Trip Report
Mike and Doug do the Designator.
Friday February 2, 2018 7:53pm
My friend Doug and I have been talking about doing some ice climbing for the last couple of months. We have done exactly one climb together which was the full pull on the 3rd flatiron a 1200ft 5.6 that was runout enough to convince me he was ready for the Rigid Designator on his first day of ice climbing. Of course may of you know Doug a Nature. He has put on Sushi fests for many years and of course knows many of you. Now you probably need to know I have never done RD and was not sure I ever would as I have been working 40 hours a week at a desk job for the better part of 3 decades.
Credit: mike m

0well anyway Doug seems game so he picks me up at 6am and off to Vail we go. Now I have been wanting to do this climb ever since buying my first set of ice tools and promptly coming out to CO in the early 90's. We did silverplume as my first ice lead and then went to vail and did spiral staircase. I remember walking by the rigid and the fang and going wow.
Rigid Designator
Rigid Designator
Credit: mike m

Now you have to remember that that the RD is steeped in fame it was probably done sometime in the early 1800's. I had heard that the guy that did it first could squeeze the milk out of a coconut with each hand. So needless to say I did not know if I was up to the task. So we promptly walked up to the RD amphitheater. We walked right up to it and I promptly decided that we should keep walking right on by as the thing is a monster and I barely got 8 hours of sleep last night.
Credit: mike m
So we just walk right on by that bad ass piece of ice and walk right up to the a much easier piece of ice. We do the Spiral Staircase which is Doug's actual first vertical ice climb ever. We cruise it so at that moment I know we are ready. We bravely move the 200m over to our right and start the Designator in what some have recently described as the easiest conditions they have ever seen. This gives me immense confidence and I just fly up the climb which is obviously only 4+.
Credit: mike m
I hammer away and actually climb it pretty decent and finish the onsite of what is obviously a solid 5 now that I have actually sent it. Doug had some fun and I think he did awesome for his first ice climb.
Credit: mike m
Of course he may never be able to cut bait again after climbing 50 feet of cauliflower ice with interesting technique.
Credit: mike m
Well after that we decided to call it a day but thought we would do the ice climb community a favor by getting the exact measurement of how far the fang pillar was from touching. I think it was exactly 1.3 meters. So give it 5 more days and somebody will be cranking some hard ice or we could all go have the largest margarita party on that side of the divide.
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m

  Trip Report Views: 1,759
mike m
About the Author
mike m is a trad climber from black hills. Who is cold

Comments
Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report
xCon

Social climber
909
  Feb 2, 2018 - 08:10pm PT
what are you thinking?!?!?!

don't tell me you stood up and took a swing at that dagger!
thebravecowboy

climber
The Good Places
  Feb 2, 2018 - 08:59pm PT
handmilked cocoNUTS alright! seriously though, did you leave the cone of good reasoning for the chandelier?
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
  Feb 2, 2018 - 09:01pm PT
I'm not buying this.

He might live in Boulder now, but he's a wussy Arizona boy, and that ain't gonna change no matter where he claims to be from today.

Ice climber? No fukkin way!
Ice climber? No fukkin way!
Credit: Ghost
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Feb 2, 2018 - 09:12pm PT
Nice Work Men!

I climbed it when I lived in Vail, but its reputation preceded my ascent by decades.
Now
The Fang,
Awaits!

If it forms....
xCon

Social climber
909
  Feb 2, 2018 - 09:23pm PT
the only accomplishment ive of note in vail is talking a girl I knew to hiking up one of those gullys to learn what sh#t those crags were and then obviously why there wernt free climbs to date and then macking on the way back to the car...

id like to think id noticed to obvious scratch marks of mixed progress then but I guess id picked a runnel not a lot of water chose to run down...
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
  Feb 3, 2018 - 08:13am PT
This is when I knew I was in trouble <br/>
This is when I knew I was in trouble

Credit: nature

The Fang
The Fang
Credit: nature

Spiral Staircase
Spiral Staircase
Credit: nature

Mike leading Spiral Staircase
Mike leading Spiral Staircase
Credit: nature

Credit: nature

Mike leading Rigid
Mike leading Rigid
Credit: nature

Mike rapping Rigid after the on sight
Mike rapping Rigid after the on sight
Credit: nature


We did not depart the cone. It's super hollow and dripping. yikes!
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
  Feb 3, 2018 - 08:24am PT
Didn't you guys ever do Highlights "What's wrong picture"?

Credit: Chuck Dillon
rwedgee

Ice climber
CA
  Feb 3, 2018 - 09:13am PT
Excellent job boys !
"I only got 8 hours of sleep" ?? What ?
How did Doug's hands do in the cold with the Reynaude's ?
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
  Feb 3, 2018 - 10:31am PT
Congrats, Mike - fun route! Fun TR. Takes me back ... ahem, 3 decades.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
  Feb 3, 2018 - 10:32am PT
I'm not sure if what happens in my hands is Reynaude's. I did a lot of riding on my cruiser bike last winter with fingerless gloves. It seemed to condition my fingers for the cold and I didn't experience hardly any of that isolated frozen tip syndrome. Yesterday my right hand did get totally soaked on Rigid and that coupled with loss of blood froze it up real quick. That's when I lowered. The screaming barfies ensued but the fingers recovered really quickly.
WyoRockMan

climber
Grizzlyville, WY
  Feb 3, 2018 - 10:33am PT
Strong work Mike and Doug. For sure a solid 5. Don't listen to the naysayers.
reallyy big star

Social climber
some, place
  Feb 3, 2018 - 10:35am PT
i like smiles.

i like people whom go out of their way
seeking the difficult path.

your ice pitch is probably no on the way to your market.

you are a celebration of my hope for humanity.

i like you.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Feb 3, 2018 - 10:53am PT
Good stuff boys,
Thank you 👍👊
xCon

Social climber
909
  Feb 3, 2018 - 03:57pm PT
i though they hung cords down all those lines now to help the ice form up
telemon01

Trad climber
Montana
  Feb 3, 2018 - 04:11pm PT

A proud send Mike!

A Colorado classic for sure
Mike.

climber
  Feb 3, 2018 - 04:18pm PT
Excellent!!
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
  Feb 3, 2018 - 06:42pm PT
and i'm still not sure how a day out swinging runout simul-leads on 5.5 3rd Flat turns into I'm ready for Spiral and Rigid.

But OK...
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Feb 3, 2018 - 09:53pm PT
Looks like fun!

Now if you brought a plastic cutting board taped to your back, one can stand on the otherís back to get two picks into the Fang from opposite sides and then campus a few moves :)
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Feb 4, 2018 - 10:50am PT
So Doug, how do you like screaming barfies????
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
  Feb 4, 2018 - 02:11pm PT
Those are no fun. That sh#t hurt. But everything is still functional.
wilbeer

Mountain climber
Terence Wilson greeneck alleghenys,ny,
  Feb 4, 2018 - 02:33pm PT
Nice
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Feb 4, 2018 - 04:36pm PT
Nice Mike...keep getting after it!
Nick Danger

Ice climber
Arvada, CO
  Feb 5, 2018 - 06:17am PT
Nice!

The Dez has been a favorite of mine for 4 decades now. I just love that clomb. You did yourself real proud getting that one as your first or second day out on ice this year, as well as your partners second ice climb ever. I would say that was an honest day's work.

Ah yes, the screaming barfies, one of the lesser joys of the genteel pastime of climbing ice.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
  Feb 5, 2018 - 07:27am PT
I think I did well for making Spiral my first climb. Before taking my first swing and going vertical I thought to myself "really? this is going to work". Did a lot of stemming and it was interesting how my experience on rock helped (resting, etc.).

But I only got half way up Rigid on TR. It was dripping wet and my right hand got totally soaked and went cold so I lowered. So I get credit for very little on that run.

Never experience screaming barfies like that.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
  Feb 5, 2018 - 02:35pm PT
Awesome job Guys! looks Wicked cool!
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
  Feb 8, 2018 - 04:31pm PT
yeah!Get Some, Gettin After It for sure! looks wild thats a nice tic,
What I add here is worth at least a similar number of "well wishes" How about a show from "Climbers"?
Show some support of one of our own who shares some intimidating, far off, & far from the norm, stuff
So go post up

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Omi-Tso-Go/t13279n.html
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Feb 8, 2018 - 10:56am PT
nice!
Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report
Go