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Flake n' Bake
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Flake n' Bake 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 200'
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 4,397
Submitted By: Anthony Stout on Mar 21, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (57)
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Flake n' Bake left smaller crack


Nice, mellow, south facing route (gets plenty of sun in winter) to take aspiring leaders or new climbers on. Looking up you will see two obvious wavy cracks heading up to a roof. If you have more time to kill you can even set up a top rope and choose one of the four variations of the first pitch (crack 1, crack 2, slab only, or left facing dihedral crack.)

Pitch 1 (5.5)
Pick either crack and climb up through the roof and to the bolt anchors.

Pitch 2 (5.4)
Traverse to the right and follow the crack to a two bolt belay.

(NOTE: This belay used to consist of an ugly swath of slings stuck tight in a pinched crack. Thankfully, those slings have been replaced by a nice set of bolts.)

Descent: One sixty meter rope is fine for the rappel. Watch the ends when coming down the first pitch, it's close.


See directions in area description.


Depends on your comfort level. For comfortable trad leaders a single set of cams is fine. If you prefer a bit more take a set of nuts plus the single set of cams.

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 4, 2014
By George Perkins
From: The Dungeon, NM
Apr 6, 2007
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

It is reasonable to walk off to the east, if you have a reason to avoid rappelling.

Guidebook dorks will appreciate the names from the Lower Sandias guide for the different variations on the 1st pitch:
  • Flake It or Make It (5.5): leftmost flake crack
  • Flake and Bake (5.5): obvious flake (way shown in Sandia Rock)
  • Measles (5.4): TR slab right of obvious flake
  • Dihedral (5.3): left-facing corner to the right
It also shows 2 5.5 TR lines left of the left flake crack that reach the same anchor.
By Ryan Smyth
From: Albuquerque, NM
Apr 30, 2008
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Nice easy climb thats great for the beginning trad leader. I always take the leftmost flake to the top, increases rope drag and difficulty but not a whole lot. After a trip or two up it it makes a fun freesolo. but bring your rope to rap back down. i would hate to scramble off.
By Jason J Patton
Oct 23, 2008

I love this route. I climbed it first when I knew almost nothing about climbing. It was a pure, unfettered experience that kicked off and inspired my life of climbing. I wonder how many have been intrigued and inspired by this little piece of excellent granite.
By Bill Lawry
From: New Mexico
Dec 30, 2008

In the winter, the sun has to peek up over the south ridge of the canyon to start warming up the south-facing rock here. On December 21st, the sun reached down to the middle of pitch 1 at roughly 10:30 AM.

Copied comment from Flake n' Bake area page: My impression is that a certain technique (not lieback) in the section just below the flake makes the route Flake n' Bake about 5.5; even so, 5.5 may be a little "old school".
By Robin
From: Albuquerque, NM
Jan 27, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

A fun climb. Well worth doing especially for newer leaders. I felt comfy and safe the whole time.
By RiggerMortis
From: Albuquerque New Mexico
Mar 6, 2009

The left facing dihedral immediately to the right goes at about the same difficulty as flake'n bake, but the pro is a little sketchy in the middle (small pocket in the crack will take a #3-4 stopper, but really shallow placement).
By Keith Thomas
From: Socorro, NM
Aug 17, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

One star!? Tough crowd! I found this climb to be extremely enjoyable. Excellent rock, bountiful gear, and a clearly defined line. Fun!
By Orlando
Aug 26, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Ditto Jason P's comments; just a great, easy little route that's an excellent intro to climbing trad. And many TR options all around when you're done. Try to score Barry and Rita's "yellow book" - it rocks.
And regarding the grade; there is not a single 5.7-5.8 move on this route, unless you're in stilettos. It's not picky about pro and given the low angle, you can take a rest pretty much anytime you'd like, IMO, and I'm a hack. Defintely 5.5, MAYBE 5.6 at the "roof".
I was up there in the spring and there's a new 2BA at the end of the super easy, 5.4ish 2nd pitch - a nice replacement for all the tat that used to hang up there. Thanks to whoever dropped those in.
By Chris Tucker
Oct 26, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Doug and I climbed yesterday 10/25. This was a great route for doing my second and third traditional leads. Didn't go all the way to the top anchors, we treated the (seemingly) optional start from below as the start. If you come in below the canyon there is a reasonably 5.easy slab section to the left, or a more scramble section off to the right. We free'd a portion of the slab to the left then roped in about 80 ft to the first anchors on the "Lunch Ledge". We'll do it differently next time and get to the top.

I agree about the statement you can rap with a 60m rope, but do be careful since it will come up short of the ledge by 6-8 ft.
By adam montoya
From: albuquerque, nm
Apr 10, 2010
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

yes you can def hike off to the east although you will end up hiking through some brush so dont be like me and wear shorts. .also i would reccommend staging shoes at the top if you plan to fs. . i had to hike all the way back down in my climbing shoes and by the bottom my toes were screaming. .
By ReubenG
Jun 17, 2010

Trad climbing is hard to safely learn. Unfortunately for beginning trad climbers routes below 5.7 are often far more terrifying than those 5.10 or harder. For an individual uncomfortable learning to trad climb on anything >5.7, flake n bake is the best alternative. There are no ledges to hit, no loose blocks to avoid, and no run-out sections to overcome. Flake n bake is the only route below 5.8 where I would be comfortable having an aspiring leader take mock falls.

The first pitch of this is the best starter route I have found in the sandia's. The second pitch is worth doing at least once.

Approaching this route is somewhat tricky. Resist the temptation to approach from below the route. Instead continue up the canyon to a point where the river bends and you are walking on a large slab of rock. Keep going around the corner from the route and stay with the river as it curves left. When you are almost perpinducular from the route (if you could see it thru the slab start up. There used to be cairn's on the slab and there is a trail once you get past the slab. This will take you directly to the base in less time and is much easier than the direct up route.

The rappel is tricky with a single rope. Be sure to look for the ledge on the right that is ~20 feet from the bottom. From here you you can walk off without any problems.
Sep 21, 2010

I climbed this route in the spring of '96. Enjoyable and fun! Unfortunately, I have not been back to enjoy any of the other climbs in the area.
By Asa King
From: Salt Lake City, Ut
Oct 19, 2010
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Great place to teach and learn trad. Second pitch is pretty useless unless you have a newbee wanting to learn to place gear.
By Brian McLaughlin
May 11, 2011

I used to solo all the routes in this area pretty regularly in the mid 80's. Pure fun every time!
By JoshuaJones Jones
From: Albuquerque
Aug 16, 2012

Excellent first trad lead with lots of good gear placement opportunities. Led P1 and P2. Left a fixed DMM Wallnut behind at beginning of P2.
By MCampbell
Aug 7, 2013

I loved this route! The hike to it is great as well. The are literally multiple gear placements in reach at all times. Doubles in 1 & 2 and a few smaller cams. And a pink tricam will get you up this thing just fine.
By Kendrick Dane
Nov 4, 2014

I can definitely say that Flake it or Make it feels 2 grades harder when it is raining and water is running down the slab. Footjam special!

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