Flagstaff Mountain is the local bouldering area. This place has quite a history, and despite the fact that it is no Hueco Tanks, there are many historical and classic "moderate" problems. Flagstaff Mountain is a unique area in that the bouldering does not involve pushing yourself on the latest V9, but attempting moderate and historical problems that are sometimes a little scary and sandbagged. There are few beginner problems, and not a whole lot of world class problems, but tons to pander to the intermediate climber. There is quite a lot of climbing at Flagstaff. There are the central popular areas like the Monkey Traverse, Beer Barrel, Red Wall, Capstan, and Cloud Shadow areas, but also many outlying areas that give some relief from the afterwork crowds, these are the Candle area, Pumpkin Rock, and Upper area. Climbing at Flag has several prerequisites. The climbing tends to be powerful, and quite bold sometimes. The rock will quickly tear up your fingers because of its sandpaper consistency, yet feel greasy at the same time. I have always found the place particularly conductive to circuits, starting at the Upper area and working down to Pumpkin Rock, one can do around 100 problems in the V0-V5 range. One can conduct innumerable ciruits from these problems. Some good problems at Flag include Cloud Shadow Traverse (V2-V6), Hagan's Wall (V5), Consideration (V3), Monkey Traverse (V3, greasy and often too crowded), Pratts Mantle (V2), south arete of Beer Barrel (V0), Polling Pebble (V5), Tree Slab Traverse (V1), right side of Redwall (V4 very height dependant), King Conquerer (V2 scary!). Harder problems (which I have not done but are obviously classic), Just Right (V7), Undercling Traverse (V9), Hollow's Way (V8), Mongolian Cosmonaut (V8), Over Yourself (V10), Ooze Pig (V7), Trice (fifth class, I believe it has still never been repeated since holloway did it in the '70s, and not for lack of trying).
Take Baseline Road west, go up the hill trying to avoid the flashy bikers. There are several places to park. The Capstan is a 30' spire in the middle of a hairpin turn, one can park here or continue on to the first lot on the left after the Capstan, this will take you to the Monkey Traverse area or across the road to Red Wall. Another thing to mention is that Flag is within reasonable walking distance from CU, it is about 1.5 miles away from campus, yet I have made this walk innumerable times, it takes about a half hour and is highly enjoyable.
Please consider minimizing your impact when enjoying the area. There are already significant signs of erosion, plant trampling, etc. There have already been projects begun to repair the impacts with revegetation and soil restoration in the area. Remember that pads do have a significant impact on the flora. Do your best to ensure future access to this wonderful area!
Jim Holloway bouldering on Flagstaff.
Anne Carrier bouldering on Flagstaff, 1981.
Rob " CAT" Candelaria bouldering on Flagstaff.
Anne Carrier, warming up on easy stuff...1981.
Bouldering near Monkey Traverse in Boulder, CO.
Bouldering on Flagstaff, photo: Bob Horan Collection.
One of the more popular bouldering areas, with a clear view of the Monkey Traverse. Photo: Dave Fiorucci
Luke Childers on Hollow Way's Way.