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Best Flaitorion climb for a couple of out of shape, over worked parents.


Original Post
Jon Powell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 5
  1. Hey guys. We are a married couple from Georgia who has let our climbing skills get slack.  Running a business and raising 2 boys has resulted in climbing taking a back seat. We are not newbs but we are not in same climbing condition now as we where 3 years ago. I'm wanting to surprise my wife with a long weekend trip to climb the flatirons.  Our style of climbing on the east coast has been a mixture of face and slab multi pitch routes. What would be a few good easy routes for us to do? Are there any with fixed anchors? What is the descent like? Are 2 ropes required for the rapps? Ive got a pretty large rack but what gear is needed. Lastly what is the best time or the earliest the weather warms up? Thanks. 
Garth Sundem · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 15

The weather's great right now! Then again, sometimes we get snowed out in April... Probably your best route would be East Face of the Third, but it's closed due to raptors 'till late July. Instead, you could consider Direct Route on the First, which is always open but has a kinda scary first pitch and you gotta build some gear anchors. Maybe warm up with a scamper up Freeway on the Second? Or check out the North Face of the Matron with its wild free-hanging rappel. If you want the best experience, maybe get in touch with Ryan at Boulder Climbing Guides. He could open up Eldo as a possibility for you as well. Good luck!

Mike Hensley · · Lafayette, CO · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 25

I would advise against the North Face of the Matron for these two only because the first pitch is a little weird and the approach is long. The Direct Route on the First is great. Fandango is great. If you're coming from Georgia, and you're out of shape, stick to the First. It's easy climbing, but you'll still have a really good time.

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 579

Jon, it would be helpful to have an idea when you might visit and what sort of grade range.

Also, would you prefer the most classic routes or maybe some privacy?

As far as best time, depends what you want to climb and your willingness to chance the weather.

Some bird closures till about August 1, for example.

Finally, even though physically you may be a little weaker than usual how's the feel for exposure, relatively complicated route finding, rope work, etc?

For example, the N Face of the Maiden is superb and likely not crowded, but somewhat complex for it's grade.

https://www.mountainproject.com/route/105750454/north-face

Jon Powell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 5
Mark E Dixon wrote:

Jon, it would be helpful to have an idea when you might visit and what sort of grade range.

Also, would you prefer the most classic routes or maybe some privacy?

As far as best time, depends what you want to climb and your willingness to chance the weather.

Some bird closures till about August 1, for example.

Finally, even though physically you may be a little weaker than usual how's the feel for exposure, relatively complicated route finding, rope work, etc?

For example, the N Face of the Maiden is superb and likely not crowded, but somewhat complex for it's grade.

https://www.mountainproject.com/route/105750454/north-face

I'm not to concerned about a time so I guess what ever the locals wouod recommend as the best time. As far as grade on gear i stick to 5.6-5.7 and as many pitches as I can get in. My last big day out was a classic east coast  link up of a 6 pitch 5.5, 5 pitch 5.6 and a 5.5 5 pitch. Exposure does not bother me. 

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 579

OK, at that standard, many of the best routes are pretty sunny, being east or south facing. In general then, earlier in the summer might be best.

The chief exception being the 3rd Flatiron which is closed for raptors until August 1st. It often opens a week or two early, but that's unpredictable.

The east face of the 3rd is truly a classic, but will be crowded. Many bolted anchors, but best to be prepared to place your own, as they may be occupied.

https://www.mountainproject.com/route/105748047/east-face-standard

The First Flatiron is also excellent and doesn't close.

It will also be busy on a weekend. And even on a weekday.

The east face is nice. 

https://www.mountainproject.com/route/105748268/direct-route

I prefer the North ridge, but both are good.

https://www.mountainproject.com/route/105752794/north-arete

You could combine the First Flatironette with The Spy and finish on the N ridge with a little easy bushwhacking between routes. You will have privacy on the Flatironette and the Spy.

https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105746188/first-flatironette

https://www.mountainproject.com/route/105752632/east-ridge

The east face of Seal Rock is excellent and will be uncrowded. A nice rap down a very pretty N face too.

https://www.mountainproject.com/route/105751645/east-face-north-sideseal-rock

I also really enjoyed the Slab, especially if, once you reach the horizontal part of the ridge, you just keep going south until you run out of rock to climb. 

https://www.mountainproject.com/route/105756877/northeast-arete

If you really want to get away from it all in a very cool canyon, there's Angel's Way, which you could probably scramble

https://www.mountainproject.com/route/105758545/angels-way

or the Mohling Arete (which I haven't done but is supposed to be good)

https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105746203/ridge-4-aka-mohling-arete



Mike Hensley · · Lafayette, CO · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 25
Mark E Dixon wrote:

You could combine the First Flatironette with The Spy and finish on the N ridge with a little easy bushwhacking between routes. You will have privacy on the Flatironette and The Spy.


Agree that this would be a fun day. 

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 773

Whatsa "Flaitorian"?

Best, OLH

Just Solo · · Colorado Springs · Joined Nov 2003 · Points: 80

Keep in mind, Georgia out of shape and Colorado out of shape are two different things. You will have altitude to deal with. Try to spend a day or two hiking around, recon etc. to acclimatize a bit if you have time. Lots of water, etc. etc... 

Daniel Joder · · Barcelona, Spain · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

Not sure how well it has been emphasized in previous posts, but Flatiron climbs typically involve some long runouts on fairly easy ground. The Direct East Face on the First, for example, could be scary for a lot of folks. You are looking at a possible ground fall (slide) from maybe 80’ up as you clip that second bolt. On the other hand, many folks are comfortable just free soloing the route. So, it will depend on your comfort level on low angle, frictiony, fairly easy slab. 

Jeremy C · · Golden, CO · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 195

Climb the 2nd on ropes. Be prepared to build gear anchors. If thats fun, move on to easier routes on the 1st. For the Direct face of the 1st, you will want to feel very comfortable moving up a fairly blank 50 degree slab ocean for hundreds of feet with little gear. Flatiron climbing can be intimidating at first and routefinding can often be more difficult than you would think. But it is some of the most enjoyable climbing I have personally found.

Don Fay · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 15

Seal Rock is tons of fun, you'll need two ropes for the wacky dangling rap, though.   Not sure about raptor situation this time of year..

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 877
Old lady H wrote:

Whatsa "Flaitorian"?

Best, OLH

It’s a person that keeps detailed records and history of farts. 

Tim Meehan · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 285

Here's another vote for north side, east face, Seal Rock.  You'll definitely want two 60 m ropes, and maybe a diaper, for that rap.  I'm happy to loan you a tag line if I'm around when you're in town.  Another great flatiron is the Fifth. Very little traffic, easy one-rope rap off the top. There are also several link-up options that start at the Regency, including Regency -> Anomaly -> Amoeboid, or Regency -> Royal Arch -> Fifth Flatiron.

All stuff listed should be open all summer. All are easy and have better than average pro, but still expect 20-foot run outs to be common. All will be stinking hot from June through August, 10 am to 3 pm. For up to date closure info, see here: https://maps.bouldercolorado.gov/wildlife-closures/.  Bolted belays aren't really a thing in the Flatirons.  Some will have bolted rap anchors, but be prepared with extra webbing or cord and a rap ring or quick link. For gear, bring a standard rack.  If you have tricams, bring them for the flared cracks and pockets. Getting decent pro on a flatiron takes patience and creativity, and a loose definition of decent.

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 579
Tim Meehan wrote:

 There are also several link-up options that start at the Regency, including Regency -> Anomaly -> Amoeboid, or Regency -> Royal Arch -> Fifth Flatiron.

I can speak to this link-up as far as Royal Arch, (haven't taken the 5th) - it's a great scramble/easy climb.

Lucas O.K. · · Denver CO · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 0

How old and out of shape? The only drive up climbing in the area is the indoor gyms and Eldo. If you can climb harder trad  Eldorado canyon has the The Bastille wall right on the road, sandbag grades but no hike! If you wanna check out Golden Clear Creek Canal zone is the easiest hike to moderate climbing I can think of off hand.

https://www.mountainproject.com/route/105748490/the-bastille-crack

As for climbing in Boulder as a concerned Boulderite I thought I'd chime in and ask if you are training your legs? walking up stairs or doing stair master in your rock shoes (add a hankerchief or scarf over nose and mouth to simulate the thin air and heavy breathing you'll be doing on the Flaitorion"  It is wise to do some specific training.  Or go to the oxygen bar on 10th off Pearl St before climbing.

Climbing the Flait's = Be ready for the dreaded

Calf Burn-out.(sewing machine)

Easy Flaitorion routes are slabs not really any full body or arms needed. Basically long long long technical walk ups, very leg intense.

Get ready for the burn as you try to route find and build anchors and not being able to breath the thin air.

First day in Boulder Consider driving up to parking lot and simply walking up to the base of the first Flait and back. The walk to the 2nd and 3rd are longer and steeper. It's lots of vertical gain. Do to drink a gallon each of pure or spring water each day in Boulder.

Summiting the 1st is EPIC. The walk along the top to the left side summit and rap anchor is sketchy and difficult to protect but worth it as you get a free hanging rappel, Very Fun.

Do bring a couple of cell phone and you can always call the hunks and heroes at Boulder Search and Rescue for a rescue or advice on how to self rescue if stuck. 

303.443.4081 program this into your phones.

https://www.boulderrescue.org


Daniel Joder · · Barcelona, Spain · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

Grant is right on that climbing the First Flatiron is spectacular. As you work your way along the summit ridge the views of Boulder and the Continental Divide can’t be beat. The rappel (a single 60m rope will do it, but bring a 70m anyway for the climb as it makes the belay points work much better) is very straight forward off of two huge eyebolts on the summit. As Grant said, it is indeed partly hanging but not at all “sketchy and difficult to protect”—perhaps he is referring to another, non-standard, rappel??? Or more likely he is simply referring to the ridge climb/walk which is protectable where you need it. If you could only climb one route while you are here, I’d do the Direct East Face on the First. To reiterate what I posted earlier, the first two pitches have very long runouts that could be scary, but the climbing is not difficult if you are accustomed to low angle friction. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Colorado
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