Flying A Buttress is a fun thin face toprope problem, taking on the buttress and face left of Flying A and right of Texas. It is rather sustained, with about the first 30' of continuous face climbing at approx. hard 5.11 with a short section with one or two harder moves.
A bouldery start with sidepull holds and small crimps gets you to a stance above the small bulge 8' up- this is a fun boulder problem in of itself. Thin crimp move past the small roof and you can grab a larger flat-topped ledge. Mantle-ing onto this ledge is tricky, then a weird move to more crimps, lets you reach the thinnest and cruxiest section of the climb; bear down on tiny edges or find some trickery for 2 or 3 moves on the slightly overhanging face. Better horizontal holds are above, and the hard part of the climbing is done after 30' up.
Obviously the "Flying A crack" is considered "off" throughout the climb but for the most part moving over to it is not too tempting, so it's not unreasonably contrived.
The line as shown in 'Jemez Rock' is a little off- the start should be independent and just left of the chimney that is the typical start for Flying A.
(I toproped this route -as does virtually everybody else- and I think the only place you could get get any meaningful pro is the horizontal crack under the roof about 12' up. I think if you fell at what I think is the hardest part, you would deck from about 25' up, maybe landing on rocks. The climbing gets easier above, but there are still no more gear placements until almost the very top. I think one would be better off soloing vs leading. Edit: See Lee's note below for beta from someone who's done more than I have with this climb.)
Toprope, from the 2-bolt anchor for Flying A.
If leading, yellow TCU/Alien, blue alien or purple TCU, green .75 camalot, possibly another for up higher, couple of QD's for the first 2 pieces or the rope runs funky, over the roof and around the corner.
From: ABQ, NM
Jan 17, 2010
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII E4 6a PG13
- This and Flying A are about the same grade, through the crux of this you can almost let go with your hands if you hit the right body positions, which is good because the holds are pretty small.
- Leading this does not need to be that bad if you go with British Grit style, AKA: you can place gear on another route. You can get the finger sized pice in the horizontal under the roof. Then from the self that you mantle, which is also a foot on Flying A, you can make one move right and reach up and get a good small cam in the right facing and overhanging portion of the Flying A corner. Last above the crux, right where the holds get a little bit bigger you can reach back right and get a .75 camalot in the big spot on Flying A. After that there are a couple of other spots to get gear but the climbing is much easier.
- That said, it is quite strenuous to place the small cam that places the crux, so yes it seemed easier to boulder than lead.
Very cool movement for the first 25 feet or so. Would be 4 stars if it was a stand alone line.