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The Spy
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007 T 
East Ridge T 
Spy Vs. Spy T 

East Ridge 

YDS: 5.3 French: 3+ Ewbanks: 10 UIAA: III ZA: 9 British: VD 3a R

Type:  Trad
Consensus:  YDS: 5.3 French: 3+ Ewbanks: 10 UIAA: III ZA: 9 British: VD 3a [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 3,947
Submitted By: George Bell on Apr 3, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (46)
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Looking down the Spy

Climbing areas reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>


Another fun Flatiron route with a reasonably short approach. This climb is approximately 300' long. The bottom of the east face of the Spy is connected to the north edge of the First Flatironette. Climb this face near it's north (right) edge to a five foot vertical step, where the Spy becomes a separate rock. Climb over the step either on the left (5.3) or right (slightly harder).

Now follow the narrowing arete to the summit. Very exposed and not much pro. Since you are on a narrow fin, a fall by either leader or follower could result in a pendulum down either side, and it might be hard to return to the route.

From the summit, continue west and pass an overhang by means of a jump. Hike back down the north side of the rock.


Light rack

Photos of East Ridge Slideshow Add Photo
Jen about to Jump.
Jen about to Jump.
Killer summit and view. This is about as north as you can get on Green Mountain, so the view of Flagstaff is breathtaking.
Killer summit and view. This is about as north as ...
Looking down....
Looking down....
The jump at the top of the East Ridge.
BETA PHOTO: The jump at the top of the East Ridge.
Warren concentrating at the crux section of the route.
Warren concentrating at the crux section of the ro...
Warren flying up the Spy.
Warren flying up the Spy.
Enjoying the amazing view....
Enjoying the amazing view....
Rafe Wilson on the first pitch taken from the belay halfway up.
Rafe Wilson on the first pitch taken from the bela...
For anyone who might be confused about the start: this is the standard start.  You can see the short, vertical step at the top of the photo. The climb can also be started higher up along the sides if you want to avoid the dirty 4th class start.
BETA PHOTO: For anyone who might be confused about the start: ...
Joe Mac just went through what I believed to be the crux.
Joe Mac just went through what I believed to be th...

Comments on East Ridge Add Comment
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By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 22, 2003

A good combo is to do this route and then the North Arete on the First Flatiron.
By Anonymous Coward
Apr 7, 2004

a note about getting off of the spy: near the top, after crossing the flat blocky section, stay on the fin and belay off a big flake on the top. to get back to the ground, scramble down off the fin (very easy and safe - this is not "the jump"), then climb up the slab directly behind you. "the jump" is off of the top left corner of the slab. not as bad as it looks at first sight. if one of you is more confident than the other, you can sling the top of the slab you jump to with a tied off cordelette and tie your partner off to give them a bit more confidence.

a fun route.
By Mike McMahon
From: Vernal, Utah
Jun 17, 2007

The Spy is actually a good climb with really solid holds. Seeing the level of exposure on all sides, if nothing else, a rope would have been a pychological booster! I'm not sure where the 'jump' was, it's been a while, but I remember getting off the summit as being pretty straight-forward.
By Ebb
From: Vancouver, WA
Jul 23, 2008
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a R

There's a real nice photo up above of "the jump." Definitely unnerving the first time you try it, but it looks much worse (from the jumper's vantage point) than it is! :)
By Phil Lauffen
From: The Bubble
Apr 7, 2009

This is a cool scramble with the exposure on both sides! Complete psychological mind trip! Be careful to descend to the north, as to the south it cliffs out. Maybe it was the snow, but I got mildly trapped about 20 feet over some pointy rocks while trying to get to the standard face of the first.
By adrenalated
From: Thornton, CO
Aug 16, 2009

Great exposure on the thin rib! I found this to be a little more mentally challenging than most easy Flatirons climbs, but it really made for a unique experience.
By Chris Plesko
From: Westminster, CO
Mar 20, 2011

Despite the crappy first pitch and the too short length, I keep coming back. Really fun solo to link with North Arete on the 1st. Wish it was longer!
By Rob Nevitt
From: Louisville, CO
Jul 25, 2013

For those of you who prefer the safety of a rope... I led the first pitch. About 30 feet above the 5-foot vertical step I was found a reasonable belay crack. I was able to get 4 of my smallest pieces to build a solid anchor, and, in retrospect, I would not have been able to build a multi-piece anchor any higher. My partner Dale led the 2nd = crux pitch. Above the belay, Dale placed 2 or 3 pieces before the crux where there was absolutely no gear which made the runout deserving of the R rating. At the top of the crux, protection was again available. Dale set up a belay at the summit immediately before 'the jump', though this used every bit of our 60 meter rope.

'The jump' was reasonable. I would agree that this climb requires more care than the average east face scramble because of the continuous exposure.
By Ryan Marsters
Aug 13, 2014
rating: 5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c PG13

The jump is easy, but it can also be easily downclimbed. Turn around and lower off the edge slightly descender's right of the jump to hidden but big feet.

The crux step had three options - left (5.0ish), right (5.3), or a crack center left (5.6ish move).