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Erik W mid route.
From the main trail that leads to the saddle near the back of the First Flatiron, head west on a climber's trail around the northwest corner of the rock. All the West face routes are located down the hill from here. Access is easy from the rappel off the summit of the First Flatiron.
This route climbs the incredible, left-facing dihedral that begins 50 feet above the ground and 100 feet to the right of Pack Rat
on the severely overhanging West Face of the Sunset Flatironette. Awesome bright green lichens line the upper section of the route. Start on the face to the left of the dihedral and work your way into and up the dihedral to the ridge.
Descent - Climb Northeast along the ridge to a notch and scramble east down the notch to the trail.
Climb the face ~10 feet to the left of the dihedral over some blocky and awkward terrain. Gradually traverse right until you are almost under the dihedral at a sloping ledge. The first crux is here and well protected. It seems to be solvable via a tricky transition into a powerful lieback or an overhanging finger crack. Choose your approach carefully. From here work over several overhanging bulges into the crack. Jam, stem and haul unlikely jugs as the crack gets steeper and wider as you approach the lip. A final couple jams over huge exposure brings the pump factor to the max as you try to hoist yourself onto the ledge at the ridge. The final crux comes just before the top.
If the rock quality was better, I might give this line 4 stars.
Standard Flatirons rack plus some large cams. The route is a bit flaky from lack of traffic and some of the rock is junky in the corner. The crack gets pretty wide in the dihedral (much bigger than a #3 Camalot) though it does pinch down again just before the lip. Protection is tricky throughout though there are enough options and semi-restful stances that I didn't really feel it necessitated an R rating.
Good cracks and natural pro at the top for an anchor or top rope setup. Long slings or cordalette may be desirable. If you choose to top rope this line, you will not be able to get back on the wall if you fall off without placing several directionals and placing them will be hard. The swing is safe but will place you *way* out into space far from the wall and you'll have to be lowered or jug the lines.
Area of the first crux getting established on the ...
Rappelling or lowering off is exciting!
A look at the upper crack near the lip.
Your first view as you come around the corner. Ste...
Erik takes the big swing! This is how far away fro...
By Chris Plesko
From: Westminster, CO
Aug 5, 2010
To be honest, I think this line is a fair bit harder than 10a but I'm not really sure how to rate it. I onsighted it on top rope, but it would have been a heady ground up lead for me. Consider this a warning that it's certainly stiff for the grade and protection is tricky, especially in the dihedral. Of course, if you get to the dihedral through the first crux you can probably handle it.
That being said the line is sweet and probably the steepest thing I have climbed in the Flatirons. The light green, "bad" lichen will clean up with traffic as will some of the flaky rock on the lower part of the wall. It obviously doesn't see much traffic as there was zero chalk and we broke some non-essential holds today.
May 1, 2011
Had a hard time choosing between 2 and 3 stars for this one. Some great climbing, but also some mungy rock (I had a piece of a jug totally rip on the upper dihedral and managed to not whip, despite punching myself in the face), wandering climbing (long slings won't help due to the ledges on the first half), etc. A typical leader at this grade is going to want some big gear. We did it with a #3 Camalot, but it wasn't super comfortable. You can get some small gear in the back sometimes, but it is hard to get to and sometimes not that great, due to rock quality, shape of placement, etc. Not the easiest 10a that we had ever done, that's for sure....