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Routes in Willy B

East Face/Willy B T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c X
Swing Time T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Uncle Nasty (AKA: Willy B. Direct) T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Willy Warmer T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Type: Trad, 300 ft, 3 pitches, Grade II
FA: Larry Graham & Bill Briggs, Oct. 25, 1986
Page Views: 594 total, 3/month
Shared By: Tony B on May 4, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details


This route ascends as for the route called "Dihedral" in Rossiter's book. The online description for "Swing Time" is remarkably similar and appears to be the same as "Dihedral." I did not find these descriptions terribly good; however, so I will make an effort to re-describe this area. Take either description as you prefer.

Climb up to the Willy B from either side, eventually reaching a point where the tower begins to separate upward from the ground. There is some mossy slab below you, but this bit of climbing is of little potential interest and will probably not improve your experience.

Pitch 1: Get onto the Willy B tower by traversing our to its center from the point previously described and climb 100-120' to the "block" which runs from the center of the tower to the south. This perch is ~8 x 15 feet in size and slopes in reverse. A sit-down belay should [be] adequate to protect the second, as dragging the leader over this edge will be nearly impossible. Flake your rope up on the outside edge of the block so that it does not fall back into the crack, where it may become tangled.

From the belay: Look up. You will see a left-facing, left-arching dihedral, maybe 50' tall. The dihedral arches into a overhang/roof that runs to the left edge of the east face. The route "Dihedral" (AKA "Swing Time"?) climbs a few feet of this dihedral, and then strikes out diagonally left to where the roof meets the left edge (fixed pin) and then goes up. This is NOT your objective.

Pitch 2: Instead of climbing the slab as mentioned, go straight up the dihedral, placing a small TCU or two into the soft, but possibly solid crack when it opens up enough. One 1.5" TCU (wide cam won't fit) is the last of these in a little cleaved spot about 45' up. You WILL want this pro. Continue up until the dihedral arches into becoming a roof, and make long reaches and stems to work left under this overhang/roof to a small crack at it's right hand corner. Place a few small (0.3-0.5") TCUs and a pink/red tricam in this thin crack, then start moving up. I recommend multiple pieces, as the upcoming moves are difficult and the rock is not perfect- a single piece (or even two) did not give me the security I wanted. A #4.5 Camalot could be placed overhead in a small open section if you care to take such a beast with you. Do so if you don't feel strong on 5.10, but a solid 5.10 climber won't need it. Place said gear and make big reaches from finger-locks and opposition in the O.W. section to reach up and right of the roof, first to a good pinch, then to a great rail. Pull the roof, with nothing for feet on the right side. Heal-hook over and run up easy slab for the top. This was a 60m pitch, total; a 50m rope will not do.

Note - a #3 or #3.5 Camalot can be placed in a horizontal after the roof. If your partner is not SOLID on 5.10, I sincerely recommend leaving it there with some long and grab-able slings. These might come in handy considering the amount of rope out and stretch that will happen if they fall or hang.


The route is runout a little, but I consider this as standard fare for Flatirons climbing. Unlike MOST Flatirons climbing, the crux is in a definite place and can be protected reasonably well, or even BOMBER with a 4.5 Camalot. Take a standard light rack with TCUs 0.3-1.5" plus small tricams (pink-brown) or perhaps Aliens.


- No Photos -
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
The route info has been corrected to reflect the above comment and the verification by Bill Briggs of the precise date. Thanks for resurrecting the history gents! May 29, 2012
Larry Graham
Boulder, CO
Larry Graham   Boulder, CO
The description of this route as ascending a thin slightly overhanging crack as the dihedral curves left matches my memory of a route that I attempted to rope solo probably in the mid '80s--almost thirty years ago. I am certain that it is this one. Although I backed off of it--having only nuts and hexes then--I remember the lichenous character of the crack vividly. I came back a few years later with cams and my friend Bill Briggs and did successfully lead it. We thought it was 9 plus or so. We also thought that it was a nice climb. May 27, 2012
Dave Miller
Dave Miller   Boulder
Climbed this route yesterday. Fine line! A bit tricky as described, the roof/overhang is tricky but has good pro. The rap chains at the top are awkward so be very careful when setting up to rappel. Combined with 'The Thing' makes for a great Flatiron adventure! May 10, 2006