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Upper Security Risk
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Plan B 

YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b

   
Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 95'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b [details]
FA: F.A.: Ken Trout in Feb. 1994. F.F.A.: Henry Lester in April 1994. Finished added (F.A. of entire route) by Mark Rolofson in July 1994
Page Views: 5,076
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Mar 30, 2001

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1st crux.

  • Seasonal Closures - lifted MORE INFO >>>
  • Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    Boy, oh boy, what a chance to spray about a great line! I am surprised that this route was not described here previously. First, the Upper Security Risk Crag is a great crag, and second, Ken Trout has put up some of the finest climbs anywhere. With Mark and Henry completing the picture, Plan B was guaranteed to be a classic, and it is all of that.

    On a cliff with nothing but great lines, this a really great line. Plan B starts just to the right of a grungy, little off-width on a short pillar. It takes the face straight up crossing a pegmatite dike and climbs largely on good edges and side pulls. The route reminded me of Ten Digit Dialing in Clear Creek, only longer and with no move harder than 5.12b. The cruxes start coming right away, first at bolts 2 and 3 and shortly later at bolts 4 and 5. The whole route is relentless with nearly every non-crux move at 5.11. Good, not too tricky climbing after the second crux at 40 feet takes you to a small overlap just before the first anchor. Pulling a 5.11 overlap and a couple more clips to the upper anchor just prolongs the fun. Plan B gets three stars for the super rock, the complex climbing, the continuity, and the superb job putting it all together.

    Protection 

    QDs only. 13-14 draws will get you to the top. Actually, this route has two anchors, one at 75 feet and one at 90-95 feet. Double ropes for the higher anchor or a single for the first.


    Photos of Plan B Slideshow Add Photo
    Adrian on the first crux.
    Adrian on the first crux.
    3rd bolt.
    3rd bolt.
    The route climbs just left of, and occasionally on...
    The route climbs just left of, and occasionally on...
    Crux.
    Crux.
    Adrian approaching the second crux.
    Adrian approaching the second crux.

    Comments on Plan B Add Comment
    Show which comments
    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 27, 2015
    By richard magill
    Oct 2, 2002

    4 stars on a 3 star scale.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Jun 9, 2003

    The climbing is fun and the hand holds are good, but the feet are rather slippery. I dont reccomend trying this route in warm weather even if its in the shade, but it is a great route. It is worth the hike!
    By Joe Collins
    Sep 19, 2003
    rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

    Best mid-5.12 and under sport climb in the Canyon? Two 5.12 cruxes with a good shaking hold between them. Lots of other mid to hard-5.11 cruxes.
    By Chris Archer
    Oct 28, 2003
    rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

    Sport climbing in Boulder Canyon doesn't get much better than this route and Hot Flyer.
    By KCP
    From: Eldorado Springs, CO
    Jul 26, 2005
    rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

    Don't miss this one.
    By Kevin Neilson
    From: Boulder
    Sep 7, 2008

    This is a superlative route. I have made it my goal to redpoint this route; if I do, I shall be able to retire from climbing and life. The route is very aesthetic, on a nice granite face with the starkly-delineated pink dike running throughout, yielding many crystalline holds.
    The extension brings the pitch closer to a full 30m, but contains much easier climbing and is still fairly dirty. It can be skipped.
    The route begins to receive sun shortly before noon.
    After working through the 5th-bolt sequency crux many times, I can provide some beta: clip 5. Do not go right to the dike; on this path lies only despair. Put left hand on L-facing arete; bring R foot down to ramp directly underneath you. Lieback to R; get L foot high and left to very small edge. Crank up on arete and L foot to get 2-finger undercling flake with L hand. Move R foot higher up ramp. Get R hand high to diagonal crimper. R foot higher. Match L hand to crimper. In a balancy move, reach R to sloper under 6th bolt. Switch feet, clip 6 with L.
    By Mark Wiranowski
    Nov 1, 2009
    rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

    Fantastic climb - best I've been on in Boulder Canyon. Great cold weather climb - gets the sun around 11 am until sunset. Nice suntrap in the corner. 1st clip is reachy if short - consider a stick clip. Can skip the 3rd bolt.
    By eric larson
    From: aurora, co
    Nov 8, 2010
    rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

    This feels like the Front Range 12b benchmark... absolutely stunning route... stoked to check out the two other highly rated 12s @ this wall.
    By Ken Trout
    From: Golden, CO
    Aug 25, 2013
    rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

    A few days ago, a new climbing friend was questioning me about the name of this route. I thought to check and see if Richard had covered it and found not. After all, who would know the story behind the name of Plan B? Most names have no story at all.

    Actually, my friend had been out climbing with Mark Rolofson a lot and was more like: "So Ken, is it Plan B because you couldn't do it and went elsewhere?"

    No! It was Mark and Henry's Plan B. Plan A was to sneak into the Flatirons and try "Slave to the Rhythm", but the first ever spring bird closure was in effect and a ranger found them. They were sent packing back down the trail.

    Mark knew I had bolted something big. I even told him it would be cool if a bunch of other people would do the route so some chalk would build up on the holds. I was sick of grubby, dirty, first ascents. At the time, there was nothing else in Boulder Canyon with millions of bolts. Mark convinced Henry that the best alternative plan for the day was to head up and do the route before me. I wrote the song, and they played it first.
    By Andy Hansen
    From: Longmont, Colorado
    Nov 12, 2013
    rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

    This route is essentially 3-4 awesome boulder problems linked with OK rests between. Super fantastic and well-protected route. Bakes in the sun and is actually kind of slippery if not below 50 degrees.
    By drewhouser
    Oct 12, 2014
    rating: 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b

    Wow, what a fantastic line that just doesn't let up until bolt 6 and even then isn't a gimme! I definitely agree that this is a temperature dependent route. I gave it a near onsight at 50 degrees in the shade, and 30 minutes later at 60 degrees and in the sun it felt much more difficult. I'll have to go back to get this one.
    By Mark Rolofson
    Feb 27, 2015
    rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

    Plan B has been one of my favorite climbs since it was established in 1994. It is always a super pump with fun moves. Here are the first ascent facts: F.A.: Ken Trout in Feb. 1994. F.F.A.: Henry Lester in April 1994. Finished added (F.A. of entire route) by Mark Rolofson in July 1994. Most people still stop at the first anchor. I find the finish, even though not as hard, rounds out the pump. It climbs the entire 95 ft. face rather than ending it on a slabby section. Ken was using 50 meter ropes so it made sense to put the anchor here.

    Now I would like to make one very important correction to Ken Trout's comment. Yes, the name comes from being our Plan B of the day. However, Henry & I were not planning on SNEAKING into the Flatirons to climb Slave To The Rhythm on the East Ironing Board. In fact, until that very day, the East Ironing Board was never closed. I used to climb here in Spring 1991-92 until I redpointed Slave To The Rhythm in June 1992. Henry had not yet redpointed the route but was close in Spring 1994.

    At the time, the Third Flatiron's Southwest face was closed for a prairie falcon. When it was discovered that a peregrine falcon was nesting there, an emergency closure was put in place. We & other climbers were turned around by a ranger at Bluebell shelter. The peregrine was on the endangered species list at the time, so the seasonal closure was expanded to include the Third Flatiron & everything for a 2 mile radius. It still is this size even though the peregrine falcon was delisted in 1999.

    My point here is that even though I am a strong critic of both seasonal closures of the Security Risk & the East Ironing Board, I have never violated or attempted to violate any raptor closure. In fact, such actions reflect negatively on the entire climbing.
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