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Unsorted Routes:

The Flakes 

YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 200'
Original:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: D. Turville & L. Wheeler, early '70s FFA: M. Ward & R. Wright
Page Views: 6,534
Submitted By: mountainsense on Sep 26, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (46)
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3rd section of flake on The Flakes

Gate Buttress Area Recreational Lease: Climbs on Church Buttress above vault remain closed MORE INFO >>>


My all-time favorite at the grade in Little Cottonwood, this route can be "Quite a grunt to get to and tricky to find," according to the Ruckman guide, but it's well worth it. Approach via Tingey's Terror to Tingey's Torture--traverse east 25ft from the bolted anchor atop the third pitch of Tingey's Torture--for a fun, long link-up or bushwhack your way up ledges to the base of To Air Is Human (.10d) or Under Fire (.10), granting access to the low-angle, splitter first pitch (5.6). The second pitch, however, is THE pitch... Scramble up the easy ramp to the base. Jam the perfect handcrack. Commit to a wild undercling/lieback out the first flake left to a stance in a squeeze, then again back right along the top of the airy second flake--CLASSIC! Two sets of bolted anchors appear above; use the newer, upper anchor to belay/descend.


If approaching from Tingey's Torture, traverse east from the top of third pitch toward the arete, then downclimb--easy, but exposed--to the belay ledge atop The Flakes. Rappel from two bolts--a single 60m rope just reaches the ledge below. To descend, a series of fixed rap anchors due east of The Flakes puts one back on the ground.


Bring a standard rack. Doubles in off-fingers to hand sizes are useful, but not necessary; a large 4.5" cam protects the wideness.

Photos of The Flakes Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: 1st Flake on The Flakes
1st Flake on The Flakes
Rock Climbing Photo: Nate lie backing to glory
Nate lie backing to glory
Rock Climbing Photo: Second Flake on The Flakes
Second Flake on The Flakes
Rock Climbing Photo: Steep thin flake
Steep thin flake
Rock Climbing Photo: If you're using these bolts at the top of the Flak...
If you're using these bolts at the top of the Flak...
Rock Climbing Photo: Gear placements on the flakes.  Fun route!
BETA PHOTO: Gear placements on the flakes. Fun route!
Rock Climbing Photo: Todd Green enjoying the flakes
Todd Green enjoying the flakes
Rock Climbing Photo: The Flakes.  The route goes right at the first V a...
The Flakes. The route goes right at the first V a...
Rock Climbing Photo: Checking-out the upper section, yes you're going t...
Checking-out the upper section, yes you're going t...

Comments on The Flakes Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 19, 2017
By mountainsense
Sep 26, 2008

Please Note: there is no fixed intermediate anchor between the two pitches of The Flakes. I've always rapped using a single 60m rope, but if descending the line of anchors due east of the route, be careful! With rope stretch, one just barely reaches the third and fourth set of anchors (if counting the anchors atop the route). Be sure to take a good look at some of the other stellar lines on the east gate; scramble along the base to reach the main trail to the gate boulders.
By tenesmus
Sep 29, 2008

A 70 works a lot better here. This really is one of the coolest around. Maybe its because you have to find it and once you do you're a ways up? I like doing "plasma" for a warm-up then "to air is human" for really fun approach pitches. It makes a nice .10 circuit.
By Boissal
From: Small Lake, UT
Nov 3, 2008

Best single pitch I've done in all of Wasatchland. The approach, exposure, steepness and nature of the feature you're climbing (1/2" sheet of detached granite, picture a dead vertical Zion Curtain) make for quite an intimidating route.
No individual hard move but overall quite pumpy and WILD!
We belayed from a gear anchor a bit above the bushes growing on the low angle ramp. Uses the whole 70m rope and some. There's a sling anchor in the bushes to rap to the next station (top of El Guapo). We left a biner on it as the tape that converted the existing biner into a locker wasn't looking too hot.

As a side note, any info on the crack that branches left and meets up with the route at the offwidth? Looks amazing, undercling to tips-lieback...
By Todd Green
From: SLC, UT
Aug 16, 2009

Sweet, sweet set of flakes. Much taller than Boissal's pics make it out to be. (He must have used a French lense. :P ) There is a set of glued anchors due east of the bush-belay. With two 70's tied together you can do a single rap clear down to the gully.
By steve santora
Oct 17, 2009

Wow, finally got up there. We did 6 or 7 pitches of Tingeys Terror and finish just left of the rap bolts for the flakes....We top roped the flakes which pumped Mike and I pretty good. Crux seemed to be the start of the second part. then liebacked the flake. Awesome Smiles all around/ It looks to eat 1's 2's 3's and 4's; for pro...bring a few of each can't wait to get back there. steve
By Boissal
From: Small Lake, UT
Oct 18, 2009

Steve, a single set from BD .5 to 3 and a 5 or old 4.5 is all you need. Don't haul doubles up there, there are no good stances to place in the undercling/lieback sections. It's a place and punch it for a while type of line.
By steve santora
Oct 18, 2009

Rapping off east with a single seventy meter--- 3 raps is perfect. then a slog down the debris.....
By Alec LaLonde
May 13, 2011
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

You can also traverse from the top of Tingey's Terror to reach the first pitch. There is a bolted arete (not sure what route it is) which separates the East Gate from the main Gate above Fudd ledge. Go up and traverse right below some trees to a bolted belay station, then do another easy traversing pitch (5.5) bushwhacking up a ledge to a flat area below some tumbled boulders. The first pitch starts above here after a short scramble in the splitter fist crack on the left side of the slab above.

I'd probably still recommend doing Tingey's Torture and just rapping down to the Flakes, but it's a bit quicker this way even if you have a crap pitch to get there.
By Spencer Weiler
From: Salt Lake city
Sep 25, 2011

A grunt to get there is right. We did the shwack approach from the top of the 3rd pitch of Tingeys. Ended up downclimbing a chimney then up a easy fat crack before jungling to the base of the 1st pitch fist crack. We only brought one set of cams like Boissal recommended which turned out fine but I had to backclean the #3 camalot a few times. Would have been nice to have at least 2 of those. Use one down low in the fist crack section then have another one handy for the upper flake. I placed a #4 camalot which was nice but there was a .75 placement below it so your call on that piece. We rapped to the belay anchor in the tree with a 70m, then one more back to the base of the 1st pitch. Tingey's really isn't that great so next time I'll try Tenesmus' suggestion of the two 5.10 pitches on the east gate to get there.
By Kevin MP
From: Redmond, OR
Nov 11, 2013

What a great route! The splitter 5.6 approach pitch is definitely worthwhile if coming from below, if only it were steeper! Spooky when you get to the upper lieback flake and can actually feel it flexing out.

+1 for single rack from #.5 - #3 and a #5 (can also squeeze a #4 in before you head up the initial handcrack)
By Charlie S
From: Ogden, UT
Nov 29, 2013
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

If only one wasn't so exhausted from the three approach pitches!

Seriously, if these were the first and second pitches straight off of the ground, there would be a line a mile long every weekend. A very worthy climb with fun moves.

I used singles in every size from #0.5-#5, except #2 which I used 2 of.

A 2nd #3 might have been nice, but not necessary.
By Ken H
From: Granite, UT
Sep 19, 2014

AWESOME Route! Watch out September 2014, the middle of the second flake was full of wasps. They got real excited as we climbed past but we never got stung.

At the top of the first pitch of Tingey's Torture there is now a double bolt anchor. Rapping from here puts you perfectly at the base of the 5.6 hand crack. We left 2 old biners on these bolts [probably gone in a day] (If I went back I take two fairly large quick links).

From the top of the 5.6 I recommend going up to the base of the route there is a little stance which takes some small cams (finger size) pieces (you will not need them above) and gives a go spot for communication and an attentive belay. You can leave you pack/shoes at this belay and get them on rappel.

I'd recommend three #3 C4 and a #5 C4. The #4 C4 didn't seem very useful (except maybe on the 5.6 pitch) maybe at the very start? up higher it was totally tipped out up high behind the pancake (if anything would hold back there?).

USING a single 70m rope from the anchors on top of the Flakes it was a quick and easy ride down:
Rap 1 - straight down and out to a large ledge.
Rap 2 - down the huge steep face and down climbers left
Rap 3 - Straight down the slab fall line
Rap 4 (bolt and glued piton) equalized with cord - takes you to dirt and a nice trailish spot
By dnaiscool
Apr 15, 2015

The plumb vertical second pitch of this route is the Utah analog to Yosemite's "Wheat Thin", only without the bolts, and a lot easier. Fantastic exposure, uber-positive layback with ample cups for feet and a tingler for the run-out...what more could you ask for?

Frankly, I thought the stout little zig-zag getting off the belay (wide hands to awkward rest, to right slanting crack to jug/rail(!), then back left on a .10 undercling to layback to the Horn) up to the flake was the actual crux.

Here's my pro recommendation, in order of use, for the "Money Pitch":
All Camalots...3, 2, 1, .75, 2, sling on horn, 4.5 (Refrain from thinking of walking this)...

...then run out the last 20 feet to the top of the flake. No worries because you'll cop a cool knee bar rest at the horn, so make sure to milk that before launching into space on that killa' flake. Just do the gorilla pulls, keep the feet high & in positive cups, and keep on chugging for the's all there!

The 2-bolt anchor is to the right after you top out.

It's 120 feet down to a tree with slings, so bring that 70m rope for schizzle.
By Crag Turkey
From: Holladay, UT
May 19, 2017

I found it useful to have a couple 3's as well. Maybe some would plug an additional 2 or 3 but I didn't. 3 #3s would be excessive unless you choose to place two in the first flake. Found the crux for me was the start of the second flake. Indeed it flexes as you get higher up on it. Would have saved me a 10' run out if I had a #5 camalot, but it was pretty easy terrain to lieback. A #4 could be used to protect the top out but will not do much through the wide funk itself. give er'!

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