Trip Report
The Silk Road a real live Trip Report.
Tuesday February 11, 2014 10:52pm
I have not been able to get out climbing much as my work has kept me tied down. I wouldn't say that this trip was so much "off the couch" as it was "off the ladder".

So I'm driving home from a day of work and I get a text from my friend Cory Fleagle asking if I wanted to climb the route The Silk Road in the morning. Cory aka HardCor is a strong and accomplished climber and a real hoot to hang with. So I had to think about it for all of a nanosecond and a half. I texted him back and said ShoNuff. This would be great. In all my years I had some how never managed to climb the transient ice of the Flat Irons. I was excited by the prospect.

Credit: philo




First I had to clear it with my bitch.
photo not found
Missing photo ID#344676
Goldie Girl is chill and a grand crag dog but sitting for hours at the base of the First Flatiron while we played stupid human tricks just wasn't the best idea. Honestly I would have let her sleep as I slipped out the door so I wouldn't have to face the face she gives me when she doesn't get to go but I needed my hat back.

photo not found
Missing photo ID#344677
That's the First Flat on the right. If you know where to look you can see the line of the route. But suffice it to say it goes pretty much straight up the right third of the face.
It was Tues morning and we were not worried about an uber early start as it was doubtful we would have to share the route. But when I left my house the Sun was out and it looked like Boulder might hit the mid 40s as predicted. That would be grim as the east facing Flat Irons would warm up quickly and slough off the snow and ice with out warning.

Credit: philo
Fortunately for us a serendipitous cloud cover built and lasted all day. That really helped keep the ambient air temperature low and would hopefully keep the snice in place.

Credit: philo
If you zoom in to between the two dark gashes you can see the free hanging 'cicles of the 3rd pitch. Our 4th pitch landed us on the summit ridge at the base of the steep step.

Credit: philo
Coolio the cloud cover keeps building and the snice still looks nice.

Credit: philo
At the base of the First Flatiron and the start of the Silk Road.
But first we had to gear up.

Credit: philo
First pitch starts with a steep but fun mixed overlap. The pro was good here but that wouldn't always be the case.

Credit: philo
The pro disappears and you are faced with a tenuous rock traverse to the first snow trough. It was thin and skitchy but not too bad. it was the 70 foot run out that was heady.

Credit: philo
Credit: philo
The gear was mostly widely spaced rock gear, an occasional tree or rock horn and a few random stubbie screws where ever the ice was thick enough.

Credit: philo
Ahhh top of the first pitch and a delightful cup o hot chicken broth. Mmmmmgud.
Credit: philo
Looking up the 2nd pitch of the Silk Road.
No soup for you!

Credit: philo
Believe me the snice looks way better than it was. There was an increased level of physical tension required to climb with out shearing everything off. Half way up this seemingly innocuous pitch and my legs were howling with lactic acid fatique.

Credit: philo
Onward and upward. HarCor leads up into the building spindrift and desiccating snice.

Credit: philo
You had to take pro where you could find it and it was not abundant. Usually 2 to 3 pieces per 65+ meter pitch. The mixed climbing was not particularly difficult but the consequences of the whole snice pitch sloughing off and taking you for a more than hundred foot tumble down the east face of the First Flatiron kept it more than real the whole way.

Credit: philo
Credit: philo
Credit: philo
Credit: philo
Credit: philo
OK that went well.

Credit: philo
Belay at the top of the 2nd pitch.

Credit: philo
OK so often climbers opt to take a moderate 3rd pitch that angles up and right to intersect the North Ridge at a point where it is an easy 6 foot scramble down to the descent trail. It is what I expected to do since I still had to get to work that day. But they don't call him HardCor for nothin' and he had another plan.

Credit: philo
Corey wanted to head left and tackle these stellar looking cicles.

Credit: philo
Frankly it looked way better than going up and right but it would add a fourth pitch and more time.

Credit: philo
Credit: philo
Who am I to argue? It's not like it was politics.

Credit: philo
So off we head to the purty steepness above. Actually the traverse across to the ice was one of the sketchier parts of the route.

Credit: philo
Credit: philo
Credit: philo
Credit: philo
Credit: philo
Credit: philo
Though it was the hardest ice climbing on the route it was also the best ice on the route. That screw is a stubbie and it was solid.
Credit: philo
OK Soup for you.

Credit: philo
The 4th pitch turned out to be the actual crux of the mixed climbing and the pro was pretty imaginary until the last few body lengths. Consequently there are not many pics of this pitch.

Credit: philo
Credit: philo
HardCor on the summit ridge at the top of the 4th pitch.
Credit: philo
The last traverse to the belay on top of the ridge.

Credit: philo
From here two moderate rock pitches up the castle ridge takes you to the top of the First Flatiron. But I really needed to get to work and after four full pitches of calf cramping fun my legs were flamed. So we went down. Cory rigging to rap.
Credit: philo
A look back up before we go to the valley bellow.


Thanks for checking out my trip report I hope you enjoyed it.


For more on this route check out mountainproject.com
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/east-face-gully-aka-silk-road/105907530






  Trip Report Views: 2,574
philo
About the Author
philo is a trad wall climber, one time Eldo Prancer and has been Black Canyon Wannabe hardman from somewhere halfway over the rainbow.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
ß Î Ø T Ç H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
  Feb 12, 2014 - 01:47am PT
Thanks.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
  Feb 12, 2014 - 01:54am PT
What was the poison ivy factor?
moosedrool

climber
Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
  Feb 12, 2014 - 02:12am PT
Cool!

TFPU

Andrzej
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
  Feb 12, 2014 - 09:09am PT
Nice. Thanks for posting. You definitely get the coolest head gear award.
TWP

Trad climber
Mancos, CO
  Feb 12, 2014 - 09:18am PT
Like the "photo-intensive" trip report. Thanks for posting! Loved your innuendo is an Italian enema lie.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
  Feb 12, 2014 - 09:22am PT
cool! looks like the grand jorasses or something. where is that?
Chim-Chim

climber
  Feb 12, 2014 - 10:53am PT
Badass thanks.
Snowmassguy

Trad climber
Calirado
  Feb 12, 2014 - 11:20am PT
Way to get some in the backyard. Cool little adventure.
philo

Trad climber
Is that the light at the end of the tunnel or a tr
Author's Reply  Feb 12, 2014 - 11:26am PT
Yeah I know Snowmassguy, this and several other great mixed routes are within the city limits of Boulder. In fact it is all a city park. How cool is that.
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
  Feb 12, 2014 - 12:22pm PT
aaaaa.....you shoulda done it in your roller skates. Looks like fun Phil!
Gilroy

Social climber
Bolderado
  Feb 12, 2014 - 03:22pm PT
Shoulda' taken Goldie. She wouldn't need crampons with the tricouni set-up she runs. Now she's the only one in the Hawthorn House that hasn't done this rig. TFPU
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
  Feb 12, 2014 - 11:12pm PT
Damn!

Nice adventure you guys.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Feb 12, 2014 - 11:49pm PT

Just chiken zoup, eh?????

Sure, Philo, sure. . .


hee hee hee. . .
Cor

climber
Colorado
  Feb 13, 2014 - 11:06am PT
Actually we only had chicken soup on the route! It's true…
But before the climb we had a 9% beer, and then we were
forced to also drink that 11% beer because the can somehow
got a hole in it! Luckily we caught it before much of any was lost!

Cheers,
C
philo

Trad climber
Is that the light at the end of the tunnel or a tr
Author's Reply  Feb 14, 2014 - 05:23pm PT
Credit: philo

All gone.
Cor

climber
Colorado
  Feb 14, 2014 - 08:00pm PT
Not so fast Philo… I was on it again today. Probably when you took that picture!
Took another dear friend up who had never been on before… Great day.
Still did the left exit, then onto the East Face Route, and onto the ridge for the Cumbre.
Seven pitches all together. Of course we didn't need the tools & crampons after pitch five.
And yes, a beer on the top!

Gilroy

Social climber
Bolderado
  Feb 14, 2014 - 08:07pm PT
Heh, heh. Way to go Cor & MA!!! Sneaking another ascent in. Thas' what, 4 trips up the First Flatiron for you in 6 days, Corey? And Mary Ann is piecing together quite the ice season for herself.

What fun! Git some.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Feb 14, 2014 - 10:12pm PT

Nice jobs, boys. Don't ferget it's Stout month at the Southern Sun!!!!
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
  Feb 14, 2014 - 10:19pm PT
Fun TR - good to see you hear Cor!
philo

Trad climber
Is that the light at the end of the tunnel or a tr
Author's Reply  Feb 15, 2014 - 12:24pm PT
Actually Gilroy I believe it was five ascents with five different partners in six days.
That Cor is a hardman. I'd like to hear him describe the differing conditions for each run.
Now if I could only open the RAW images of the climb that he sent to me.
Cor

climber
Colorado
  Feb 18, 2014 - 04:19pm PT
So it was four ascents of the Silk Road, or variations of such.
It can be as little as three (60m) pitches, with a simple walk off.
Or it can be up to seven pitches if you finish up the ridge to the summit.

Each time I climbed something a bit different, essentially doing a longer
route (finish) each time. Once you hit the ridge, it is generally just boots (no poons)
on dry rock (mostly)

Here is a few photos of Philo. (Your sneak peak Phil! Until you learn how to open the RAW)

I will, hopefully sometime soon do a trip report on my blog. I have some video footage, and many pictures that will be stringed together with some music. This stuff takes awhile to do though… So maybe by next week I will have it together. It will be at:
HardCorMountainAdventures.BlogSpot.Com

Feast yer eyes on Philo below:
Silk Philo
Silk Philo
Credit: Cor
Spin Philo Drift
Spin Philo Drift
Credit: Cor
Just 9.5mil between Philo & me!
Just 9.5mil between Philo & me!
Credit: Cor
Exit Stage Left
Exit Stage Left
Credit: Cor
Work?  Na, screw it!
Work? Na, screw it!
Credit: Cor
High over Boulder
High over Boulder
Credit: Cor
So high over Boulder.
So high over Boulder.
Credit: Cor

philo

Trad climber
Is that the light at the end of the tunnel or a tr
Author's Reply  Feb 18, 2014 - 08:19pm PT
Hey Cor, thanks for posting those pics they're Grrrrrrrrrrreat.
Did I mention you did a Super job leading through the Choad.
DrThrill

Trad climber
Altered State
  Feb 18, 2014 - 10:18pm PT
Nice work Boys! Great TR Philo, and your embellishments ain't bad eitehr Cor!!
Cor

climber
Colorado
  Feb 19, 2014 - 11:30pm PT
Ok, media is done…
Sometimes it goes well, and doesn't need endless tweaking.
Enjoy.

http://hardcormountainadventures.blogspot.com

philo

Trad climber
Is that the light at the end of the tunnel or a tr
Author's Reply  Feb 20, 2014 - 12:24am PT
Hey Cor that was great. TFPU.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Feb 20, 2014 - 02:29am PT
That was great guys! Thanks! Super nice to see you in action Philo!!
philo

Trad climber
Is that the light at the end of the tunnel or a tr
Author's Reply  Feb 20, 2014 - 03:10pm PT
Thanks Big Mike I say the same to you about seeing you back in action.

Be sure to check out Cor"s video compilation. It's a hoot.
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