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Spiral Staircase area

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
801 S 
8mm T 
Boxed In (aka Stemcicle) T,S 
Dragon's Tongue T,S 
Little Feat S 
Log-Jammin' T 
Menora T 
Pink Funhouse S 
Public Masturbation S 
Rust Never Sleeps S 
Secret Probation T 
Slabutt T 
Spiral Staircase T 
Titties 'n' Beer S 
Tourette's T 
Unnamed S 

Spiral Staircase area  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 9,000'
Location: 39.63418, -106.30189 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 37,273
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Leo Paik on Mar 19, 2006
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This is an area created to help with the organization and reduce the cluster for the Vail ice/mixed area.

This area is located uphill or East of the Rigid Designator/Fang amphitheatre. The classic of the area is the Spiral Staircase. There have been routes put in to the left of Spiral Staircase. Since the opening of that route, lines left, right, and above have been done. The area above is called the Pencil & Eraser area or the Belfry. Multiple modern mixed lines fill this small amphitheatre. All these routes are short, none longer than 25m.

You can get a fun glissade on the way down. Beware, at least one climber has blown out a knee on too fast a descent!

Getting There 

It's best to exit I-70 at the E Vail exit, about 100miles W of Denver, parking problems abound here, find legal parking or be rich, or you can park near the Pumphouse area. Then hike back east to Spiral Stairs. Climb it or 4th class gully to the right.


From Rich Purnell: Misery was the first mixed line in the upper Staircase area, which I refer to as the Belfry (Spiral Stairs leads to the Belfry). It was put up in February of 1998 with a hand drill and boasted two pins. Svengali followed the next Jan and sent on Feb. 3rd in '99 then Quasimodo in about 2003. All these routes were FA'd without the nice leashless tools and heelspurs we now all know and love. Finally, Pete Takeda and I added Guano and Esmeralda sometime around 2004. I think there is still at least two routes to do here, and a variation to Svengali that would be pretty nice.


work in progress, please be patient

Thanks to Colorado Mountain Journal for the info & to inspire the update.

Lower Tier

A. Little Feat, M6+, 1p, 60', bolts.
B. Unnamed, M7, 1p, 60', bolts.
C. Menora, 5.8+ WI4 M4-5, 1p, 80', gear & screws.
D. 8mm, WI4 M7, 1p, bolts.
E. Dragon's Tongue, WI5+ M7 PG-13, 1p, 65', bolts & screws.
F. Tourette's, WI4- M6, 1p, bolts & screws.
G. Unnamed Verglas, WI4, 1p.
H. IMAPNISS, WI4+ M5, 1p, 80', gear & screws.
I. LGB, M4+, 1p, 50', bolts.
J. 801, M5, 1p, bolts.
K. Slabutt, WI3, 1p, 70', screws or TR.
L. Titties 'n' Beer, M7-, 1p, 60', bolts.
M. Public Masturbation, M8, 1p, 60', bolts.
N. Pink Funhouse, M7, 1p, 45', bolts.
O. Log-Jammin', WI3-4 M4-5 R, 1p, 45', gear & screws or TR.
P. Boxed In (aka Stemcicle), WI5 M7, 1p, 65', bolts, gear, & screws.
Q. Spiral Staircase, WI3-4, 1p, 80', screws.
R. Secret Probation, WI5 M4-7, 1p, 80', bolts & screws.
S. Rust Never Sleeps, WI5+ M6+, 1p, 80', 3 bolts & a stubbie.

4th class access with a fixed rope.

Upper Tier (The Belfry)

A. Eraser, WI4-5, 1p, 40', screws.
B. Middle Curtain, WI4-5, 1p, 40', screws.
C. Svengali, M9, 1p, bolts & screws.
D. Pencil, WI4, 1p, 40', screws.
E. Quasimodo, WI4 M6-7, 1p, bolts, gear, & screws.
F. Misery, M8, 1p, bolts & screws.
G. Esmerelda, WI4 M6+, 1p, bolts & screws.
H. Guano, M5, 1p, bolts.

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.4 miles from here

18 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',13],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Spiral Staircase area:
Tourette's   WI4- M6     Trad, Mixed, Ice, 1 pitch   
Pink Funhouse   M7     Sport, Mixed, 1 pitch, 45'   
Slabutt   WI3     Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 70'   
Log-Jammin'   WI3-4 M4-5 R     Trad, Mixed, Ice, 1 pitch, 45'   
Dragon's Tongue   WI5+ M7 PG13     Trad, Sport, Mixed, Ice, 1 pitch, 65'   
Boxed In (aka Stemcicle)   WI5- M6+     Trad, Sport, Mixed, Ice, 1 pitch, 65'   
Secret Probation   WI5 M6-7     Trad, Mixed, Ice, 1 pitch, 80'   
Public Masturbation   M8     Sport, Mixed, 1 pitch, 60'   
8mm   M7     Trad, Mixed, 1 pitch   
Titties 'n' Beer   WI5- M7     Sport, Mixed, Ice, 1 pitch, 60'   
Spiral Staircase   WI4     Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 80'   
Browse More Classics in Spiral Staircase area

Featured Route For Spiral Staircase area
Spiral Staircase as of Jan 12, 2002

Spiral Staircase WI4  CO : CO Ice & Mixed : ... : Spiral Staircase area
Spiral Staircase follows the large, wide flow around the corner to the left of the Rigid Designator. The climb is one of the best beginner climbs in the area and therefore is usually well hacked out for most of the season. The climb ascends a slab of 75-80 degree ice to a broad bowl with large trees. This climb is also used to access The Pencil and The Eraser above. Descent: Rappel from fixed slings and rap rings around a large tree at the top of the route. (the same anchor that is used for the ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Spiral Staircase area Slideshow Add Photo
Secret Probation.
Secret Probation.

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