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As you walk up Skunk Canyon, the Achean Pronouncement is the first ridge of rock on the left side rising from the stream. At certain points on the approach you can see the second pitch on the route, a wide crack up a slab that ends at a tree. As you reach the base of Satan's Slab, hike up a gully to the left to the base of the route. The route begins just right of a long overhang which extends across the east face (only a few feet above it's base), and left of a huge juniper bush hanging down the rock. The starting point is about 150' up from the stream and 60' above the low point of the rock.
P1: Angle up and right across a slab (5.7), aiming for two large trees 50' up. From these trees you will see a nice slab split by a 2-6" crack. Belay at one of the two trees (or it is possible to combine the first 3 pitches in 2 by going to a ledge 100' higher).
P2: Climb the crack to the next big tree. This is a long pitch and a few feet of simulclimbing is required with a 50m rope. WATCH OUT FOR A PATCH OF POISON IVY ABOUT 40' UP THIS CRACK. This crack is mostly 3-4" and accepts smaller pro at rare intervals, but it is quite easy (5.4). The last 20' below the belay, the crack is 5-6", but you can climb the face right of the crack (no pro, though).
P3: Continue 90' up the wide crack in the slab to a spectacular fixed belay on the crest of the ridge with a piton and cable loop.
P4: Step left onto the east face, and climb back up to the crest. Follow the knife-like crest south to some fixed slings and belay (120'). There is almost no pro on this pitch, but it is only about 5.2.
P5: Fourth class pitch south up the crest to the NW corner of the summit block (165').
P6: Cross some slabs under the overhanging east face of the summit block. Angle up and left, and climb the south face of the summit block (5.7). There is not much pro on this pitch either (fortunately, there is pro before the 5.7 moves). Route finding skills needed on this pitch to find the easiest way.
Rap 60' south from the summit to hiking territory.
Light rack up to a #4 Camalot for the 5.4 wide cracks. Several big pieces may be needed by timid leaders. Several sections of this route are runout, but only where it is quite easy.
BETA PHOTO: The wide crack visible on the right side of the fa...
From Skunk Canyon, the northern aspect of The Ache...
Allen on the Boy's finish.
Jack Humphrey on P2.
Beth on the smarter finish.
Looking down the crack of pitch 2. I managed to av...
|By Leo Paik|
From: Westminster, Colorado
Aug 25, 2003
This is an interesting & varied route; however, the poison ivy in the jungle of Skunk Canyon make the approach less fun. No lines here. Some beeeta: P1 feet. From P1 anchors at the trees, it's 180' to the trees of the P2 anchor. The NE Arete variation (P2 & P3) sports little solid pro & the crack is much better per Allen Light. A #4 or #4.5 Camalot is nice for P3. Some ancient KBs on the cable loop dangle. P4 you can get a couple slings around 2 flakes about 70' out, then clip some threaded rap anchor at 100', the belay at 120' with a decent angle can be backed up with a #4.5 Camalot, but it is better to keep on going to easy terrain and belay 200' out. P6 cross low under the overhang and you'll find some pro. The bulgy crux just L of a decent thread is easier and shorter than it looks; however, there virtually no pro above the thread. Beth did find a creative, smarter, less strenuous finish to the L of the "boy's" finish.
This may be better approached off the Dinosaur Mt from Back Porch. Way less poison ivy. Itch, itch, itch.
That rap anchor leaves much to be desired. Most of the slings are around a detached, albeit large, flake. One could add a long sling around the horn up and R from the slings. There is an old sling buried deep, up and R, to back up the anchor.
|By Anonymous Coward|
Jun 12, 2004
I can't see rating this one. Of the 100 or so Flatiron routes I've tried, this is the least coherent. Not even a link-up, really, and couldn't keep the rope out of the poison ivy. Just come from the south, and do the summit pitch underclings.
Sep 18, 2004
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b
The poison ivy on p2 looks like it has been taken out of the crack by someone. Thanks! This is a great route, lots of variety and the summit pitch has some steep, exposed climbing. Way good!
May 1, 2006
Wandered up this recently, and the KBs have fallen out of the anchor atop p3, leaving just the one ancient pin. There is gear around though.
The poison ivy is definitely back, too, just leafing out. It can be avoided by taking the arete variation.
|By Lee Smith|
Sep 27, 2008
No more fixed pro at the top of pitch 3, but I left a small wire & draw for bailing. Not a very good route above this in my opinion, but then I didn't make it past P3.
|By Mic Fairchild|
Aug 21, 2010
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b
Is it my imagination, or is the approach (more descent) to this a bushwhacker's paradise? I've been into Skunk a number of times, and the overgrowth seems thicker this year. The route is actually pretty good, although the last pitch will require some savvy routefinding. I stepped out and face climbed past the PI on route; not much help if you're roped. Another thumbs up for the recommended list from Gerry Roach Classics.
|By Rick Blair|
Nov 8, 2010
Pitons are not present at the top of P3. They are not needed anyway, plenty of pro. I linked the 1st and part of 2nd pitch in approach shoes, if it's 5.7, then just barely. I would recommend linking first 3 pitches into 2 pitches. The start of P1 is the crux so use your own judgment. P4 is 5.2 climbing BUT... very rotten, every hold is questionable, and there is no pro that will actually hold a fall until you get to a bomber threadable hole ~80 ft out on the ridge.
This was a fun climb, I liked the variety and position a lot plus I got rain/snowed on at my first belay, wet lichen sucks. Rapped down, then the sun came back out. We made it across the ridge where we had to bail due to nightfall. Double rope rap got us SE to the ground with a few feet of rope left over.
For Skunk Canyon veterans, I think this is actually an easy approach and one of the quickest climbs to gain from NCAR. Can't wait to get back and tackle the final pitch.
|By Jamie Princo|
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 3, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c
This route is an awesome, hidden gem on a relatively unknown Flatiron. Thanks for posting that TR, Brian; I was hoping to see something from this day.
Yes, Skunk Canyon's foliage is going wild this year, but the approach isn't bad if one knows the secrets of the trail. The poison ivy is immense, many times larger than I expected! A microcam off to its right safely detoured us from this obstacle. The 5.8 section on the summit block's SE corner loads of fun, wish it was longer! Great holds there.