Type: Trad, Alpine, 1400 ft (424 m), 20 pitches, Grade V
FA: Bryan Burdo
Page Views: 1,518 total · 98/month
Shared By: Matt Carroll on Jul 15, 2020 · Updates
Admins: Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Z Winters

You & This Route


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History

Bryan Burdo established Vanishing Point (among other things) on Dolomite Tower over the course of a few years. The route was visionary for the line of strength it claims. VP is about as steep a route as one could pluck from the amphitheater. This is attested to by the lack of moderate pitches on the route. Amazingly, all the pitches provoke thoughtful movement and enjoyable climbing. 

Approach

As per dolomite tower 

Description

At the base of the tower, find the toe of the macro-prow. Almost dead center. The first pitch climbs left under a small overhang immediately off the ground.

P1. Follow bolts up and left then back to the right, dancing around there arete. Short pitch that ends at a bolted anchor. 20m, 5.10

P2. Climb straight up then trend left following bolts. A finger sized gear placement could be used, but isn’t critical. Turn the corner and pull back onto the arete. End at a bolted stance on the arete. ~40m, 5.10 (60m should just barely make the link, may require a move or two of simul) 

P3. Scramble up the ledge (alternate anchor here) until you can clip a bolt and make a rising rightward traverse to a pedestal. From the pedestal, step right into a corner, passing three bolts and few gear placements to a good belay ledge. 35m, 5.11


P4. More fun in the corner. The crux is more or less right above the anchor, but plenty of gear to be totally safe. Continue Steep gear climbing alongside an amazing crystalline face.  Appreciate it as you catch your breath.  

Belay on a good perch out left of the corner. 30m, 5.11 

P5. Climb steep blocks up and left to a face. 3 bolts should be right above you. Don’t go out to the arete! 

Climb the three bolts, then jog right and utilize two more to gain another good belay stance. Fun pitch! Beware if you stay low on the rightward traverse you may find yourself stepping on very thin flakes right above your belayer. It’s no more difficult to stay a bit higher and avoid them. 7 bolts no gear 5.11-

P6. Step DOWN and right off the belay. Pass some unfortunately not great rock. If you pulled something off it would be fine as long as there isn’t a party below you. Following bolts to the next anchor, passing a few cruxes along the way. Very cool pitch.  10-12 bolts  no gear 5.11+

P7.  Another crux close to the belay and some fun tricky climbing above. A 1 or .75 protects the final moves to the anchor. The rest is bolts 30m, 5.12-

P8. Follow 3 bolts through low 5.11 climbing to a slabby corner. This is now the most serious section of the route. Climb the corner, wandering on the face when easier. It’s 10- ish climbing, over quickly. There is a bolt on the arete to seek for as you finish up the corner. Traverse out to a perch and belay here. 4 bolts, misc gear, small/Med nuts could be placed. 

P9. This is one of the two best pitches on the route. An enjoyable crimpy boulder to establish on the arete and incredible climbing continues. Past the “chain draw” section (there is no chain anymore), making some thin moves. Rest at wicked pockets and execute another difficult boulder (optional anchor). Continue up and jog back right via bolts, again preforming a pirouette to establish on the arete. Pass some less potent cruxes and end with a short run to a bolted belay that is right of a massive flake. Very amazing position and movement. Five stars at any crag. 5.12, 16 bolts 

P10 Climb past 4 bolts in red lichen rock trending a bit left to reach the original death flake anchor. Clip a bolt above the roof with a runner, pull up and traverse right on bolts to an utterly outrageous belay. Easier than it appears.  5.11, 9 bolts 

P11. This is also one of the best pitches of the route. Haul massive jugs back left out the roof to a good stance below the headwall. A tough boulder problem is probably the crux of the route and ends at a belay stance. 5.12, All bolts 

P12 Climb off the belay into the Verdon Gorge and sample some wicked pocket and crimp moves. Eventually climb hero jugs to yet another prow perch belay.  5.10+, All bolts 

Alternatively, link p11 and p12 to avoid what is probably the worst belay stance on the climb and get a 30m pitch of absurdly glorious climbing. We didn’t have any communication issues on a windy day linking the two.

P13 straight up past a bolt to some ledgy climbing. Plug some gear and clip one or two more bolts to a ledge with a 2 bolt anchor ~35m, 5.10- 


P14 follow two bolts to a juggy hand crack, climb to the roof, clip a bolt and pull over onto the slab. Romp the slab past 1 more bolt (below a tiny buttress of rock) and finish at a 2 bolt anchor right on the lip. ~35m 5.10- 

Would require simul climbing to link up with a 60. 70 might reach but communication may be tough, and if your tagging a bag it will get stuck numerous times.

Descent

You can do a crude pack job of your things above the anchor at the small cove you are in, then walk out onto a slope of heather. Butt slide DOWN the heather to a well worn trail that should be visible below you (Base jumper trail). This is a much bigger flat area to pack your things. 

Hike away from the face on the trail, potentially crossing some small snow fields (or talus) depending on the season. Ultimately, you circumnavigate most of dolomite tower and hike past the gully that separates it from the greater Mt. Baring. You'll gain a bit of elevation here to stay on the fairly well worn. (If you can’t find the trail, or if snow is covering it, make sure you go hard skier’s left across the flank of mt baring. (Don’t descend the first open talus you see—you’ll get cliffed out.) Keep following this trail across the flank, passing through wooded and open slopes until you merge with the primary hiking trail.  This trail negotiates some brief talus but should be easy to follow. Ultimately you end up at a saddle above a massive sweeping talus field.  The saddle is very very obvious, don’t commit to a talus field until you’re sure you’re in the saddle as the first major talus field you see is not correct. If you go to the saddle you’ll be sure to avoid the incorrect way. 

Descend the talus and go momentarily uphill hiking past some huge boulders to reach the other pole of the talus. If you stay to the right side on the uphill you should pick up a well worn trail. 

Continue through an old growth forest dropping a lot of elevation on good switchbacks. Eventually, you find yourself on a really amazing ridge line. Continue, slowly loosing elevation.

After about 30 minutes or so, the trail on the ridge ends and you drop in right to a very steep forested hillside. The trail is extremely worn in here, often with flagging. This turn should be very obvious and would probably require bushwhacking to miss. There’s a downed tree that people often sit on to rest here. 

Drop down and follow the steep forest trail. There are a few intersections with uphill turns. Most of the time, people continue downward only to get cliffedout. If the trail disappears you probably missed an uphill-ish turn. 

This section goes on for way longer than you want it to, but eventually you get spit out onto an extension of the forest service road. Turn left and  walk  200m or so on perfectly flat trail, past the bathroom, to the parking lot.

Protection

16 draws, including some runners. Single rack to 1, with a few duplicates in the finger sizes. A few small/med nuts could be nice but are not necessary. 

Photos