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US Highway 550
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Scratch, The 
Seven Year Itch T 

Seven Year Itch 

WI5-6

   
Type:  Trad, Ice, 3 pitches, 300'
Consensus: WI4+ [details]
FA: 
Season: Winter
Page Views: 842
Submitted By: eDixon on Aug 30, 2008

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Description 

This is a Durango area classic that is a must do when in condition.

The rarely forming first pitch is a steep pillar or curtain (~60', WI5) that eases onto a snow bench then continues up another headwall of ice (~40', WI3/4) and ends at a tree on the left. If the first step is not touching down, it is possible to walk around to the left. The other option is to try pitch 1 of The Scratch.

Some snow slogging leads to another short ice step (~40', WI3/4). Belay at a tree on the left.

Slog up some more snow to the base of the final headwall. The first tier of this headwall is often reluctant to touch down. when it does, it is a steep pillar or curtain (~80', WI5/6) that eases at a snow bench. If the first tier is not touching down, try The Scratch. The second tier is usually good moderately steep ice to the top (~60', WI4/5). Belay at a tree.

Descent - Rappel the route from trees.

Location 

About 17 miles north of Durango the route should be easy to spot. Park on the west side of US Highway 550 and hike directly up to the climb. This is a long slog of an approach that crosses private land so please be respectful. Expect at least 2 hours.

Protection 

Screws & webbing for raps.


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By Ben Kiessel
Jan 19, 2014

This route can be rappelled with a single 70 meter rope.
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