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Fandango Variation 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 6,033
Submitted By: Michael Komarnitsky on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (31)
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BETA PHOTO: 0 Far Right, 2. 1 Direct E Face, 6R. 1a Butterfly,...

Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>


Start the same as for Fandango, about 200 hundred feet up the left edge of the rock.

P1. Travel right, then up the massive flake and around the roof. A 60m rope can not quite make the tree above and left after turning the roof - it's about 10 yards short. Plan accordingly.

P2. The variation goes up and right slightly, up an easy face to a huge tree. Step over and onto a ledge behind the tree and a couple of nice large boulders.

P3. Follow the clean face up and left with the left-facing dihedral. Where the dihedral turns left and grows larger, move out right and join back up with Fandango.

P4. Head straight up, or follow the dihedral up and right to the summit traverse.

P5-6. From here, it takes usually two pitches to reach the summit block. Take care, for the ridge traverse is exposed at times.

Rappel 100 feet off of two eye bolts, or down climb via the south. Note: a 50m rope may be used for the rappel, but it's definitely not recommended. The rope didn't touch the ground until we were nearly at the end of the rope.


Standard rack. Protection is thin in places, and there are some exposing run outs.

Photos of Fandango Variation Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Katherine Smith stops for a rest just before the e...
Katherine Smith stops for a rest just before the e...
Rock Climbing Photo: The beginning of The Fandango Variation.
The beginning of The Fandango Variation.
Rock Climbing Photo: Fandango Variation (6 pitches).
Fandango Variation (6 pitches).

Comments on Fandango Variation Add Comment
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By Ben Mottinger
Founding Father
Jan 1, 2001

There is another variation that is similar, but I give it 2.5 stars, 5.6. For the second pitch, head past a small tree on the edge of a dropoff to the dihedral below. Find an easy way down to this dihedral and follow it until you see a small roof. Tackle the roof, and rejoin Fandango. This variation is fun because of the big dihedral and little roof.
By Kevin Craig
Aug 6, 2004
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Yet another variation goes to the big tree ledge as the "standard" variation, then... instead of following the left facing/leaning dihedral, go a bit right and up from the big tree ledge until you can easily turn left up the face again, pass a bulge and belay (with 60m cord) at the base of the dihedral that leads up to the summit ridge (re-joining the standard route at this point). I first did this with Doug Cook several years ago, but haven't seen it described anywhere - it's since become my "standard" way of doing the route.
By Chris I
From: Fresno, CA
Sep 13, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I'm not sure exactly which variation I took, but here's what I did. Direct up to the first big tree. Then left more or less following the big, left-facing dihedral. Surmount the dihedral about 100 ft above the tree and face climb following another dihedral. Reach the top. And for those climbing here for the first time.... THE RAP ANCHORS ARE SOUTH NEAR THE END OF THE 1ST FLATIRON. I say this, because I spent about 45min traversing the top trying to find a way down. Thankfully a pair of fellow climbers guided me to the rap bolts.
By Brian C.
From: Longmont, CO
Jul 13, 2011
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Heads up! There is a basketball-sized rock just over the 5.5 roof on the variation (where the ramp ends right above Zig-Zag) that is about to come off. I bumped it and barely had time to shove it back in before it unloaded down the face. I tried to wedge it in a bit better, but it's still very unstable. Not in a place for a safe trundle either. Watch out, especially for the safety of climbers below.
Sep 1, 2013 clarify Chris' comment re: location of rap anchors, (...'NEAR THE END OF THE 1ST FLATIRON.'), the anchors are on the summit.
By Daniel Joder
Nov 9, 2015

We just did the variation today and can confirm that the basketball-sized loose rock that Brian C. mentioned is still there just after you climb over the steep wall/roof. Be careful and don't step on it! Also, I found myself with a ton of rope drag at the end of this pitch--we had belayed on the nice, blocky ledge above the huge, sling-plastered pine tree, and by the time I went up the the smooth ramp, placed some pro for the steep wall/roof moves, and turned the corner to the right, it was hell traversing over to the big dihedral where I finally set up the belay at a nice stance about 8' to 10' below the rusty ring piton. Maybe consider where to place your pro before this little crux wall and sling it plenty long. Other than that, the variation was interesting and fun. The following final "Fandango Regular" pitch up the massive dihedral to the North Arete was really, really nice with good pro.

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