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.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Capstan Rock Miniguide

Capstan Rock is Flagstaff Mountain's most obvious bouldering spot, as it sits in the middle of a hairpin turn in clear view from the road on both sides. Among the problems found here are a number of fine highballs and one of Jim Holloway's best boulder problems and one of the Vermin standards for V7, Just Right. Drivers heading up and down the mountain have been slowing down here and gawking at boulderers for decades. The last photo is of a boulder I've christened the Hairpin Boulder, for lack of any other name. It lies a little closer to the hairpin turn than Capstan Rock and has a couple moderate challenges. Where: These are the easiest of directions. Head up Flagstaff Road and park at the tall free-standing monolith on the left 1.2 miles after passing over the Armstrong Bridge. The parking here can get crowded on perfect afternoons/evenings, so park respectfully, leaving room so others can squeeze in. Lots of other areas including Rear-End Rock, Pedestal Boulder, Cloud Shadow Wall, Cloud Shadow's Alcove, Cloud Shadow's Other Side, The Dark Side, Nook's Rock, Road Sign Rock, Brown Glass Wall, the Notlim Boulder and the Unmentionables are ALL almost always accessed from this parking.
1. The Trough V4/5 ... FA: Dave Rearick, 1961 *
From a LH sidepull edge and RH pinch, pull on and go LH to the disintegrating edges at the lip, reset and throw RH for the jug at the bottom of the trough. Finish by pulling up into an undercling cobble and a comfortable stance. In the 10 years I've been climbing on Flagstaff, this problem has gone from V2 to V4/5, as the holds at the lip keep getting smaller and smaller. Historically, this problem has been called V0, so maybe the edges were even bigger in the distant past. DOWNCLIMB NOTE: To downclimb any of #1-8 and #10-12, head down to the undercling cobble at the top of #1 and either jump to the pads or make a couple of sketchy moves down and right onto the boulder leaning up against the east face of Capstan Rock. Another option, although few do this, is to pull the bulge at the very top of the seam, climb to the top of the boulder and descend the north face to the road.

2. Daydreamer V8/9 ... FA: Xander Oxman, 2000/1 *
Formerly V8, the edges at the lip have disintegrate quite a bit. From the same start as #1, go LH to the disintegrating edges at the lip, match and slide left into the topout for #6.
See downclimb info under #1.
3. The Trough Direct V8 sds ... FA: Xander Oxman, 2000/1
Begin from a LOW sds, RH on the large cobble and LH on a small sidepull or in a small mono. Work your way through a perplexing, painful and powerful sequence until you can finish up #1.
See downclimb info under #1.
4. Daydreamer Direct V9/10 sds ... FA: Xander Oxman, 2000/1
The sds to #2. From the sds using the same holds as #3, do the perplexing, painful and powerful sequence to the broken edges at the lip, match, then slide left to finish with #6. Formerly considered V10, Jonathan Siegrist repeated this line in 2009 and suggested V9 in spite of the edges that have disintegrated off the upper lip that were useful in moving left into #6.
See downclimb info under #1.
5. Just Wrong V9 ... FA: Chris Hill, early 1990’s
Begin with the same starting holds as #6a, but your first move is a bewilderingly huge LH crossover to the high pocket. Finish with #6 and #7.
See downclimb info under #1.
6a&b. Just Right V7 (a) / V9/10 (b) ... FA: Jim Holloway, 1973 *
Climb this classic and obvious line up the right side of the South Face. The standard start (a) involves a cheatstone or stacked pads. Get the best part of two opposing crimps, get your feet on, bump your LH up to a funky grip, reset your feet and go big with your RH to the large sloping pocket. From there, several exit sequences exist, but the idea is to pull the bulge up top, making a long reach straight back to the sloping trough. For the harder start (b), begin without a cheatstone and reach high into the opposing edges slightly below the true start for #6a. Being tall will help and may make this easier. Shorter folks will have to at least stack pads until they can reach the lower start, as it is only a few inches lower for the RH than the cheaterstone start. See downclimb info under #1.
7. Direct Just Right V? sds ... FA: Skip Guerin, 1990's
Formerly V9, this one is thought to have had only two ascents (Skip and Ben Moon) before one or two good edges above the slopey rail sheared off in the mid 1990's. The sds has gone unrepeated since. I'm throwing down the gauntlet based on feedback from several climbers ... this will be the hardest up problem on the mountain when it goes again and a couple of the BIG names are close. Begin from a sds on the large obvious angled shelf 3 feet off the ground or down in the even lower sidepull undercling in the hole slightly to the left. From the sloping shelf, use bad edges and to span the distance up and into #6. All the moves have been done by a couple of different folks, so it's just a matter of linkage, good conditions and time.
See downclimb info under #1.
8. So Wrong V8 ... FA: Colin Lantz, 2000 *
Except for the start, this problem is every bit as good as #6. The original start involves a big jumpstart to matching edges on the left side of #6. The alternative start is to do the first move of #6 and match it up. After that, the next couple holds are decent, then move left using a small LH edge in a seam and a high committing RF heel-hook to do a RH crossover up to the high fin. It's not over until you've reached the seam at 25 feet, several feet left of the top of #6. Bring lots of pads.
See downclimb info under #1.
9. Diverse Traverse V5/6 sds ... FA: Unknown
Start matched on the angled shelf at the base of #5-7, move through underclings, then battle past the crack all the way into #15. A little tweaky passing #12.
10. The Capstan Dyno AKA The Direct South Overhang V6 ... FA: Pat Ament 1968/9 *
From South Overhang’s starting pockets, maybe use the pebble as an intermediate to throw up and right to a sloping dish. Continue straight up to join #11 and #12 and go to the top of the seam.
See downclimb info under #1.
11. South Overhang V4 ... FA: Pat Ament, 1968
From the pockets just right of #12, reach/slap up to edges just right of the crack, joining the crack higher up for the finish.
See downclimb info under #1.
12. South Crack V3 ... FA: Pat Ament, early 1960’s *
Use severely polished feet to start up the pin-scarred finger crack. Tall, but the crux is the first few moves.
See downclimb info under #1. Variation #1 - South Crack Sit V5 sds: Begin from a sds, in underclings in the hole down and to the right and - without using the pockets at the base of #10 and #11 - reach for and establish in the crack and finish #12.
13. Sarabande V2 X ... FA: Rob Candelaria, 1974/5 *
Start up #12, the pockets just to the left or a combination of both. After ~10 feet, trend slightly left up a system of pockets and rails for 25+ more feet to the top where #14 ends. This one does not get a lot of traffic, so your ability to find the easiest and safest path to the top will be tested.
With long slings wrapped around a weird feature up top, it’s possible to set up a toprope.
14. West Face V1 X ... FA: Unknown *
Pockets and polished edges take you up this 35+ footer. Reaches are necessary, but it’s all there. With long slings wrapped around a weird feature up top, it’s possible to set up a toprope to work it out.
15. Northwest Edges V3 ... FA: Unknown *

Ascend thin edges up to the sloping topout maneuvers. So good.
16. Northwest Traverse V2 ... FA: Unknown

Traverse up and left across edges to a lock-off move to the obvious large pebble around the corner, then pull around and establish on the face.
17. Northeast Mantel V0 ... FA: Unknown
Right next to the road. From a stand start at a sloping shelf on the far left of the north face, surf up and right across the shelf to the obvious mantel ledge and fight your way up there.
18. There Will Be Car Wrecks V7/8 sds ... FA: Anson Whitmer, 2009
Begin from a sds down low with your RH in the pocket and LH out left on one of a couple bad sidepull slopers. Creative footwork will allow you to make a violent move up with your LH to the lip. Once you've matched here, slide right to the sweet spot and mantel onto the ledge per #17. Watch out for cars, seriously.
19. Northeast Corner V4 ... FA: Unknown
From a good undercling a couple feet left of the northeast corner, move up to small edges and numerous pebbles that allow one to pull over.
20. East Face, Far Right Side V2 ... FA: Pat Ament, 1968
The name for this scary problem is a misnomer. Start atop the talus boulder leaning against the east face and  the slabby pebbly face which faces southeast to the top.
21. Hairpin Left V0 ... FA: Unknown
Climb straight up to the ledge using an edge or two and several good pockets.
22. Hairpin Right V1 ... FA: Unknown
Head up the short dihedral to the lip, then trend right to topout.

1 comment:

Josh said...

sweet documentation of capstan, but what do the numbers correspond to?? (i.e. grades, etc)