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Routes in Pencil & Eraser area aka Belfry

Eraser, The T WI4
Esmerelda T WI4 M6-7
Guano T M5
Middle Curtain WI5-
Misery T M8
Pencil, The T WI4+
Quasimodo T WI5- M8- PG13
Svengali T M9
Type: Trad, Ice
FA: unknown
Page Views: 2,158 total, 14/month
Shared By: Chris Zeller on Apr 13, 2005
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Two thin ice pillars form in the bowl above the Spiral Staircase. The pillar on the right is the Eraser (named apparently in keeping with the theme of pencil). The Eraser forms a somewhat wider, shorter pillar about 35 feet high completely detached from the overhanging rock face. The ice is vertical and often very chandeliered with no real cone at the base. Climb to the trees above. This climb can be led, but is just as easy to toprope. From the top of Spiral staircase, scramble up an ice gully to the base of the climb. Follow a trail up steep dirt to the right of the Eraser, and anchor to abundant large trees at the top of the climb. There appears to be a very difficult bolted mixed climb that ascends the roof of the cave in between The Pencil and Eraser as well. Descent: Scramble down a steep dirt trail to the right of the Eraser to the base of the Eraser. Scramble down an easy ice gully to the top of the Spiral Staircase. Roping up here is a personal choice. The ice is easy (grade1+), but the exposure above Spiral Staircase is significant. Rappel the anchors for the Spiral Staircase, a large tree to the left of the route with slings and rap rings.

Ben: The mixed roof route is an M9 put up on 2-6-99 (5 bolts on the roof).


Screws, the ice is usually thick enough to take long screws.

Toprope Protection

There are good anchors on top consisting of several fixed slings and rap rings around a large tree. An additional _10 ft sling and a biner for a backup is a good idea. One rope is sufficient.
Eraser typically forms as a thin pillar that has some overlaps that make for strenuous, overhung climbing for the first 10-15 feet, but then it's over and it's just a walk up to the anchor. If the initial difficulty was maintained for 130 feet, it would be a Grade 5 easily. But agree, no more than 3+ taken as a whole. Nov 3, 2003
Andy Johnson  
I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but I climb in Vail a lot and the Eraser is grade 3. Maybe in the thinnest conditions it might get to grade 4, but that would be rare. Nov 3, 2003
Most years Erasure is WI3-4. The mixed route in the roof is Misery - M8 (I think - put up by Rich Purnell). Dec 10, 2001