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US Highway 550
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Scratch, The 
Seven Year Itch T 

The Scratch 

WI4+ M8+

Type:  Mixed, Ice, 4 pitches, 300'
Original: WI4+ M8+ [details]
FA: B. Kiessel, T. Ferrell, B. Gardner, I. Allison
New Route: Yes
Season: Winter
Page Views: 476
Submitted By: Ben Kiessel on Jan 19, 2014

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Final bit of ice to the top.


This route climbs two variations to 'Seven Year Itch'.
There are 4 steps on 'Seven Year Itch'. Steps 2 and 3 usually form. Steps 1 and 4 don't always form.

Pitch 1: Look for bolts to the right of the ice on the first step. Climb up and left to the bolt with gear. Traverse left to another bolt and the up past another bolt to a tree belay, M7+, 50'

Pitch 2: Climb the ice on the second step. Then slog up the the third step and climb that as well. Belay at a tree, WI 3+, 230'

Walk up to the overhanging rock looking for bolts to start pitch 3.

Pitch 3: Start left of the first bolt climbing up then right. Follow the bolts a bolted anchor on a ledge under the big roof. M8+, 60'.

Pitch 4: Traverse right on the ledge to a bolt in the roof. Continue onto the ice and to the top of the climb, WI 4+ 120'

Pitches 2 and 4 can be split up.

Descent: rappel the route with a single 70 meter rope.


About 17 miles north of Durango, the route should be easy to spot. Park on the side of US Highway 550 and hike directly up to the climb. The approach takes about 1½ -3 hours depending on conditions. The approach crosses private land, so please be respectful.


Single set of cams from #0.3-2 Camalot for the start of pitch 1. Screws, draws, 70m rope, and material to replace anchors.

Photos of The Scratch Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting pitch 4.
Starting pitch 4.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1 (step 1). Bolts are marked.
Pitch 1 (step 1). Bolts are marked.
Rock Climbing Photo: Steps 3 and 4.
Steps 3 and 4.
Rock Climbing Photo: Steps 1 and 2.
Steps 1 and 2.

Comments on The Scratch Add Comment
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By BGardner
From: Seattle, WA
Jan 22, 2014

Nice job!! Glad to see all that work pay off.
By Ben Kiessel
Feb 1, 2014

Short video:

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