June 2011 Applications

Patience Face (5.12a), North Face of Dinosaur Rock, Dinosaur Mountain

The proposed route, Patience Face (5.12a), is on the North Face of Dinosaur Rock, and will share the first five bolts of climbing with the existing climb The Shaft before moving right onto a wide black streak that runs to the top of the wall. The staging area is 40 feet down and off the trail, a flat spot among the trees that is also used for The Shaft. The route is 35 meters (114 feet) in length and has been redpointed on top-rope and thoroughly inspected for best choice of protection. Patience Face offers no cracks or reliable traditional/natural gear placements, and it is recommended that bolts/hangers be used for protection. The new route will consist of a total of 15 stainless steel, half-inch bolts: five existing bolts on the lower half of The Shaft, then eight new protection bolts and two new anchor bolts.

Patience Face starts out with a 5.11/11+ sequence (shared with The Shaft) to cross a hanging flake into the groove, then climbs more 5.11/11+ climbing up the groove, over a small roof, and up a clean face to a no-hands rest in a large pod. The climb then moves out the right side of the pod onto a twisting black streak/extruded tufa feature that trends up and right, away from the top half of The Shaft, gradually deviating from 10 to 30 feet away from The Shaft. The climb has two 5.12- cruxes at mid-height before another resting pod, then steps right and trends right again along a ramp before summiting the wall via a crux bulge (5.11+12-). The climb will require a 70-meter rope, but given that the climbing remains sustained to the top — and that all other routes established on Dinosaur Rock, including the 35-meter Ultrasaurus, also go to the top of the wall — the applicants do not recommend ending the climb sooner simply for convenience’s sake.

Patience Face, showing upper bolts, and anchors.

The rock quality is excellent, and only brushing was needed to make the route safe and clean. The rock has a black water polish and is very solid and compact. The shared start of Patience Face and The Shaft is the only safe and logical start on this part of the wall, which otherwise has friable rock down low.

The route offers sustained, outstanding, shady 5.12- climbing on perfect stone without compromising any existing routes or adding impact to the crag base – it’s directly off the Mallory Cave Trail on a rock approved for new routes, and will share the staging area with The Shaft, an already existent line. The climbing is athletic and gymnastic in nature; having a good 5.12- here will add to the destination qualities of Dinosaur Mountain, with the existing 5.10s and 5.11s on Der Zerkle only a minute’s hike away.

FHRC Overview of the application: Complete

Voting Results: Approved

OSMP Decision: Pending

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Trad Kreem (5.10-) Piton Upgrade, the Slab, Fern Canyon

The crux of the route Trad Kreem (5.10-) is currently protected by an old fixed piton in questionable rock, with possible severe consequences if the piton pulls out. The applicant proposes to either replace that piton with a new piton, or to place a bolt nearby and remove the piton. As far as recorded history goes, the first known ascent of the Trad Kreem corner was likely done by Chris Beh and Owen Silver in 2010. However, when they started up the route, there was an old fixed piton in a crack near the base of the route. The piton (a Chouinard/BD baby angle) protects the overhanging 5.10a crux, and failure of the piton would likely cause the leader to hit a large ledge below. It is possible to place a small cam (blue tcu or blue Alien) just below the piton, but it is in the same questionable rock as the piton (see photos).

Trad Kreem, showing the first bolt on Whipping Post and the piton in question.

The applicant used a hammer to test the piton and surrounding rock because it appeared that the rock to the right of the piton was questionable. Tapping on the piton gave a reasonably reassuring ring, but tapping the nearby rock caused some concern. The applicant believes that the two seams shown in the photos contribute to the rock on the right side producing a hollow thud. The piton and the cam rely on the integrity of this flake. The piton holds body weight, and might hold a small fall (such as the one that would occur if you fell making the long move to the end of the crux), but the applicant feels that the piton is marginal at best.

A close-up of the piton, the flake/seams around it, and the TCU that backs it up.

Trad Kreem is a trad route (i.e., requires trad gear) at a crag that is predominately a sport crag, though several of the sport routes here do require a few pieces of gear, so it is not unrealistic for people to bring a light rack. At 5.10-, the route is also easier than most of the routes at the crag, and serves as a decent warm-up for the harder routes in the area. The move protected by the piton is a long 5,10- reach, on steep rock, off small holds. As stated above, if the piton (and/or the cam) pulled out, it is likely that the leader would land on the large ledge below, though perhaps a very attentive belayer might be able to keep you off the ledge using the first bolt on Whipping Post. This, bolt, below the piton, is however not ideally positioned to protect the crux of Trad Kreem, even though you clip it before clipping the piton. It protects a leftward-traversing move on Whipping Post that occurs very close to the bolt, so a ledge fall from that route is much less likely.

The piton and, to its left, the suggested bolt placement.

The applicant does not have strong feelings about either proposed solution, but is submitting this application to create a discussion that will lead to a reasonable solution. If a bolt is approved, he will place a ½” x 4¾” stainless Powers Bolt, with stainless-steel hanger. The approximate location for the bolt is marked by a dot of chalk in the photos. Exact placement will consider the reach of shorter climbers, to ensure that they can reach the bolt before doing the crux moves.

FHRC Overview of the application: Complete

Voting Results: Approved pin-for-pin replacement.

OSMP Decision: Pending

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Sick for Sleeping (5.11), the Slab, Fern Canyon

Sick for Sleeping, showing the first bolt on easy terrain and start of upper climbing. The left bolt line is the existing climb Hippopotamus.

The proposed route is on the West Face of the Slab, 15 feet right of the existing climb Hippopotamus, on the Undertow ledge. It is an 85-foot 5.11c and has been redpointed on toprope. The route starts with about 25 feet of moderate rock (a No. 2 Camalot protects if you wish) that bisects the approach ledge to Undertow. At the ledge there is an obvious spot for a first bolt to protect the leader from a ground fall at the first 5.7 bulge (no opportunity for natural gear). Above this there is a short section of low-angle rock approaching another break/ledge and then the upper wall.

The next 50 feet to the anchor uses 6 bolts, climbing with 5.11a/b moves past 3 bolts to a good rest and a fourth bolt, then the 11c crux past a final 2 bolts to a 2-bolt anchor.

The upper six bolts (5.11 climbing) on Sick for Sleeping, the Slab, Fern Canyon.

This route will be a worthwhile addition to the West Face of The Slab, and the applicant proposes to use half-inch stainless-steel hardware. At 11c it fills in a gap for easier routes. It climbs an independent line 15 feet away from the nearest route, Hippotamus (10d). The climbing is on mostly solid edges and pockets with aesthetic movement up a slightly overhanging section of rock. The route needs minimal cleaning and the staging area is along the existing trail at the base to the cliff.

FHRC Overview of the application: Postponed until Sep ’11 cycle.

Voting Results: Pending

OSMP Decision: Pending

Login and post comments, or send your comments to fhrc@flatironsclimbing.org – be sure to include the name of the route application your comment pertains to.

1 reply
  1. chris archer
    chris archer says:

    I support opening Patience Face and Sick for Sleeping. They both sound like excellent additions to the Flatirons.

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