The name of this route says it all. The Slab has few distinctive features in the middle of its face, and it is nearly impossible to describe an exact line for this route.
When the approach trail nears the face, head left along the face for a few hundred feet until you reach a large, south-facing dihedral. Start a few feet left of this dihedral ... and head (you guessed it) left 'n up.
If you are soloing, take care to stay on easy terrain, as it is quite possible to get onto a 5.6 featureless slab in here. If roped, look for belays carefully as the protection is sparse on this face. The climbing is quite runout but easy if you look for the easiest line.
The climb ends at the same gnarled pine as "Syzygy". Continue on the ridge a short ways, and then either downclimb west or continue to the summit, as described under the route "Diagonal".
Standard Flatiron rack.
The descent past the spike (Warren's left foot is ...
Warren pondering the age old question: "Do I go le...
BETA PHOTO: Tracy taking the first lead. There are a series of...
BETA PHOTO: Rapelling from the tree. The "spike" on the downc...
BETA PHOTO: Lee Smith romps up the second pitch of Left N' Up....
Van easing arond the corner to the base of a small...
BETA PHOTO: East face of The Slab. Left 'n Up goes left from ...
Van cruising up the 4th pitch.
BETA PHOTO: Detail of the Slab East Face.
My dad, Keen Butterworth Jr., on the Slab.
From: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Apr 16, 2007
Since even the Falcon guide doesn't describe any of the routes on The Slab in much detail, I'll just say what we did.
The start of the route sounds the same, as it is the first really large, left-facing dihedral you come to as you head South along the right edge of the rock where the Fern Canyon trail meets it. The height of the dihedral incut can be over 20ft. in places, so you can't miss it. This feature goes all the way to the summit ridge.
Pitch 1 scrambles up some nice hueco steps to red colored rock and fairly plentiful pro for a Flatiron route. Many cracks of varying depth cut into the red rock. To the right, you can occasionally get pro directly in the dihedral, but in general it is too wide. Our belay here was on a small shelf, but you might find a better one. Full 60 meters.
Pitch 2 continues up the feature. If you go to the left a little, you end up on white rock that is very grainy. This rock is well-featured and easy to climb due to the angle, but there is little or no pro. Bisect the main dihedral again and find cracks and horns for a belay at a small ledge. Full 60 meter rope length.
Pitch 3 moves left and around some corners where the dihedral overhangs a bit and is more of a huge flake. Continue up to more white rock. Pro is adequate. You will end up at two small trees no more than a few feet tall. The right one is easier to reach and has a crack system to set the belay at. The tree is a bit small to use in the belay. 60 meters.
Pitch 4 is more 5.6ish here, as there is a slight overhang you have to negociate. The line continues directly upwards along the dihedral. Here the rock is concave, which makes it more vertical for a few body lengths. There are ample cracks for pro, fortunately, so press on. As you negociate this overhang, start traversing left along a somewhat exposed and fun ledge. Good nuts aboud, some near your feet! Zip around this and up to the summit ridge. Belay behind some huge huecos you can get your whole body into. No need to make an anchor unless you weigh substantially less than your second. Full 60 meters.
The descent we used has you going North on the summit ridge to a big notch gully that leads to a 30ft tall dead tree. Don't go too far right, as a big notch in the East face of The Slab cuts off your descent. No rope should be needed to descend the notch that parallels the summit ridge. Go down by the dead tree and look to the left edge of the ledge. This is the ledge above the bolted anchors for a sport climb. It has blue webbing and a rap ring we added. One 60m rope gets you down. Just gentley toss your rope near the wall or it will hit the tree branches.
|By Brendan Leonard|
From: Denver, Hollarado
Oct 29, 2007
Thanks for putting up your info, Tim. We did our best to follow your line, but I think we got off-route and ended up on some harder-than-5.2 stuff in a couple of spots. We had The Slab to ourselves, save one free soloist, on a Sunday afternoon, and we had a blast. I left new webbing and a rap ring on the anchor.
Jun 12, 2010
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV VD 3c R
The main consideration for this route is that 1) there is no fixed gear so protection and belay anchors may require the most skill needed on this route and 2) expect to get off route and onto more difficult terrain than 5.3. I think Stich may have done "Up 'n Left" ;-) We followed the line that diagonaled left across good features to the heuco/dish/chickenhead filled trough visible from the trail. Not saying with 100% certainty we were on the route but... here is what we did:
P1 60 meters. Up the face to the left of the large dihedral then working left above the top of a small roof with pointy left edge, further left to a belay spot taking medium cams. There is small flat grassy ledge south and below this belay but not well protected.
P2 50 meters. Left across a red stain, around a corner to a small dihedral, staight up that to a headwall seemingly unprotected and harder than traversing left to a stance that accepted a small cam and medium stoppers for belay anchor.
P3 60 meters. Straight above the belay is the drainage and has a lot of features but not a whole lot of straightforward pro. The first part is the steepest. Shortly after the belay a slung chickenhead protected the crux of the climb. Above that a medium cam size crack gave the leader a sigh of relief and the angle drops. A quick romp up to a large flake that can take a #3 cam on the left earlobe and other good pro on its top.
P4 62 meters. Sling a chickenhead (thin flexible runners are good to bring for this route) and work right over a steep bulge with large holds. After that there is a large crack but above is a hueco fest angling left toward a large pine. I belayed at a Charlie Brown pine that had a small cam crack and a comfortable flake to straddle like a horse back.
P5 10 meters of 5.0 leads to a 4th class ridge. Go south as far as the rope will let you. Another 20 meters is a low notch that you can easily rap from a tree leaning against the ridge or downclimb to the spike (which may be harder than the route up) or downclimb the dead log. I chose the tree rap not knowing the difficulty of the downclimb.