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Shared By: Jay Knower on Feb 15, 2007
Admins: Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey LeCours, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall

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The Beast Flake is a variation to the second pitch of Recompense that is so good, it deserves its own name.

From the bolted belay on Recompense, head up the chimney for a ways until it is obvious to traverse left (small TCU pro). Traverse around the corner (crux) and gain the wonderful flake. This flake is huge and is the Platonic ideal of juggy. Layback with little difficulty, and also little pro unless you brought numerous #3 and #3.5 Camalots. Belay at the top of the flake off gear at a stance.

The only downfall of this route (literally) is that you must then climb down from the belay, enter the chimey and climb Recompense's second pitch chimney grovel the the routes third pitch belay stance below the large dihedral.

Climbing Recompense using this variation is often called Recom-beast.


Small TCUs to protect the traverse, bigger cams if you want to sew up the flake.
Hampton Uzzelle
Tucson, Arizona
Hampton Uzzelle   Tucson, Arizona
This route is SO GOOD you should not bother with the regular second pitch of Recompense. You can place pro high before the traverse and do the crux with the rope above you. This move is sometimes wet, but the climbing above is hard to beat. Feb 15, 2007
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
The Recom-Beast variation is the best way to do the route; however, there is a better variation for the next pitch so you don't have to grovel in the chimney at all.... I call it the high traverse, and it makes every pitch a classic.... After belaying atop the huge detached (yet secure) block at the top of the Beast Flake...you climb up a layback flake until you are even with a flake to your right (I normally put in a green and a purple Camalot) traverse right in to an undercling and a sidepull with bad feet.... Make a big step right on to your next belay ledge, and layback a few moves to a better stance.... It's about 5.9+, and the gear is good you just step father away from it as you go.... Feb 15, 2007

Bring at least one #4 BD camalot for the flake, you can walk it while you climb. Less than a #4 and you'll be running it out, although it is easy ground... Jun 8, 2007
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
If you look left as you start feeling runout, there is at least 1 good, small cam placement that might keep you from having to lug a big cam up.... Jun 8, 2007
Concerning the high traverse:
This weekend, 7/6/07, I watched someone pull off the large rock which I believe is the undercling that Lee describes, making this high traverse significantly harder than 5.9. Jul 10, 2007
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
wow if it is indeed the same hold i was talking about that is both sad and scary... i will have to take a look at some point... if anyone has more info please post it... Jul 10, 2007
We were climbing Recompense when another party started up behind us, going for the Recom-Beast variation. From the beginning of 3rd pitch belay we had a clear view of the leader grabbing (undercling) the tv-sized hold, saying it moved when he touched it. he grabbed it again and that was all it took to send it flying down. We saw them the next day in EMS and they said you can see the gashes in the trail and it damaged some trees. They also said they found the rock and placed it by the trail for display. They said the lower traverse is still possible, but that high traverse is now a much harder option. They had to bail after the rock went down. Let me know if you have any more questions, yes its sad, seemed like a great climb! Jul 11, 2007
Cory B
Cory B  
17 May 2008 - I added a picture to the photo section of where the flake used to be. Upon noting the missing under cling, I opted for the low traverse...which sucks. May 18, 2008

I happen to like the step across into the abyss on the low traverse, it gives the climb a sense of 'Oh shit, I think I might blow this'

Although I do think that losing that flake makes the climb a little less fun. May 18, 2008
Cory B
Cory B  
It's still a three-star route, no doubt about it. May 28, 2008
Matt Desenberg
Limerick, ME
Matt Desenberg   Limerick, ME
Hmm, I've never even climbed the original Recompense route, always the beast flake variation. Looks like that might change. Mar 10, 2009
I was wondering if someone could give me some info on the new best way to get from the beast flake to the third pitch of recompense? I've heard a few different things and am a little confused. thanks! Apr 1, 2009
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
Well Zigs, there were a couple options for the traverse but one of them fell off so that makes your decision a little easier... you traverse down in to the chimney and do a few grovely off-width type moves up on to the ledge at the base of the corner where you can belay your second from a small crack near a stump...

I liked the other way better but i should get over it one of these days :) Apr 1, 2009
For P3 traverse, I would advise against a high traverse as the feet are non existent and the undercling flake is gone. Instead low traverse, and if you are queasy about traversing w/o protection, you can do a blind stuff of a #3 BD Cam. Fits like a glove, then cruise across and work your way up the chimmney to much better climbing above! Enjoy! Aug 10, 2009
Keswick Cumbria.UK
USBRIT Ross   Keswick Cumbria.UK
First Ascent. Paul Ross George Myers. 5th July 1972 Dec 13, 2011
M Sprague
New England
M Sprague   New England  
And what a pitch! Imagine all the people who have enjoyed following that ascent over the years. Dec 13, 2011
it lives up to the hype. the move into the beast flake is often wet, but the feet are good and the flake itself is just a gem Mar 10, 2013

If you are doing Recom-Beast, there is a tricky way to make the low (post-flake ripping) transfer back into Recompense after the beast flake super casual and well protected for both the leader and second. Otherwise, it's a poorly protected, awkward, and committing move or two that is certainly the new crux of the route.

After rounding the corner from the beast flake, don't immediately continue down and to the right into the chimney. Instead, climb straight up on a thin juggy flake as high as you can (probably 5.6ish) toward where the old high traverse used to be. There is a bomber .5 C4 placement high up in there, and room for another piece or two if you want it. Place it, and downclimb back to where you were to do the downclimb and climb up through the chimney on top-rope. Don't place another piece (or use a second rope) so as to not kill your second. Your second simply climbs up and removes the .5, does the easy downclimb back to the slabby platform he/she started on (if the leader didn't place until the belay, the it's still a top-rope more or less, but falling on that move still isn't recommended as there would be a rough swing), and does the transfer/chimney moves completely on top-rope. Everyone wins. Jun 3, 2015
Russ Keane
Asheville, NC
Russ Keane   Asheville, NC
Yummy yummy Beast Flake!! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

It was better than advertised Oct 12, 2015
M Bageant
Los Angeles, CA
M Bageant   Los Angeles, CA
If you find the step across left into the Beast Flake wet or intimidating, climb up about 5' from where you enter the flake and get some gear in on a long sling---there's a solid spot for a finger-sized cam. Then downclimb back to the start of the Beast and have at it. Jun 13, 2016