Second Flatiron - Freeway belay beta

Original Post
matt-jensen · · Hermosa Beach, CA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 10

I'm planning on doing the freeway tomorrow morning. I'm totally new to the area. There is a ton of info on it. Almost too much. When starting the first pitch there is a roof. Any beta on going either to the right or left of the roof would be appreciated. Also any key features to look for to get to the belays after also appreciated. It's not difficult climbing just don't really want to spend a ton of time wandering around looking for places for gear to belay. Thanks in advance

Peter Beal · · Boulder Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,740

You can break up the climb into roughly three sections of around 150-200 feet. First is the initial slab with a small bulge split by a crack at about 50 feet. The slab above leads to a ledge system and the next section. This is probably the hardest part.

The next section is a long right-leaning rib/buttress feature that ends at the "Leap of Faith." This section is basically a long slab with great holds everywhere.

The final section follows cracks, corners and slabs trending up and left to the summit of this part of the second.

While protection is relatively scarce on the route itself, big ledges with reasonably good possibilities for anchors show up regularly. You will always trend right below the upper parts of the Second Flatiron.

Eric Carlos · · Chattanooga, TN · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 40

I start up just left of the tree/run runnoff area and then angle up and left. No roof that I can think of. It is a long first pitch if you are using a rope.

jason.cre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 10

Honestly I think you are overthinking it and any detailed beta would be more confusing than helpful. Just make sure you are starting at the right spot and go with it. And dont worry, there is definitely not a roof. There is a small bulge with a finger crack you can step up onto if you want. Avoiding it is easy.

Keith W · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2015 · Points: 80

The roof (more like a bulge) is quite easy. I usually go a bit to the left of it. There is a good crack that you can get your right hand into and then you fire right up there. if you go straight up from the roof, there are many large flakes that would take some larger gear, but there are also trees up there you can belay from too. Up on the ridge, there are sometimes cracks that allow for some gear.

matt-jensen · · Hermosa Beach, CA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 10

Thanks guys, I started up this the other day (kinda late) and got rained on so I bailed. Was only a half pitch up the first. I guess it's not a roof just a wide ledge. Made the bulge with the crack and was trending right. Then had to make a decision of trend back left to end up on the left of the ledge or right to the right of the ledge. This was about 110 ft up as my belayer was at the halfway mark on the rope. I think I might be over thinking it but I'm mostly trying to make it a good experience for my partner who has never done a multipitch.

matt-jensen · · Hermosa Beach, CA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 10

The ledge/roof I was talking about is about 150ft up and about 20/30 ft wide

William Thiry · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 45

Hi Matt. Don't want to push you into doing anything that you aren't comfortable doing, but if you're up for it I recommend leaving the rope at home for this climb. There is very little opportunity for good gear placements on this slab; it is very easy and using a rope will add hours to a climb that typically takes less than an hour (some do it in less than 30 minutes); and rope teams get in the way of the potential multitude of unroped climbers you may encounter (and they will be in your way).

I've taken a lot of 1st-time climbers up this route, including my non-climbing wife and a wedding party among others, and though some were frightened all made it relatively easily.

The easiest way is probably starting on the right side and then angling up to the left side of the ridge after about 200 feet or so. I do not recall any roofs on the route, but perhaps a few minor bulges that are usually easy to climb or can be avoided left or right.

I'm not saying it will be casual for a relatively inexperienced climber - it can be 'exciting' in a few places without a rope - but if you can maintain your wits and identify the easiest path you will find that falling would be an almost impossible event and the experience will be very rewarding.

Mathias · · Loveland, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 290

I and my wife soloed this recently. There are easy options up there. I was feeling bolder than her that day so we took slightly different paths at some points. I don't remember much about gear potential but it certainly looked like there were places for natural anchors.

The only part that was a big deal was the jump. I'd read about it but didn't think much of it. As she wasn't keen on that idea, we down climbed to climber's left about 15-20' below the jump point, on to the slab below. There are some bushes down there that should make it more obvious. Not that the jump looked like a big deal but she's not got the best knees.

matt-jensen · · Hermosa Beach, CA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 10

Thanks for the suggestions everyone, really appreciate it

BoulderCharles · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 80

Just for some more information, a few months back I came across a climber who had fallen/slid down the 2nd from about 40 feet up. Yes, I know it's easy for experienced climbers but that doesn't mean there isn't a need for a rope with a new climber. Risk (small) vs Reward (moving faster) vs Consequence (scared climber or worse).

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply