Vail Spiral Staircase
Over the last few years I have been upping my mileage during ice climbing season working toward some long term goals like leading ice. Just before the holidays in 2019 I stumbled upon a female AMGA guide working her way toward her IFMGA empowering women in the outdoors along the way. I instantly decided I wanted to learn from Mia.
I scheduled a day to spend learning in Vail. We met early on a cold Friday morning in January quickly discussing the objective for the day before landing on Spiral Staircase as our area for the day. Since we wanted to focus on leading and multi-pitch, Spiral was the perfect location and a popular classic in Vail.
Luckily our early arrival and being the weekday meant we were the first to arrive and choose our route. No waiting in line, yay! We did a few warm up laps on the Staircase before we grabbed our gear and climbed up to head to the second pitch area with more routes.
We had the route to ourselves until a pair of climbers came up as we were gearing up to head to the next pitch and asked us to take their rope up for them. I climbed up then gave Ricardo a belay up and then we set a top rope for the climbers below.
Once up at the second pitch we set our eyes on the Eraser! We climbed above the pitch, tied in and lowered down to set the top rope anchor and a redirect for the bulge on top of the route.
I rapped down first and then Ricardo put the redirect in before rapping down behind me. We took turns for a couple laps up the eraser and once again enjoyed the area to ourselves with only one other pair of climbers coming up and then promptly leaving after one lap each on the Pencil.
After our laps and taking down the anchor we descended back to the rap anchors to rappel back down to the first pitch. I again rapped down first and waited next to the gear we stashed as Ricardo followed and then Mia.
Such a great day getting to know one another, practice skills and picking Mia’s brain about AMGA paths and mentorship for women in the industry. She is a badass climber and a wonderful mentor to women and others in the outdoor community.
It was a privilege meeting and learning from Mtn Mia and I look forward to more opportunities to climb in the future!