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Flyboys

5.9, Sport, 1800 ft, 18 pitches, Grade IV,  Avg: 3.2 from 75 votes
FA: Bryan Burdo, Jerry Daniels
Washington > Okanogan > Mazama > Goat Wall

Approach

Park at the Swimming-hole pullout, 3.1 miles from the Mazama Store. Walk back (East) on the road for 200 feet and cross to find a well-defined trail heading up into the trees. If you've reached the Sisyphus pull-out you've gone too far.

Follow trail up through the forest and into a boulder field, eventually leading to talus. find your way through the talus on the currently (Summer 17') well-defined path trending LEFT towards the wall (Right will bring you to Restless Natives). Follow the talus up a gully with Cairns leading you to the base of route near a large dead Tree. Allow 20-45min

Description

1) 5.9, 9 bolts. Start in a right facing corner, 40 feet to the Right of a large dead tree. 1st bolt is near head hight. Thin face crux up high.

2) 5.6, 8 bolts. Easy ramp to 15-foot block, mantle onto slab and continue to chains

3) 5.8, 10 bolts. Steep face to ledges, ending at an exposed belay.

4) 5.9, 11 bolts. Traverse left into intricate face moves followed by sustained face climbing.

5) Low 5th Class, 5 bolts. "When second arrives move belay 4 feet towards gully. Extend 3rd bolt with a runner to avoid rope drag. Continue past rappel anchor to base of pitch 6"

6) 5.8, 9 bolts. Tricky bulge leads to excellent arête climbing. Walk 40m south to base of wall to start next pitch

7) 5.9, 8 bolts. Stemming corner leads to steep and wild face moves into a crack.

8) 5.8, 16 bolts. Sustained enjoyable climbing leads to a large ledge. Follow Cairns for 50m South to start of the next pitch.

9) 5.9, 15 bolts. "Perfect pocket pitch", Scramble up and to the right of flag tree for next pitch.

10) 5.9, 10 bolts. Over-hanging jugs in broken flakes lead to an exposed belay.

11) 5.7, 14 bolts. Diagonal face leads to a clean slab. Walk past trees to south 50 yards to start of pitch 12.

12) 5.7, 9 bolts. Sustained moderate climbing through corners and overlaps.

13) 5.8, 14 bolts. Continue climbing through corners and overlaps.

14) 5.9, 9 bolts. Stay left on arête to short-face followed by traversing flake into a squeeze chimney.

15) 5.4, 6 bolts. Follow bolts through easy slab trending left to a stance above a gully.

16) 5.8, 7 bolts. Step across the abyss to exposed arête and jug ladder. Scramble 3rd class past lone pine tree to start of 17.

17) 5.7, 10 bolts. Boulder start leads to step face trending right.

18) 5.9, 10 bolts. 3 consecutive 5.9+ bouldery problems lead to the exposed finish.

Descent

Two options are available.

Option One: Walk to the top of the Goat wall and then towards Goat Creek Rd. 10miles of dirt & paved road will take you back to the Trailhead. *Pre-arrange a car/bike shuttle*.

Option Two: Rappel the route via a rappel route adjacent to Flyboys. Rappel stations have three bolts, two with chains. These are not to be confused with the climbing anchors which are three bolts, sans-chains. 18 rappels to the ground. A 60m rope will suffice, however, rope stretching - BE SURE TO TIE KNOTS IN THE ENDS OF YOUR ROPE. Be very aware of loose rock and parties below, this is the Goat wall and a newer route. 

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Latitude/longitude of Flyboys
[Hide Photo] Latitude/longitude of Flyboys
Goat Wall Shuttle beta
[Hide Photo] Goat Wall Shuttle beta
Follow the trail of 275 shiny bolts to the top!
[Hide Photo] Follow the trail of 275 shiny bolts to the top!
The start of the route.
[Hide Photo] The start of the route.
Chris on P5.
[Hide Photo] Chris on P5.
Pitch 16.
[Hide Photo] Pitch 16.
Traffic jam at base of Pitch 7.
[Hide Photo] Traffic jam at base of Pitch 7.
Sunset on top of Flyboys
[Hide Photo] Sunset on top of Flyboys
Nice exposure, looking down from the top of pitch 10
[Hide Photo] Nice exposure, looking down from the top of pitch 10
While climbing pitch 14
[Hide Photo] While climbing pitch 14
The rappel route is beside the route. There's a fair bit of loose rock on the ledges, so be careful about kicking down rocks since other climbers might be climbing the route.
[Hide Photo] The rappel route is beside the route. There's a fair bit of loose rock on the ledges, so be careful about kicking down rocks since other climbers might be climbing the route.
Juggy and slightly overhanging face move on pitch 7
[Hide Photo] Juggy and slightly overhanging face move on pitch 7

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Kyle Elliott
Everett, WA
 
[Hide Comment] The trail as of 4/13/18 is not well defined once it reaches the boulders. follow trail up through the trees after passing a informational/warning sign until the boulder field.

As soon as it looks like you are too almost too close to restless natives, there is a fork branching leftward to flyboys. (FYI if you leave the trail leftward too early, you will be scrambling/hopping on sharp, teetering boulders) . the trail will traverse the base of the wall, passing a couple of cliff bands, then up around the left side of a clean overhanging wall with several fixed lines, up a gully, and up and right to the start of the route. Apr 17, 2018
[Hide Comment] There is tonnnns of snow at the top of Flyboys during late April. Or at least there was when my friend and I went. Make sure to prepare descent, its unclear where or how to get down by walking. It is also quite far 8-11 miles (according to information from maps and a lady at the outdoor store). AWESOME climb though, tons of variety for style, super protected. Apr 25, 2018
Elias Jordan
Mazama, WA
 
[Hide Comment] When the Goat Creek Road is open (usually May - November) one can drive about 10mi from the Mazama Store up the road to the top of the Goat Wall. The hike from the top of Flyboys to the road is about 10min straight North. NOTE: This is no "walk-off" - unless your idea off a walk-off is 10miles of road hiking - it is a way to run a shuttle*. See photos for a map.

*Best done with bikes (rentals available at the Goat's Beard in Mazama, or Methow Cycle and Sport in Winthrop). Apr 26, 2018
[Hide Comment] I did this with a friend on May 5, 2018. We got to a pull out on the road at 7:00 after driving back and forth down the road a few times to check for obvious trails. We saw one trail, North of the pull out, not South like the description suggests. We figured that we must have been confused, so we started up that trail at 7:30. That trail went too far North to Goat Creek. We followed the rock faces heading South until we saw bolts for what must be Prime Rib. After that, it took a few more minutes of walking to find Flyboys. The approach hike took about 70 minutes including getting lost and following a few not-actually-trails into dead ends.

Lessons: If near Goat Creek, you're too far North. The large dead tree is an *erect* dead tree, not tipped-over.

We got to the base of the wall around 8:40 AM; started climbing by 9 AM. First few pitches were all fine. Directions on this page are pretty accurate as far as I can remember. I didn't expect quite so many traverses/walks between pitches. I stayed on belay for one of the traverses. After a few of them we decided to save time and just walk together while carrying the rope. The terrain is all pretty easy between pitches so this felt fine.

Pitch 7: Excellent. "Wild" face moves were indeed wild. My friend enjoyed this less; ended up skipping one of the moves since he followed and could still pull gear that way.

Pitch 10: Really fun.

Pitch 14: Probably my favorite pitch. Good traversing to start, a few good slab moves, and finished with some really fun overhung stuff to get up into the chimney. I had to use some muscle to finish it on lead but it wasn't too bad. Big mistake: I thought it finished in the chimney. Go *through* the chimney; anchors are just above it.

Pitch 18: Not as hard as 10 and 14.

We finished climbing at 5:15. It took about 3 hours to rappel. We sort of followed a trail on the hike out but we lost it about half way down.

Overall: Really great climb. Lots of styles of moves, very safe. May 7, 2018
Jennifer Saito
Chicago
[Hide Comment] can we do this with one 70m rope? thank you for your help! May 7, 2018
Jon Nelson
Redmond, WA
[Hide Comment] Jennifer -
According to the Descent section above, a 60-m rope is sufficient. So, I suppose a 70 will feel even safer. May 7, 2018
Jennifer Saito
Chicago
[Hide Comment] My bad. If only I could read! Thanks, Jon. May 7, 2018
Gregger Man
Broomfield, CO
 
[Hide Comment] Not bad. We climbed this on 5/14/18 when there was record heat in Seattle - not sure what the temperature was on the route, but it was hot. In retrospect, I would have done better had I climbed in approach shoes instead. The most difficult moves did not seem to me to require precision foot placements, and by the end our feet hurt in the rock shoes (partly due to the heat, partly due to the amount of walking on the 4th class sections.) May 16, 2018
Steph Abegg
Bellingham, WA
[Hide Comment] Climbed Flyboys yesterday (May 26, 2018). Some comments:
(1) 7 parties on route. Popular.
(2) You can climb the route with 16 quickdraws. I would recommend perhaps making 4-6 of these alpine draws to minimize rope drag in certain sections.
(3) You can link pitches. We linked quite a few with some simulclimbing but you could link even without simulclimbing.
(4) The rap route is just beside the climbing route the whole way. There are loose rocks on several of the ledges, so be very careful about kicking rocks off on people coming up.
(5) Fun day, can go quite quick (especially if you link pitches). We climbed the route in 3 hours and rappelled in 1.5 hours. May 27, 2018
Charles Yang
Phoenix, AZ
 
[Hide Comment] Trip Report:
From the parking lot walk back towards the Mazama store for 200 feet. Look on the left for a small steep trail going into the forest towards the wall, near a giant boulder. Start hiking! Approach is pretty steep in your face the whole time. The trail is obvious and head towards the talus. Once at the base of the talus, the trail is less obvious but still pretty easy. Use your brain a little more, follow cairns, and aim for the base between some fixed ropes on a single pitch crag and a giant white/wet streak which was Restless Natives. If no fixed ropes, aim for Restless Natives. Once you get to the base of the wall, there's a fork. Go left. This trail goes up and down a little and eventually takes you up and right to the base of Flyboys. Easier approach then Prime Rib. Thank you to everyone who made the trail it's very straightforward.

8:03: left parking lot
8:34: arrived at base
9:18: reached top of P3
10:30: reached top of P7, waited a little bit on people.
At this point we learned there were 5 parties ahead of us and decided to rappel and go eat lunch then climb at Fun Rock rather than wait. Linked 1 - 3, 4 - 6, and did 7 individually.

The whole plan was to link 7 - 8, 9 - 11, 12 - 14, 15 - 16, and 17 - 18. Will have to return and get up earlier! Aiming to finish the the whole route in 4 hours.

P3, 4, 6 and 7 were really fun. Bring a helmet and a prussik for rappelling.

Brought 29 draws (14 regular, 15 alpine), 70m rope, 2 liters of water, a sandwich and cliff bar.

Thank you Jerry and Bryan for a great route. Jun 4, 2018
[Hide Comment] My first ever via ferrata...

We parked at the second pullout and followed the trail for PR angling right towards FB when it seemed sensible. The scree is nowhere near so bad as pundits suggest and the total approach time is a mere 30 min.

The majority of the climbing is very straightforward with nothing resembling 'sustained' (i.e. pumpy/enduring difficulties) climbing. One of the posters here wished they could have done it in approach shoes. I may not go that far, but it certainly could be done that way as the vast majority of footholds were large and there is little technical difficulty. Cruxes are very brief, exceptionally well-protected, and usually have excellent rests (read: no hands) before and after them. Descriptors such as 'wild face moves' seem out of place and suggest a far more difficult and exhilarating experience than is the case. Pulling a crux with bolts at my waist and shoulder level on good holds does not constitute 'wild' I'm sorry to say and it's important not to overstate the challenges encountered on this climb.

It's the clear that the developers endeavored to create a safe and accessible climb and they succeeded in their goals. It is safe and then some. To see the 5.3 pitch with barely more than 8 feet between bolts is indeed a sight to behold.
If you like well-protected climbs with no challenging moves above bolts, this is for you.
If you prefer a more adventurous, committing feel, you might look elsewhere.
With respect, there did appear to be a number of bolts in odd/unnecessary locations, even for timid leaders.

There are a few nice pitches and many average ones which is to be expected on a route of its length. The rock is generally good, though with some obvious loose sections, which again is to be expected. Nice view from the summit.

We didn't rap due to high winds and opted for the long walk home. Lucky enough to get picked up.
For visitors: ARRANGE A SHUTTLE FROM THE TOP BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY BEFORE STARTING. Jun 15, 2018
wakaranai
Mount Vernon, WA
[Hide Comment] If you get to the mine on the approach you went a touch too far. Bikes are the way to go. We did it in about 12 pitches linking several and would have linked more but there are so many ledges it made us pretty anxious about knocking rocks on the party below. A couple of memorable pitches...the squeeze chimney and P7 corner thing for sure stick out as the best of the climb despite some razor sharp rock on chimney. Worth doing this as an early season alpine sporty adventure for sure! You'll likely be skipping some clips but who cares, do it, it's fun! The topo on this thread shows it as a grade V which it is not even close. It is not a grade IV either....there are many more committing Grade III's out there actually Jun 16, 2018
[Hide Comment] GPS Coordinates for the start of the climb: 48.623704,-120.450665
For the parking pullout: 48.622325,-120.454698 Jun 18, 2018
S. Saunders
  5.9
[Hide Comment] Kudos to the developers for putting up a super fun route. We had a blast.

Regarding the generosity of bolting, it is definitely very safe. For those that feel there are too many bolts, do what we did: skip anything you feel is extraneous - Clip what you want.

Pitches can definitely be strung together, but we opted to run each pitch independently due to the number of parties on the route. This kept us moving without creating pile ups. Two other parties generously allowed us to pass. Folks seemed quite courteous the whole way up. I counted 6 parties, including us, on a Thursday.

Car shuttle...all the way.

18 safe and fun pitches in a gorgeous setting. What more could you ask for? Jun 30, 2018
aswiley1
Portland, OR
[Hide Comment] Looking for info. Can anyone speak to which pitches can be linked? Jul 4, 2018
jason taro
Seattle, WA
[Hide Comment] Approach trail had a small cairn with an old climber shoe.
@aswiley1 With a 70m rope and 20ish draws/runners we linked (if i remember right) 1-2, 3-4, 7-8, 10-11 (through drag got pretty bad). Should probably simul or walk p 5 and walk p 15. Jul 5, 2018
[Hide Comment] A great route. Someone put a ton of work into this, and into making it very safe. Thanks to those who put it up! A couple comments:

1. Most pitches cannot be linked with a 60m, we found that out the hard way.
2. Pitches 7 and 14 felt closer to 10a/b to me. Perhaps a hold has broken? Still a ton of fun, but just keep that in mind if 5.9 is near your limit.
3. The route was really easy to follow, even when you have to "hike" between pitches. The "hikes" between routes was kind of different, but I enjoyed them. Jul 18, 2018
[Hide Comment] Here’s a video from a climb a couple weeks ago.

youtu.be/rlzom4zhQSQ

Fun route. Some of my favorite pitches were 6,7,10, 14, and 18. Unfortunately I hadn’t cleared my camera from the last climb and ran out of memory after pitch 7. But I still added pictures from the route after that point. Jul 19, 2018
[Hide Comment] Hey, a partner and I will be climbing this on Monday Aug 6th, does anyone want to arrange cars at top and bottom with us to avoid all the rapping? Jul 30, 2018
Samuel Rosenstein
Newton, MA
 
[Hide Comment] This climb was amazing! Here's some beta:
- Visit Goat Beard in Mazama for information on the climb. Everyone that works there is great!
- Park at the prime rib pullout, and walk towards the Mazama store for about 20m, they'll be a little trail that is pretty steep. If you don't see a sign for 10min, then you're on the wrong trail. Once you hit the talus, keep following the Cairns right, all the way until you pretty much hit the wall. You'll then see a trail that goes left along the wall - take that. You'll reach the fur trees, and then you'll need to walk down a bit to an angled ledge for the start of the climb.
- For the climb, if you have a 70m rope, you can link up 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8. They'll be a lot of rope drag, but it's worth it. Bring a ton of draws, or skip bolts (we skipped a bunch as the climbing is moderate).
- THERE IS NO WALK OFF. You can setup a bike shuttle, but the walk down is 10miles at least. Would highly suggest renting a bike from Goat Beard and stowing it at the first cattle guard on the road at the top of goat wall.
- If you plan to rappel, make sure to get the topo from Goat Beard. The rapel stations are different than the belay stations and traverse extensively. The guides at Goat Beard highly suggest to not rappel this route. Aug 1, 2018
[Hide Comment] Did this on July 27, 2018. Started this climb later on in the day (10AM) and got to the top 8:20PM as the sun was setting. Fortunately, our friends ahead of us climbed much faster than my partner and I and they were able to descent and drive the car to the top to pick us up. Definitely recommend leaving a car up or arranging a shuttle. Their descent took about 3 hours.

Lots of loose rocks here, I was struck by a fist sized rock while the rope was being pulled up and my helmet cracked. Fun climb though! Aug 1, 2018
[Hide Comment] Be sure to walk southeast along the road from the parking lot. We weren’t thinking and walked northwest to a trail, ended up getting lost but finding Prime Rib instead and doing that. Don’t repeat our silly mistake! Aug 6, 2018
npaolini
Vancouver, BC
 
[Hide Comment] Great climb! Thanks to the folks that put in all those bolts. I can't say that I clipped all of them but the extra effort that went into making a nice separate rappel route was much appreciated. Rappelling 18 pitches seems like a lot but it actually was pretty chill with very nice stances at each anchor. A 70m rope to link pitches (and skip some rappels), and approach shoes to save your feet make for a very pleasant day. We brought 10 sport draws and 5 trad draws, but I would lean towards more extendables when linking pitches. Aug 6, 2018
Yiddar S
WA
  5.9
[Hide Comment] There's a section of 3rd class between p16 and p17. Topo doesn't mention how long it is, but it's quite similar to p15 (5.4) in terms of length, so not a brief scramble. Route is fun, involving, and well-protected. Aug 9, 2018
Z Winters
Mazama, WA
 
[Hide Comment] CLOSURE ALERT: The Goat Creek Road FS-52 which accesses the top of the Goat Wall is closed due to wildfire in the area. This means you will not be able to shuttle a vehicle or bike to the top of Flyboys or Prime Rib. It is also strongly recommended by many to not attempt to rappel Flyboys.
Current fire closure map as of 8/12/18: files.constantcontact.com/d… Aug 12, 2018
[Hide Comment] Did this in early August and the trail from the road is impossible to see from said road. The only obvious trail goes to Rib Cage, and getting to flyboys from here involves some very dangerous talus fumbling, then wandering along the cliff line bushwhacking. My partner nearly had his leg trapped in between two shifting rocks. We were pissed.

From on the a few pitches up, I could see that the trail really is 200 feet or so to the right when facing the well marked rib cage trail, but from the road it just looks like a crappy washout for the first 10%. Persevere with finding the Flyboys trail, going from Rib Cage trail is dangerous.

Once we got to the route its a was blast. We were on route for about 7.5 hours, and were car to car in about 10. 60m rope does every pitch easily. Pitch #7 was by far the stoutest, I might even call it 5.10. It's safe, just two or three moves where you actually have to crank. Everything else was pretty relaxed. The whole route is overbolted if anything, you'll never feel even a tiny bit runout.

We stashed rented bikes at the top (the hike was a little further from the topout than advertised, but simple enough on an obvious trail). Once you hit the road go right and you'll see the pull in where you put your bike.

FYI, this is a dirt backroad for cattle farming, you are not going to be able to hitchhike out. The biking is a little bone rattling, but all downhill or flat. The awesome dudes at the Goat's Beard mountain supply hooked us up. We were running late, paid for our bikes over the phone en route to Mazama, and they left them out for us after closing time to pick up and stash the evening before. Aug 23, 2018
Gaar
Springdale / Zion UT / Moab
[Hide Comment] Super wandering route. Climbed whole thing in approach shoes, was able to reach through most cruxes. The "chimney" pitch was the most challenging and the only difficult move on route. On average skipped 3-5 bolts per pitch. 5.9- Sep 3, 2018
Don Ferris III
Eldorado Springs
 
[Hide Comment] Essentially a glorified Via Ferrata. So many bolts. With this many bolts so close together it’s bound to get rediculous amounts of traffic and on this choss pile that’s a bad combination. Parties were dodging rocks all day, big ones.

Not everybody has to climb every swath of rock. Run outs keep out the riff raft. Wear helmets people. Only a matter of time on this one. Sep 10, 2018
Josh Rappoport
Chicago, IL
  5.9
[Hide Comment] Climbed this yesterday with Josh Cole from NCMGs and a friend. It was my friend's first multi-pitch experience, and it was GREAT! Weather was a bit windy but otherwise great. Air was relatively clear of the smoke that has been in the area recently (thanks forest firefighters!). We started on the route at 8am and there was already a party ahead of us, and immediately two behind us. The approach is a bit of a steep slog through a dusty trail, and then a huge rubble pile. The climbing was relatively sustained and quite accessible. In my opinion the challenge comes from the exposure, rather than particular crux moves. My least favorite pitch was 9, we linked up 10 and 11 which was the highlight of the day for me. Pitch 14 was also super fun, a quite exposed start with a bolted chimney end. Because of the fires in the area Goat Creek Road is still closed. Thus we had to rap off, which was actually pretty fun, although long and somewhat involved. We chose to turn back after pitch 16, as the hour was getting late and we didn't want to descend in the dark. We were exactly 10 hours from start to finish. I definitely agree with the other commentators here who warn people without a lot of proper multi-pitch experience to be wary (maybe consider hiring a guide). The climbing certainly isn't hard but the route is challenging. Some of the pitch to pitch walking is a bit dicey and the rap station locations are not always self evident. All in all a great day out. Super tired and sore today! Sep 11, 2018
Terry Parks
Tacoma, WA
[Hide Comment] First, this is no way a choss pile. There is a liberal amount of loose rock on some ledges, but if you climb in the mountains you'll encounter loose rock. If there are piles of people expecting a 'sport route' then there will be some rockfall - climbers rapping just need to exercise extreme caution. It took us 2 hours to rap and we didn't notice any rockfall. Watch where your rope is running when rapping and have some cover when you pull rope, just in case.

As of yesterday, 8/15 Goat Creek Road is still closed. Trail east of parking area is very obvious.

Thanks Bryan and Jerry for the imagination and hard work! 4 days ago