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Yellow Brick Road 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b R

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 1000', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b R [details]
FA: Rossiter & Baldwin, 1977 (solo)
Season: Gets sun until late.
Page Views: 3,647
Submitted By: Tony B on Jun 3, 2007

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  • Description 

    This is a great route on great rock- resembles the route Butterfly in many ways. It LACKS PROTECTION for long stretches.

    Pitch 1 (5.6, S): Start up in a chimney-sized groove and after a short distance, step left up and onto the slab, heading left to intercept a line of odd brick-like blocks and puzzle-pieces. These can be climbed for ~70 meters to top out left onto a ramp and a belay.

    Pitch 2 (5.7, VS): From that belay, move up a good distance to some nice boulders below a double roof. This will give you more rope for the 71-meter pitch you are about ready to do. The first above is wider and larger, the second is smaller and arch-shaped. Watching for any loose rock (and mind you, with lack of gear) go over the right side of roof #1, then up the center of roof #2. Continue up and left though a very seriously runout water-groove. You can bail-out to the right, but we found that you can continue up this perfect rock for 70 meters to join "Baker's Way" just below a ledge just below where it intercepts the Direct East Face.

    Pitch 3 (5.4): Go a short way up "Baker's Way" and join "Direct East Face" for one long pitch to the summit Ridge of the "North Arete."

    Pitch 4 & 5 (5.0): Join the North Arete to the summit in 2 very pitches.


    A few hundred feet up and left of the Direct East Face, and above a massive boulder that has to be circumnavigated to get to the base. Start up into a groove just right of a junky corner.


    You better be ready for runouts. Real ones. The first rope-length of climbing is quite runout in spots. The second is just plain silly for lack of gear. The third takes you up to more normal Flatirons climbing....

    Comments on Yellow Brick Road Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By percious
    From: Bear Creek, CO
    Jul 24, 2009
    rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R

    I disagree with the authors assessment of gear at the crux. I saw at least 2 cam placements for pulling the crux roofs, which aren't all that bad anyway. Just watch for loose rock while approaching the roofs.
    You *can* get some gear in the puzzle pieces, but the rock there is questionable at best, so be solid in the grade if you are looking to lead it.

    Pucker up if you are solo and onsight on this route tho, the roof pulls are cryptic, the hands are a bit smeary on the second, but if you get your feet up high they are not too bad.

    This is my favourite route on the first. Stellar position, crowd free and unusual puzzle piece rocks make this 4-star in my book. This route is pretty easily linked with end of Fandango. When you get to Baker's way, head left and then down through a slot. This get's you around the up-and down summit ridge and away from roped parties.
    By Guy H.
    From: Fort Collins CO
    May 2, 2010

    It is possible to stay on the "Yellow Brick Road" for a full 80m pitch, before traversing below the roofs on P2. This is one of best pitches on the any of the numbered Flatirons. The rock is very unique for the area. Expect some big runouts on smooth rock, though. (40-50 ft.)

    There are really no good belay locations until you reach the roof, so bring a 70m and/or plan on simul-climbing.
    By Ryan Franz
    From: Boulder, CO
    Apr 21, 2011

    Just did the variation described in Jason Haas' Flatirons guide, starting in a massive, left-facing dihedral left of the normal start. This makes for a nice direct line; the first pitch is ~60m to the pile of loose blocks below the double roofs, with a fun roof pull at 5.6 or 5.7.

    As for the water groove on p2, what a great pitch! As Percious said, the roofs are not too bad if you don't mind knocking on every hold. There is gear at the start of the water groove, then no gear for a long ways...once you get to a little crystal garden below a large hueco, look for an old bolt stud you can hang a wire on (very hard to see). At that point, I moved slightly right to a great crack--look for a piton 15ft above the old bolt stud. The crack is probably around 5.8 and provides nice contrast to the runout climbing in the middle of the pitch.

    Overall, I continue to be impressed with the new adventures one can find on east face routes--lots of rock out there!
    By Staney
    From: Durango, CO
    Feb 22, 2014

    How is this climb any different then Butterfly? I climbed this route several months ago, and thought it was pretty stellar. Definitely runout but great climbing!
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Feb 24, 2014

    Honestly, a verbal answer to that is a little hard to give and be certain it has been correctly related in detail, but the topos in the Haas and Rositer guides are fairly clear, as memory serves.

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