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Third Flatiron
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1911 Gully 
Blazing Biners 
College Drop Out aka East Face North Side 
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Doctor Merkwurdigliebe 
Dog's Head Cutoff 
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East Face Left 
Extra Point 
Falcon's Fracture 
Friday's Folly 
Friday's Folly Direct 
Funny Games 
Greenman's Crack 
Holier than Thou 
Inner Sanctum 
Northwest Passage 
Pentaprance 
Ph.D. Roof 
Right Of Spring 
Saturday's Folly 
Sayonara 
Shoyu State 
South Chimney 
Southwest Chimney 
Super Woo 
Thin Crack 
Third Kingdom/Papillion 
Third World Zone 
Unknown (formerly entered as Problem Child) 
Waiting For Columbus 
West Door 
West Face [3rd Flatrion] 
Winky Woo 
Wrongs of Fall 
Unsorted Routes:

Northwest Passage 

YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- British: E2 5b R

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 200'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10a/b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VI+ British: E2 5b [details]
FA: R. Briggs, 1972 (Free)
Page Views: 1,244
Submitted By: Tony B on Aug 3, 2002
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Peter Spindloe follows the big traverse on the sec...
  • Some crags in this area are closed 1 February to 31 July: MORE INFO >>>
  • Climbing areas reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    To approach this climb, ascent to toward the NE Bench, as per the start of the Standard Route of the Third Flatiron, but then continue up the North Side on a tril until you reach a slot where the corner is turned to reach the West side. Just below this slot there are 2 left facing dihedrals. The left most is has worse rock, but the one on the right contains a sizable bush. The route starts here.

    P1 Belay from the ground for the leader to ascend one of the two dihedrals (pick your slog) which both seem to be about 5.6. Either one contains bird-shit-o-plenty and some loose rock. Ho-hum at best, gross at worst. Belay above3 the top of the dihedrals.

    P2 Look left at a series of face holds and cracks, this mostly traversing pitch rises at first, then drops, all while moving left. You will pass a few pins and an old bolt. The pitch is about 5.8. THe fixed pro is dubious at best, but there are opportunities to back up the pro. Run left as far as possible, and belay at a reasonable stance with poor pro. The rocks ar eblocky and look loose in the area there. There is birdy doo on the first half of this pitch as well.

    P3 is a nice pitch with only a minor bird-poop problem. The moves are unusual and redeaming of the climb, which otherwise would be a bomb climb. Climb up and left to the right facing corner below the big roof and place some good gear after a committing 5.9 move on a questionable hold. Jam and push through the 4' roof to a jug out past the lip and match on it. SWING the body out and pass the roof (very unusual roof and crux sequence). Then pull up into a crack to gain the good slab above. You are in the notch that is cut though the East Slab's North Side now (visible in attached Photo). Belay in the short dihedral system on bomber nuts and TCUs.

    P4 finish on the slab to the top and rap off as for any other route.

    P1 and 2 are disgusting and loose. Direct North Face or Jackson's Ledges will lead you to the base of P3 with less disease potential.

    The route might be a 2* route if it were not bombed constantly by the droves of cliff swallows inhabiting the rooves above.

    The bird poop pitches


    Protection 

    A light rack one set of stoppers and one set of cams. Include a good number of 2' slings, as the route and protection wander.

    P1 is a bit loose and runout, but only 5.6. P2 bolts and pins are rotton and old, but only 5.8. P3 has a frightening 5.9 move (R), but the 5.10 crux is very safe.

    Crux pro is a few cams between 1" and 2" (1.5" is best)



    Photos of Northwest Passage Slideshow Add Photo
    Luke starting the first pitch on Northwest Passage. CU in the background.
    Luke starting the first pitch on Northwest Passage...
    BETA PHOTO
    Peter Spindloe just past the crux of Northwest Passage. Photo by Tony Bubb.
    Peter Spindloe just past the crux of Northwest Pas...
    Peter Spindloe follows the roof on the third pitch of Northwest Passage. Photo by Tony Bubb.
    Peter Spindloe follows the roof on the third pitch...
    Kenny P. heel hooking towards solid ground.
    Kenny P. heel hooking towards solid ground.
    Comments on Northwest Passage Add Comment
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    By Peter Spindloe
    From: North Vancouver, BC
    Aug 5, 2002

    To avoid the poor first and second pitches, you could also rap through the notch which is easily reached from the Standard East Face by traversing right when you get to the big horizontal crack forty feet below the summit, and lead or top-rope the roof crack.

    By Ernie Port
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Sep 12, 2003

    ...I met Tom Hornbein on the summit of Estes Cone today and he told me, amongst other interesting stories, that he was first to put up the Northwest Passage on the 3rd, in 1949, along with Dick Sherman and Tom Riley. He also has the FA of Friday's Folly way back in 1950.In case your interested, Mr. Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld are the first Americans to summit Mt. Everest via the west ridge in 1963. They continued over the mountain and descended the south side becoming the first to traverse the entire mountain.

    By Chris O'Connor
    From: bouldertown, co
    Feb 25, 2007
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a

    A favorite of mine! I used Rossiter's guide, there is a 4th class ramp that can be used to get directly under the roof. Then a 5.8 finger crack leads to the crumbly broken belay below the roof. The roof pitch is what makes this route amazing! The crux moves protect perfectly with a #0.5 Camalot. Really, perfect #0.5 and with all the air below you, it's okay to whip all day long. After the roof, one slab pitch takes you to the summit of the Third.