The author expressly disclaims any and all warranties, express and implied, that any information contained herein is accurate. There are no warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This guide should never be considered a substitute for professional instruction or years of experience making smart climbing decisions. Your use of the Flagstaff Mountain Bouldering Guide indicates that you are: (1) assuming the risk that errors exist in this guide; and (2) acknowledging that your safety while climbing and bouldering on Flagstaff Mountain and elsewhere is solely your responsibility.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

First Overhang Ridge Miniguide

If you are driving up Flagstaff Road, this collection of boulders sits one tier up from The Great Ridge, running from south to north over a distance of 200 yards. Not much has changed in a couple decades here, but a handful of problems are new, most notably Loman's Highball and Last Overhang. Numerous problems on the ridge are true highballs, making it a great place to do a circuit of highballs and blow folks away with your cool head. Oh yeah ... you've seen the photo of Pat Ament doing First Overhang in penny loafers, right?  Where: Head up Flagstaff Road. Park in the pullout on the right side of the road at the left-turning switchback 2.1 miles after crossing over the Armstrong Bridge. Your car will be facing First Overhang no more than 30 yards away. The remainder of the boulders are located pretty much in a straight line behind First Overhang. In order, they are Pinnacle Colada, Tombstone Spire, Loose Flake Spire, Face Wall, High Boulder, The North End and Last Overhang (which is located 50 yards past The North End downhill and out-of-sight). Just take off down the wash to the north and you'll see Last Overhang on the right.
1a & b. Masochism Tango V7 (a) / V? (b) ... FA: Bob Horan, 1985
Reach above your head to sharp and atrocious starting holds (a) or start back underneath on a jug and move right across choss to join the regular line (b) and ascend the rounded prow. The sidewall boulder looms behind/beneath you.
2a & b. French Trumpeter V6 ... FA: Christian Griffith, 1986/7 *
From either start for #3 (a & b), trend left into a left-hand gaston and probably crossover to a pebble. A key edge sheared off in April 2003, but in late 2007 it was restored.
3a & b. First Overhang V5 ... FA: Pat Ament, 1968 *
There are two obvious stand starts (a & b) to this one which are equally fun and present different starting challenges. Continue straight out the right side of the overhang to a testy crux just before the lip. The large left handhold half-way up sheared off in April 2003, making this a quite a bit harder … but someone replaced it in late 2007. I guess we'll see how long the handywork lasts.
4. The Reach Problem V1 ... FA: Unknown
Start on the jug at chest height. Get your feet high and use a long reach to grab a thin edge at the top and pull over.

5. French Trumpeter Sit V6/7 sds ... FA: Unknown
From a sds below the jug, yard up to the jug and ascend #2.

6. First Overhang Sit V5/6 sds ... FA: Unknown
From a sds below the jug, yard up to the jug and ascend #3.
7. The Reach Problem Sit V4 sds ... FA: Unknown
From a sds below the jug, yard up to the jug and ascend #4.
8. French Trumpeter Traverse V7/8 sds ... FA: Ted Lanzano, 2000 *
Begin with a sds on the far right and traverse left 12 feet into and up #2.

9. First Overhang Traverse V7 sds ... FA: Skip Guerin, 1980's *
Begin with a sds on the far right and traverse left 12 feet into and up #3.

10. The Reach Problem Traverse V5 sds ... FA: Unknown
Begin with a sds on the far right and traverse left 12 feet into and up #4. This one is probably good warm-up for #8 and #9.
11. Far Right Bulge V3/4 sds ... FA: Unknown
From the sds on the far right end of the wall, do one hard move and pull up and over the short bulge.

12. South Face V0 ... FA: Unknown *
A few feet right of the southwest arête, climb straight up good holds to the top. This one also serves as the downclimb.

13. Southwest Corner V4 ... FA: Rob Candelaria, 1974 *
Start low in pockets, then climb somewhat crumbly holds on/near the arête. The rock quality improves up high, making it all worth it.
14. Pebble Reach AKA The West Wall V3 ... FA: Rob Candelaria, 1974 *
Climb the center of the west face to a broken whitish-pink pebble approximately 16 feet up. Get it with your LH or reach past it, so you can reach right for the top of the arête and pull over with #13.
15. Loman’s Highball V5 ... FA: Greg Johnson, late 1990’s *
Climb the center of the west face to the top. The idea is to swing/dyno to the top with your RH on the broken pebble. This problem has hurt some people and scared the crap out of others. Bring lots of pads.
16. Standard Route V1 ... FA: Rob Candelaria, 1974 *
Start up the center of the face with #14 & #15, slide left halfway up and finish on jugs. Impure, but a brilliant 22 feet of fun.

17. Colada Traverse V6 sds ... FA: Bob Horan, 1980's *
Begin from a sds on the far left with #19. Traverse right, round the corner, and finish up #12. This one is sharp in places, but is still good with cool moves.

18. Northwest Finger Crack V2 ... FA: Rob Candelaria, 1974
Ascend the left side of the west face to the top without spending much time in any finger cracks.

19. Northwest Direct V3/4 sds ... FA: Unknown
A tricky and fingery sit start to #18.

20. Northwest Corner V0 ... FA: Unknown
Start atop the boulder on the far left and climb the northwest arête to the top. Tread lightly, the holds are small and the rock quality isn't the greatest.

21. Southwest Bulge V1/2 sds ... FA: Bob Horan, 1984 *
From a sds, ascend the rounded southwest bulge with a committing pincher move just before the top. Really good.

22. West Side VB sds ... FA: Unknown *
From a sds, ascend gently overhanging jugs all the way up the bulging west face. Quite possibly the best VB problem on the mountain.
23. Triple Bulge V3 sds ... FA: Bob Horan, 1984 *
Begin from a sds on the northwest corner. Ascend slopers and edges to a jug at the top.
24. North Face V3 ... FA: Bob Horan, 1984
Just left of Triple Bulge, this lichen-infested problem climbs up and slightly left to the top. Unfortunately, some friable edges still reside higher up and this one sees almost no traffic.
25. South Face V2 ... FA: Bob Horan, 1984
Climb the south face to the ramp up high. The loose flake is a little disconcerting. For that matter, so is the topout.

26. West Face V0 ... FA: Unknown
Climb the west face of the boulder to good incuts, from which you can pull up and over around to the left or up and right. I recommend around to the left due to the rock quality on the other finish.
27. Mateus’ Highstep V7/8 ... FA: Unknown
Traverse right to left from the far right end of the wall, rounding the corner and finishing up #32. Subtle, tricky and tensiony until you try to round the corner. There strong fingers become a necessity as well.
Variation #1 - Mateus' Highstep Extension V8: A Ted Lanzano extension of this problem done in 2008. Do #27, but when you arrive at the finishing lip for #32, continue left across the lip to top out on the far left with #34.
28. Right Side V1 ... FA: Bob Horan, 1984 *
This problem starts on good holds on the right side of the south face and makes a few moves before you are faced with a choice ... finish up and left along a cruiser but somewhat chossy ramp OR pull out the high bulge. Pulling out the high bulge is worth it, but you are way up there.

29. The Walk V4 ... FA: Pat Ament, 1967 *
Climb the middle of the 20+ foot vertical south face with big moves to decent holds that can be hard to see at first. Possibly the best problem for the grade on the mountain. A real must-do!

30. Left Side V3/4 ... FA: Unknown
Just right of the southwest corner, use pebbles and crimpers to climb up and left to the large white pebble 15 feet up. Super-tricky figuring out how to get started.

31. Horan’s Traverse V7/8 sds ... FA: Bob Horan, 1984
From the same sds under the overhang as #33, move right around the corner and traverse left to right to the far right end of the south face, staying low. Funky and befuddling.

32. West Roof V1/2 ... FA: Unknown *
Just left of the southwest corner, start matched high on crimps and pull the short overhang up onto the face.

33. West Roof Direct V4 sds ... FA: Unknown *
Begin from a sds on the flakes below, go right to the pocket, then left to the starting edges on #32 and up. Variation #1 - Broken Wing V8 sds: A Ben Collett variation to the regular line that off-routes the obvious pocket (and the arête) that you normally go to with the first move before attaining the matching crimps higher up.

34. Face With No Name V6 sds ... FA: Unknown (maybe CG)
Presumably done before me, since old PC-7 epoxy resides behind the RH starting edge which seemed really solid. Climb straight out the bulge onto the slab from a sds and continue to the top. To start, get a good RH gaston and LH sidepull in a shallow hole where it looks like a cobble used to reside. Stand up on a foot ledge (ALL the low feet are on), consider readjusting your LH up a couple inches into a sidepull undercling (in the same shallow hole) and crossover hard and fast with your RH almost 5 feet to a good edge at the lip. Now match and get creative with the multitude of dismal features past the lip to pull the bulge with style and dash up the slab. Harder than it looks and you may off-route the good foot ledge out left during the topout to solidify the grade even more. Variation #1 - Face With No Feet V9 sds: A 2009 Peter Beal variation to the above problem that begins on the same handholds but does not get the benefit of the large foot ledge, which changes the sequence dramatically, likely bringing one or two of the poor crimps on the face into play. Off-route the good foot ledge out left during the topout to solidify the grade even more.
35. West Face Mantel Problem V0 ... FA: Unknown
Find the slight depression in the overhang on the west face and pull/push yourself on up there. You can start this one slightly to the left on the jug to add a couple moves but no difficulty.

36. Right Slot V1 ... FA: Unknown
From the obvious start holds in the right-arching seam, move up and right and finish up the wide gap.

37. The Block V5 ... FA: Pat Ament, 1967
From the obvious start holds in the right-arching seam, zig-zag left then right up the face to the top, which is guarded by a few pine branches.

38. High Boulder Traverse VB... FA: Unknown
From the same obvious starting holds in the seam, bust left to jugs and continue a few more feet until you can finish with #39.

39. High Boulder Dihedral V2 sds ... FA: Unknown
From an awkward sds in the low dihedral, use a slopey sidepull or two to reach jugs from which you can pull over onto the ledge.

40. Private Pile V0 ... FA: Chip Phillips, 2000
Climb the northwest face just left of the seam utilizing mostly good holds to a high ledge where you can exit left to safety or pull over the perched boulder residing on top.

41. Major Munge V0 ... FA: Jonathan Thessenga, 1999/2000 *
In the middle of the north face is a shallow dihedral. Start up it on jugs, then slide left and topout using smaller edges. This one isn't much to look at, but climbs very well.

42. Colonel Choss V2/3 ... FA: Matt Samet, 1999/2000
A few feet left of #41, use good edges to ascend the face and arête. A long reach to the high right-arching seam is the crux.

43. Last Overhang V7/8 ... FA: Justin Jaeger, 2002 *
Battle out the center of the overhang in the obvious place. Once you've established grips on the high face, it lets up a bit. The disturbingly thin but solid stegosaurus flakes on the right will help you attain the topout edges. The movement is tremendous, but the rock quality for the first couple grips is not the best. A good incut starting flake broke in 2005, requiring a different starting sequence involving a chossy undercling, but for now it still goes at about the same grade.

44. Last Overhang Sit V8 sds ... FA: Justin Jaeger, 2003
From a low sds in the dihedral, battle your way up into the chossy undercling and continue out #43.

45. Last Place V1 sds ... FA: Chip Phillips, 2002
From a sds with #44, awkwardly slide right and climb the somewhat fragile arête and face to the top. In retrospect, an ab
solutely stupid problem.


Peter Beal said...

West End Traverse Flagstaff / First Overhang Ridge FA Left to right traverse across Face Wall on incut crimps to the arete and up. All feet are on.

This is my description of the Face Wall Traverse in

Peter Beal said...

There Will be Blood V10/11 Climbs directly up the wall between 33 and 34, sit starting on the obvious flake. The low shelf is off for the feet. Pull to a very sharp LH edge and gain the sloping lip with your RH, Finish directly on a tricky mantel.

Peter Beal said...

There is a new low left start to Last Overhang. Seth Allred did it first try yesterday, likely V10.

Peter Beal said...

Face with No Name (and no ledge) V9. Start with RH on the flake and LH on a lower thin edge. Bump left to the big sidepull, left again to the thin sidepull, RH to the crimp on TWBB then left to the good lip edge and finish. All of the low ledge is off.

Pat Amenta said...

Wish I could have gotten with
you to add a little more
info for some of these routes.
I know a few of your "unknowns."


Flash said...

There is a fun sloper traverse to mantel problem: Start far left on good holds, traverse past #35, #34 staying right on the lip using slopers and move right to the middle of the wall, then mantel (same as TWBB). ~V5 Face with no Hands.