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Northeast Buttress
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Flower of High Rank 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 5a

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 160'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Rob Muir and Mike Graham, October '72
Page Views: 15,079
Submitted By: Andy Laakmann on Jan 20, 2006
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Craig on Flower.

Description 

The classic moderate crack at Suicide. You'll never tire of repeating this gem.

The climb is located where the Northeast Face becomes the North face and is easily identified by the tree (the flower?) growing right in the middle of the crack about 70 feet up. The tree is historically littered with slings to help identify it. The climb is just to the left of a huge (undesirable looking) right facing corner.. and you actually start up this corner to get to the main crack.

I prefer to do this climb in one long pitch, usually scrambling up to the base of the main crack for the first belay (some might want to rope this bit - and you'll need to build an anchor). With a 200' rope you could belay from the ground, but there's enough rope drag already so why add more. You can do the climb in two pitches and belay at the tree, but it is kind of a pain in the butt.

Once climbing you'll enjoy some quality jamming/stemming in the first section heading to the tree. Sustained moves from fingers to off-fingers to thin-hands will get you to the tree and a nice comfy rest. Want a 10a variety... don't use the left wall - my friend accidently did this and bitched his way up....

From the tree there are two cracks, one heading straight up and the other trending out a wild looking face to the right. The right crack has your name on it. Spectacular, exposed climbing up this arching crack leads to the route's final crux at the roof. The roof goes at 5.9, but take your time to figure it out... many a flailing here.

Some 5.7 jamming finishes the journey.

What a climb!


Protection 

Standard rack including nuts, and 2x each cam from small ones to a #3

(I did this from five year old memory, so feel free to add more specific gear requirements)



Photos of Flower of High Rank Slideshow Add Photo
Me Posing if you will on the crux of the climb.
Me Posing if you will on the crux of the climb.
Lisa Pritchett leading Flower of High Rank
Lisa Pritchett leading Flower of High Rank
Flower of High Rank <br />Photo by Brian Cooper
Flower of High Rank
Photo by Brian Cooper
Nathan Fitzhugh belayed by Kevin Aris.
Nathan Fitzhugh belayed by Kevin Aris.
High on Flower of High Rank.
High on Flower of High Rank.
"...if I can just get my left foot UNDER the rope..."
"...if I can just get my left foot UNDER the rope....
TODD SMITH
TODD SMITH
Marty Roberts a few moves up from his belayer, Rick Graham. Note the climber to the left at the top of the first pitch of Etude.
Marty Roberts a few moves up from his belayer, Ric...
Looking up from the tree.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up from the tree.
Tree belay.
Tree belay.
Flower of High Rank in Feb.  A bit more difficult when you can't feel your fingers but always a great route.
Flower of High Rank in Feb. A bit more difficult ...
Climbing the finger cracks on the lower section.
Climbing the finger cracks on the lower section.
Looking down from the tree.
Looking down from the tree.
Climbing the classic hand crack above the tree.
Climbing the classic hand crack above the tree.
Flower of High Rank. Using tree as belay stance.
Flower of High Rank. Using tree as belay stance.
Climber surmounting the crux overlap.
Climber surmounting the crux overlap.
Another unknow climber on the Flower.
Another unknow climber on the Flower.
Kim starting out on the crack of Flower of High Rank.
Kim starting out on the crack of Flower of High Ra...
pulling the roof on Flower of High Rank
pulling the roof on Flower of High Rank
Flower of High Rank from the bottom
BETA PHOTO: Flower of High Rank from the bottom
Jonny about to pull the roof-  <br /> <br />(Climbing in the clouds on 9/11/12)
Jonny about to pull the roof-

(Climbing in the c...
Unkown climber on the begining of Flower of Higher Rank.  Not my ideal way to place pro, but what ever works.  I think he wes pulling it to place higher.
Unkown climber on the begining of Flower of Higher...
Unknow climber at the business of Flower of Higher Rank.  Most people place pro in the crack the climber is in.  This works well too.
Unknow climber at the business of Flower of Higher...
The snowy start, late March, 2009.
The snowy start, late March, 2009.
The business
BETA PHOTO: The business
Comments on Flower of High Rank Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Dec 13, 2013
By C Miller
Administrator
Jan 27, 2006
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

An area classic that goes at an easier grade than appearances might suggest. Easily done with a 60 meter rope, as mentioned, by starting at the top of the ramp crack. Both variations above the tree are good but the one on the right is the one you'll remember. Expect to take a number on a crowded weekend.

By Adam Stackhouse
Administrator
Feb 4, 2006
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

D. Haugelstine trying to get us to solo this route before we led it had us psyched! Grade A++ route

By Obi
From: Portland, OR
Feb 22, 2006
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a

Take the right crack for sure after the tree. I took the left crack when I lead this and now I feel like I've been robbed of a great experience. Regardless, this is one of my favorites at Suicide.

By Chris Owen
Administrator
From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Apr 19, 2006
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

Good rope management is required at the roof; be careful not to get it jammed. I've seen more than one team do this.

By Floridaputz
From: Oakland Park, Florida
Aug 21, 2006

We did this in 2 pitches. The tree belay is a little uncomfortable. Great way to finish off the day.

By Euan Cameron
Administrator
From: Redlands and Mammoth Lakes
Jul 1, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

Great climb. This can be done in one pitch from the bottom with a 60m rope, but the belay at the top of the ramp crack is shaded from the sun, and makes rope management easier, so is probably the better option.

By Bruce Diffenbaugh
From: Cheyenne,Wyoming
Feb 11, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

I'm with the others do the right crack a bit harder if I remember but a better finish.

By meo
Sep 6, 2008

I stumbled across this classic the first time there. Had no idea what it was until my partner Wendell said it's THE CLASSIC of Suicide Rock. At that point I could not wait to get on it.
Great climbing with a technical start and fantasically exposed finish. After hanging from the top crack I realized it's best to climb above the crack until about half way at which point you can actually crack climb the thing. Pull the roof and your home free.
Don't rob yourself by taking the right crack. Go right you'll thank yourself later. A great experience to have!!!!:) I give it four stars.

By Robin like the bird
From: mountain center ,CA
Sep 7, 2009
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a PG13

just climb this route and it was great, but you don't need me to tell you this. I bet I bet I Hung out under the roof for about 10 minutes, before committing to the move. It was almost like cocaine, once I was done climbing I wanted to do it again.

I am blown away by the picture of Clark Jacobs free soloing this in the guide book.

Anybody else get sapped in the left crack right underneath the tree. I wonder if it made me stick better?

By Dynomight510
Sep 11, 2009
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

I have to disagree with the PG-13 rating. This is a well protectable climb. I've done it many times and the pro opportunities are adequate or better. The climb is sustained in some sections but there are rests where you need them.

By badtraddad
May 16, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

i thought the crux was the first ten feet and then pulling the roof. there is plenty of places to put gear so i definitely wouldn't give it a pg rating but compared to open book i felt it was considerably harder. the move just above the tree which i was expecting to be the crux seemed very solid and easy, looks hard in the photos and the whole route looks much harder than it really is. i was initially intimated but im glad i didn't wuss out.

By NDTitanLady
Aug 21, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

RADTASTIC route. Route can be done in one single pitch, but I onsight lead it in two because I needed my gear for the sections after the belay tree. Its nice having to do it in two pitches because you can cleanly place multi-directional nuts as pro on the right crack at the tree belay.

The 1st pitch before the tree belay station was amazing clean splitter hand jams (im a female with smaller hands so i got a full jam in every move). There was a sling with two metal rings wrapped around the tree that was meant to be a permanent anchor to wrap off of but was recently taken and stolen. But very easy to girth hitch the tree with a long sling for a bomber anchor.

2nd pitch i mainly used two #3 in the 5.9 section right after the tree belay. I thought I could place a #4BD in that section but its just a smidgen too small for it to fit in any section, so I wouldnt bother bringing it up.
then a #1 & #2 right on the roof.

There is no bolts or wrap rings on any route on the north face so there are two options for anchors. You can either create a anchor with cams on the splitter crack when it bulges over after the 5.7 secction, or there is a tree wayyyy further back after topping out that you can create as an anchor with a couple cams and girth hitch the tree trunk. If you belay at the tree you might have trouble hearing your partner unless you scream at eachother.

Defiantly a must do. Especially in the summer because this route is completely hidden from the sun all day long. Climber & Belayer is shaded.

By Randy in Ridgecrest
From: Inyokern, CA
May 22, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

Did this first time 1980 with Todd Tremble. He insisted we belay in the tree and smoke a joint. As the next pitch was mine I really wanted to hold off on that, but style is style. The pitch (right crack, of course!) went swimmingly.
Have done it several times since, always as one pitch.

By Tradoholic
Jun 12, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

Classic. Sucks gear in all the way.
Belay in the left crack (if facing the rock) at the top to avoid the rope pushing a cam too deep or cutting up the rope in the event of a follower fall.

By Jim Dover
From: Idyllwild, Ca
Jul 2, 2012

PG13? Hardly. I watched a guy place a .75 Camelot just under the roof and a 3 Camelot just before that. Once you have those two pieces, the roof is just a matter of pulling through it. The proudest lead I've done.

A 70 meter rope gets you to the tree for a shaded belay.

Also, there is a stuck Metolius Supercam in the crack to the right near the bottom crux. The sling is in good shape and the thing is NEVER coming out, so I clipped it to prevent an upward zipper if I fell higher up and pulled my belayer up and into the base. Anyone with more experience than I want to weigh in on this as a good idea?

By ciotti
From: CA
Apr 22, 2013

OK, this sunday (4-21) my partner and i decided to climb the epic classic "FLOWER OF A HIGH RANK" once again and it got a whole new meaning to me. Baby RATTLESNAKE inside the crack just above the low crux moves, right where the crack get little wider (about 20' below the flower) Holy crap! Are you kidding me! Please beware. No Joke!

By ciotti
From: CA
Apr 22, 2013

BABY RATTLESNAKE ON ROUTE <br />4-21-13
BABY RATTLESNAKE ON ROUTE
4-21-13

By Jim Dover
From: Idyllwild, Ca
Apr 29, 2013

Did it yesterday--nothing rattled except my knees.

By Gavin Bridgeman
From: Tustin, California
Oct 12, 2013

Gear friendly. I found the first pitch strenuous, but not as bad as El Camino.

By pkeds
From: Hermosa Beach, CA
Dec 13, 2013
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a

spectacular route. going straight up after the tree is for wussies! stay low and go into the right one! pulling the roof is cake if you take time to figure it out. you can also rest there for days figuring it out. you'll often find a hoard of people at the base eyeing it up saying 'looks awesome, but looks hard! i dunno man'. step up and show them up!