Steep Is Flat
||Trad, Mixed, Alpine, 4 pitches, 500', Grade III
|Original: ||M5-6 Steep Snow [details]|
|FA: ||JD Merritt and Erik Rieger, 2013|
|New Route: ||Yes|
|Page Views: ||1,149|
|Submitted By: ||erik rieger on Mar 8, 2013|
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The approach couloir.
This route climbs four pitches up the chimney system on the steep upper wall of Flattop's southeast face. It makes for a good mid-late winter climb, especially in windy or cold weather due to its generally sheltered and sunny aspect.
To reach the climbing, gain about 1,400' of vert from Emerald Lake via easy snow and some moderate rock to reach the upper southeast couloir. After surmounting a large chockstone, the couloir continues up and right whereas this line breaks left onto the steep wall below another car-sized chockstone.
Pitch 1: Climb past the chockstone on the left, then trend up through broken terrain interspersed with harder moves toward the arete. Surmount the arete with great exposure, using face holds to pull onto an angled ledge (35m, M5).
Pitch 2: Climb straight up from the belay toward a large corner system swinging into a smattering of frozen turf and ice. Pull over a large chockstone and continue up a snowy chimney (30m, M4).
Pitch 3: Continue straight up the right-facing corner and chimney system, pulling two short but steep cruxes with good gear (30m, M5/6).
Pitch 4: Continue up the chimney and over a loose bulge and climb an easy slope to the summit (30m, M4).
Overall, a good mixture of easy vertical and some technical climbing. Expect a half to full day round trip, some loose rock, large snow mushrooms, and of course there can be considerable avalanche hazard.
Descend the Flattop Trail to Bear Lake.
Choose your own adventure to reach the narrow couloir below the center of the headwall on the southeast face.
Standard winter rack.
Pitch 3, looking up the corner system.
BETA PHOTO: Here is our line in purple. A direct-start variat...
You're aiming for this steep wall up and left.
Pretty awesome couloir climbing on the approach.
BETA PHOTO: Steep Is Flat, with approach marked by the dashes ...
Mar 13, 2013
Did this route last year with different variations.... Great winter mountain route.... Almost better that the old route....
By erik rieger
From: Ridgway, CO
Mar 14, 2013
Once the first pitch is done, you're tunneled into a large chimney/corner system, and you'd have to try really hard to break from the line. So I'm a bit confused how you could climb the same route "differently." The climbing is steeper and more serious than the old route.