Type: Trad, 3 pitches
FA: David Bohn & Dave Hahn 1973
Page Views: 7,122 total · 25/month
Shared By: Mike Sofranko on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Description Suggest change

This is the final exam for all the Flatiron slab-mongers out there. This route is characterized by its sustained nature, tricky route finding, dirty and sometimes suspect rock, and high commitment level. Definitely not your typical casual Flatiron scramble. The guides I have are pretty vague when it comes to details about the route. In an effort to not ruin your adventure, I'll try to take the same approach.

HIke into Skunk Canyon. Once past Ridge One (Stairway to Heaven), head up the next gully - between Ridge One and Ridge Two. Ridge Two is Satan's Slab. This gully is steep and rocky and some minor scrambling is required. The route begins about a hundred feet or so up the gully. Directly above you will see a very shallow trough that looks to be a foot or two wide and is very dark. It looked wet to me, but the dark color was due to the very dry moss growing on this obvious drainage for the slab above.

From the ground, work out a pitch to the bottom of the trough.. Your route finding skills will be tested immediately. The next (crux) pitch follows the trough for a rope length of sustained and pro-less face climbing. The rock is sometimes flakey, the flakes are sometimes flexy, the trough is mossy, and the holds are thin. Enjoy, this is the pitch you're here for. You could probably 'protect' this pitch with some hooks, but...

After a ropelength you will reach a large pothole area. From here, use your now warmed-up route finding skills and pick a way to the top of the ridge. Some more steep scrambling will lead to level section, which ends at a headwall. This headwall, the start of the second piece of Satan's Slab, was the route finding crux for me, and I'm pretty sure I went the wrong way.

Once you're past the second piece (you will have a short downclimb if you go right over the top of it) you will be on the broken (and brief) 3rd piece. Negotiate your way across and over this, where you will be confronted by some huge house-sized boulders. Just past the boulders is another headwall (the beginning of the 4th piece), which will require the use of your well-honed route finding skills once again.

The summit of the 4th piece is the summit of Satan's Slab. The summit area is split by a large crack, you will cross it to reach the true summit. From the summit, look down the west face. You should see a narrow ledge... This is the easy 4th class downclimb.

Descent: The gully to the west of Satan's Slab has some poison ivy, but it was avoidable the last time I was down there. Or, you can descend the gully between Satan's Slab and Stairway to Heaven. Or, head due east, past the summits of Stairway to Heaven and Hillbilly Rock and down to the draw east of Hillbilly, where you will find a trail. Heading down the last two ways involves negotiating a very steep and loose hillside to the north of the summit block.

Protection Suggest change

Flatiron SR