A truly amazing line that follows a short hand crack to a large ledge that provides a belay for the second pitch of overhanging crack. This route lies just to the right of 'Candlestick' (5.7) and to the left of the off-width chimney 'Piton Perch' (5.6). Hailed as one of the best 10s in Vedauwoo, this route is much stouter than the rating would indicate and provides a mental and physical challenge. Being able to work face and crack moves in unison will help you greatly as you ascend the arching overhanging crack that begins small, leads to hand size, and to the eventual short section of off-width at the top. [img::aligncenter:medium:Route overview. Photo courtesy of Charles Danforth.]
Getting to Vedauwoo is very simple. Once on Vedauwoo road, continue past the main parking lot for Turtle Rock and shortly after find the parking lot to the Nautilus. A short approach and scramble on the southeast face leads to the 'Flying Buttress',which can easily be identified as the prominent overhanging crack below the Parabolic Slab (a.k.a the Potato Chip.)
While this route can be easily linked into one pitch with a 60 meter rope, it is best to climb the short first pitch and set up a belay on a large ledge below the overhang. Total length of the climb is about 100 feet.
The arching overhaning crack that is 'Flying Buttress'.
P1: Climb the short (10 meters or so) hand crack and walk to the base of the overhang where a solid belay stance can be set up (5.8+)
Andy following the first pitch. Photo courtesy of Charles Danforth.
P2: The best part of the climb. Follow the crack from the belay stance while using both faces for stemming. As the crack overhangs more and more, continue using bomber hand crack placements and awkward and sometimes elusive feet on both faces. Near the top a few off-width moves will lead you to a two bolt anchor.
Very overhanging, but good feet on the face. Photo courtesy of Andy Leach.
From here you can either continue, (adding 'Deep Throat' (5.10a) to complete your experience) or rappel from the anchors, (make sure to clip into the rope to clean the gear since you will otherwise swing away from the crack.)
Setting up a top rope is difficult since a fall would result in a swing making it hard to gain the crack again. If you choose to do so, place many directional pieces for the follower/followers.
Nearing the top off-width end of the climb.
This is unlike many Vedauwoo cracks in the sense that you do not need a slew of Big Bros or #5 Camalots and higher. Pitch one can be protected using #2-3 Camalots. Pitch two takes all sizes of gear, it is best to have some smaller pieces (yellow-red aliens) and camalots from 0.5-4. Doubles on #2-4 will help ease the mind and provide plenty of protection for the overhanging crack.
Beat up hands after the climb.
Mountain Project's Page: 'Flying Buttress' (5.10b/c)