Flex Luthor | 9a+ Sport route at Fortress of Solitude

UKClimbing.com | 8a.nu

Contributors: remus

Pics + Vids

Matty Hong
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Added at 05:10 on 13 October 2021
Carlo Traversi
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Added at 21:11 on 15 November 2021
Carlo Traversi
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Added at 06:11 on 11 November 2021
Jonathan Siegrest
Added at 08:12 on 14 December 2022


6 recorded ascents.

Climber Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Tommy Caldwell Lead | worked 2003 9a+
First ascent.

The hardest route in the US before Chris Sharma established Jumbo Love to establish the first 9b in the US.

Matty Hong Lead | worked 12th Oct 2021 9b
Second ascent.


[1] https://www.instagram.com/p/CU8unzKjmLj/

Carlo Traversi Lead | worked 10th Nov 2021 9b
Third ascent.

No real opinion on grade, so going with Matty's suggestion for now. Definitely not easy. [3]


[1] https://www.instagram.com/p/CWGuUCVl72B/

[2] https://www.instagram.com/p/CWT37golzRf/

[3] https://www.8a.nu/news/flex-luthor-9b-by-carlo-traversi-4k2wr

Jonathan Siegrest Lead | worked 31st Oct 2022 9a+ (soft)
Fourth ascent.

Very cool to revisit this crag after 12 years! TC [Tommy Caldwell] is forever a massive inspiration for me - I didn't realize how important it would feel to climb on this route. Went fully A Muerte after getting through the bottom crux for the first time. On the grade, for me personally, the route does not compare to the 9b I have done or tried - that being said it is still one of the hardest in Colorado for sure.


[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QfDDnFS6T8

Nicholas Milburn Lead | worked 29th Oct 2023 9a+
Fifth ascent.

This one felt hard the whole time. Figuring out the beta took a lot of work. I never watched the video, but a few days into projecting I had a phone call with Matty and we discussed the beta. Going in blind is such a fun way to go work a route. Especially something hard and complicated as Flex. I climbed this with almost the same beta as Matty, but I used the hand jam method for the final boulder. Sometimes routes just flow and feel easy by the time you actually send them. This one did not feel that way. I had to fight hard on the send go and that felt cool.

Dan Mirsky Lead | worked 18th Nov 2023 9a

As for the Grade... I figured out and used a different method in the crux from the other recent ascents. I think it was likely a hybrid of Tommy's OG beta and Matty's new school beta. I am pretty ok at kneebarring on Western Slope Limestone and I definitely made use of that skill (the left calf pump was real). Is my way easier? Does it change the grade to 9A or 9A/+? I honestly don’t know and you can’t take a slash grade on 8A. I’ll take the low the grade to keep the conversation going but I want a "/" because I’m over 40 and walking up that hill isn't easy either. [1]


[1] https://www.8a.nu/news/dan-mirsky-completes-flex-luthor-9a-+-at-age-41-m7gpq