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Routes in Third Flatiron

1911 Gully T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Blazing Biners T,S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
College Drop Out aka East Face North Side T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Direct West Face a/k/a Western Skyline T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Doctor Merkwurdigliebe T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Dog's Head Cutoff T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c R
East Face (Standard) T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
East Face Left T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Extra Point T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Falcon's Fracture T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Feathers and Stone S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Friday's Folly T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Friday's Folly Direct T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Funny Games T,TR 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b R
Greenman's Crack T,TR 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a R
Holier than Thou S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Inner Sanctum T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
Northwest Passage T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Pentaprance T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
Ph.D. Roof T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Rite Of Spring T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Saturday's Folly T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Sayonara T,S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Shoyu State S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
South Chimney T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Southwest Chimney T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Super Woo T 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Thin Crack T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13
Third Kingdom/Papillion T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Third World Zone T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c R
Unnamed (formerly entered as Problem Child) T,TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
Waiting For Columbus T,S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
West Door T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
West Face [3rd Flatrion] T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Winky Woo T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c R
Wrongs of Fall T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
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Type: Trad, 6 pitches
FA: Richard and Joyce Rossiter, 1982.
Page Views: 13,378 total · 61/month
Shared By: Ben Mottinger on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details
Access Issue: Some crags in this area are closed 1 February to 31 July: Details


If you're like me, the rating scale for slab climbs is different than vertical crack climbs. In other words, a 5.7s Flatiron and Eldo climb are very different in nature. You won't notice a 80ft. runout on the Third like you would on a climb like Icarus (5.6s) in Eldo. With that said, be wary, but not scared off by the serious fall potential rating.

Start from the East Bench and move straight up. You may also move to the L and belay at a small tree on the edge of the channel. After three pitches, you can either move R of the "U", (7s) or through the middle (6s). After this fork, two more pitches will gain the summit.

DESCENT: There are three rappels from fixed eye-bolts. A single 50m rope is sufficient; on the last rappel, you may either use a double-rope for the 140ft. mostly free-rappel or traverse [left] on a ledge and rap 72ft. on a single rope to the West Bench.


Standard rack on the light side.
Ben Mottinger

Ben Mottinger    
Did the route again for the second time today (after jaunts up the 1st and 2nd) and it really is spectacular. If you stay as far right as possible for the whole route, the climb is even more airy, clean, and aesthetic. Oct 13, 2001
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
...This route indeed is very runout but I'm not sure there is any 5.7 on it. Keep a cool head and it is not bad at all. Jul 23, 2002
Jason Carter
Monument, CO
Jason Carter   Monument, CO
Climbed this recently, and using Rossiter's book climbed the shelf ramp just off the right edge of the east face for the first pitch. The start of the ramp is up and to the north of the 3rds base. It goes up 60m then it peters out and you gain the east face by overcoming the wall via a precarious bulging crack, 5.8. At this point the route just stays along the right edge of the east face and is a cruiser. You can see the ramp in the photo above. Is that some other route? The route line above just seems to follow the east face's right edge...hmm. Aug 2, 2002
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Jason, I think these are just 2 ways to start this route. Rossiter also mentions a third possibility, "PhD Roof, 10c" which starts like you did and gains the east face using a crack through a roof. These routes all join after this section (although there are certainly plenty of variations to the upper part as well). Aug 2, 2002
Jason Carter
Monument, CO
Jason Carter   Monument, CO
Yes, thanks George - I have found that indeed we followed the ramp up 60m to a belay right at the base of the phdroof crack - we gave that a shot but had to back down about 4' and pull over on some edges - I did the roof on toprope and found it to be commiting, but very climable with good hands, but awkard feet - it has good pro and could go on lead with some gumption- I recomend the ramp variation of this route, but be prepared for an adventure getting off the ramp and onto the east face proper.... the ramp is a lot steeper than it looks, has small friction holds and has some lichen on it but the pro is good....... Aug 6, 2002
Jason Carter
Monument, CO
Jason Carter   Monument, CO
Climbed this again and started from the east bench. This is recommended as opposed to the PhD Roof ramp which is very lichen plastered.

This time following the north edge of the 3rd as much as possible I wanted to locate the 's' section(s). For those who will follow that line, the 's' rating is deserved for that section that is in-between the "U's" right edge and the edge of the Flatiron. There truly is no pro from the base of the "U" until you traverse left at its top. There is a thumb sized horn on the edge about mid-way up that can be slung for "mental" pro. That said, the climbing is not difficult and the rock quality excellent.

Really a top notch piece of rock. Finish the day with Friday's Folly for a comparison of 5.7 routes. Oct 4, 2004
Last year, I was able to do this route in 4X200ft pitches. If you start from the East Bench, and go towards the tree, instead of belaying there keep going until you run out of rope (hopefully finding an anchor). Stretch the next pitch out, too. The end of the third pitch put me at the top of the U, with a belay at a small perch (move left slightly). This belay was the first gear in about 60-70 feet, keep going, you'll find it, but only if you pushed the first two pitches as far as you can. The fourth pitch then stretches to the top. I tried to do this again this year, but belayed at the tree and screwed up my whole plan. I kept trying to stretch long pitches and ended up at shitty belays. Oh well, it's possible. I'm always more scared leading this than soloing, something about being pulled on by 200 feet of rope drag. Also, if you get stuck in a storm, or need to bail to get to work, head left of the summit towards the huge crack that turns into a huge gully/slot. This is more like 4th class, but a bit loose. At the top of the slot it is room like, definitely big enough to wait out a bad storm, or at least avoid soaking and lightning. A few bouldery moves towards the west puts you at the base of the first rappel. From here, it is just two short rappels to the ground (remember to move left to get to the bolts for the single rope rap). We did this to get off the face quicker, and it worked well as a "quick" retreat. Oct 4, 2004
Guy H.
Fort Collins CO
  5.6 X
Guy H.   Fort Collins CO
  5.6 X
I think some of the best climbing on this route is on the last 230ft of the route. The paint on the 5.7 pitch is kind of an eyesore. There is a blackish water groove about 20ft from the right edge that is great. The plate climbing that follows is also a blast. You have to avoid placing gear to climb these features (40ft runouts), but it is a lot of fun.

This is the best east face route on the Third, in my opinion.... Dec 19, 2004
Steve Marr
Colorado Springs, CO
Steve Marr   Colorado Springs, CO
Great route that avoids the crowds on the Standard Route. Some of the best moves on the route are the transition to the face on the second pitch (above the tree). About half way between the tree and the base of the PhD Roof, look for a large, pointed flake that points toward the roof. This is where we climbed up and over - steep, but good holds, good protection, and not a lot of lichen. You could also transition to the face from the first belay at the tree, but rope drag might be a problem. Nov 21, 2005
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
I climbed this last summer with a friend who had little rock climbing experience and I found it interesting to try do do it in four 60m pitches. Lengthwise, I think it is possible (to be fair, no simulclimbing is allowed!!). The problem is that belays do not always occur at the end of ropelengths, and on the last pitch I ran out of rope 30 feet short of the summit. So I belayed off that huge chickenhead (on the standard route), and we did a very short 5th pitch. Darn! Dec 21, 2006
Daniel Evans
Phoenix, AZ
Daniel Evans   Phoenix, AZ
Climbed this skirting the N arete up to the "U" but then traversed left (staying to the climber's right of the large cut that splits the top middle half) for easier climbing to avoid the runout 5.7 along the remaining North arete to the summit. Did this in 5 pitches with a 60m rope starting from the end of the trail. Easy 5.0-5.2 the entire way up with the exception of the last 20 feet to the summit which featured positive crimp holds on a 5.4 slab. Gear placements were far and few between, but I would recommend to at least bring a single rack of cams to use for the anchors. Sep 18, 2015
George W
  5.6 R
George W  
  5.6 R
This route provided some escape from the nearby Standard, which was full of parties. While nothing feels 5.7, it is certainly run out at times. It does not seem that the route depicted on the picture with the white dashed lines is accurate. Sure, you could go that way, but there is less pro in the lower portion and lots of lichen. It doesn't seem that anyone actually stays on the arĂȘte for the whole climb. Instead, it seems most parties traverse left to a big tree and then up the obvious weakness, eventually ending up at the edge below the U. This provides some decent opportunities for pro. Fun stuff! Oct 19, 2015
Awesome route. Did it easily in 4 pitches with a 70m rope and found good belays each time. Staying right of the U was great fun! Casual moves and no gear for ages! 5.6X. Aug 20, 2017
Carl Schaefer
Boulder, CO
5.6 R
Carl Schaefer   Boulder, CO
5.6 R
It goes easily in four pitches with a 70m. A couple long run-out sections on easy terrain, like to the right of the "U", and in case there's anybody other than me to whom this wasn't obvious, the "U" isn't a rock feature, it's the faded remains of a large painted "CU" near the top. Nov 20, 2017

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