Type: Sport
FA: Mark Rolofson, 1993
Page Views: 16,367 total · 74/month
Shared By: Nate Weitzel on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Vasodilator definitely lives up to its name. This is a fantastic line by Mark Rolofson that will keep you working the entire time. Multiple 5.12 cruxes grace this overhung line leading you to the final moves on "The Egg". This is a brutal, smooth bulging arete that keeps you from getting to the anchors. Unlock the secret to these moves and the route is yours. Pay close attention and look for many sneaky rests on this route, you will need them. A variety of moves describes this climb with thin crimps, slopers, jugs and of course thuggish climbing through the egg section. Definitely a three star route.

From Bolt Cola (previosly listed as number 29, now listed in a different section of the cliff), head up the obvious gully past a few bolted routes. Continue up the gully until you get to some fourth class climbing past some large boulders / chockstones. Above these, you will find a good belay area underneath the huge overhanging arete. There may be some slings hanging from the upper bolts to help find the route. This climb is in the sun during the winter and makes for a good climb on a sunny day.


11 bolts / 2 bolt anchor.
This is a great route if want to do a 13a, but I don't have tons of bouldering power. There is no single stopper move, just lots of V3 type sequences. It also lends itself to creative beta and good resting skills. Most of the hard sequences have several options.

Tom Isaacson Jul 31, 2001
The long sling is definitely useful for getting the rope up and/or working the moves on the crux. Unless your name is Sven, and/or you have had the satisfaction for the flash of this fine route, then you have probably made good use of the sling in the past. I agree that it may be unsightly, but I favor leaving it. That tat is phat. Jul 18, 2003
Stefan Griebel
Boulder, Colorado
Stefan Griebel   Boulder, Colorado
Trim the phat (tat, that is).

1. The first or second time I got on this route, the tat was windblown around the bolt it is tied too, and I couldn't even reach it.

2. The bolt is harder to clip after you've pulled the crux with that mess of tat on there.

3. The fall off the crux is a blast. Nothing but air! Jul 18, 2003
Adam, the difference between the tat and other garbage, is that the long sling serves a purpose, and has been placed intentionally. On this route, in that location, it is extremely useful for those that don't flash 5.13. The bolt is in a good location for the red point. IMHO, moving the bolt would be a mistake. Whipping off the crux is clean and fun, but most folks probably were gald to have the sling to yard on, so they could clip the bolt and work out the moves. I think you should leave this one alone. And,..if u take dat tat, is will be back.

Adam, why do you even bother to ask others for their opinion? I offered my opinion after you requested feedback in this public forum. Two of three people that responded said they did not have a problem with the sling, and then you post "so I'm going to take it down." It sounds as is you feel strongly about this webbing, and are going to do what you want anyhow. Go for it. Next time just do it, without the disingenuous call for other's opinions and all the preaching. BTW, I didn't put the sling up, as you insinuated in your last post. Jul 21, 2003
Confession is good for the soul, right? I was working on this route in the spring of 2000. While working on the egg portion on lead, my partner and I took several very dangerous falls. When we fell fairly high on the egg (which is easy to do), we'd swing down and sideways, with our legs clipping the rope below the bolt. That caused us to windmill out of control and in one case I nearly whacked my head on the rock. I thought it was very unsafe, so I stick clipped the bolt above the egg. I then came back and placed the long sling to allow clipping from below and largely eliminate that problem. I left it there after I finally sent the Violator (took a long time and a lot of belayers) because a friend wanted to work it. I am not sure whether the sling up there is still the same one. I would think it has gotten frayed from whipping around in the wind. I did not think it was an eyesore since hardly anyone can see. Anyhow, that's the story. I think most people would be grateful for the long sling (or the addition of a bolt). But, if someone wants to remove it, I certainly wouldn't fight about it -- just warn people. Done.

Tom Isaacson Jul 24, 2003
Rui Ferreira
Boulder, CO
Rui Ferreira   Boulder, CO
In regards to the webbing on the last bolt most people use it to pre-clip before doing the crux sequence and not as a point of aid. Two years ago I asked Mark if he was willing to reposition the second to last bolt down and right which would have prevented either the presence of webbing or repositioning the last bolt, Mark's opinion is that the bolts are fine where they are. I respect that, but also be aware that as long as people continue to work this route, the webbing will continue to be present, whether it gets repeatedly removed or not!

Instead of complaining about the unsightly view of a piece of webbing blowing in the wind, perhaps folks could be more constructive and rebuilt the approach gully, which is far more unsightly. I have done some minor landscaping work in the past with boulders and wood present, but I believe that this effort could be better taken up by one of our organizations, as an Adopt-A-Crag event. Oct 3, 2003
richard magill
richard magill  
Awesome steep pumpy climbing to a difficult crux at the end.

Great job by Mark Rolofson. Dec 7, 2004
George Squibb
Boulder, CO
George Squibb   Boulder, CO
Changed my mind; some of the holds that were there in 1996 aren't there anymore. Oct 17, 2005
Jesse Ryan
Jesse Ryan  
My RP in 9/04. Enduro 13a. Oct 21, 2005
So, the sling/tat/satanwebbing talk is super important, but what I'm wondering about is what hold you people clip the last bolt from. The finger lock? The sloper left of the finger lock? The Crystal? It felt like I was heading too far right when I followed the chalk up the arete/egg. Seems like it would be quite a swinging fall from over there. Any tips? Oh and as of now there is no webbing on that bolt so if anyone's been holding back from a webbing-tainted redpoint it's sending time for you! Thanks. Jul 3, 2006
I was on Vasodilator in mid-December and haven't return since due to the recent snows. At the time, there were draws in place on the whole thing, which is certainly convenient; however, the draws are in truly horrific shape. I've never been more certain that a quickdraw would break if I'd fallen on it. A few of the draws are in decent condition, some questionable, and some down right life-threatening. I recognize and adhere strongly to the rules about respecting others' in situ draws on routes, but, in this case, it seems irresponsible to leave these potential time bombs open to the public. As far as I know, the draws are still there (as of 1/8/07). I would vote to remove them as soon as the weather allows climbing in the canyon again. If you did at any point leave draws on the route, go get them and throw them away (maybe not the biners). If they're there later when it warms up, I might have to make an executive decision and get rid of them - they're more in the way and potentially dangerous than helpful. Imagine climbing Vasodilator with a string of small cams and RPs instead of bolts and you get the idea. Jan 9, 2007
North Denver CO
Deathkills   North Denver CO
The draws that are hanging... are they new??? They look like it....
I am trying to make this my first 13a.... These aren't the draws from earlier this year??? I.e made it through winter??? Aug 13, 2007
Ben Randolph
Boulder, CO
Ben Randolph   Boulder, CO
The flake side pull between the 8th and 9th bolt gave way and is now gone. so instead of going out left you can mantle straight up from the clipping hold at the 8th to the clipping hold at the 9th. I don't think it changes the grade any. Happy sending. Oct 21, 2007
Shameless beta request . . . what's the "secret" to the egg moves? If someone doesn't mind sharing beta, I would truly appreciate a PM. I can get through it but "my way" feels way hard and just plain wrong. Amazing route with a lot of very cool movement. Jul 31, 2010
Alex Shainman
Las Vegas, NV
Alex Shainman   Las Vegas, NV
Hadn't been on Vaso since '97 or so...and yes, I think a couple well used holds aren't there anymore. Speaking of loose holds, a big heads-up to any future suitors - in between the 5th and 6th bolts is a BIG timebomb ready to go! It's the last good rest before getting up into the scoop/shelf crux. You can right hand-jam and left wrist wrap the block to rest, clip the 6th, etc. It could cut your rope, take out your belayer, and definitely wipe out anyone lower in the gully like bowling pins. I'm not a huge proponent of glue, and I don't think it will work anyways. The block is 100% fractured entirely around (36"x12"x6"?) and will move if you try to rock it. We could pry the whole thing off, but I'm certain it will dramatically change the climb (but nature is not timeless anyways). Bolt it to the wall with a 10" bolt? Ha, isn't there some other climb in BoCan that has that?? Anyways, there you have it. Tread lightly and watch out! Nov 29, 2011
Area Dan
Oakland, CA
Area Dan   Oakland, CA
I agree with Alex's post about the loose chunk of rock. It is really sketchy (just knock on it) and will probably come off sometime soon. I think trundling it will dramatically change the route and make it waaay harder. Trundling the rock is also really unsafe unless there are spotters below making sure no one is hiking anywhere nearby. I think bolting it to the wall is the best bet, but some Boulder Canyon chossaneers might have a better idea. Jan 2, 2012
Seth Finkelstein
Denver, CO
Seth Finkelstein   Denver, CO
I third the comments regarding the loose block, it's as sketchy as any block I've seen on a well-traveled route. It's definitely headed to the ground one way or another, might even happen with another freeze-thaw cycle. While it may change the route considerably when it comes off, I'm not convinced that it could be safely fixed to the wall by glue or bolt. It looks to me as though it's likely to head straight at the belayer if it gives way (the rope also diagonals directly across it).

I propose trundling as safely as possible. It would be nice to have some community weigh-in to reach a consensus on the matter.

Exercise caution if you do elect to climb on the route while it's still in place. Jan 2, 2012
One possible method might be to drill a bolt into the rock and attach a hanger, then basically lower it off with a rope. If Alex's size estimate is correct, it is probably around 250 lbs or so. If you cut this thing loose, it could pinball down the gully and then shoot down the hillside (maybe to the road, not a lot of trees to stop it). Jan 3, 2012
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
Slim's answer to the loose block is most likely the best. We have used this process in other places where a trundle would cause considerable harm. 250 lbs is not an excessive load for a lowering belay from the top anchors. It has worked out best for us to redirect the ground belay through a one or two biner system that takes the load off the belayer and serves as 3:1 pulley system. One person climbs up and lowers to the block, places the bolt/hanger, and clips themselves off above the block and off the top anchor (in the unlikely event that it blows). A static line is best for lowering the block so that when it is pried off it will not generate the momentum that would arise from a lead line. The ground belayer then lowers the block using a Grigri. Jan 3, 2012
Dan Yager
Fort Collins
Dan Yager   Fort Collins
What is the status of said "loose block"? I was up there this week (1.15.13) and didn't see anything remotely loose or sketchy on the entire route. Great route by the way! Jan 17, 2013
One of the key things for an epoxy/glue job is that the surfaces need to be clean. I think it would be pretty tough to get inside the crack and get it well cleaned(?). Nov 1, 2013
J. Albers
J. Albers   Colorado
Slim is exactly correct about gluing.

In general, if you want to glue something, you really need to get both bonding surfaces very clean or the glue job won't last and then you have made a real mess that is really hard to clean up. The best case scenario usually involves removing the piece of stone if possible so that you can get into all of the little crevices, etc. and thoroughly clean all of the surfaces. You then let everything dry well and only then do you apply the glue. If you have never done this, please don't make this your first attempt. Moreover, once this thing is off, the best thing to do would probably be to figure out whether not having the hold drastically changes the climb. If it does, well then you can go about reattaching the piece if need be.

If folks really think this needs to be dealt with, then perhaps some experienced volunteers will come forward to help figure this out. Until then, please don't go up there and squirt two tubes of glue into a dirty crack. Nov 1, 2013
Rui Ferreira
Boulder, CO
Rui Ferreira   Boulder, CO
"Would love to hear from someone who has been on the route both years back and recently to see if the block has gotten looser."

Yes, the block is loose compared to 2003, and to be honest, I do not even remember it being an issue back then. I suspect that if it comes off it might cause serious harm to the belayer and anyone else in the gully. Looking at the fall line, it would likely hit the ledges below the first bolt and either bounce across and/or break-up into more pieces.

Losing the block will result in a harder line. The block is used to initiate the second of three cruxes on the face, without the block I do not know what will be available for feet. Oct 8, 2014
Curt MacNeill
Boulder, CO
Curt MacNeill   Boulder, CO
I did this route years ago, and I did it again recently. It was, is, and always will be super classic. It may be the best route in the canyon at any grade. It's very sustained, super pumpy and has back to back cruxes on bullet hard stone. I agree, there are sneaky rests all over it. Don't be cheating and hanging a 4 foot runner from the top of the egg, taking that fun and airy whip is what makes the route! My first redpoint years ago I skipped that last bolt at the top of the crux and ran it out to the top. Big whip potential and nothing short of exciting... and to the loose block debate, this has been loose from the beginning. Nothing has come off or ever will come off, and the route has seen thousands of ascents. This route is probably one of the best in country at the grade. Do it and you will see.... Nov 1, 2014
Mark Rolofson
Boulder, CO
Mark Rolofson   Boulder, CO
I established this route in December 1993. It is still one of the best first ascents I've done. It don't remember leaving any loose rock on the route. I did pull off a huge, 5 foot block at the base of the climb. I was worried as the block crashed downhill, but it stopped long before the road in talus & boulders. The big concern about trundling here is making sure no one is walking up the hill. Pick a cold weekday, and rap in from above. Look to see if there are no cars in the parking lot. If you climb up the route and lower, then pull the rope up. Lower yourself. Move your belayer, gear, & dogs way up the gully above "Hypertension", because rock can explode when in hits the wall or ground.
The last time I was on the route was 2008. I can't believe how popular it's become. Unfortunately there aren't more routes like it in the canyon. Jan 24, 2015
Big thanks to whoever provided the draws/gear on Vaso! Just FYI - I removed and replaced a frayed dog bone and two worn carabiners (one at the crux bolt on the egg and one of the two anchors). If you want your gear back, PM me and we can meet up. May 17, 2015
Shaun Reed
Santa Barbara
Shaun Reed   Santa Barbara
Just sent this on Saturday (May 16)! I have worked the route off and on for a couple years. Early on, I remember being able to wiggle the loose block when hang-dogging beside it, but it didn't wiggle when pulling down or hand-jamming to the right of it. This Saturday, I couldn't get it to wiggle at all. I didn't notice any glue or anything different about it. Maybe it's the time of year? Also, I think that removing the block could potentially make the route a bit easier, instead of harder, since it looks like it may result in a decent-sized scoop that may make for a better rest. Who knows. Either way, be mindful of the rock and your belayer below.

Shaun May 18, 2015
rick s  
Got on this today for the first time, lots of wiggle on the big block. Felt like it was going to pull out, and I was being gentle. I think someone should go up and remove it. Would badly hurt the belayer if not kill them. Jul 18, 2015
Mark E Dixon
Sprezzatura, Someday
Mark E Dixon   Sprezzatura, Someday
I have no idea which block Paphs was wiggling. There is a block between bolts 5 and 6 (IIRC) that is cracked all the way around, but I couldn't make it move today. Sep 18, 2015
Just wondering if somebody could give me a little beta on the part right before the egg. I'm struggling! HALP! Apr 4, 2016
Phil Lauffen
Innsbruck, AT
Phil Lauffen   Innsbruck, AT  
Right hand on the sloping shelf right under the draw, work left with the left to the first gaston, get your feet up a little, bump your left hand to a shallow, gastonish-type feature with your fingers in the crack. Now, pop your right foot up on the crimp underneath your right hand (you can't miss it), and press up on your right foot, using that shitty intermediate with your right to go all the way to the base of that pebbly crack thing with your right (iron cross position here). Match it with your left, and use sidepulls on the right to work up to get into the undercling.

Good image here of where your left hand is, and your goal with the right:
nomadinrifle.files.wordpres… Apr 7, 2016
Boulder, Colorado
Dr. VARMENT   Boulder, Colorado
Heads up. I pulled a dictionary-sized block out of the undercling (upper rest). It didn't change the difficulty, but more might crumble out. Feb 7, 2017
I just went up and did some climbing on this route the other day and didn't notice any major loose blocks. I think I know which hold everyone is talking about after reading the comments, but when climbing, it didn't feel loose or dangerous. I was just wonder if any work was done to glue or secure that block in place since those comments were posted or if I just didn't notice how loose it was while climbing. I'd love to work this climb, but if that block is as dangerous as some people seem to think it is, I might avoid the route and find a new project. Thanks in advance for any feedback on the subject. Jun 6, 2017
Also where do you guys normally belay from? Thanks again Jun 6, 2017
Mark E Dixon
Sprezzatura, Someday
Mark E Dixon   Sprezzatura, Someday
Beware big, loose foot holds off right as you step up after clipping bolt 1, unfortunately, exactly the holds you want to use. Dec 5, 2017