Ice Climbing Vail 2006
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02/18/06

After a recent trip to Lincoln Falls and Silver Plume, we headed out to Vail once again! Jean, Wayne, and myself hiked up to Pumphouse Falls but couldn't find a way to the top ropes that we could easily get up. We hiked backVail 2006 05.JPG (48678 bytes) down then up to Rigid Designator. Seeing two groups already on there, we figured we would have to wait or find something else. About 50ft below the falls we hear this extremely loud noise and look up to see The Fang come crashing to the ground! Thank God we weren't standing anywhere near it. Once at the base of Rigid Designator Wayne and I climbed up the cliffs and headed south looking for more ice. We stumbled across The Pencil and The Eraser so Wayne set up the ropes while I went back for Jean and the rest of our stuff. Finally after a couple hours of trying to climb, we were finally about to get get on some ice! WooHoo! The Eraser was a short pitch but completely vertical and sure did make the arms scream with pain soon. We each did a couple laps then pulled the rope to try something else. In talking to another group we found out that we were above The Spiral Staircase and that we could rappel down. Once at the Vail 2006 12.JPG (33490 bytes)base of Spiral Staircase we couldn't pass up the opportunity to do a couple laps there as well. A great day on the ice trying out some new falls!! Can't wait to get back there! The day was fabulous except Wayne breaking a tooth in half when a tool popped out, then having to crawl about 300yds on our hands and knees back to the cars...it was either that or continue to sink up to our waists and higher in snow. D'oh! Oh well, gotta laugh at the situation sometimes! A great dinner at The Tennessee Pass Cafe in Leadville helped before a night in a no-tell motel then an early start Sunday to hike Mt Elbert.

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