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Vail’s Trevor Hiatt first scouted this Vail Pass pinnacle five years ago. “I kept looking at it, thinking somebody should tap that, Hiatt says. “And once you get it in your head, there’s no way back. These towers are remnants of 300-million-year-old riverbeds that shed sediment off the ancestral Rocky Mountains. Subsequent uplift and erosion have removed much of the sediment, leaving these pinnacles behind. Photographer Jeff Cricco dubbed this 30-foot rock tower (arkosic conglomerate, to be exact) the Pinnacle of Stupidity.
“The inrun was 300 feet of full-on skating for dear life to get enough speed, followed by a crazy maneuver around this tree to get straightened out for the takeoff, Hiatt says. “Too slow and I’d slam into the pinnacle, too fast and I’d overshoot it, which happened on my first attempt…It’s all luck to hit this thing,” Hiatt says.
“I flew upside down and sideways and missed crashing into the second pinnacle by a foot. My hat and goggles flew 10 feet up in the air and landed right back on the pinnacle. We couldn’t get them down, and when we went back in June they were gone. Eds.note: We suspect marmots.
“If you have any big rock spires for me to tap, let me know ’cause I’m still all about it, Hiatt says. “Just bring a ladder so we can retrieve my lost gear.