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Per George Bracksieck: P1 of Flakes is a steep, short, lichen-infested thin-hands on the right side of the Prow. This is harder than 5.8.
[P2 of Flakes] is an [obscure old line] that climbs directly to the start of Mausoleum and from there angles right to the top of Oblique Streak. The climbing is good, although indirect at the bottom, and the rock quality is for the most part excellent. The crux comes early, but there are two more interesting secondary cruxes to follow. The [second] pitch serves as a better first pitch for Mausoleum than Oblique Streak.
Pitch ) Scramble up to a slanting ledge. You could belay there. Step up to the bottom of the slot. Make a difficult crux move left and up from the top of the slot to a right angling shallow groove. The rock here looks deceivingly low angle from the ground. Use long slings here. Follow the groove awkwardly right, passing a fun thread, to a stance below a ceiling that leads to a left-facing corner. Instead of making the crux move left and back right, it appears to be possible to climb a nice face directly to the ceiling, but there is no gear. There are two chockstones in the ceiling. The bottom one rocks but appears to be safe. The top one is solid. A 5.8 or so move leads over the ceiling to a stance on the chockstones. With some difficulty, get in gear at the next ceiling (deep inside, on the right, and/or high on the left). Layback past the left side of the next ceiling at 5.9 or so and then up easier rock to the 2-bolt anchors at the base of Mausoleum.
Pitch ) Angle right along a relatively easy and somewhat dirty crack past a 5.8 move near the top to the tree at the top of Oblique Streak.
Just uphill from the wildly overhanging Industrial Wall at the bottom of Mickey Mouse is a lower angle wall whose top is where Garden of Stone is located. In the center of this wall is the angling crack system of Oblique Streak. The left side of this wall is bounded at the bottom by the short Prow (or “Ship's Prow”) buttress and at the top by an obvious, red, right-facing corner whose left wall is the huecoed arete of Mausoleum. [This route starts to the right of The Prow.] The bottom of Cryptomaniac is marked by a short, left-angling slot about 30' off the ground that is clearly visible from the right but barely visible from directly below.
There are several options for getting down. By far the easiest it to rap with two ropes from the tree at the top to ground. The next best option is to do only the first pitch and rap from the bolts at the base of Mausoleum. I think, but can't verify, that you can get to the ground or the first ledge, from there with a 60m rope. A third option is to walk down from Garden of Stone. If you don't know the way, you could end up trashing weeds and even end up on the wrong side of the tunnel. Another option would be to do an extremely diagonal rap along the way from the top to the Mausoleum anchors. This looked very dangerous. The last option is to rap from the top with one rope and hope you can find or build an anchor somewhere along the way. Note that Oblique Streak diagonals more than it seems, and you would end up in the middle of the wall to the right of Oblique Streak. You might be able to get to the easier rock below Industrial Wall.
Single cams from micro to #3.5 Camalot. Optional doubles from #0.5 to #2. Single set of medium nuts. 15 or so slings, mostly long. Double ropes are required to rap to the ground from the top.
The first ceiling is exciting but only about 5.8. ...
Laybacking past the second roof is about 5.9. The ...
The rope delineates the first pitch. The Mausoleum...
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Oct 15, 2010
Nice, Ivan - looks like there are still good lines out there just waiting!
|By George Bracksieck|
Dec 9, 2012
In 2001, I led Julie Claus up the second pitch of "Cryptomaniac" (as described above). After leading p.1 of Oblique Streak, we avoided OS's p.2 and moved left and up to the anchors at the base of Mausoleum's arete. We finished by scrambling/hiking up to the Garden of Stone. I think that p.2 of "Cryptomaniac" is the likely last pitch of The Flakes and has probably been climbed many times before 2001.
|By George Bracksieck|
Dec 13, 2012
Went up to Mickey Maus today for a hike. Looked at Flakes. Mike Endicott and I did its first pitch (steep, short, lichen-infested thin-hands on the right side of the Prow) in the early '80s and thought it was harder than the guidebook rating (5.8). It was our last pitch of the day, so we didn't continue up the remainder of the route. I wondered at the time why it was called Flakes.
Looking up at "Cryptomaniac" today, I found the answer: "Cryptomaniac" climbs Flakes's flakes. "Cryptomaniac" is the second and third pitches of Flakes (FA: Rob Candelaria, solo, 1976).
|By George Bracksieck|
Aug 18, 2013
Just to clarify: Pitch one of Cryptomaniac is pitch two of Flakes; pitch two of Cryptomaniac is pitch three of Flakes. After climbing the first pitch of Flakes, you scramble down and right from the top of the Prow to get to the second pitch, which can also be quickly reached from the ground to the east of the Prow, as described by Ivan, above. Cryptomaniac doesn't cover any ground that wasn't climbed by Candelaria in 1976.