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Scott Welsh on Extraterrestrial, Fi, Central Flati...
This is a pleasant Flatiron outing with a bit of spice due to relative lack of protection compared with routes on the neighboring Fee, Fo, and Fum. However, it is not a good lead for the budding 5.6 or 5.7 leader. Fun for the Flatiron slab-meisters. Perhaps 280 feet in all. It is somewhat reminiscent of, but slightly easier than, Extra Point on the Third Flatiron moving below and through the U of CU.
Find the middle of the E face of Fi near a medium-sized tree about 25 feet up. If the face is abutted with a winter's dump of snow, there is a small ledge system perhaps 10 feet off the ground for you to rack up.
P1. Ascend this face past the tree. Find reasonable pro for the first 100 feet or so. There is an optional belay ledge at about 100-110 feet up. From here the face smoothens significantly. I found only 1 spot for decent protection in the next 90 feet or so. Here, the line of least resistance seems to angle left and then long angle right and then briefly left to the belay. You will find a mostly horizontal crack system and narrow ledge with a tiny tree just above a system of cobbles at 190-200 feet up for a belay. It is easier to approach this ledge from the right. A #0 TCU and red Alien provide anchor points above you at this ledge and backup options lie at your feet.
P2. From here, there are at least 2 choices. You can continue up the fairly smooth face with little obvious protection until you reach the ridge about 40 feet up. Or, you can traverse directly R to the groove system and then head to the ridge. There are finger to wide-hand-sized cracks at the top for anchors.
Note: It can be challenging to see the line of holds about 2-3pm if it is sunny.
Descent: There is a set of slings with rings at the summit. An 80 foot rappel to the West drops you into the slot between Fi and Fo. You can slither through a narrow slot and downclimb the East gully between Fi and Fo, reportedly 5.2. There was a set of slings on a loose chockstone that was removed. Or, you can head uphill on the West side of Fo through a chimney section and then scramble to reach the gully between Fo and Fum. A short hike down to a 60-100 foot (depending on snow depth) rappel off a large tree reaches hiking terrain. Or, you can continue uphill to the gully between Fum and Dum and hike East to walking terrain.
Standard Flatiron rack to #3 1/2 Friend or #3 Camalot.
BETA PHOTO: The line.
The runout section before the first belay.
Reaching the ridge crest on pitch 2.
|Comments on Extraterrestrial
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 5, 2003
We followed the same line in the above photo for pitch 1, then tacked up and left on the second pitch to join Fi Fun.
The rap anchor from the summit is a threaded hole, and was missing rap rings. If you rap to the east a lot of rope drag occurs, we added a couple of slings and a locking biner to make the rope easier to pull. One 60m rope works well to get down to the east. Pull the rope out of the chimney before pulling or it may get stuck there.