A Flatirons mega-enduro overhanging classic! Long (80 feet), pumpy and just plain fun, this is a must-do for the grade.
Undertow is the third route from the right on the imposing, overhanging west face of The Slab. It is well-shielded from the Fern Canyon trail by a thick, piney forest and climbs a spectacularly colorful wall on (mostly) positive horns, crimps and jugs. Expect some bizz-ness up by the lip.
This route is very-chalked up and quite easy to find.
Six bolts to double-bolt anchors; you can stick-clip the first bolt. There is a also a single belay/directional bolt on the ledge. Some people use cams between the fifth and six bolts on the flaring crack out right.
Scramble around to the west side of the Slab from the Fern Canyon Trail and continue uphill (south) past the towering middle section of the wall. Undertow starts from the right side of the large ledge splitting the face and can be reached via a series of 3rd class ramps.
I was hoping to get this route in myself. This is a great line on mega jugs, and very steep for this area. Who can forget the classic shot of Robyn Erebsfield hanging by one hand and a foot blasting through this route like a toy. Since it starts at the base of the Slab it stays in the shade essentially all of the time. What makes Undertow interesting, beside the climbing, is that it went in during Boulder's controversial years when the West faces of the Flatirons were on the verge of exploding with hard new lines. Undertow was an important harbinger of this potential as much as Dale Goddard's Five Year Plan was defining the possibilities. What a loss.
By Joe Collins Apr 16, 2004 rating: 5.12b7b26VIII+E5 6b
Front Range sport climbs don't get much better. The actual count is 6 bolts to a 2 bolt anchor, with cruxes at the 3rd and 4th bolts. There is a #2 Camalot placement between the 5th and 6th bolts in what looks like an old bong scar, but it looks like it wouldn't hold a fall. There is also a good #1 Camalot placement to protect the moves to the anchor.
There are a couple, what look like, pin scars on this route and lots of hookable features. Does anyone know the history of this route? Was it originally an aid line?
By KCP From: Eldorado Springs, CO Jul 20, 2005 rating: 5.12b7b26VIII+E5 6b
Getting to this route is a bit of a hike but worth it. Undertow has it all - beautiful rock, great position, pumpy angle, interesting movement, and solid clipping stances. This and Chains of Love are two of my favorite Flatirons routes.
Does anyone do a full-on cut loose dyno for the jugs at the lip? This is the way I did it, and it is pretty awesome. Due to the angle of the wall, literally every part of your body, except your right hand which grabs the jug is flying away from the wall. I have seen people doing it statically by locking off on some bad holds and getting high feet. I think it's more fun to go from the crescent moon hold that you use to clip and then just huck for it.