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Routes in US Highway 550

Bear Creek Falls WI4
Crater Creek Falls WI3-4
Highway Robbery T WI3
Scratch, The WI4+ M8+
Seven Year Itch T WI5-6
Type: Trad, Ice, 300 ft, 3 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 1,009 total, 9/month
Shared By: e Dixon on Aug 30, 2008
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Description

This is a Durango area classic that is a must do when in condition.

The rarely forming first pitch is a steep pillar or curtain (~60', WI5) that eases onto a snow bench then continues up another headwall of ice (~40', WI3/4) and ends at a tree on the left. If the first step is not touching down, it is possible to walk around to the left. The other option is to try pitch 1 of The Scratch.

Some snow slogging leads to another short ice step (~40', WI3/4). Belay at a tree on the left.

Slog up some more snow to the base of the final headwall. The first tier of this headwall is often reluctant to touch down. when it does, it is a steep pillar or curtain (~80', WI5/6) that eases at a snow bench. If the first tier is not touching down, try The Scratch. The second tier is usually good moderately steep ice to the top (~60', WI4/5). Belay at a tree.

Descent - Rappel the route from trees.

Location

About 17 miles north of Durango the route should be easy to spot. Park on the west side of US Highway 550 and hike directly up to the climb. This is a long slog of an approach that crosses private land so please be respectful. Expect at least 2 hours.

Protection

Screws & webbing for raps.

Photos

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This route can be rappelled with a single 70 meter rope. Jan 19, 2014