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 ADVANCED
East of Peak to Peak - S. St. Vrain
Select Route:
Dead Men Chipping T 
Road Rash T,S 
Skidmark Left T,S 
Skidmark Right T,S 
St. Vrain Falls T 
Vrain Strain T 

Vrain Strain 

WI5 M5 R

   
Type:  Trad, Mixed, Ice, 1 pitch, 195'
Consensus: WI5 M5 [details]
FA: Greg Sievers & Dougald MacDonald
New Route: Yes
Season: wet winter
Page Views: 1,325
Submitted By: Greg Sievers on Jan 21, 2007

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Sievers on the last hard thin-ice section.

Description 

This is a pretty sustained route with 3 very different and distinct cruxes. First: Grovel and grunt your way up the first 30'. Either choose a dirty gully to the left or sketchy verglas blobs to the right. At the constriction above, a #3 Camalot nicely protects the squeeze (on left) before poping thru to a ledge. Then push up thru a chimney. (#4-4.5 cam would be nice here). The final crux is a delicate, bulging, ice column. Stubbies are the norm on this route also. After exiting the 50' plumb ice, another 30' of a WI3 ribbon leads to a tiny chimney. I placed a screw here and traversed about 20' right to a tree (visible in image). It now has a sling w/ rap rings.

Location 

200' right of Dead Men Chipping.

Protection 

6 stubbie screws, full single rock rack, and 2 big cams would be real nice (#4 & #4.5). A 70m rope will make getting to the tree much more appealing. (rap tree visible in photo)


Photos of Vrain Strain Slideshow Add Photo
Vrain Strain on right, & Deadmen Chipping, visible to left.
Vrain Strain on right, & Deadmen Chipping, visible...
G4 start (1st crux).
G4 start (1st crux).
Vrain Strain route image.
Vrain Strain route image.

Comments on Vrain Strain Add Comment
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By Dougald MacDonald
Jan 22, 2007

This is one of the better ice climbs I've done on the entire Front Range, a 60-meter rope stretcher with lots of interesting climbing. Great lead by Greg. It's a shame this won't come in more often, but who knows? Maybe it will. As Greg says, one or two #4 Camalots would be nice. One would give you toprope pro for the second crux (the very thinly iced chimney), and if you have another (or backclean), you MIGHT be able to use it to protect the iced-up prow on the final crux. Greg had neither.
By Bernard Gillett
Jan 22, 2007

Nice going, Greg and Dougald! I've been staring at my photos of the wall over the last couple days, and had decided the thin line should be attempted before it melts. I'm glad you beat me to it.