Direct West Face a/k/a Western Skyline
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Dave Turner on the blunt arete. Photo by Matt Sam...
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Combining short sections of Saturday's Folly and The West Face, Western Skyline punches a line directly up the overhanging West Face of the Third. No first ascension credits are given because many have contributed to the creation of this magnificent route. Some have toproped portions of it as early as the '70s, others have worked long hours to re-open the Flatirons to new fixed anchors, after a twenty year ban, which enable wonderful routes such as this to be created. Others have supported the efforts of the Access Fund and the Flatirons Climbing Council, volunteered for trail projects, and otherwise contributed to the greater climbing community of Boulder. This is indeed a communal route on Boulder's iconic crag.
Start on Saturday's Folly, cutting left after 20 feet towards the bolted, blunt arete. The first crux is found along this section with five bolts. Gun up the finger crack on The West Face. Gear belay optional after the finger crack. Place a bit more gear behind a flake, then climb boldly over the overhang (second crux), clipping four more bolts along the way. Gear belay at the top of the slab.
Rap the standard descent.
Standard rack to gold Camalot; 9 bolts. If you climb the route as one pitch, make sure you bring plenty of shoulder length runners to cut down on rope drag.
|Photos of Direct West Face a/k/a Western Skyline Slideshow
Roger Briggs at the overhang. Photo by Bill Brigg...
Direct West Face is the right skyline. (Photo by J...
|Comments on Direct West Face a/k/a Western Skyline
|By jack roberts|
Oct 23, 2009
Dougald and I did this route today and we confirm the 4star quality rating. This is the best route that has been placed since the bolt ban went into effect. A climb which has tremendous exposure, exceptional rock quality and combines sustained fingery and balance climbing with the occasional thuggish move. We broke this up into two pitches. A #3 and #2 Camalot would be perfect for the belay.
Thanks to all the first ascentionists for doing such a fine job.
|By Dougald MacDonald|
Oct 23, 2009
As Jack said, this is an exceptional route: steep, engaging, great moves. There are a few somewhat fragile holds, but it doesn't seem like the grade will be altered significantly if they break. Make sure to take a 1-inch cam (purple Camalot is perfect) on the second pitch. You'll know when you need it, and you'll be very happy to have it.
Doing this in two pitches seemed natural; one would be a stretch, in more ways than one. Both pitches seemed about the same in difficulty, but I think most climbers will find the second harder to onsight.
Oct 25, 2009
Was up here on Saturday and my partner and I thought about trying this one, but we noticed the hold used to get over to the first bolt seemed very fragile (in fact, I felt it breaking as I first weighted it and decided to back down). The comment above mentions some fragile holds and I guess this is one of them. The line looks absolutely amazing.
|By Brian Weinstein|
Nov 22, 2009
As Seth mentions there are a couple loose flakes as you commit to the first bolt. It's a matter of time before they go...without them getting to that bolt will be much more difficult. Get it while you can, this route is stellar.