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Looking down from a belay on the fin below the sum...
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This single pitch route is located right under the first rap off the summit of the Third Flatiron, and starts from the South Bowl (where that first rap ends).
However, I will describe the climb starting from Friday's Folly Ledge (end of the second rap). This route is called Friday's Folly Direct in Rossiter. Climbing Friday's or Saturday's Folly to this ledge, and then finishing via the West Door (or what Rossiter calls Friday's Folly Direct) makes for a fun summit route.
From the west eyebolt on Friday's Folly Ledge, head straight up a pair of wide cracks to a piton (easy). Clip the piton and step right and head up the arete, just right of a large overhang (fun 5.7). From here you can either traverse right to the eyebolt of the second rappel, or head back left above the overhang and belay above (easy but exposed arete).
The West Door pitch now looms above in a two tiered overhang, directly west of the summit area. Breach the first tier by following a thin, steep crack in black rock. Possibly this section is only 5.7 (Rossiter's rating) if you are 6' 4" like Layton Kor. Move slightly right a few feet to a crack which goes through the second overhang. Place gear and crank over and clip the summit eyebolt. When you are cranking this move you are in the same place as someone starting the rap off the top, so try to do the route when nobody is coming down.
Rossiter calls this route 5.7, but it seemed solid 5.8 to me.
Alternatively, after ascending the first tier, move left up a ramp instead of climbing up where the rappel starts and emerge onto the summit from the west. I believe this is the original route followed by Kor.
Wires and small cams.
BETA PHOTO: West side of the Third Flatiron.
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 3, 2001
Talking with others who have done the West Door has made me realize that I did a harder variation. Apparently, once one passes the first tier, the normal route follows the narrow ledge LEFT (not slightly right a few feet as described above), and eventually it is possible to climb up to the summit more easily.
Legend has it a group including Kor were on the summit area, but then Kor disappeared down the east side, and minutes later he appeared coming up the west side of the summit, hence the name "the West Door". Can anybody provide a reference (maybe a story by Pat Ament?)?
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 13, 2002
The "piton" on the first pitch (above Friday's Folly Ledge) is a rusty spike driven into a bolt hole and the funky thing is not encouraging, especially considering the 25' runout above it. Fortunately you can get a good red or yellow Alien about 6' higher in a horizontal crack (it's a good handhold too), but there is still a good runout above this piece.
|By Warren Teissier|
Oct 6, 2002
I finally got to do West Door yesterday.
I agree with George that it is solid 5.8. To my amazement Gerry Roach calls it 5.6 in his celebrated Flatiron's Classics!... major sand bag.
Not to belabor a point, besides it being stiff, protection is scant (small stopper placement in initial crack, too low to stop you from decking) until you breach the overhang at which point you don't really need it...
Once on the ramp head left in it and scramble up to the summit on easy rock.
|By Kevin Currigan|
Dec 9, 2002
In the 1970 version of High Over Boulder on page 155 it reads as follows: "Variation 3: West Door. 5.5. This exposed route is rarely climbed. It was created when a summit party (Baker Armstrong, et al.) watched Layton Kor disappear down the East Face and suddenly emerge behind them from the west."
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jan 27, 2013
5.8 if you are 5'10". I can see where taller could be easier, as you could skip the smaller sidepull.