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BETA PHOTO: Sick Flake. The 5.8 crux is surmounting the chock...
Although this climb is just the first couple pitches of Sooberb
, it is worth listing separately. By skipping the ~10 feet of 5.10c on the last pitch, the moderate climber has another great option in this area. Pitches 1 and 3 are forgettable, but pitch 2 is great.
Go past The Unsaid
area, past Long John Wall
, and start where the trail meets the wall with several terraces, down and to the right of Side Wall
bench. You could skip the first pitch by scrambling on top of the bench.
P1. Ascend a 10' finger crack to a large, right-facing corner. Easy slab climbing leads to a bulge just below the "Sick Flake" and a large tree. Belay at rap rings next to tree. 5.7.
P2. Surmount the Sick Flake by either chimneying inside (easiest, and the only way to get pro) or laybacking the edge (great moves). Once on top of the chimney, climb the steep, left-facing corner. The holds are mostly huge, but it's steep and can give you a pump. Belay at another set of rap rings just below a tree in the rotten band. 5.8.
P3. Move slightly left, just above the tree and climb moderate cracks over an overlap. Choose a path left across a nice face with large features and easy moves, but not much pro. Belay on a huge ledge in the next rotten band. The final pitch of Sooberb
will be just above you - a 5.10c overhanging crack. 5.7.
Standard rack, up to #2 Camalot.
Easily walk 20' down the rotten band to the small trees. Rappel 80' from rings to the end of P2. With a 60m rope, you can rap from here all the way to the Side Wall
bench (barely - careful!) and scramble to the base of the climb. Or you can do two rappels straight down the route right to your packs.
BETA PHOTO: The sustained, steep 5.8 corner above Sick Flake.
By mark felber
From: Wheat Ridge, CO
May 9, 2014
I found a #3 Camalot good to have on this route, in spite of what the description says. I think I used a #4 as well.
By Jim Amidon
Jun 2, 2014
Very nice route, well worth doing....
From: Loveland, CO
Nov 23, 2014
This was my first trad lead of technical climbing. I combined P1 and P2. P2 was fun, challenging, and scary for a new leader. Not being able to get behind the flake due to wearing a backpack, I ran it out from the tree to the top of the flake by climbing the arÍte. Upon looking down from the top of the flake and seeing my last piece of protection; a sling around the tree, I realized that was pretty foolish. If I do it again, I'll let the second take the pack and get a piece or two in there.
I found the most challenging section to be the dihedral at the end of P2. Trying to find good stances, placements and the right gear was stressful enough that I had to temporarily back off and downclimb to the ledge below, before going back at it. The slight overhang at the top of the dihedral and the inclined section of fist crack with (IMO) few good foot or hand hold (for the grade) was tricky climbing by the time I got there, but it was an extremely rewarding climb.