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 20, 2008

Upper Great Ridge Miniguide

In 1962, Pat Ament nabbed his 1st first ascent on Flagstaff Mountain, King Conquer Overhang, an obvious and still impressive line out the middle of the King Conquer Rock formation. This event signalled the passing of the torch from Bob Culp and the birth of a new era on Flagstaff ... The Pat Ament Era. The Upper Great Ridge is comprised of a series of a series of west-facing flatiron-like overhangs. While the most well known of these is King Conquer Rock, others include Around the World Block, Little Flatiron, Surf Rock, Shark's Rock and The Rock Shelter. Where: Head up Flagstaff Road. While it is possible to approach these problems from the Crown Rock Parking Area(s) via a 10 minute uphill walk, the shortest approach is to park in the pullout at the left-turning switchback 2.1 miles after crossing over the Armstrong Bridge (located at the hard right hand turn at the bottom of the mountain). Your car will be facing First Overhang. Walk towards it, but turn right and head directly downhill and Upper Y Wall will come into view in 1-2 minutes. Cut left when you get to the bottom of the hill. The problems are located on and around the next 5 rock formations on the ridge. Problems are numbered beginning with a problem on a small block just northwest of King Conquer Rock and ending with problems just a stone's toss from the north end of Upper Y Wall.
1. Around the World Traverse V1 sds ... FA: Unknown
This block is 30 yards northwest from King Conquer Rock. Begin on the north or downhill side of the block and circumnavigate the block counter-clockwise until you arrive at the arête closest to King Conquer Rock, where you top it out.
2. King Conquer Traverse V5/6 sds ... FA: Skip Guerin, 1980’s *
From a sds on the very far left, traverse right across the entire formation. Finish up #13 for more mileage.
3. Face Out Traverse V7 sds ... FA: Skip Guerin, 1980’s *
From a start on the very far left, traverse right across the formation, finishing up #11.
4. Reverse Face Out Traverse V9 sds ... FA: Peter Beal, 2008
Start across #2, but instead of finishing up #11, finish up the unforgivingly thin #12. When you're pumped, the size of the holds on #12 may have you crying for your mommy!
5. Northwest Corner V0 ... FA: Unknown
Just left of Direct Left Slot, climb the northwest corner up and over.
6. Direct Left Slot V1 ... FA: Unknown
Climb the left side of the wall using edges in and left of the wide left slot.
7. Lowdown No Good Arête V4 ... FA: Unknown
A one-move-wonder. From thin holds at the bottom of the short overhanging arête, get your feet on and lunge for the sloping jug 9 feet up. It's fun for a laugh, but it's only one move.
8. Right Slot V1 ... FA: Unknown *
Climb up to and out the right slot, possibly employing a handjam or two.
9. King Conquer Pillar V2/3 ... FA: Unknown *
Ascend the bulging face just left of #10 using thin opposing layaways on both sides of the overhanging pillar. Fun!
10. King Conquer Overhang V3 ... FA: Pat Ament, 1962 *
Start in the stellar overhanging crack that thins to fingers before becoming more of a face climb. Use the surrounding edges up high to pull out the top. A good hold above the finger crack broke around 2000, making this standard Vermin System V1 quite a bit harder. An absolute classic!
11. Face Out V5 ... FA: Rob Candelaria, 1974 *
From obvious starting holds, climb out the aesthetic face using three consecutive crimps before jugs at the top. Be aware that the first razorblade crimp that you get with your RH can slice you if your foot blows. The most satisfying finish is up and left.
12. Reverse Face Out V7 ... FA: Unknown
Start in same place as #11, but crossover with your LH to the sharp first crimp on #11 and deadpoint to a small hold with your RH. Reset your feet and dyno to the high jug or get a small RH intermediate before going to the jug. Finish up and left for bonus fun. Obviously, everything on the arête is off.
13. Southwest Layback V1 ... FA: Unknown *
Climb good layaways up the far right arête and pull over. A more satisfying finish zooms up and left.
14. Reverse King Conquer Traverse V6 ... FA: Skip Guerin,1980’s *
Begin at the base of #13 and traverse right to left across the wall all the way to the end. Very sequential just before the end of the traverse. Although it adds no difficulty, conclude by finishing up #5 for full value.
15. Left Face AKA Leany Face V1 ... FA: Unknown
Climb the left side of the face using a long reach or throw to finish.
16. Right Arête V4 ... FA: Unknown *
Climb the overhanging arête to the top using face and arête holds only. The object of the problem is to use the high arête hold with your RH and to go to the top from there. See the next problem.
17. South Face V1 ... FA: Unknown
Move up and gaston the high arête hold with your LH, step high and use the back edge to surmount the lip.
18. Little Flatiron Traverse VB ... FA: Unknown
A beginner traverse that starts on the far right and heads left to an optional slab finish.
19. Northern Arête V0 sds ... FA: Unknown
From a sds under the overhang, angle left past the flake to reach the north edge of the overhang, where you can ride good holds to the top.
20. Leap of Faith V4 sds ... FA: Rick Accomazzo, 1982/3
From a sds under the overhang, move left to the flake, hike your feet up and dyno straight up to the lip above a back-breaking boulder. Bring several pads or don't miss sticking the dyno.
21. Southern Arête V3 sds ... FA: Unknown
From a sds under the overhang, work your way up the south edge of the overhang and pull over.
22. Northwest Corner V3 ... FA: Unknown *
Climb the left edge of the west face using good slopers and edges.
23. West Face V3 ... FA: Unknown
Climb the west face, using hard-to-see edges out left before moving right up the seam to the top.
24. Direct West Face V4 ... FA: Unknown *
Climb straight up the right side of the west face.
25. Shark's Arête AKA Southwest Arête V3 (a) / V3/4 sds (b) ... FA: Pat Ament, 1964 *
Ascend the arête to the top of the overhang. If you wish, a sds directly below adds 2-3 moves.
26. South Face V2 ... FA: Unknown
Start with #25(a) and surf up and right, pulling down on incut edges on your way to the top.
27. Shark’s Traverse V4 sds ... FA: Chip Phillips, 2001 *
From a sds on the corner with #25(b), move up, then zoom left across the rail to an unreal crossover move to a pocket that spits you into #22.
28. Doorjam Campus V4 sds ... FA: Chip Phillips, 2002
From a sds inside the rock shelter itself, use two edges above the “door” and no feet to campus up to a sloper, finishing with a heel hook and probable mantel. A pointless endeavor.
29. South Overhang V3 ... FA: Rob Candelaria, 1975
On the south side of the Rock Shelter, use an undercling on the left to reach to an edge. Gently trust some pebbles with your feet to reach high and pull yourself over without drawing too much blood.
30. East Overhang V1 ... FA: Rob Candelaria, 1975
With the wall almost behind you, pull up and over the slopey east side of the rock shelter.
31. Homeless Shelter V? ... FA: Unknown
Start opposite #30 and surf left out the overhang above the rock shelter on fragile rock to jugs for the finish.
32. South Face VB ... FA: Unknown
From the same start as #31, climb the south face of the formation that the rock shelter is next to via good holds.
33. Void Seam VB ... FA: Unknown
Easily move up to a stance on a ledge, then pull out the overhang at the seam.
34. Above the Void V0/1 X ... FA: Matt Samet, 1999
Ascend the south face of the block immediately left of the Upper Y Wall. Move right above the void to handjams in a diagonal seam, then reach for the top and pull over on good holds. Falling off of this one is not an option and it has seen little to no traffic since the first ascent, so be wary of rotten holds, loose rock and stupid mistakes.


Flash said...

I did two new mega-link-ups today on King Conquer and am wondering if they have been done before.

First one: Start on #14, traverse left staying high as normal, shake out at the end, and then do #3 staying as low as possible into Face Out #11 and up (Full Face In).

Second one: Start on #3 and do it staying low through Face Out #11, then climb down via #13, and then traverse left again via #14 and up around the corner to top out #5 (Reverse Full Face In).

chuffer said...

I doubt it. Those are sick link-ups for sure.

I doubt I will ever do a guide so thorough that it documents all the link-up possibilities on the mountain, but I will leave this comment up for others to behold.