• Date - 03/08/2009
  • Elevation - 8,800'
  • Route - Spiral Staircase
  • Miles - 1.0
  • Elevation Gain - 300'
  • ACME Mapper - Link
  • CalTopo - Link
  • Partners - Jeff Shafer


I hadn't been out ice climbing in a month, and it had been even longer for Jeff.  We decided to check out Vail, Colorado, since I hadn't been there this year and Jeff had never climbed there.  We hiked up to the Rigid Designator and Fang before traversing over to the Spiral Staircase.  I led this climb a couple of years ago in late season and didn't think it was too bad since the ice was beat out and plastic.  Conditions were a little different for us this year as the ice wasn't as beat out and steeper than it had formed in previous years.

After bringing Jeff up to clean the route, we set up a top rope and made several more runs before heading home.  We arrived early and were climbing by 8:30; however, by 10:00 the masses started to arrive.  We had short hike back under I-70 to our vehicle where the temperature was in the mid 40s.  After gearing down, Jeff surprised me with a beer he had secretly stashed in the snow before we left.


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