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Flash Dihedral (Knapp Version) 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

Type:  Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 90'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Pat Ament, 1970?
Page Views: 5,207
Submitted By: James Beissel on Mar 27, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (37)
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BETA PHOTO: Flash Dihedral (Knapp Version) on the First Elepha...

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  • Description 

    This is the route Flash Dihedral as shown in the topo in Knapp's guidebook. I am not sure if this is the line referred to as an "obvious dihedral" in Rossiter's guide. See the other entry for Flash Dihedral for what is likely the 5.8+ done by Ament et al.

    Regardless, I really enjoyed this pitch. I liked it better than some of the other "classic" moderates on the Elephant Buttresses. It has clean rock, good fingerlocks, and solid gear. It's a worthy route and deserves its own entry.

    Begin about 40' uphill from the toe of the First Elephant Buttress just left of an unstable looking, keg-sized boulder. Climb up about 10' of mungy rock to gain the clean double crack system that continues up the west corner of the buttress to the summit.

    The crux comes about halfway up negotiating a triangular block and felt easier than the given rating of 5.8+ to me.


    This route is located on the west corner of the First Elephant Buttress. Approach via the standard trail and hike about 40' up the gully on the west side of the buttress. Descend by hiking north to meet the same gully and descend it back to your packs.


    Standard rack to 3". Trees and boulders at the summit for top rope anchors.

    Photos of Flash Dihedral (Knapp Version) Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Approaching the crux....
    Approaching the crux....
    Rock Climbing Photo: My version of this route.  Where the red arrow is,...
    BETA PHOTO: My version of this route. Where the red arrow is,...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Inching up the fun crack system.
    Inching up the fun crack system.

    Comments on Flash Dihedral (Knapp Version) Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By kevinnlong
    From: Boulder, CO
    May 24, 2008
    rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

    This is a decent route, and I would recommend it as an excellent beginner trad lead. There are pro opportunities everywhere and the length is good for a first lead. The climbing felt like 5.5 or less to me.

    A pink (0.5" I think) Camp tri-cam works perfectly at the horizontal crack at the crux in the middle of the route.

    IMHO the standard route on the third buttress or the Owl/Cozyhang or even East Slab are substantially more fun in the area.
    By Phil Lauffen
    From: The Bubble
    Aug 24, 2008
    rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

    This felt really easy. I would rate it 5.6 at the most, maybe 5.5... I had to go back and do it straight up all the slabs without using the big cracks (on TR) to make it feel like a 5.8
    By percious
    From: Bear Creek, CO
    Sep 25, 2008
    rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

    Very surprised by the 5.7 rating of this climb. No harder than 5.5 IMO. I have done harder 5.4s at the Gunks!
    By Fred Keith
    From: Portsmouth & North Conway, NH
    Jun 30, 2009

    I came back out to Boulder a few weeks ago and did this route with an old bud after work.

    Faced with Californihoards on the Dome etc it looked like an interesting option.

    I kind of liked the route, relatively clean, and was amazed in all the years I'd lived there I had not done.

    I agree with Phil that if you scheme to stay more left more on the upper part (slabs) as I did, it seemed a bit harder than 5.6.

    I have to say I was a bit bummed before I read this post as that step across gave me a "sh*t...this is 5.4??" feeling.

    I thought it was kind of a pretty steep-slabby type line. Better than some of the other blocky moderates on the EBs.
    By Rich F.
    From: Colorado Springs, CO
    Jul 16, 2011
    rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

    Did this route today since we walked right by it on the hike back from Standard Route (3rd Buttress). Glad we did it -- good easy fun. We started a bit lower than the red line in the Mtn Proj picture above, but veered left of the red line during our climb to stay on more vertical rock. There are so many cracks on this portion of the rock, you could climb it in dozens of ways. Difficulty depends on the line you take, could be made very easy if desired, but I thought the line we took on the left felt about 5.6ish in a few places.
    By Sean Haney
    Nov 11, 2011

    I did a bit of a variation on this (see photo above) since Bob D'Antonio's new guidebook didn't have a photo, and I hadn't printed out the above photo. I was trying to go what looked to be the easiest route since my partner is still new to climbing, and the most protectable route since I'm new to trad leading. I got myself into a bit of a tough section (5.8 or so), but it was very short and also fun! Bomber pro the whole way, but most of it seemed to be the same size (0.4-0.5 C4s or medium nuts, or small tricams). Excellent belay ledge up top with bomber pro and a great view. Rock quality was great the whole way.
    By Eben Daggett
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jun 16, 2013

    I LOVED the upper section of this route. Wish it was longer!
    By Tim Meehan
    From: Boulder, CO
    Apr 8, 2017
    rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

    Outstanding first lead for the grade. Easy to get to, solid rock, offers finger-to-hand-sized pro the whole way, walk off. There are even a few ledges for those wanting to get comfortable with belay anchors and transitions.

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