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This pretty little line is just uphill from the classic 5.8 Mr. Natural
. Rossiter mentions it in his guidebook as "Phee-nix .11d," and says it is "unclear if the line has ever been led." Phee-nix Direct is essentially a boulder problem start to "Phee-nix" proper that climbs directly up into the short left facing corner of "Phee-nix" (which I believe traverses in from easy terrain to the right). Cool but scary moves lead off the ground and gain the corner above. Some small cams in the corner ease the mind before a touch of unprotected 5.10- face climbing gains the ledge above. At the ledge, it's easy to link directly into "Rough Roof .12b" (Eric Johnson is featured on this obscure steep classic in the film "Front Range Freaks") for a long--by Eldo standards anyway--memorable pitch. The landing at the start of this climb is bad and the moves a bit cryptic, so without a few pads and a spotter or two TR rehearsal's not a bad idea. If you link the start with "Rough Roof" you can create an anchor off some mid-size cams and wires to lower back to the ground (but someone will eventually have to clean the pitch on TR and walk off left on the huge ledge above). Also, linking the two pitches probably warrants 2 stars.
Small to midsize cams.
Oct 24, 2007
From talking with a few people who have done this, Phee Nix does not step in from Flakey Floont on the right, but begins with the boulder problem start described above, i.e. you climb directly into the corner from below (good hold for right, reach left to OK hold, reach right high to sloper, shallow pocket, better pocket, bucket). I still need to ask Mike Brooks (FA) about it, but I know David Light led the bouldery start in the late 1980s after he worked it on TR a bit. On toprope this felt like 5.12a to me.
By topher donahue
May 13, 2014
Led this onsight with a couple terrified spotters in about 2001. Probably an irresponsible way to do it, but since there seems to be a new history of the route, it seemed worth mentioning. Climbs more like a highball V4 with a 5.10 finish than a 5.12.