As part of the overall recce we climbed the seven pitches of Central Pillar to the dyke traverse left to the Kor Beck to determine if there was a reasonable line. (This traverse crosses right under the "Flatiron" pitch.)
We replaced the single old 1/4" bolt and placed the belay for the top of the 4th (or 6th from the ground) 15 or 20 meters higher.
Yes, the Flatiron is as clean and cool as it looks, you're just way the hell up there on Mother Middle on some of the cleanest, smoothest rock on the formation. No corners, flakes or cracks, just perfect off vertical face climbing.
I couldn't believe that somebody hadn't checked it out and word around the campfire was that you and Ron had been up there. Ron told me nothing of the sort had happened and to get up there.
I expected the usual Middle fare using bolts to link flake features offering thin gear and pin placements. It turned out the rock was so featured we pretty much climbed it straight on, straight up and placed only one pin, and no other gear the whole way.
We'd climb to a stance, wobble in a 1/4 bat hook placement, then toil in a 3/8 stainless.
There were around 70 bolts including belays and it took the better part of a week of to get it all ready for a continuous ascent.
That's funny, Perry - Ron and I talked forever about venturing out to the right of The Chouinard Pratt, but we never did, although he might have.
I've only been on the CPF traverse twice, once on the SA with Vern Clevenger, and I led it in a rainstorm, totally running with water. We had gotten that far, and I refused to rap until we did the traverse, and finished the route. Crazy thing is I led it again years later, dry, with George Lowe, and George Meyers and it seemed harder the second time!
Neither time did I consider climbing straight up. Your last pitch must more or less follow the brown streak, eh? Looks great!
Thanks for the update.
Looking forward to your topo.
Still not sure if this route's ever been repeated in it's entirety?
This is definitely the better time of year with cooler temps and less risk of rockfall.
My wife and I had a brief visit to the Valley last October and climbed the CPOF to the top of the 5th and rapped through the Wazoo to BW.
I'd love to get strong enough to climb it again before I become too decrepit.
On a minor note, Cozzy placed the bolt that protects the first crux leaning off the previous bolt.
It was almost impossible to clip so we placed an extension sling on a link and that of course is long gone.
Maybe some form of sling replacement or retro engineering is in order?
IMHO there's definitely a direct start (12b-c?) that would in part, slap up the outside of the BW arete.
It would be horrendous to bolt on lead and best worked out carefully for minimal and optimal fixed pro.
Not sure if the prevailing Valley ethic (if there is or has ever been such a thing) would permit such behaviour?