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Normal rack for first flatiron
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By Tparis
From Pottersville,New York
Apr 11, 2011
fall foliage 5.7+ slab
you are going to want some bolts.

FLAG
By Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
Apr 11, 2011
OMG, I winz!!!
My normal rack is blue and yellow tcu, .5 to 2 C4 and some nuts. The nuts are only useful in a few places but they're light so might as well take them. They're great if you do the slot pitch. Tricams are handy (pink, red) but if you have a couple small cams they go in the same pin scars (tcu/c3's). Take a bunch of runners for extending and tieing off holes and chickenheads.

If you take more cams, you'll probably find a place to put them. There is one more bolt on route above the 2 on the first pitch, just after the section of broken blocks (you'll know when you see them) up and to the left maybe 10 or 15 feet. Makes a fine belay spot though I usually go higher with a 60m to the big flake. There are a couple old pins on the route that are probably even good but good luck finding them. Haha.

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By Dave Cummings
From Grand Junction, CO
Apr 11, 2011
me on my redpoint
Pretty much most boulder area climbs only need a single set of nuts and a single set of cams. There are def exceptions but this simple rack is all you need most of the time.

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By Evan Sanders
From Westminster, CO
Apr 13, 2011
Flaming Pumpkin
Update: Route has been sent. Thanks for the gear advice everybody. It was definitely in my list of top three favorite climbs.

J. Thompson: You owe me a dollar. Not once were we off route.

Some things i noticed. Pitch one: getting to the second bolt is ridiculously scary. After that, hanging left offers some pretty go pro options. That being said, three placements on a hundred foot pitch? Wow.
Pitch two: Where is the pro? There was a spot for a #4 mastercam about 30 feet up, then we ran it out to the piton. Two placements for another hundred foot pitch. Absurd.

I feel like off-width gear would be pretty useful. Why does no one opt to do that? I kept looking around going "Wow, wish I had a #6 camalot". Just a thought.

Friction climbing. A whole different animal than other types of climbing I'd done. First pitch felt like I was going to fall off at any second, after that I got pretty used to it.

As for pro. Well I can see how one could think there's no point in bringing a regular rack up the Direct, but after the second pitch there are placement options almost every five feet. At that point though the climbing was pretty easy so running it out wasn't a bad idea. I placed my #6 dragon cam on every pitch I climbed. It was by far my most used piece. Nuts I could have done without almost altogether. Tricams were mainly used for anchors, occasionally I'd plug one in a pocket somewhere when there was nothing else to place, so i was glad I brought them. Slings, ah slings. I wish I would have had 10 of them. I was connecting the dots on my pitches, I'd use the four shoulder length slings and 2 four foot slings I had pretty quickly and then prayed quickdraws would decrease rope drag at least a little. Holy crap rope drag sucked because of our lack of slings.

We decided to do simul climbing for the ridge. My opinion: Didn't really like the ridge too much. It was too "extreme hiking", not really climbing.

If you see a petzl attache at the base, I'd kinda like it back. I dropped it at the first belay trying to stick it in my grigri. But booty rules are booty rules.

Overall, I had a blast, the rappel was awesome (MP says 3 rappels? We made it in one) and I couldn't be more pleased with the climb. Definitely a great day. If you open up the ascent log at the top near the eyebolts, look for Evan and Matt.

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By martinharris
From Glenwood Springs CO
Apr 13, 2011
chalk bag and shoes and get yourself in a good head space, if u want take some cord to make an anchor and chill for a minute or to belay up your second

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By tooTALLtim
From Boulder, CO
Apr 13, 2011
Loving it up in the Creek!
Evan Sanders wrote:
My opinion: Didn't really like the ridge too much. It was too "extreme hiking", not really climbing.


That's why some people leave the rope at home; plus, no rope drag! :p

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By Dave Swink
From Boulder, Co
Apr 13, 2011
Evan Sanders wrote:
Pitch one: getting to the second bolt is ridiculously scary.

Haha! I have led this route four times and above the first bolt I think the same thing every time.

Evan Sanders wrote:
Pitch two: Where is the pro? There was a spot for a #4 mastercam about 30 feet up, then we ran it out to the piton. Two placements for another hundred foot pitch. Absurd.

Be sure to get the placement just ten feet above the belay to avoid factor two exposure. The second pitch is run out, but there are gear opportunities. Flatiron climbing definitely challenges you to try more placement techniques.

Evan Sanders wrote:
I feel like off-width gear would be pretty useful. Why does no one opt to do that?

I carry a #7 tri-cam (huge but relatively light) to beef up the first and second belay stations. Obviously, many do not feel this is necessary.

Evan Sanders wrote:
Slings, ah slings. I wish I would have had 10 of them.

Bring eight double length slings and a few standard length slings and you will tame the rope drag. I have found this to be true on many Flatiron routes.

Evan Sanders wrote:
Didn't really like the ridge too much. It was too "extreme hiking", not really climbing.

Many folks solo the ridge, but I find it is a great area to practice simul-climbing.

Try Fandango sometime. It is not quite as run out but has some really fun climbing. You don't have to climb as much of the ridge too.

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By Phil Lauffen
From The Bubble
Apr 13, 2011
RMNP skiing. Photo by Nodin de Saillan
Evan Sanders wrote:
I feel like off-width gear would be pretty useful. Why does no one opt to do that? I kept looking around going "Wow, wish I had a #6 camalot". Just a thought.



Because then you would have to carry a number 6 camalot up a flatiron, which is absurd.

There is not one point on that climb you would want to fall, so bringing one more piece of gear is pointless.

FLAG
 
By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Apr 13, 2011
Bocan
Well I always bring to much gear as I'd rather have it and feel good than not.

Tri-cams are a great choice in the flats. I've never placed a stopper on either the 1st or the 3rd though. Most of the placements are better suited to cams or tri cams due to flares or shallowness IMO. LONG RUNNERS! Double and I toss in maybe 2 triples.

Another reason I like too much gear up there is the amount of people. I've had to build anchors in less than desirable places with more gear since there were parties fighting for the belay spots. So if I got a 4 piece micro anchor, I'm glad I have something for the climb still.

The ridge...rope drag hell. Protect only to keep your second from taking a massive swing. Probably better off bringing them up to the first section and simuling or soloing depending on the comfort level.

Again I like to have more gear because it makes me feel comfortable. Who really cares if anyone thinks that's overkill. You'll be run out in places anyways.

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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Apr 13, 2011
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.
Evan Sanders wrote:
J. Thompson: You owe me a dollar. Not once were we off route.


There's a specific route that you're supposed to take while climbing Direct? :)

Evan Sanders wrote:
Pitch one: getting to the second bolt is ridiculously scary...Two placements for another hundred foot pitch. Absurd.


It can't be that absurd if you made it up and down the route alive! :-P

Evan Sanders wrote:
Friction climbing. A whole different animal than other types of climbing I'd done. First pitch felt like I was going to fall off at any second, after that I got pretty used to it.


Good work on your first long friction climb. Once you get used to them, you'll realize they're not nearly as scary when you get proficient with your slab technique and build endurance in your calves (if you haven't already). In time, you will discover exactly what you can/cannot stick to with your shoes and how to adjust the angle at which you approach footholds.

There are several places around the country that routinely sport runouts as long as the ones you encountered on the 1st that protect climbing from 5.10 up.

Evan Sanders wrote:
I feel like off-width gear would be pretty useful. Why does no one opt to do that? I kept looking around going "Wow, wish I had a #6 camalot".


Climb a long route that you don't absolutely need off-width gear on, and you'll probably change your mind in a hurry. :)

Congratulations on your first long friction route. The next time you climb it, will your rack be bigger or smaller (other than slings)?

--Marc

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By Evan Sanders
From Westminster, CO
Apr 13, 2011
Flaming Pumpkin
Marc H wrote:
The next time you climb it, will your rack be bigger or smaller (other than slings)? --Marc


I'm not sure. I was pretty happy with the eight cams we took, I'll probably ditch the stoppers except for a couple, keep the four tricams we took, and maybe leave the smallest two sizes of cams we took (#0 and 1 mastercam) and double up in the #4 camalot equivalent.

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By Rick Blair
From Denver
Apr 13, 2011
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I think it works quite well, depending on rope thickness and sheath quality, it belays very smooth.  Great to lower with.  You gotta love over engineering.  $3 at a gear swap!
This is a great thread! Since you now have a taste for runout friction climbing go hit the South side of the 5th flatiron East face and Pellea East Face. They'll get your heart pumping.

I always wondered what would happen in a fall on a low angle East face route. A year or 2 ago I found out when I discovered the old approach shoes I was wearing had degraded rubber that was pilling as I smeared. I decided to continue on leading, East face routes are not that hard right? About 25 feet off the ground I suddenly found myself skiing backwards on the balls of my feet. I then fell flat and slid. Lost some skin. My belayer caught me with my feet 3 feet off the ground. He then said "What's that smell?" (sniff) (sniff). Burning rubber! I let someone else lead most of the pitches. My arms have never been so tired climbing, I didn't trust my feet for the rest of the day.

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By Phil Lauffen
From The Bubble
Apr 13, 2011
RMNP skiing. Photo by Nodin de Saillan
Or this one:
mountainproject.com/v/colorado...

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By Scott T
From Alpine Meadows, CA
Apr 13, 2011
Fall Line, City of Rocks
Evan Sanders wrote:
Pitch one: getting to the second bolt is ridiculously scary.

Yep, it sure is! Most other Flatiron climbs will feel easy now, as that is one of the most sustained bits of climbing.

Evan Sanders wrote:
That being said, three placements on a hundred foot pitch? Wow.

Yep, welcome to the Flatirons! The security of climbing in the Flats is not the pro at your feet, its knowing that its "only" 5.1-5.4. Be confident in your skills and keep a cool head. It will become very enjoyable even if its scary. Soon, you won't even bat an eye when you've got one piece in a hundred feet.

Evan Sanders wrote:
I feel like off-width gear would be pretty useful. Why does no one opt to do that? I kept looking around going "Wow, wish I had a #6 camalot". Just a thought.

I've always felt that the spots for a really big piece were bigger flakes which never seemed as solid or the rock quality was sub-par. Or that said flake was such a large feature, it offered very easy passage, without feeling the need to protect. Been a while since I've been up there, though.

Evan Sanders wrote:
Slings, ah slings. I wish I would have had 10 of them.

Funny how even a 24in sling feels inadequate up there:) I usually bring 4 48in and 3 24in. Leave the standard quickdraws at home.

Noice job gettin' it done!

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By Zac Robinson
From Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 13, 2011
Me in the Black Canyon.  Checking out a stopper.
Evan Sanders wrote:
I'm not sure. I was pretty happy with the eight cams we took, I'll probably ditch the stoppers except for a couple, keep the four tricams we took, and maybe leave the smallest two sizes of cams we took (#0 and 1 mastercam) and double up in the #4 camalot equivalent.


good on ya. It is nice when you gain the confidence in the gear, your placing abilities and the rock (for giving you options) in order to show up to various routes and know that a standard rack will suffice. Of course the "standard rack" changes for different areas, but a set of cams, stoppers and slings usually works.
I wouldn't leave out the stoppers, just look for the more. Also, don't bother with quickdraws. Slings will do that job plus help at rope drap/building belays/emergency ascenders etc.

Go do it again. Next time only place passive gear...

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By Evan Sanders
From Westminster, CO
Apr 13, 2011
Flaming Pumpkin
...
...


More spots for medium/bigger gear?
More spots for medium/bigger gear?


Beautiful view.
Beautiful view.

FLAG
 
By Rocky_Mtn_High
From Arvada, CO
Apr 13, 2011
Lamb's Slide
Evan Sanders wrote:
Friction climbing. A whole different animal than other types of climbing I'd done. First pitch felt like I was going to fall off at any second, after that I got pretty used to it.


I agree! Even though low-angle, the Flatirons always get my heart-rate up, and I am grateful for every little pebble I can cling to. I can't believe all the folks who solo these things, often in running shoes, sometimes in boots! Experienced slabbers are just way more comfortable on the rock than I -- they are totally confident in their smearing.

I was on the Fatiron on Saturday and watched someone solo up The Maiden next door quickly and nimbly -- he covered the traverse and east face in about 20 minutes. He was speed climbing up the east face, not even bothering to find holds, just totally confident in his feet. Then he *downclimbed* the route almost as quickly! I'm still amazed, and know I'll never have that kind of confidence (or skills).

I'm sure the soloists always get a chuckle when they see the amount of gear I carry, but I've found the pro really varies a lot across the Flatirons, and I often use smaller stoppers and larger cams(and big hexes often come in handy for building anchors). These climbs are great multi-pitch practice, and it's always a treat to hang out high above Boulder. Enjoy!

Edited to refer to "soloing" in first paragraph, not "free climbing"

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By J Antin
From Denver, CO
Apr 13, 2011
First morning at Indian Creek!!!
Evan Sanders wrote:


Evan, So...you want to lug a #6 Camelot up the 1st for extra 'saftey', but decided that a helmet was a too much of a burden?

I'm just messing with ya - thanks for the pics and Trip Report, it sounds like you guys had a super fun time.

All the best,

Jason

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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Apr 13, 2011
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
John Martersteck wrote:
...I can't believe all the folks who free climb these things, often in running shoes, sometimes in boots!...


Evan Sanders wrote:
...Two placements for another hundred foot pitch. Absurd...


I'm not much of a soloist and the real soloists blow my mind as well. But, you're basically soloing when you're on a slab as run out as most of the flatirons routes are. What's the gear gonna do for you if you fall? You're most likely going to rag-doll down the face for 60-100 feet before you stop.

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By Buff Johnson
Apr 13, 2011
smiley face
Evan Sanders wrote:
But booty rules are booty rules.


Did you also drop a flask of MacAllan you were told to bring?

If not, I would say you have do the route again;

says so in the bylaws (& don't forget to drop that flask)

FLAG
By Rick Blair
From Denver
Apr 13, 2011
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I think it works quite well, depending on rope thickness and sheath quality, it belays very smooth.  Great to lower with.  You gotta love over engineering.  $3 at a gear swap!
Crag Dweller wrote:
I'm not much of a soloist and the real soloists blow my mind as well. But, you're basically soloing when you're on a slab as run out as most of the flatirons routes are. What's the gear gonna do for you if you fall? You're most likely going to rag-doll down the face for 60-100 feet before you stop.

I dunno, see my post above, I was glad to have the gear. "as run out as most of the flatirons routes are." Most are not as bad as this, there are a lot, but not most. You also could fall near your gear as well, at least you are lessening your fall potential.

FLAG
By Rocky_Mtn_High
From Arvada, CO
Apr 13, 2011
Lamb's Slide
Crag Dweller wrote:
I'm not much of a soloist and the real soloists blow my mind as well. But, you're basically soloing when you're on a slab as run out as most of the flatirons routes are. What's the gear gonna do for you if you fall? You're most likely going to rag-doll down the face for 60-100 feet before you stop.


On run-out sections, if I fall I figure I'd rather suffer 60-100 feet of road rash instead of possibly a few hundred feet-worth and possible decking or ledging -- so for me having gear in somewhere is at least more psychologically comforting than soloing. But most of the climbing in the Flatirons is reasonably protectable, so I'll go with gear in any case, even though I've never seen anyone fall there (famous last words). I'm also climbing the trad learning curve, and it's great practice for multi-pitch.

Now I'm curious and can't help asking: has anyone relied on their gear to save them from rolling down a Flatirons slab?

FLAG
By Phil Lauffen
From The Bubble
Apr 13, 2011
RMNP skiing. Photo by Nodin de Saillan
John Martersteck wrote:
On run-out sections, if I fall I figure I'd rather suffer 60-100 feet of road rash instead of possibly a few hundred feet-worth and possible decking or ledging -- so for me having gear in somewhere is at least more psychologically comforting than soloing. But most of the climbing in the Flatirons is reasonably protectable, so I'll go with gear in any case, even though I've never seen anyone fall there (famous last words). I'm also climbing the trad learning curve, and it's great practice for multi-pitch. Now I'm curious and can't help asking: has anyone relied on their gear to save them from rolling down a Flatirons slab?


I saw some dude take a 30~40 footer on the second flatiron (South East Arete route I think?) He bounced a lot. I think the noise he made was the worst part.

Broke his ankle and went unconcious. I don't recommend repeating it.

FLAG
By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Apr 13, 2011
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
Rick Blair wrote:
I dunno, see my post above, I was glad to have the gear. "as run out as most of the flatirons routes are." Most are not as bad as this, there are a lot, but not most. You also could fall near your gear as well, at least you are lessening your fall potential.


True. They're probably not all bad...just seems like every one of the handful I've gotten on have had at least one (often more) sections that are extremely run out.

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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Apr 13, 2011
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
John Martersteck wrote:
On run-out sections, if I fall I figure I'd rather suffer 60-100 feet of road rash instead of possibly a few hundred feet-worth and possible decking or ledging -- so for me having gear in somewhere is at least more psychologically comforting than soloing. But most of the climbing in the Flatirons is reasonably protectable, so I'll go with gear in any case, even though I've never seen anyone fall there (famous last words). I'm also climbing the trad learning curve, and it's great practice for multi-pitch. Now I'm curious and can't help asking: has anyone relied on their gear to save them from rolling down a Flatirons slab?


Anyone who falls 60-100 feet and walks away with nothing but road rash should go buy a lottery ticket right away. I know stranger things have happened but it's hard to imagine someone falling that far without suffering some pretty bad blunt force trauma on the way down.

That being said, I'm with you. I take gear if for no other reason than the mental protection.

FLAG


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