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Splinted and Screwed T 
Top Flite T 

Top Flite 

YDS: 5.12 French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E6 6b

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches, 300', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.12 French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E6 6b [details]
FA: Josh Smith, Mick Schein, Ryan Hess Summer 2006
Page Views: 940
Submitted By: Mick S on Oct 30, 2009

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Mick looking a little sad on the ledge above Top F...


A stout route that overhangs for all three pitches, with interesting and varied climbing. It still needs a bit of cleaning (lichen mostly), but the rock quality is generally excellent. The route follows the prominent right-facing dihedral in the center of the wall. Named for the Top Flite golf balls found at the base.

1. Physical and demanding, with just enough spice to keep the leader engaged. Power up the clean, strenuous dihedral past a fixed pin and a bolt, then surmount a small roof (crux). Clip a bolt, stem to the arete (5.11d), then step right and lieback to a spacious ledge.

2. Jam the splitter finger crack (5.11a) on the left side of the NE wall, step right where it ends, clip a fixed pin and crimp to a rest behind a large block. Follow cracks up and right (5.10c) to another great ledge.

3. Extra half-inch to one inch cams are helpful on this pitch. Lieback and jam a corner to a small ledge, work right, then hand traverse left to a crucial half-inch cam placement. Quality face climbing (5.11c) with finger slots for pro ends at the summit. The corner further right offers a somewhat runout 5.10 finish (not recommended).

The "Seagram's 7" block at the top of the route offers interesting bouldering opportunities, and according to legend was first climbed by the 60's generation "on a long strange trip". Check it out, the downclimb will surely get your attention. The short wall above has some old fixed pins and is an alternative to hiking up the loose gully.


Pro to 2 inches with extra finger size cams.

Photos of Top Flite Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Top Flite's excellent 2nd pitch finger crack.
Top Flite's excellent 2nd pitch finger crack.

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By LeeAB Brinckerhoff
From: ABQ, NM
Oct 31, 2009
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

I had the pleasure of doing an early ascent of this route with John Kear in September or October of 2006, even at that point it was quite clean, maybe a little lichen here and there but very little loose rock.

  • The only really spooky bit was at the start of the third pitch where you are following a flake up and right that gets progressively thinner and more hollow before you take off up the face or get good gear.

  • If you do the rap approach, which we did, it seemed advisable to clip into a few of the bolts as directionals as you go down to get to the base of the route and avoid all bushwhacking. To do this you might need a 70m rope.

  • The idea of backing up the anchors with gear when you rap in seemed advisable, maybe at some point the anchors could get upgraded with bolts and chain? with permission of course.
By Mick S
From: Colorado
Nov 2, 2009

We avoided the loose pillar/flake on the third pitch by hand traversing in from the right. You get a great half-inch cam at the end of the traverse.

I will try to get rap bolts placed at some point, but I don't know when. There are 2 new bolts at the top for the first rappel. The second rap has a couple of pins that may be less than ideal at this point. The last time I was down there I brought a rap line and skipped the second anchor, and went all the way to the top of the first pitch (60 meters). That fixed pin can be backed up with a #2 Friend/#1 Camalot (which is not needed for the first pitch), and maybe a nut. You can leave the rap line on the ledge and rap with one 60 meter cord to the base.
By LeeAB Brinckerhoff
From: ABQ, NM
Dec 3, 2009
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

I don't remember for sure but I think I stepped left from the belay into a corner and stemmed or chimmneyed up a wide right facing corner till you could step onto the top of a pillar and the offending flake started there and stepped up and to the right.

Does this sound right? as a possiblility.
By Mick S
From: Colorado
Jul 7, 2010

Yes, but don't climb the pillar, hand traverse into the intermittent crack system from the right side.
By Aaron Miller
From: Santa Fe, NM
May 15, 2013

Third pitch is really good. Got a little confused at the above-mentioned flake, but no real love lost. Ended up placing a good cam from the left side then, backing down, traversing right, climbing into the flake from the less-sketchy right side.

No evidence of this route being climbed recently. We replaced all the anchor tat for the pins. A single bolt at each station would be sublime. Belaying the second pitch from the rattly pin and fixed nut, 20 feet out the ledge from your lead climber.... Maybe two bolts here?
By Sky Sjue
From: Santa Fe
Sep 29, 2013

We rapped this route on our approach to Splinted and Screwed. The three-piton anchor (top of 2nd pitch) had one cord going to one piton completely severed and the other cord connecting the other two pitons was a bit frazzled. I retied them in a far less than ideal way that seemed like the best option at the moment.

Also, in the anchor at the top of the first pitch, it is easy to remove the piton by hand. The big nut looks good enough though. With a 70 m rope we were able to extend our rappel to the first anchor of Splinted and Screwed.

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