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The Compound is the longest traverse in the Boulder area, clocking in at around 145 feet with potential to be extended to 200 feet for those willing to low-ball a bit. It sits in a spectacular spot high on the east face of the Second Flatiron and catches plenty of sun, making it a nice hang on cooler days and an all-around fun place to get away from it all.
The approach involves a fair bit of scrambling. The safest approach is from the Gutter, which sits at the bottom left (southeast) end of the Second under the huge roof. Scramble up and north from the Gutter and drop over a notch into the big gully. Cross the gully on a climber's trail and scramble up a ramp to reach the base of the wall. The Compound is actually the overhanging backside of the 3rd class rib for the standard East Face route, and can be approached via that route as well (5.0 solo). It sits directly under the Boxcar or Pullman Car, the large, colorful overhang on the right (north) side of the Second's upper reaches.
Begin low and right in a sit-start in a little pit filled with raspberry bushes. Continue left along the colorful wall, staying off the jugs up and over the lip. The last 50 feet of the traverse, where it overhangs radically, are the crux.
I've heard this called V7 on the bouldering scale and 13a on the route scale.
A crash pad could be of use in a couple spots along the length of this traverse. A spotter is certainly welcome.
Oct 26, 2004
Be careful of some loose holds and/or crisp flakes that could break. I've found that wherever these exist, there are alternative ways to do the move, but some things that look solid are actually not that solid. The last section of this is brilliant, including the high lip traversing moves after grovelling up the mossy dirty gutter for 10' following the crux. Apart from the 10' grovel, this thing is stellar!
A good combo is: Freeway (5.0) to top of Compound -_ leave shoes, go back down to the bottom of the Gutter -_ do the Gutter -_ do the Compound -_ finish Freeway -_ take trail down to 1st Flatironette (from here can do 1st or the Spy if want to add more easy scrambling).