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Prime the Pump 

YDS: 5.12c French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: IX- ZA: 27 British: E6 6b

   
Type:  Sport, 2 pitches, 100'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b [details]
FA: Pink L. Bear, G$
New Route: Yes
Season: spring, summer autumn
Page Views: 1,178
Submitted By: Pinklebear on Aug 5, 2012

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (7)
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BETA PHOTO: Prime the Pump showing pitches one and two.

Climbing areas reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>

Description 

Prime the Pump is the leftmost climb on the very overhanging western headwall of The Slab that begins just right of the big, black corner Trad Kreem and runs up to Hippopotamus. Recognize the start by a high bolt over an arete feature just off the ground along the approach trail. The arete is also the finish for the boulder problem Junior Niblitz.

You can do the route in two pitches or one. If in two pitches, the first pitch is 5.11+, the second pitch is 5.12c. If you do it in one pitch, a 60m rope is MANDATORY. I had some drag issues doing it in one pitch, so you might want to:

•Unclip the first two draws off the ground once you're into the third bolt.
•Use long slings at the start of the swell overhang on pitch one, and at the start of pitch two.
•Downclimb and unclip the midway anchor once you're into the two bolts above it (5-easy to get back down to the anchor).
•Use long slings/extendo draws on the rightward traversing part of the top pitch, which rails right along a flake.
•Or probably BEST: Warm up on pitch one to the midway anchor, then strip your draws on the way down. Now toprope this pitch and lead on past the anchor into the second pitch. Clip bolts one and two up there, come back and unclip the anchor slings, and off you go drag-free to the top.

The first pitch is cool, powerful 5.11+, the second pitch is pretty much the same all the way up until the last two bolts, where you gotta crimp down in the black streak. Good holds but bad feet (powerful) take you to anchors at the lip.

This route still needs some traffic, so don't be surprised by a little lichen and some crumbly-type feet. It got hot before we had a chance to do a final cleaning. It probably will clean up well to be a three-star route. It has great, exposed position on the pitch-two traverse, looking down and left back toward Boulder. Good eye to G$ for spotting the line and heroically down-aiding the top pitch so we could TR it.

Many thanks to OSMP, the Flatirons Climbing Council, and the Access Fund for keeping new-routing alive and thriving in the Flatirons!

Location 

This is 20 feet right of Trad Kreem, on the west face of The Slab; 20 feet left of Pen 15.

Protection 

6 bolts on pitch one to a midway anchor at 15m; 7 bolts on pitch two to the top anchor at 30m.
13 bolts total plus anchor slings for both stations if done in one pitch.


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By Pinklebear
Aug 7, 2012

Beta hint for shorter climbers: Our working name for the route was "Pogo Lord," which might help you sort things out passing the last bolt. You'll know the "pogo move" when you do it.
By maestro
Sep 22, 2012

The beta posted above for rope management is worth reading again.
By dyager
From: Fort Collins
Dec 23, 2012
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

The "pogo move" is committing and fun! but pogo-ers beware: it did take some palm skin from me....
Thanks to Mr. Sammet for another fun addition to the Flatirons!
By Chris Beh
Apr 19, 2014

The first pitch of Prime The Pump is one of the best steep 11 sport pitches in The Flatirons...worth doing on its own.