only once every 5 years or so until someone started hanging a rope down it. Now it forms more consistently, but it usually doesn't touch down until much later than the Designator, and even then can form poorly and fall down a few times before thickening.

I have seen this climb form as a pencil only 5' in diameter and one year it was thicker than the Designator. Consider carefully the stability of this climb before leading or toproping it. Fortunately it never sees any sun. It is not simple to scramble to the top of the Fang (although it is possible), one way to toprope it is to do so after leading the Designator. Before you throw your rope down, make sure there is nobody leading it!

The bottom is generally heavily cauliflowered and can be tricky. Up higher, it's generally straight forward vertical to overhanging ice. A cakewalk for mixed masters, bloody desperate for the rest of us! Rap/lower off using 2 ropes.

Eds. note, this climb has been known to completely fail with a climber on it. Beware!


Protection 

Ice screws.


Toprope Protection 

Good trees on top.



Photos of The Fang Slideshow Add Photo
Fisheye view of me leading the back of the Fang.
Fisheye view of me leading the back of the Fang.
The Fang in WI9 condition.
The Fang in WI9 condition.
1/22/4
1/22/4
Craig Luebben in March, 1994.
Craig Luebben in March, 1994.
Image by <a href=Quang-Tuan Luong January 15, 1996. " />
BETA PHOTO: Image by Quang-Tuan Luong...
The Fang and the Thang 3/4/07
BETA PHOTO: The Fang and the Thang 3/4/07
Eric climbing the Fang on 2/9/9.  The conditions were 5++.
Eric climbing the Fang on 2/9/9. The conditions w...
The Fang, March 3, 2007.
The Fang, March 3, 2007.
The climber is unknown...  but the wildman lead the back of the Fang.
The climber is unknown... but the wildman lead th...
First time lead on a moderate Fang.
First time lead on a moderate Fang.
Bob Horan on early ascent of The Fang, circa 1981.
Bob Horan on early ascent of The Fang, circa 1981.
Piece of Fang. 1/1/07.
Piece of Fang. 1/1/07.
Conditions Jan.24.07 ~ probably not this year ):
BETA PHOTO: Conditions Jan.24.07 ~ probably not this year ):
Rob Griz topping out late on New Year's Day 2014.
Rob Griz topping out late on New Year's Day 2014.
Fang, solo. mid '90s.
Fang, solo. mid '90s.
The Fang. Nate Erickson. Jan. 11, 2014.
The Fang. Nate Erickson. Jan. 11, 2014.
This year touchdown..Get on it guys..!
BETA PHOTO: This year touchdown..Get on it guys..!
cracker the white rapper
cracker the white rapper
Unknown climber, Photo by Chad Elston
Unknown climber, Photo by Chad Elston
The Fang on 2/9/08.
The Fang on 2/9/08.
Wildman...????
Wildman...????
Cover of Climbing #99...
Picture was taken of the mixed lines behind the fang...Don't know what routes they are.  John varco was standing at the base, so maybe he knows who this climber is.  Although,  his belayer was screaming encouragement and using the name Chris.
Picture was taken of the mixed lines behind the fa...
Looking up the fang, photo: Bob Horan Collection.
Looking up the fang, photo: Bob Horan Collection.
Fang in March, 2006. Trying to regrow following the earlier collapse.
Fang in March, 2006. Trying to regrow following th...
The Fang as of Jan 12, 2002.
The Fang as of Jan 12, 2002.
Jonathan fighting up the Fang (2/23/04)
Jonathan fighting up the Fang (2/23/04)
The Fang seems to be a ways out from touching down.
BETA PHOTO: The Fang seems to be a ways out from touching down...
On 12/23/03 just a bit necky...
On 12/23/03 just a bit necky...
The Fang as of 1/1/10.  Still has a little ways to go...unless it falls down first.
The Fang as of 1/1/10. Still has a little ways to...
RobCC leading the Fang in drippy wet but otherwise hooky and fat conditions.
RobCC leading the Fang in drippy wet but otherwise...
Comments on The Fang Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jan 27, 2013
By Dan Battin
Mar 10, 2004

The Fang's front is in what I would guess is WI4+. It was a good time. Hey Rob, who is the bad Mo Fo again!

By Alan Searcy
From: Pine, Colorado
Feb 17, 2005

Spankin Hard on 2-1, Half cauliflower and the other half insecure hollow column about 3 feet in diameter. The top requires a pull around a small roof that will suck the last bit of circulation from your pumped out arms. Definitely, a full value lead by anyone's criteria.

By kevin fox
From: parker
Jan 28, 2008

It is touching, but the whole thing is hollow on the inside. A week maybe two and it'll be prime condition. Was in the amphitheatre on Saturday.

By john parsons
Mar 17, 2008

The Fang is in the wildest condition I have ever seen it. It is likely 4+ or 5+ but very technical. Ice florets all the way up to "summit curtain". Yep, there is a curtain of ice hanging down instead of the standard steep pillar. There are several ways to climb it including "chimneying" up and right and pulling a small overhang or going left and pulling a larger more pumpy 5+ curtain.

Go now because it will not last long.

Posted March 15, 2008.

JP

By Dan McCabe
Jan 27, 2013

2nd ascent by Bill Weiss in '82. Leanest conditions that were still climbable with Zero's and Footfangs. Amazing lead.