Vail: Some More Ice

The last two fridays I have spent in Vail, Colorado. Strangely enough, I’ve been there three times so far this year, and I haven’t skied yet. But the ice climbing has been great!

Two weeks ago we went back to the Rigid Designator amphitheater. Such a beautiful location.

Rigid Designator

“Rigid Designator” WI 4-5

Click here to see more ice climbing photos!

Matt climbing the beautiful “Rigid Designator” WI 4-5

In ice climbing, even belaying is dangerous. I kicked off a chunk of ice that hit my belayer.

Matt working hard on the mixed route “Titties and Beer” M7

The descent is always the best part. You glissade down the mountain, as Matt demonstrates:
This last Friday we went to a new area called the Firehouse. The approach is much shorter than Rigid Designator and it doesn’t seem to get as much attention. There were only two other people there, a guide and his client. 
Matt leading “Lowe Gravity” WI 4. The column to his left made a terrifying cracking noise after he had placed a screw in it for protection. He changed course and moved up to the right. 

I lead my first ice climb here, a WI 3+ called “The East of the West”. I’m psyched! Unfortunately, there are no photographs as proof.

Matt working on “Eastern Expansion” WI 4+ M6+