stEEp niBLetz, 5.13

You are welcome to leave comments about this proposed route at the bottom of this page.  A public meeting will be held on April 28, 2010 at 6:30 pm at Movement Climbing + Fitness in Boulder to discuss and vote on this new-route application. While emailed comments are taken into consideration during the public meeting they do not count as a vote. Please come join us at the meeting and vote.

This is a proposed new climb on the west side of the Slab, Fern Canyon, and will add a new pitch atop the existing climb Pen 15.

Pen 15 (established 11/09) climbs 5.12a on positive holds to a midpoint on the 35-meter wall, where the applicants installed double-bolt lowering/belay anchors. The applicants initially (Spring 2009) tried to toprope the whole face — Pen 15 into stEEp niBLetz — with one rope, but due to the severely overhanging angle of stEEp niBLetz (30 degrees overhanging), and the lack of directional gear on the lower half of this top pitch, were unable to do the moves. The crux of stEEp niBLetz looks to be leaving the belay ledge via a hard boulder problem; the applicants were able to ascertain, via climbing up into the boulder problem and rappelling the pitch multiple times, that you’d either climb directly off the belay ledge (solid line in the attached route photo) or come in from a flake on the left (dotted line).

In either case, from there the route will climb 5.12 on positive holds and diagonal slashes, either finishing straight up (solid line) on another very hard (5.13/13+) boulder problem, or continuing slightly right (dotted line) into the grey-green water streak. Again, having not been able to get more than 10 feet off the ledge, the applicants were unable to entirely suss out this upper section. In either case, they plan to place the top anchor in a permanent, central location left of a body-sized hueco/pod such that they can easily, on toprope, determine the most logical finish. That is, either finish will end up at this logical stopping point. The rock on this upper headwall is very clean.

Since the directional (toproping) gear was shaky at best, and only got the applicants halfway down the pitch, they request the use of two to three removable Triplex bolts (RBs) on the lower half so as to determine the best, most logical sequence off the ledge. Once they have ascertained the best line, they will remove these bolts and patch the holes. The five or six other clipping spots should be easy to figure out initially, meaning the applicants can install some permanent protection from the get-go. The applicants plan to use full-stainless half-inch hardware and stainless-steel ring-and-chain anchors.

This is an excellent, physical, very overhanging addition on perfect rock to this back (west) side of the Slab, and a logical second pitch to Pen 15, the first line freed on this major part of the wall. This route does not compromise the climbing on any existing lines – it is at least 60 feet from Whipping Post and 100 feet from Undertow.

The staging area is a flat piece of ground below the west face, along the approach trail up to Undertow/Sweet Niblets.

stEEp niBLetz, the Slab, Fern Canyon.

FHRC Overview of the application: Complete
Voting Results: Approved
OSMP Decision: Approved

3 replies
  1. Elliott Bates
    Elliott Bates says:

    Great to see approval through voting on what looks like another fantastic line! I look forward to seeing the OSMP decision. Thanks Matt and Ted for all of your great Flatirons contributions!

Comments are closed.