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Routes in First Flatiron

Atalanta T 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
Baker's Way T 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
Butterfly T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Direct Route T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Dumais Direct T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
East Face Gully T 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
East Face North Side/1st Flatiron T 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a R
Fandango T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Fandango Variation T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
First in Flight T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
Hubris T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Kamikaze Overhangs T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Massugu T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13
North Arete T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Red Slab Variation T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Southwest Face T 5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c
Way of the Ancients T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R
Yellow Brick Road T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Zig Zag T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Order Wrong? Sort Routes
Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details

Description

The First is a huge Flatiron with many good face routes starting from the bottom to the top of the East side. It's probably the 2nd largest Flatiron overall. The climbing is longer and more varied than the Third with huge flakes, dihedrals, and the rollercoaster ridge. Climbs range from about 4-10 pitches. Virtually every climb is a quality line. There is adventure and there are crowds. A 60m rope is nice for these routes, especially for the rappel.

On a rare winter, you can even find an ice climb here....

Getting There

From Chautauqua Park (W on Baseline, near 9th, off US 36), take the diagonalling "Chautauqua Trail" from the parking lot. At the trail intersection once in the trees, go briefly south (L), then follow signs (R) for the 1st Flatiron to the base. Depending on which route you're going to do, either take the wooden bridge to the base (routes starting near the nadir) or stay on the trail and keep hiking up the hill to the left to another trail that leads to access for climbs that start higher on the East face (e.g. Fandango). Approaches range from 20-40 minutes for the casual walker.

19 Total Climbs

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Location: First Flatiron Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at First Flatiron

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c
 62
Southwest Face
Trad
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
 39
Atalanta
Trad
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
 88
Baker's Way
Trad 6 pitches
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a R
 104
East Face North Side/1st Flatiron
Trad 5 pitches
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 170
North Arete
Trad 5 pitches
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 167
Fandango
Trad 5 pitches
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R
 5
Way of the Ancients
Trad 3 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
 930
Direct Route
Trad 10 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 42
Fandango Variation
Trad 6 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
 22
Butterfly
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 57
Zig Zag
Trad 5 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
 15
Yellow Brick Road
Trad 6 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 20
Kamikaze Overhangs
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
 12
Red Slab Variation
Trad 7 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
 7
Dumais Direct
Trad 6 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Southwest Face
 62
5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c Trad
Atalanta
 39
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a Trad
Baker's Way
 88
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a Trad 6 pitches
East Face North Side/1st Fl…
 104
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a R Trad 5 pitches
North Arete
 170
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad 5 pitches
Fandango
 167
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 5 pitches
Way of the Ancients
 5
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R Trad 3 pitches
Direct Route
 930
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R Trad 10 pitches
Fandango Variation
 42
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 6 pitches
Butterfly
 22
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R Trad
Zig Zag
 57
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 5 pitches
Yellow Brick Road
 15
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R Trad 6 pitches
Kamikaze Overhangs
 20
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Red Slab Variation
 12
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R Trad 7 pitches
Dumais Direct
 7
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R Trad 6 pitches
More Classic Climbs in First Flatiron »

Sun & Shade

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J. Thompson
denver, co
J. Thompson   denver, co
If you solo this route in winter, TAKE A ROPE! I once had to down climb the east face when I found 3 foot ice sickles and snow all over the final summit block! I couldn't climb up to get to the down climb. What an adventure, f... I love climbing! Feb 10, 2002
A few summers ago there was a severe bee problem on the summit block. It is possible to avoid the nests by climbing straight up and to the left instead of circling up the ramp to the right. This requires a few slightly more difficult and committing moves than the standard top out. Feb 14, 2002
As of 04/19/02 there was a bee nest on the first pitch with lots of unhappy looking bees. Apr 24, 2002
While roping up to climb the East Face yesterday a very big lion was checking us out from the top of the Macbeth boulder. We started the climb and watched park rangers try to chase it away, to no avail. The approach and descent trails from the First Flatiron were all closed. We had to bushwack down the boulderfield to the descent trail for the Third. $1000 fee if you are caught on a closed trail. The cat did not bother us but it did make the rangers very nervous and they yelled at us multiple times not not come back to the base. Also, a cloud of bees at least the size of an SUV was roaming over the bottom pitches of the East Face. It got very close to us and the sound was pretty incredible. Lots of fun. Jun 1, 2002
Luu
Luu  
What an amazing climb, I just did the 1st flatiron direct route! First pitch was my favourite, definitely a waker-upper. Back at work now, can't believe that as I type this, 24 hours ago I was up on the big headwall. *sigh* Reality beckons!

John Luu (Didn't feel like registering) Jul 23, 2002
Kevin Currigan
Lakewood
Kevin Currigan   Lakewood
I was coming down the Saddle Rock Trail from the 1st today and about 200 yds. from the Gregory Canyon trailhead I met up with a bear. She was 30 yards away and looking down the trail. She didn't even know I was there until I spotted her; impressive animal. She took off down the trail and stopped about 15 yds. further down then turned and watched me. She apparently wasn't going anywhere. So, I chucked a couple of rocks grenade style into bush about ten yds. left of her. That sent her downhill into the bush. I was sure to make a lot of noise all the way to the trailhead. This is a nice alternative to the trail down the east side of the 1st. Aug 30, 2002
We were up there Saturday (10/12/02) and did the rap in two parts, using the standard second fixed rap point on the south side. This is a single old, large eyebolt.

We did not back up the eyebolt, but I watched it as Bryan rapped first... and THE TOP OF THE RAP ANCHOR MUST HAVE FLEXED 1/4 INCH!!

I do not know how deep these bolts are placed in the rock, or what the bolts are like. It's difficult to back this bolt up easily, but I recommend it. Backing up fixed anchors is always a good idea, and especially this one! Oct 14, 2002
James Garnett
Bellingham, WA
James Garnett   Bellingham, WA
This is a popular rock now; get an early start on summer weekends unless you enjoy crowds on the summit ridge! Jul 12, 2003
flynn  
Another descent option if you don't have a 60m rope is to downclimb the south face route. This is 5.1. It starts going down the west face right below the rappel bolt. Reach the monster ledge about 30 feet down, saunter around the corner to reach the south face, then diagonal - left as you're looking toward the ground - down the strata to step off the wall at an ancient snag. Establishing belay anchors, if you need them, could be a bit of an adventure, but should be manageable with springy things or TriCams. Oct 14, 2003
Hello, I brought my 5 year old up the First Flatiron. We had a party of 4 so it took 1-1.5 hours between pitches. If you are going to climb the Flatiron, a smaller party (2 or 3) is much, much better. Mar 16, 2004
William McGehee
Choctaw, OK
William McGehee   Choctaw, OK
Avoid this guy in the late afternoon. Right now there are millions of gnats congregating on high points along the ridge. I climbed the Direct Route this afternoon and felt like I was in Alaska in the spring when I got to the ridge. At least they weren't mosquitos. Be prepared to swat! Rock cools off a LOT after a short period of cloud cover, so don't be afraid to head up there if you see cumulus clouds in the sky. It might be cool enough to climb on.~Wm Jul 20, 2005
Chris Zeller
Boulder, CO
Chris Zeller   Boulder, CO
I noticed a cable rap station at the top of Baker's Way where the route intersects the ridge. The cable is threaded under a large block and looks like it would go with a 60 m rope (have not tried it). This would be a good escape from either the [Direct Route] or [Baker's Way]. The direct route crosses [Baker's Way] at the gully and its very easy climbing in this gully to the ridge. Aug 23, 2005
I just climbed this route again today and noticed a 3rd bolt on the first pitch. It is a Leeper hanger and 1/4" rawl drive 10-20' above the 2nd big glue in bolt. It had been a while since I last did this climb but I had never noticed this before. Has anyone else noticed this? Is someone adding old bolts to routes? I thought this was strange. Aug 25, 2005
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Peter: The new bolt has been mentioned previously, see the comment by AC on 5/9/2005 under "Direct Route". I remember more discussion but it does not seem to be on this page any more. It seems that this is indeed a new bolt and all comments recommended removal. Aug 29, 2005
Jerry Cagle
Tucson, AZ
Jerry Cagle   Tucson, AZ
What route were David Roberts and Gabe Lee climbing when Lee fell to his death? May 15, 2006
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Jerry, that is a great question and I don't know the answer. David Roberts' new book talks about he and Jon Krakauer repeating this route a few years ago. However, there isn't enough detail given to pin it down exactly. I believe it was on the left-half of the east face, but it may not even be on one of the official routes. May 15, 2006
Matt Amory
Boulder CO
Matt Amory   Boulder CO
I'm planning on doing the direct route on the 1st with a friend from back east on Wednesday. Am I right in thinking that we're looking at about 4 hours car to car?

Thanks Leo and Tony for your responses. We had a stellar morning on either Zig-Zag or Kamikaze Overhangs (I'd be glad to hear from anyone what exactly the difference is between these routes) Oct 23, 2006
jleining   CO
Helpful tip, unless you would like to practice your rope management, My Climbing Co guide book said the descent from the top of the First Flatiron requires two ropes. Guess what it doesn't. I wasted my time scrambling this thing and dragging two ropes up while doing it. If you're gonna do the First, it is only 92 ft from the summit eybolts to the ground! Jul 3, 2007
Rhonda
Golden, CO
Rhonda   Golden, CO
Climbed the 1st Flatiron on Sat. March 29th and rappelled off an anchor before the ridge (wind was howling). After reaching the ground, I was unable to pull my rope. If anyone retrieved my rope, I would appreciate hearing from you. My email is rhonda.eimers@hotmail.com Thanks! Apr 1, 2008
Squirming Coil
Morrison, CO
Squirming Coil   Morrison, CO
Does anyone know anything about this variation (in red)? Or is it the actual route? mountainproject.com/v/color… Jul 7, 2009
Larry Graham
Boulder, CO
Larry Graham   Boulder, CO
For those of you who like to solo this: (a great outing by the way) as I was finishing the downclimb today I noticed that the old white dead tree that always provided a convenient way to get down the final 15-20 feet has suffered some damage. It seemed like it was further from the wall than before, but more disturbing is that one of the small broken off limbs that used to serve as a foot placement is now gone. This forces you to use holds on the wall--actually quite good--that I never had to bother with before. Overall, it makes this section of the downclimb just a bit more thought-provoking. Unfortunately, some day a big wind will probably fell the tree, but it will still be possible to get down those last few feet via rock. Aug 21, 2010
James Beissel
Boulder, CO
James Beissel   Boulder, CO
Hi-res panorama (372 MP) of the First, Second and Third Flatiron. Requires Adobe Flash to use the GigaPan viewer:

jamesbeissel.com/gigapan/fl… Nov 19, 2010
Chris Plesko
Westminster, CO
Chris Plesko   Westminster, CO
The tree is gone off the SW face downclimb. It still goes just fine though, but it's a little harder. Luckily, you're only 10-15 feet off the ground by that point. I'm sure you could find another easier way, but I didn't bother. Sep 24, 2011
My favorite formation in the North Flatirons! I particularly recommend both Butterfly and East Face Direct. Both are runnout and exposed, but a competent leader should have lots of fun here! Oct 15, 2012
Aaron Furman
Eldorado Springs, CO
Aaron Furman   Eldorado Springs, CO
Be polite and communicate with the climbers if you are soloing this one, though easy and a great confidence builder, many of the climbers on this rock are novice and get scared when they see you jumping around with nothing but your smile. May 31, 2015
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
The fastest approach to the First Flatiron is from the Gregory Canyon Trailhead; however, this parking area fills very quickly. When hiking out, most people use the trail between the First and Second Flatirons. If parked at Gregory Canyon, a faster hike down starts from the saddle west of the First Flatiron. Head north, down steeply on a primitive trail (marked) and down into the Gregory Canyon trail system, eventually passing The Amphitheater. Sep 26, 2016
Caleb Lowery
Phoenix, AZ
Caleb Lowery   Phoenix, AZ
Climbed up May 21st - still plenty of snow around. Lots of people showed up to hike which turned the trail back down from the top into a muddy, slushy, slippery mess. Route was clear / dry / in sun all day, so climbing was great. May 30, 2017
I climbed the First Flatiron the afternoon of 07/01/17 - very fun climb, however, my partner and I left a 35L BD Creek backpack at the base of the climb, intending to retrieve extra gear on the hike down. When we got down around 8:30pm, the gear was gone. The bag contained trad gear we need for the rest of our trip (we're from Nashville). If you see / hear / know anything regarding the whereabouts of our gear, please call me @ 615-522-4336. Thank you!

P.S. I recommend a single rack and small backpacks you're comfortable climbing with! Not leaving anything at the base again. Jul 3, 2017
Hey all, I finished up the 1st really late last night and in my exhaustion, I forgot to untie the rappel knots from the end of the rope when I pulled it off the rappel. It’s a light green rope hanging down from the rappel. If anybody is coming up the first today, I would greatly appreciate it if you could free it and message me. Your kindness will be rewarded by free beer. Nov 5, 2018 · Lost & Found

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