Mother 1 to the Parabolic Slab

Mother 1 to the Parabolic Slab

Page Type: Route
Lat/Lon: 41.15555°N / 105.37357°W
Route Type: Trad Climbing
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Time Required: Less than two hours
Rock Difficulty: 5.7 (YDS)
Number of Pitches: 2


Me Rapping off the Parabolic Slab
Me Rapping off the Parabolic Slab
This is not an official two-pitch route at Vedauwoo, but it does represent one of just a few ways to the top of the Parabolic Slab (aka the Potato Chip). Doing the free-hanging rap off the Parabolic is a must at Vedauwoo.

Mother 1, at 5.7+ one of the Vedauwoo classics, is the first pitch. It is a long off-width that is not so technical but is very physical. People with little or no off-width expeience or technique are likely to find this harder than 5.7.

The second pitch is from the belay to the top of the Parabolic Slab.

Many Vedauwoo summits are attainable by hikes or scambles. This one is not, and that just adds to the cool factor.

Getting There

From I-80 between Laramie and Cheyenne, leave the highway at Exit 329, marked for Vedauwoo. This is about 16 miles from Laramie. Take Vedauwoo Road east and drive 1.2 miles to where you can turn left onto a well-signed road for the Vedauwoo Recreation Area. Instead of turning, though, continue straight as the road turns to dirt. Very soon, turn into an obvious parking area on the left. The Nautilus is almost close enough to touch.

Vedauwoo Road is usually clear of snow by May and sometimes as early as April.

This climb is on the northwest side of the crag and is easy to see but not easy to get to. The way to its base is not obvious and requires dropping into a slot and then following the slot until you can scramble up to the base. You'll figure it out.

Route Description

Baldwin's Chimney (5.4) and Mother 1 (5.7+)
Baldwin's Chimney (5.4) and Mother 1 (5.7+)

  • P1: Mother 1 (5.7+)-- Grunt your way up the beautiful crack. Belay off the anchors.
  • P2: A short slab scramble to the top. There is no protection. In the guidebook, this pitch is rated 5.2, but I think many would call it Class 4. In California or at Seneca Rocks or the Gunks or Carderock, it might even be called Class 3. Just be careful; a fall here, though unlikely, is going to be Factor 2. Belay off the rappel anchors.
Alternative: clip the anchors above Mother 1 and proceed if you have enough rope. I do not know if 50m is enough but think it is; I do know that 60m or more will work.

Top of the Parabolic Slab
Top of the Parabolic Slab

Now anchor yourself in and set up the rappel. There are good feet for a couple of feet as you get started, and then you are in space. Awesome.

View from the Top of the Parabolic Slab
View from the Top of the Parabolic Slab

Once down, find one of a few walk-off options (which are actually scrambles).

Essential Gear

I have followed this route but have not led it. The leader used several #4 C4's. I've also read that a #5 can work lower down and that above the horizontal crack around halfway up, #3's are better.