Type: Trad, 2000 ft (606 m), 14 pitches, Grade V
FA: FA: Ken Trout & Bob Sloezen, 1977 FFA: Ed Webster & Steve Hong, 1977
Page Views: 13,591 total · 60/month
Shared By: Aaron Voreis on Aug 30, 2005
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Use onX Backcountry to explore the terrain in 3D, view recent satellite imagery, and more. Now available in onX Backcountry Mobile apps! For more information see this post.
Warning Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures DetailsDrop down
Warning Access Issue: 2019 July South Casm View Wall closure lifted. Prior: Rockfall potential closes some routes! DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

Note: the 250-300 feet tall and probably 40 feet wide on average feature shifted in 2018 at least an inch!

Part of South Chasm View Wall is closed due to a 300' x 40' slab of rock that shifted one inch in one week. The slab is estimated to weigh 6 million pounds or more. The NPS is consulting with geohazards specialists for further direction.

See nps.gov/blca/planyourvisit/… for updates.

The Flakes has flawless cracks, immaculate movement, spacious belays, complex route finding, substantial runouts, and crumbly rock.

The Flakes is THE 5.10 testpiece in the Black Canyon.

Having climbed The Scenic Cruise, The Cruise, and Astro Dog, my partner and my 12 a.m. opinion was that The Flakes is finally what we expected grade V to be - strenous, sometimes dangerous climbing from sun up to after sunset. Below are a few details:


See topo for most of the information. Avoid topo for a better adventure.

Rappel the Astro Slog. Leave the piglet and the #5 (save for after the X chimney) two pitches from the ground on a fixed anchor.

Climb first two pitches of The Dog. Traverse left and climb 250 feet of steep, immaculate 5.9 with great ledges.

Climb the 5.9X bombay chimney. This pitch is X. You will probably die if you fall. There is no reason to fall as the rock is perfect and the climbing reasonable. No gear bigger than a 1 camalot is needed.

Climb the pitch after the bombay chimney. This pitch is pretty scary if you do not bring the huge cam. It is harder than the previous pitch. Belay after the perfect 5.7 hands.

Pitch 7. 5.10+, tricky route finding. Do not go right or up. Go left on unprotected edges to a weakness in an overlap. Place fantastic gear, and go up weakness. This is superb climbing. Continue til rope runs out, and belay.

Climb more ambigious, broken terrain trending right towards base of right-angling, rotten, chimney monstrosity.

Pitch 9. The crux, 5.10+, stout. The rock on the lower section is junk but gets much better the higher you go. Black Canyon legend Robert Warren gave me one piece of advice for this pitch: bring hexes. Bring Hexes!

There, you've done it... see topo for how to get to the rim.

The Flakes is more serious than Astro Dog, and just as good.

Protection Suggest change

Rack: Standard Black Canyon rack + 2 hand-sized hexes & #4 & #4.5 Camalots. 2 ropes for Astro-Slog. 1 haul-able bag and #5 Camalot recommended.