Type: Trad, Mixed, Ice, 110 ft (33 m)
FA: Stanislav Vrba, Noah McKelvin
Page Views: 830 total · 20/month
Shared By: Noah McKelvin on Dec 27, 2020
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Description Suggest change

I've looked at this line that occasionally forms for years. Routes to the left and right of the Rigid Designator are characterized by no bolts, at least with the older Jeff and Alex Lowe lines. While they may not be cutting edge these days, they deserve respect. This line is no different. It has no bolts, has some skeptical pins, and stays on ya from the start to finish. For me, this line was harder than lines like Octopussy or Resurrection. It's also by far the most incredible line I've done in Vail. We both thought it is worthy of a five star rating. The climbing is really really good. It has it all, from techy dry dooling to thin ice to a horizontal roof to a really thin, hanging dagger and then a end that is thinner and harder than you might expect. This is a true mixed line with half ice and half mixed.

Belay at the base of Dr. Delicate. Climb the first 15 feet of Dr. Delicate to a ledge below the first bolt. Traverse left 15 feet, and venture upwards. You can get a small cam from the ledge in a loose block, and then climb up to a fixed angle. Maybe back it up with a cam. Climb up on engaging M6 terrain that's never hard but a little heady. Clip a fixed Pecker, and place a #5 cam to the right. Make sure you place the cam right. Trend up, and clip a fixed copperhead. Then gun it to the thin ice with a micro stubby and soon a 0.75 cam. Climb up the detached pillar to some red tat. Then commit to the roof with another fixed angle. Back it up with a 0.75. Pull the strenuous roof to a desperate, thin, hanging dagger. The fall should be clean. The fixed angle is good, but there is a small ledge below you could hit, but I'm pretty confident it's a safe fall. Exciting! Climb thin ice and then some moss climbing to a tree anchor.

I'm not good at grading, but it definitely felt like WI6 and is by far harder pulling than any trad line I've done there. Perhaps it's only M7++. The safety rating is debatable. I was pretty confident in all the gear, even the copperhead, but I would be prepared for a R rating experience if you don't have confidence in small pins. Also, if that hanging dagger is much fatter, then it will probably only be WI5+, but for our ascent, it was so thin that you couldn't kick or swing into it. You couldn't establish your feet for several moves.

Location Suggest change

Start next to Dr. Delicate and Aberrant Behavior. Saddle up!

Protection Suggest change

We treated this as more of a headpoint style to establish, but now with the pins in place, it is awaiting an OS. It's not anything too crazy for those with a strong lead head, but be ready for it to feel a little tougher than other M8s at Vail. Bring a black Totem, #2, #5, a micro stubby, a bigger stubby, a 0.75, another 0.75, and then two screws for the top - in that order. I would bring about 8 alpine draws, about 6 regular draws, and maybe a screamer or two.

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