The beginning of The Flakes
ID 106462674

Rate Photo
     Clear
  5.0 from 1 vote

mschlocker
Jun 15, 2009
The beginning of The Flakes
Nothing trivial about this pitch, and the fall potential back down to that menacing ramp is quite real, and the ramp will loom below until you set the #O TCU at the roof. The photo presents a seriously foreshortened aspect of the pitch, and that flake/crack is 50 feet long from the roof down to the ramp. I'd give this pitch an "R" rating because of the bad fall potential from several points on the lead. Obviously, if you lead 5.11-5.12, this warning need not apply, but if you are just getting into the 5.11 leads, then the "R" is prudent.
When I did the climb in '91 I used 2 #1 Camalots for the belay at the start of this pitch. As you work up the ever-steepening ramp set RP's in the crack (#3-5), and then you stand in the tree to make the titillating step right to gain the crack proper. This photo shows the climber at this moment. There is a solid side pull for the left to set the thin gear (two RP's #3-5...and do set two!!) in the crack before you commit to it; however, until you get over right, these placements are sort of blind, so yank the shit out of them!
The wall is plumb vertical, but the locks are solid and the feet good...here. The next 15 feet is cruxy, and do not think about getting more gear in until you plant that right foot into a distinct "Toe Box" in the crack. Just get your head straight, and look for a good crimper for the left to get you going into this section. Pinky locks and layaways on fins for the hands are the theme here, and keep those feet pasted on the fins and edges that come to play. This section is "only" .10c, but it is serious.
Once you land the right foot in the box (You will know it when you get to it) you also get a solid foot on a good edge out to the left, and you can swap hands off the big-ass fin overhead to drain that pump. This position is your target as you climb up from the initial step into the crack, so gun for it and unless you are a solid 5.11 climber drop any thought of getting gear in until you get here, RIGHT?!
If you have one, Set a #2-3 Loweball here..it is a strong piece. Whatever you do with pro here, it is critical to set a low piece that is aimed up and lock this into the system. You'll want this to prevent the gear from moving around in the crack...if you pop and that one piece fails...you'll take a nasty, long fall back to the ramp. SET GOOD GEAR here! (Just sayin'..) Work the rest here, because the next section is the .11 crux.
Drop a #4-5 BD Stopper in a hole here (this hole had a small, lose stone in it in '91...is that still there?), and locked it in place with that "upward pull" piece below. This is the pro to get you up and under the roof. At the roof, lock your left fingers into a thumb-down gaston thing and set a solid #0 TCU in the roof with a runner. Suss out the right foot target, palm that right into its spot and commit to the "foot Dyno" to the right, which is a wide stem move!.
You will feel a huge relief at the instant you land that stem, because the stance you'll attain is quite secure. Plunk in a #4 BD Stopper + runner in the roof and go all casual to the right for that belay at the tree, which takes 1"-1 1/2" gear, a fixed pin (?) and a loop on the tree.
SO, the gear you'll want to haul along on this intimidating pitch is, in sequence: Doubles #3-5 RP, #2-3 Loweball, #4-5 BD Stopper (+ #1-3 RP in opposition), #0 TCU, #4 BD Stopper...and 1" - 1 1/2" pro for the belay...and 4-5 over the shoulder runners.
Note: as with some sport routes, this pitch has a funny way of pumping the left because you spend a good deal of time setting gear with the right...funny how that is on some routes. Jan 15, 2015
dhayan
Los Angeles, CA
dhayan   Los Angeles, CA
omg Mar 5, 2015

Nearby Photos