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Elevation: 8,500 ft 2,591 m
GPS: 39.6459, -106.332
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 264,389 total · 1,194/month
Shared By: Leo Paik on Mar 19, 2006
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

Description Suggest change

Dang those organizing types. Why couldn't we just leave this area a mess and let climbers figure it all out? Shucks, we're just being helpful 'round these parts.

This is a decidedly popular ice area. It is north-facing, so dress warmly. It is easily visible from the road. While most of the popular areas are listed here, there certainly is more ice that forms up here.

This area holds a great variety of of 1-2 pitch ice and mixed routes. If you get to climb here, you'll likely leave with a smile. This is probably the birthplace for Colorado modern mixed climbing with Jeff Lowe's ascent of Octopussy, although Alex Lowe's influence was strong, too.

Parking is a hassle since the town of Vail outlaws on-the-street parking. So, don't assume anything or you'll be made to pay.

Snow can pile up. It can even avalanche.

Access issues can be problematic. Check things out first.

Occasionally rappel trees fail. So, beware!

On the South side (E->W): Racquet Club, Firehouse, Secret Cicle, East Vail Falls, Hell's Cave, Big Gully ice, Spiral Stairs/Belfry, RD Amphitheatre, Pumphouse, 9th Hole.

On the North Side (E->W): Booth Creek, Goat Beard, Piney Lake Pillar.

Getting There Suggest change

This is located approximately 100 miles West of Denver. Most folks will use I-70 to access this area. The East Vail exit is most useful for most of these climbs. Parking is a hassle. Probably, the locals know the best scoop on parking. It's best to find a legal spot and expect to walk a bit further than you'd like or just buy one of these little shacks and cough up a mil or two.

Odd tidbit for 2007: there seem to be conflicting signs posted near Pumphouse where one sign suggests climbers need to pay to cross the golf course, but other signs do not.

General Layout of Ice

Suggest change
There is varying nomenclature for the ice and chutes on the north-facing areas. Here are the general areas (east->west):

A. Raquet Club area
B. Firehouse area
C. Secret Stash
D. East Vail Falls
E. Big Gully Ice aka Porzak Chute
F. Hell's Cave
G1. Spiral Staircase area
above - G2. Belfry
H. Rigid Designator Amphitheater
I. Pumphouse
J. 19th Fairway
K. 9th Hole
L.
- no ice
M. Golden Peak chute - no ice

On the south-facing areas (east->west):
N. Booth Creek
O. Goat's Beard
P. Piney Lake Pillar

115 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Vail Ice Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Vail Ice

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
WI4- M5
 124
Spiral Staircase
Trad, Mixed, Ice
WI5-6
 70
The Fang
Trad, Ice
WI5-
 159
Rigid Designator
Trad, Ice
WI5 M6
 62
Seventh Tentacle
Trad, Mixed, Ice
WI5 M6
 58
Secret Probation
Trad, Mixed, Ice
WI5+ M5+ R
 44
The Thang aka Frigid Inseminator
Trad, Mixed, Ice
WI5 M9
 38
Amphibian
Trad, Mixed, Ice 2 pitches
M11
 19
Red Bull and Vodka
Sport, Mixed 2 pitches
M9
 5
Fatman and Robin
Mixed 2 pitches
M8
 9
The Mauling
Sport, Mixed
WI5- M6+
 31
7th Testicle
Trad, Sport, Mixed, Ice
WI6 M8 R
 12
Octopussy
Trad, Mixed, Ice 2 pitches
M10
 17
Queen Cobra/Queen Cobra Extension
Sport, Mixed
M14-
 5
Saphira
Sport, Mixed
M7
 4
Blade Runner
Sport, Mixed
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Spiral Staircase Spiral Staircase area
 124
WI4- M5 Trad, Mixed, Ice
The Fang Rigid Designator Amph…
 70
WI5-6 Trad, Ice
Rigid Designator Rigid Designator Amph…
 159
WI5- Trad, Ice
Seventh Tentacle Rigid Designator Amph…
 62
WI5 M6 Trad, Mixed, Ice
Secret Probation Spiral Staircase area
 58
WI5 M6 Trad, Mixed, Ice
The Thang aka Frigid Insemi… Rigid Designator Amph…
 44
WI5+ M5+ R Trad, Mixed, Ice
Amphibian Rigid Designator Amph…
 38
WI5 M9 Trad, Mixed, Ice 2 pitches
Red Bull and Vodka Rigid Designator Amph…
 19
M11 Sport, Mixed 2 pitches
Fatman and Robin Rigid Designator Amph…
 5
M9 Mixed 2 pitches
The Mauling Grizzly Grotto
 9
M8 Sport, Mixed
7th Testicle Rigid Designator Amph…
 31
WI5- M6+ Trad, Sport, Mixed, Ice
Octopussy Rigid Designator Amph…
 12
WI6 M8 R Trad, Mixed, Ice 2 pitches
Queen Cobra/Queen Cobra Ext… Rigid Designator Amph…
 17
M10 Sport, Mixed
Saphira Rigid Designator Amph…
 5
M14- Sport, Mixed
Blade Runner Firehouse Area
 4
M7 Sport, Mixed
More Classic Climbs in Vail Ice »

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