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Rigid Designator Amphitheatre
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Amphibian 

WI5+ M9

   
Type:  Trad, Mixed, Ice, 2 pitches, 105'
Consensus: WI5 M8+ [details]
FA: Will Gadd, mid '90s
Season: usually no ice until January
Page Views: 3,172
Submitted By: Dale Remsberg on Jan 1, 2005

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Photo by Avery Nelson.

Description 

This entry was submitted separately for P1 and P2. In order to keep the database neat and organized, these two submissions are combined into one. Thanks for your understanding.

One of the early mixed routes that started the modern mixed craze. The first bolt has been moved up a couple of feet to better rock. A stick clip is recommended!! There are two starts, one to the right and one to the left. I feel the left is easier and on better rock. Power up long moves on huge holds until the 5th bolt. Here the climbing gets a little more tecnical and one should take care clipping the 6th bolt(the one after the slight travers right). It sometimes has a long sling on it (not the day my wife pitched and broke her rib) and tames it a bit. Work up and right to a slight rest before clipping the last bolt and pullling onto the ice. A two bolt anchor is found to the right and most people stop here. A second fine pitch leads up from here and need a fair amount of trad gear. It tops out in the trees and one will probably need to leave a sling. I left draws on the last two bolts of the upper pitch so you can lower off if you wish. (Bring bail carabiners in case they have been taken).

The rating for P1 was submitted as WI5 M8-.

P2. Per Brad Grohusky: Starting off P1 of Amphibian, step left and up through crack. Long reaches into good placements. Screws in ice. There are a couple awkward rests. Some gear was pre-placed. Thanks to Stanley, Jack, and Jason for showing the way this season. Inspired to train that much harder!

The rating for P2 was submitted as WI5+ M9.


Protection 

P1: 7 bolts.

P2: Per Brad Grohusky: anchor in Willows on right.


Descent 

Per Brad Grohusky: for both pitches, a 70 meter rope will get you up and down to ground.



Photos of Amphibian Slideshow Add Photo
Summer time and the living is easy on Amphibian!
Summer time and the living is easy on Amphibian!
Amphibian, P1.
Amphibian, P1.
Mike Shelton starting the crux, Mar '05.  Photo by Jason Brooks.
Mike Shelton starting the crux, Mar '05. Photo by...
Dale about mid route!!
Dale about mid route!!
Sam E. showing great poise and style at exit on 12-31-09. P2 follows ice daggers. Use the right side of Fang in pic and follow crack line to orange helmet at skinny ice dagger at exit lip.
Sam E. showing great poise and style at exit on 12...
The orange line.
BETA PHOTO: The orange line.
Comments on Amphibian Add Comment
Show which comments
By Mike Shelton
Mar 17, 2005

What a great route. The crux of the route varies depending on the amount and location of the ice at the roof. 2003/2004 was a dry year and the roof was really hard to get over. 2004/2005 is different, the ice is there but you can't utilize it until you've pulled pretty hard at the roof. Of course, when the ice is fat, the roof really isn't even a roof because you can stem out and not work real hard to finish the route. Just below the roof with your tools in the right-hand corner, there's a good partial knee-bar to be had to assist with getting the hands back before the final moves. Great line, thanks Will.

By Jesse Huey
Feb 10, 2012

I remembered from years past a few fixed TCUs in the roof off of pitch one. After climbing the first pitch, I saw that the fixed gear was gone and that there was a bolt? Kinda stoked to finally tried it thinking it had been retro'd. Going for it, I got slightly terrified to find that nothing changed, but the fixed gear had just ripped out that normally protects the first moves to the bolt...??? I ended up sketching my way to the top and brought home a completely fused yellow TCU that I punched it to thinking that it would be good. After clipping it, it came out forcing a pretty serious and difficult runout to another bolt....

With all the great route development at Vail in the last year or two, it seems like despite the tradition of this route, it could use a bit of a retro, too?

An amazing pitch though.

By Kevin Gillest
From: Arvada, CO
Feb 13, 2012

Watched a couple of guys working Amphibian, like any other day. After bolt 5 heading into the traverse the leader fell, 15+ feet no big deal. But, when he fell, he got the rope with his tool under tension. The rope sheath stopped at the high point (bolt 5 QD), de-sheathing the rope and exposing 100% of the rope core. When he stopped, there was 5 feet of exposed core (0% of sheath).

The damaged rope after the fall, sketchy!
The damaged rope after the fall, sketchy!


Nothing done wrong by the leader, something that could happen to any mixed climber, any day, be careful.