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Vai is a great new (relatively) moderate addition, and one of the best "new" routes in the park. The climb is marred somewhat by an unfortunately difficult boulder problem start that guards 3-star 5.10 climbing on the upper headwall.
Begin below a leaning dihedral/arete, with powerful, insecure liebacking up the leaning corner. Work the right hand up the arete to a long reach to a jug. Move left and mantle the ledge for a no-hands rest at the 3rd bolt. From here the climbing is more like mid-5.10, easing as you ascend. Float the beautiful panel with a rising rightward traverse to the arete, and then back left to another good ledge and shake. A short easier-than-it-looks bulge leads to a juggy diagonal crack. One more hard-ish move exits the crack, where 2 more bolts of jugs end at the chains.
I wonder which guitarist this one's named for?
This is on the RIGHT G3 Wall, the 3rd route from the left, or the 2nd from the right. It is immediately right of Malmsteen.
12 bolts to 2 BA, currently sporting fixed biners. Stick clip the first bolt.
From: San Diego, CA
Aug 24, 2009
Mono mentions the boulder problem start...I think a crucial crimp on the left wall of the dihedral has broken (you can easily see the rock scar). Unless you are tall, the start to Via seems more like 11c/d to me. However, the upper climbing is, in my opinion, long, fun and better 5.10 than on its neighbor Malmsteen.
As a suggestion, I have been doing this route as a warm up, the past 2 seasons, by climbing the first 2 bolts of "Malmsteen" (10c just to the left) avoiding the not very pleasant start of Vai. Just use a double draw on the 2nd bolt of Malmsteen and the 3rd bolt of Vai. Rope drag has never been an issue and done this way makes a great 10c warm up.
From: Carbondale, CO
Sep 8, 2009
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- E4 6a
Climbed this yesterday. I think there are 13 bolts, not 12. An easy way to skip the bouldery start is to just yard on the 1st 2 draws to get up onto the ledge. From there it's brilliant 5.10+ climbing for a looong way.
Oct 21, 2009
12 clips is correct.
We have seen a few climbers climbing the start of Malmsteen and jogging over to Vai at clip 3.
Taking up both routes at once while others are waiting for either route may not be the best thing.
A hold has broken but it should not affect the start.
|By Michael Schneiter|
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Jul 21, 2011
I really liked this climb. I didn't think the boulder problem start was that bad although I am tall (6'2"). You can also stick clip the second bolt to do it on TR or to jug past it. Once past the start the middle of the route is fun, techy climbing and the last third of the climb is just big grin inducing jug hauling on the crack feature and pockets.
Sep 24, 2012
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a
11b to onsight that start? I don't think so. I thought 11d and was told the same by someone who climbs 5.14.