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Routes in US Highway 550

Type: Mixed, Ice, 170 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Chris Wright & Marc Ripperger, January 2016
Page Views: 403 total · 16/month
Shared By: Chris Wright on Jan 6, 2016
Admins: Edward Medina, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Right next to Ha Dov and the second route on the wall, Ephemeral Cortex climbs a fleeting (hence the name) series of smears and drips up the wall to a steep drytooling finish. Just like its neighbor, it's not a route that will be fun when dry as there are no drilled holds, but with enough ice, it provides some really enjoyable climbing with just enough bolts.

P1. Start on easy ice on the right edge of the main flow of Bear Creek Falls, and climb straight up past an ice roof and five bolts to reach the main drip seeping out from the upper face. Climb that to a bolted belay on a ledge. The drip is there most years, but the ice below it is at times quite thin (WI5 M5, 130').

P2. Dry-tool straight up and through the roof to another anchor. It is short and stout with a tricky top-out (M7, 40').

  • **One note is that there's a sketchy block wedged out right under the roof that looks shaky but which I couldn't quite get rid of. If you find the right holds, you won't need to use it, but it will be tempting. I stemmed off it once I'd pulled over the roof, but I wouldn't recommend pulling on it. You'll see what I mean when you get there.***


The route is on the left edge of the wall to the right of Bear Creek Falls. There are bolts where P2 ends at the top of the cliff, though you'll want to anchor off the bridge to get to them. Two raps with a 70m rope reach the base of the route. Watch the second rap as it's all of your rope.


Bolts and screws.



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