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, October 12, 2008

Road Sign Rock & Brown Glass Wall Miniguide

Road Sign Rock hosts a selection of lowball problems, whereas the Brown Glass Wall is a good place to do some moderate highballin', occasionally with an X rating. A few problems have been added to the historical repertoire of problems that other guidebooks have covered, so check them out. Where: Head up Flagstaff Road and park on the left 1.2 miles after passing over the Armstrong Bridge at Capstan Rock. Walk up the stairs to Capstan Rock, then walk up a hill passing the Capstan on your right. Cross the road and you will be confronted with the obvious Road Sign Rock with the OBVIOUS drilled pockets just off the road. Around the back side of this boulder on the right is the beginnings on what has become known as the Brown Glass Wall which continues down the hill for an additional 30 yards. Just beyond this is the Notlim Boulder and the classic everyone has to try Hollow's Way.
1. East Bulge V3 ... FA: Pat Ament, 1960’s
Start right next to the road on two head-high slopers. Heel-hook the top, bump to thin pebbly edges and fight your way up top.
2. Road Sign Right V3 sds ... FA: Unknown
From a sds using only the rightmost drilled 2” pocket, move up to the good edge and pebble and top out.
3. Road Sign Traverse V4 sds ... FA: Skip Guerin, 1980’s
From the same sds as #4 on the leftmost drilled 2” pocket, traverse right across all four drilled pockets, then find a way to pull up on top. Interesting, yet tricky and painful. Consider taping up a couple of your digits once you figure out which ones need it.
4. Road Sign Left V1 sds ... FA: Unknown
From a sds using only the leftmost drilled 2” pocket, pop up to the good edge at the lip and pull over.
5. Northwestern Overhang V2 sds ... FA: Pat Ament, 1960’s
From a sds on the far right on low opposing slopers, use small edges and pebbles and good feet to pull straight up and over around the corner to the right from the sloping rail. The feet are really good which makes up for the sparsity and size of the features for the hands.
6. North Overhang Direct V6 sds ... FA: Unknown
From a sds on the far right on low opposing slopers, bump to the sloper rail. As soon as you are on the rail, topout straight up by going RH to the small flat pebble all by itself in the middle of the bulge. Work your feet and go LH to either of two slopey lumps directly above the pebble and battle your way up top. A nice problem that you will have to work for, but a bit contrived to be worthy of a star.
7. North Overhang Traverse V3/4 sds ... FA: Unknown *
From a sds on the far right on low opposing slopers, bump to and slide left along the sloper rail until you reach several small finger divots and finish up #9.
8. Full North Overhang Traverse V6 sds ... FA: Unknown *
From a sds on the far right on low opposing slopers, bump to and slide left along the sloper rail. Stay low and continue further left than #7 via more heel-hooks, body tension and long reaches to topout with #10.
9. North Mantel V1 ... FA: Unknown *
Not quite a sds, start low on finger divots and edges just left of the well-chalked rail. Heel-hook and make a long mantel up to either of two large pebbles and finish up and over.
10. North Face VB ... FA: Unknown
Left of #9, start on good edges above a small boulder to do a move to the lip and pull up into the branches.
11. Northeast Bulge V2 ... FA: Pat Ament, 1960’s
Start a few feet right of #1 at the bottom of a good layaway rail that arches upward. Throw a heel and pull yourself up top. Harder than it looks.
12. Mopping Up V1 ... FA: Unknown
Start at the base of a gash about 15 feet right of #s 13 & 14. The gash narrows to a thin seam after a few feet, but edges will get you to the top where a jug awaits.
13. Bucket Right V1 ... FA: Unknown *
From the first juggy flake on the prow, steer right around the corner up edges. Continue to the top past edges and knobs to a large dish/hueco up top. Airy and fun.
14. Bucket V4 ... FA: Rob Candelaria, 1975 *
Climb juggy flakes up the west face of the leaning prow up to a slopey beachball ledge. From there, do a scary and committing reach or throw to the very top of the prow above what is certainly a no-fall landing. Fun until the end and then extremely committing. Game on!
15. Detached Bulge V0 ... FA: Unknown
Hand-traverse the detached right-arching ledge system up and right and pull over. Pray the entire bulge doesn’t detach any further while you're on it.

16. Brown Glass Overhang V6/7 sds ... FA: Justin Jaeger, 2002 *
Before the Trash Bash Era, hundreds of broken bottles resided at this problem's base. They're all gone now and all that remains is this really good problem. Begin from a sds matched on the sloping shelf down low on the arête and bump your way up bad holds down low on the arête. The difficulties mercifully come early, then you slide right and finish straight up. As of 2009, holds down low have broken twice, making it a bit burlier than it once was.
17. Briggs’ Bridges V2 X ... FA: Rob Candelaria, 1974/5
Climb pebbles and edges up the 20'+ rounded arête on the right. Bring numerous pads to protect you from the exposed leg- and ankle-breaking roots below and spotters to protect you from the mellon-splattering blocks behind them. A better idea is not to fall.
18. Fear on Layaway V4 X ... FA: Chip Phillips, 2003
Start up mostly pebbles with #19. Then use the LH layaway just right of the good flakes with your LH to move right up the face over to topout with #17. As yet, only done after extensive cleaning and toprope rehearsal. It's very insecure up there and the fall is the same as #17, so don't blow it!
19. Right Side V1 X ... FA: Unknown *
Start up mostly pebbles on the slabby shield down low, then pull a small roof via some good flakes and go up and left to the top. Quite possibly the best highball V1 on the mountain ... actually ... #22 may be better!

20. Right V V0 X ... FA: Unknown
After low-angled and fun face climbing on jugs with #21, use huge right-arching edges to reach for holds over the top and pull over. It's funky and committing up there in spite of the moderate grade.
21. Left V V2 X ... FA: Unknown
After low-angled and fun face climbing on jugs with #20, climb left out the deep gash that allows for a solid jam or two as you move up and left to better holds at the topout.
22. Back Extension V1 X ... FA: Rob Candelaria, 1974/5 *
On the left side of the wall, climb jugs and low-angled rock to the jug-haul roof just left of the topout for #21. Awesome!
23. Meddling Blocks Traverse V3/4 ... FA: Unknown
Start matched on the jug above the left end of the meddling blocks. Make a long RH reach to a jug rail and continue up and right without dabbing on the blocks. Once your established on the arête, cruise up it to the top.
24. Stem Rise V2 X ... FA: Rob Candelaria, 1974/5
Stem off of the top of left side of the meddling boulder behind you on #23 to establish up on the face just left of #23. Now you are faced with a 30' (maybe taller), lichen-infested and somewhat chossy slab that has probably only seen a couple of ascents. Climb the line of least resistance past some obvious features to the top. When I repeated it a few years ago, I was not a happy camper up there, as I made no efforts to preclean it. Variation - Project V?: A direct and proper start to #24 that would start at the jug seems feasible ... assuming you are interested in doing the rest of this committing and dirty highball.

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