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JoshK

Third Flatiron, East Face (Boulder, CO)

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Anybody here climbed the classic east face scramble/beginner route on the third flatiron? Supposedly it is a great easy 5th climb. From the beta I could drag up it seems like a pretty reasonable solo, but any comments from those who have done it would be appreciated.

 

thanks,

-josh

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yes. I soloed it in 1993, its an easy solo, but bring a rope for the rap off the back, you wont want to downclimb it.

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The 3rd Flatiron is a Boulder classic, and a classic solo. Most of the climb is low fifth and some fourth class. There are a couple of moves on the last pitch that are probably 5.4. You will want the rope to rap off. Great colorado climbing beta:

 

www.climbingboulder.com

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I've soloed it 52 times and led it for others many a time. It's about 9 50m pitches from the bottom-bottom to the tippy-top. Most people start the The Bench, which is not at the bottom. As long as you stay left of The Gash above the bench, the difficulty won't exceed 5.4. There is a touch of 5.4 slab on the final pitch. If you solo up with a 50m rope, you can easily do the three raps off the south side to get down. As a lead, it usually takes about 6-8 hours car-to-car. As a solo, it takes me about 1:15 for the round trip (I've done the climb in as little as 0:20), if I don't have to wait for raps. Your experience may differ. :-)

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Sweet! Sounds awesome. Hopefully I will be able to do it tomorrow morning. 20 minutes? Does that include the trail? Amazing!

 

-josh

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I've climbed it probably 100 times, mostly solo. Soloing in the flatirons has always been one of my favorite things in life- the great rock, the colors, birds, the options. It is quality, and it is in a city park! Sick. I was just in CO last week and was climbing on the 1st, happy reunion.

 

Solo-wise: the rock is generally phenomenal. Solid, and plenty of options. If it gets harder than 5.5 anywhere on the face, just poke around and you will find an easier way. Generally low angle enough where getting pumped would be impossible, so finding an exact "route" is not a concern. From the base, if you want to go a standard way, spot the 1st fat bolt (3" ring?) about 65' up from where the main climber's approach drops you. From there, up and left, eventually crossing over a 2' or so overlap/roof on your left side. Then up, lots of options. Eventually a ledge ("kiddy kar ledge") by a big notch on the left near the top. Climb the left side of the main formation off of the ledge (just r of the notch). The crux is in the last 20-30', small face holds. Remember how low angle it is as you climb this part, it's only a few moves. Nice raps off the back, with directions stamped into metal plates under the bolts (i.e. 1st rappel 50' to the SW, etc) with 1 rope. Climb early or later afternoon to avoid lightning. Options abound, so no need to wait in any lines, etc. 1/2 hour hike to base from park, then can be soloed in 20min or less to top, though you will likely enjoy spending more time up there. Plenty of big spots to kick back and relax. Rockfall genrally never an issue. Top r of face (where the C U is) is harder ( up to 5.8) and can be spicy due to paint.

 

Have a blast, what a place. I really miss it.

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As crazy_t indicated, it was only the climb portion that took about 20 minutes. It would have been closer to 15 minutes, but a friend and I had to stop to talk to two cute girls snuggled into the ledge at the 3rd bolt.

 

With regards to things falling, my concern would not be about rocks. Most of the face is solid. I'd definitely be concerned about having something dropped on your head while climbing below a party on the face above you. There's nothing to stop a 'biner (water bottle, small dog, etc.) from falling all the way from the top onto your head.

 

Enjoy!

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