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Jonathan following the first pitch of Smooth on a ...
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This (together with Que Rasca) is one of my favorite routes in the Flatirons.
It follows two shallow, thin cracks up the center of the East face until they disappear. From there it continues up until it joins Que Rasca before reaching the arete.
The route is very runout, and even in the sections where gear is available, it can be tricky to place due to the shallow nature of the crack. This is not a climb for a budding 5.7 leader....
Start on the East face some 10-20 yards North of a large boulder that almost leans against the face (the route can be seen and approached easily from the saddle West of the Third Flatiron, at the rappel landing).
P1. climb up the blank slab until you reach the first incipient crack, follow it to its end and switch right to the next thin, incipient crack. Easiest climbing follows the right side of the crack. Protection is not available in the first 50 feet. After that, the crack allows gear in every 30 feet or so. Use these opportunities wisely. After the second crack dies, climb up some 15-20 feet to a camouflaged new bolt. From there, a short traverse right and up and back left for some 25 feet puts you at the two camouflaged belay bolts. This pitch is about 60 meters.
P2. Climb around, left or right, the large bulge just above the belay and head to the top of the bulge. Continue to climb directly above the belay for some 30 feet until you reach another brown bolt. This is the juncture with Que Rasca. Clip the bolt and climb up and left (crux) on delicate flakes, friction, and nubbins until you reach the arete. Belay at two bolts (Velvet Elvis belay).
P3. From here, an easy but exposed class 4 50m scramble takes you to a weakness on the ridge. Across the notch you will find two rap bolts.
Rap West down some 20 meters.
Nuts and cams up to hand size.
On the upper part of P2 of Smooth, about to reach ...
Lacing up the second pitch of Smooth. photo by Ro...
The starting seam of Smoother.
Tim rockin' out with the lichen.
Looking down the face (we mostly downclimbed on/ne...
|By Mic Fairchild|
Nov 15, 2011
rating: 5.7 R
This is a really fine climb but without much pro. The protection bolt on pitch 1 is so well camo'ed that it surprised me a bit. Excellent climbing in a great location. Wonderful views of the 3rd.