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Africa Flake 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ British: MS 4a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 180'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ British: MS 4a [details]
Page Views: 3,631
Submitted By: C Miller on Feb 22, 2006
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (40)
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Mike Williams using a rope, for once.


Located just right of The Trough (5.5), and despite it's proximity to that route, the climbing is vastly different on rough, orange-colored crystalline rock that provides excellent friction.

While it's possible to cut right after the second bolt to belay bolts it's preferable to climb the route in one long pitch and belay at anchors atop the face. An easy descent exists down the left side of the face via slabs and then a trail.


6 bolts, anchors

Photos of Africa Flake Slideshow Add Photo
Starting up African Flake
Starting up African Flake
First pitch of Africa Flake in the late afternoon. <br /> <br />photo by Lara Dvorzak
First pitch of Africa Flake in the late afternoon....
The climber is on Africa Flake. The Trough is seen clearly to her left.
The climber is on Africa Flake. The Trough is seen...
Comments on Africa Flake Add Comment
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By Jordan K
From: Ohio
Oct 8, 2006

this is a bolted sport climb, not trad

By Bill Olszewski
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Apr 30, 2007

This really isn't a sport climb. I think the confusion comes from regarding trad climbs only as those requiring removable gear. But bolts were around long before the term "sport climbing" which generally refers to well-bolted half-pitch routes (i.e. they can be top-roped with a single rope). Although Big Rock has some sport routes (see Let it Bleed and Cheap Thrills) most are closer to traditional slab. Stichter Quits in JTree is all of 150' or so, on 4 bolts. Hardly a sport climb. Africa Flake, although better protected, takes the full 60m passing 6 bolts. A true sport climb generally has a bolt every 6 to 10 feet. Obviously there is some gray area here, but most of these lines on Big Rock are too sparsely bolted to qualify as sport.

By Bill Olszewski
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Apr 30, 2007

Great route, fun lead, best easy line to the top of BR, IMO.

By Gary Schenk
Mar 5, 2008
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V S 4b

Quite exciting to get to that first bolt.

By Jon Leicht
May 12, 2008
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a

Best route in the grade area on the rock!

By Brian Hench
From: Costa Mesa, CA
Jun 2, 2008
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V S 4b

A way better route than the one to the left of it, The Trough.

By Christian "crisco" Burrell
From: PG, Utah
Jun 1, 2009

Easy but love it.

By Benjamin Chapman
From: Small Town, USA
Dec 26, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V S 4b

Nice comments Bill. African Flake definitely isn't a sport climb. A loooonnnng fall (broken bones & head injury) from near the top by a climber in the late '80s is evidence of that. Great trad. slab climb.

By Rob Selter
From: running springs Ca
Apr 6, 2012

Way better than the Trough. My 9 year old daugher loves it!

By William Nelson
From: Cave Creek, AZ
Jan 20, 2014
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a

Stay left for direct root. Long but easy runout for 40 feet past last bolt to 3 bolt anchor. Need 7 quick draws plus runner/cordelette for anchor. Easy for someone used to slab climbing. Sport and or gym climbers may need to get used to smearing and longer distances between bolts than they're used to. Need almost all of 60 m rope