Dodge Block Variation (Tunnel Route)
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This novelty variation makes the otherwise forgetable Dodge Block route worth repeating with a short bit of cool tunneling beneath a mini arch. The arch is visible from Freeway
and from pitch two of Dodge Block (also pictured on page 46 of the Fixed Pin guidebook).
Follow the Dodge Block route for two 60m pitches to the tree even with the foot of the Pullman Car. Rather than bailing out right towards Freeway
, continue straight up to the apex of the groove. Pass a pair of fixed pins, then stem up the 8'-high wall with good jugs and pockets to a tenuous move at the lip (5.6) to gain the easy slab above. Cruise the slab with minimal pro to the obvious arch. Tunnel under the arch (good gear in the tunnel) which is more difficult than you might expect. Climb over an easy step on the top end of the arch, and cruise 4th class terrain to reach the First Flatiron Trail.
This is easily done in three pitches with a 60m rope.
Climbs the central gully on the east face of the Second Flatiron. To approach, follow the 2nd/3rd Flatiron Access Loop Trail to the foot of the Second Flatiron. Depart the trail and hike up a steep gully, heading SE along the base of the east face to a tree-filled gully that splits the east face. Head up the gully, make a few 4th class moves passing a huge boulder to the south, then continue hiking until the gully terminates in slabs (this is the top of the Second Flatironette).
Gear to 2". Two fixed pins just below the crux, but you will want some thin crack gear at the lip if you're near your limit. This is one of the better-protected Flatirons slabs, but expect some runouts on easy terrain.
BETA PHOTO: Photo of the crux wall. It does take gear. I think...
|Comments on Dodge Block Variation (Tunnel Route)
By Fiona Dunne
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 29, 2015
It's more fun to climb the Second Flatironette (5.0) instead of the gully to start this route. It's basically part of the 2nd Flatiron, not really a distinctly separate rock. That's what's recommended on the standard Dodge Block page:
"From the lowpoint of the the Second Flatiron (where the trail touches the base), head up through the trees to the south for a couple hundred feet. If the huge roof of the South Block is above you, you've gone just a little too far. Start on a rib/slab just below and to the right of the huge roof. This rib will have a 10 foot step visible about a ropelength up. Climb the south edge of the rib up to the step. Climb through the steep step via the easiest looking path. Soon you will be on a small summit."
By Daniel Joder
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 24, 2016
I agree with Fiona on the way to start this. This first Dodge Block pitch will be a good warmup, and you'll have a fun little headwall to surmount (5.easy, good pro) near the top. Be advised that you'll need to start well up on the rib (or simul-climb) if you want a 60m rope to reach the top of this Second Flatironette in one pitch. From here, scramble down to the NW to the base of the obvious, smooth groove - this makes a nice second pitch up to a big pine tree, although pro can be difficult at times for the new leader. A third 70m pitch (or simulclimb with shorter rope) of 4th class/low 5th will take you close to the headwall, where the gully pinches out (Dodge Block escape goes across the gully to the right right, or NE). A fourth 70m pitch will take you over the headwall, through the tunnel, and to the trail on top. The headwall pins looked pretty solid today and were only a few inches apart. Bottom one looked new. I didn't see them until I was ten feet away. You can back them up with a cam on the right wall if you wish. Make one more move up and you can get a tri-cam on the left--then go for it over the top. The very easy slab up to the arch itself can be protected (tricams!), but it's kind of hard to do. In the arch, you can get a #2 or #3 Camalot. Cool arch! I'd say this route is worth doing once just to go through the arch - very unique!