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Trad, Ice, 115 ft (35 m),
Avg: 3.9 from 126
FA: Bob Culp
> CO Ice & Mixed
> Vail Ice
> Rigid Designator Amph…
This is perhaps the most spectacular ice formation in the area. The Designator usually forms in a massive pillar of ice detached from the rock with a giant cone at the bottom topped by nearly a hundred feet of vertical ice. Surprisingly, the cone at the base is the crux of the route. The cone usually forms like an open artichoke with layers of petals six or more feet high. Protecting these is difficult and climbing them is awkward. Attacking them directly would involve pulling the short overhangs on picks hooked on the tops of the petals. Fortunately, these petals can be avoided more easily by making short traverses. The upper column is often smooth 90-degree ice to the top. Late in the season this section develops closely spaced dimples from repeated ascents. While it's possible to toprope the Rigid Designator, it is bad form to lock up the ice all day while doing laps on it. If you toprope the Designator, limit your climbing to a few ascents and take your ropes down quickly to allow other teams to enjoy this spectacular climb. Descent: Lower or rappel from anchors above. This rappel requires two ropes.
Screws, Long screws work best here as the ice is often foamy in the lower cone or chandeliered on top.
There are good anchors on top consisting of several fixed slings and rap rings. An additional ~15 foot sling and a biner for a backup is a good idea. Bring two ropes.