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|Type: ||Mixed, Ice, Alpine, 2 pitches, 140 feet, Grade III|
|Consensus: ||WI5-6 M6-7 [details]|
|FA: ||Duncan Ferguson, Douglas Snively, 1977|
|Submitted By: ||Roy Leggett on May 3, 2006|
BETA PHOTO: The Squid formed as a pure ice route. January '05.
This is one of The Parks classic ice and mixed routes. Reference Glenn Randall's "Vertigo Games" for some history and cool shots. In that book (1983), The Squid is referred to as "perhaps the most spectacular single ice pitch in Colorado".
It can form as a pure ice route, or as a difficult mixed route, with two significantly different variations. The difficulties can range anywhere from Grade 4+ ice, to WI6 M7.
I have climbed the route as a pure ice route and have also done the right side mixed variation, though left mixed variation is more commonly "in" and usually climbed.
As a pure ice route, P.1 is an amazing pillar/curtain with sustained steep ice. However, due to the amount of sun that the route gets, it also often aerated and chandeliered ice.
P.2 is a moderate 40' pitch to the top of the wall.
As a mixed route, it is a difficult and somewhat runout, traditionally protected climb. The right side variation was perhaps the hardest and scariest single pitch I have ever climbed (Spring '05). Head up the wall beginning in a crack system 20 ft to the right of the dihedral. Runout M4/5 climbing leads to a downward overlap/flake that heads straight left back to the hanging ice. Climb difficult pick-locks, torquing and stein-pulls in the flake, with sparse feet (M7/7+). You will have to place the gear behind you as to not eat up the tool placements. This put us right at the beginning of the hanging ice (see photos). Strenuous campusing on ice was required to establish on the ice proper. SICK-BIRD!!
This route is located on the south face of Flattop, between Dream and Emerald Lake. If it is in, get below it and head uphill. Be aware of avalanche conditions on the approach slopes. ~1.5 h approach.
Descend by walking left (west) from the top.
As an all ice route: Ice screws and a light rock rack for the belay atop P-1.
As a mixed route (right side): Rack to 2", heavier on the tips to finger sizes (grey to yellow TCU), ice screws.
Left side mixed (M6?): Rack to 4 inches....?, Screws.
Roy Leggett on the start of pitch 1 (Jan '05). Ver...
Roy Leggett on the difficult traverse into the ice...
Steve Su about to gain the ice. March '05.
Pulling wet candle sticks, and chandelier. GS on 1...
GS finishing the wetpumpfest. 12-8-07
Looking back up The Squid after rapping back down.
Just past the crux section of the Squid.
Blue skies, no crowds, warm enough to climb with o...
Yeah and little to no wind to speak of.
'98 The Squid subliming away and baked out. Screw...
Starting the climb on a very cold day in '08.