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.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lower Great Ridge Miniguide

The central feature of the Lower Great Ridge is a 30-40' overhanging cliffband, much of which is unfortunately composed of rock of poor quality. The surrounding overhangs and boulders do, however, possess a number of moderate problems on better rock, most notably Big Overhang, which should be on any boulderer's short list of the best V2s in Colorado. Where: Head up Flagstaff Road. 1.6 miles past The Armstrong Bridge (located at the hard right hand turn at the bottom of the mountain), park at the Crown Rock Parking Area on the left or the dirt lot 75 yards further up the road on the right. Hike 2 minutes up the trail on the north side of the road opposite the Crown Rock Parking Area. Stay right at the first split and you will walk right up to the middle of the south face of the Pebble Wall. Turn left, head up the stairs and turn left again when you get to the top of the stairs. Ten yards later, when you round a corner, a social trail will head directly uphill along the cliffband. All but a couple of the problems in this miniguide are located a short jaunt up this hill. Problems #1 & 2 are located on a small formation 30 yards southwest of the cliffband.
1. Triangle Love V1 sds ... FA: Unknown
This formation is located about 30 yards west of the Lower Great Ridge proper and still has a bit of lichen up high on both problems. Begin from a sds under the right side of the overhang, and climb straight out the right side of the overhang to the top.
2. Love Triangle V1 sds ... FA: Unknown
From the same
sds as #1, slide left after the first move and climb out the left side of the overhang until you can join the finish with #1.
3. Project
I sure wanted to do this beautiful line before I published this information ... oh well. Located at the lower terminus of the Lower Great Ridge, a lot of Flagstaff aficionados have looked at this line and wondered. To put it bluntly, the rock quality on this wall is quite poor. There is some better quality rock underneath the choss and a bit of aggressive cleaning on toprope might yield an impressive highball problem with sketchy but climbable rock. Initially, cleaning this on toprope is the only way to go on this one. The landing is poor and the last time I tried to climb this on TR, 15+ "holds" broke off or exploded in my hands.
4a&b. Southwest Face VB ... FA: Unknown
At the lower end of the main wall, choose a path up the first 15 to 20 feet (a or b), then find your way up really poor quality rock to the high seam and and better rock that leads to the top. The rock quality is poor until the end and falling would be a very bad idea from way up there. You've been warned.
5. Short Crack V1 ... FA: Unknown
The short crack that isn't. On the left side of an overhanging bulge, bust out the overhang (crux) near a seam to a stance then continue out the high easy dihedral to the top. I suppose the topout is really optional. Don't fall from up there.
6. Cove Crack V2 ... FA: Unknown
Start low in the short pin-scarred overhanging crack at the upper end of the main wall and pull the bulge up to a stance, where you can walk off to the left. A low-quality problem for several reasons. If someone sacks up and continues out the overhanging face above, well ... then we will have something.
7. Right Boulder V0 sds ... FA: Unknown
From a sds on the far right of the right boulder, surmount the right boulder's overhang in the center.
8. Boulders Traverse V1/2 sds ... FA: Unknown
From the same sds as #7 on the far left, surf the lip of the boulders to a topout on the far left.
9. Low Splitter V2 sds ... FA: Unknown
Begin from a sds under the boulders at their juncture. Painfully jam your hands in there just right and bust out the overhang.
10. Left Boulder VB ... FA: Unknown
Start matched on the far left of the left boulder, surf right a move or two and surmount the short overhang.
11. The Horn V1/2 ... FA: Unknown
Scramble up onto a ledge on the right and reach high out over space for the horn (reach-dependent) and ascend good holds up and over to the top finishing with #13.
12. Barbarosa V8? ... FA: Ian Irving, 2001/2
A dyno problem that I've been told is more difficult than Flagstaff Mountain's infamous dyno problem Double Clutch. Start on good holds at the bottom of the overhang including a good flake for the RH and dyno 6+ feet up and right to the horn (the starting hold for #11). Finish with #11.
13. Big Overhang V2 ... FA: Unknown *
I'm disappointed we don't know who put this ultra-classic up, since it is among the best problems on the mountain and in contention for the best V2s in Colorado with the likes of Right el Skyland in Crested Butte and The Bog's Indian Ladder in Poudre Canyon. Climb out the well-chalked flakes and incuts to the lip, get a high right foot and make a reach up and right to another jug and pull over.
14. Big Overhang Direct V3 ... FA: Unknown *
Start up the overhang with #13, but pull directly out the lip without the benefit of the good right foot or the final jug out right over the lip. Maybe try this finishing variation for style points after doing the ultra-classic #13.
15. Big Overhang Indirect V3/4 ... FA: Unknown
Start up the overhang with #13 & 14, but slide left across the last rail on the face until you can make a reach up and left, finishing near or on the arĂȘte with #16.
16. The Spike V0 ... FA: Unknown
Start up the left side of the wall, arriving at a spike of rock half-way up. Use some features around the corner to stand on top of the spike continue up and over.
17. Balance Overhang V1 ... FA: Unknown
Start on the shelf, perch up on the shelf and reach up and right out the overhang to the lip and pull over.
18. Balance Overhang Direct V? ... FA: Unknown
Start the same as #17, but use three smallish edges/pockets on the face to move up and left to the top and finish. The slabby boulder below makes a fall from the topout potentially dangerous, so place your pads and spotters strategically.
19. Unknown V? ... FA: Unknown
Again, start the same as #17 and #18, but traverse left (staying low) avoiding the slab behind you. A longish move to reach the arĂȘte and you're on your way to the top. Have your cat-like skills at the ready if you blow the easier topout above the slab. I'm pretty sure this one was established recently ... if you know who did it, have them contact me or leave me a message about it so I can pimp them for info.
20. Tiny's Low Down Nasty V2 sds ... FA: Ashley Overton, 2005
Begin from a sds matched on a large flake on the downhill side of this west-facing squatty boulder and traverse left and slightly uphill, making use of several obvious pockets and edges along the lip. At the uphill end of the boulder, press out a mantle on jugs.


Peter Beal said...

Chip, you rock!

Anonymous said...

Awesome. So happy to have a real guide for this area! I was playing around on the "left" and "right" boulders in the Big Overhang area a couple weeks ago (which we call "Fraggle rocks", for lack of an official name). A nice variation on #8 is to finish with a direct mantle as in #10. This little extra bit of energy required would make it a solid V2, me thinks.

Thanks for all your work!

chuffer said...

@Caleb ... I'm not sure how often the small boulders just right of Big Overhang are referred to as Fraggle Rock(s), but I've heard them called that before and the name certainly is appropriate, so ... the name appears on the guide.

Peace out!

Casey said...

Recently found a fun little dyno route on the fraggle rocks starting matched on the jug just left of 7&8 start and dyno up to the lip just below#10 finish, then toping out with ten. Just curious if youve heard anything about people doing this move thanks!