Type: Trad, 3 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 6,426 total · 28/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Aug 26, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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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

Description

The Southwest Chimney is probably the best way off of the Third Flatiron that doesn't involve a rappel. It is NOT a walk-off, nor is it for the faint-of-heart, but if you are experienced and like to solo up Flatirons with just your rock shoes and sunglasses, this is a pretty good way to escape from the summit.

From the top of the Third, downclimb about 50 feet on the east face (the last 50 feet of the standard route) to the giant chockstone that allows easy passage between the Third Flatiron's false summit and actual summit. Traverse onto this chockstone and climb west into the alcove it creates. This leads to the ledge where the second rappel is usually made when rapping off the summit. As you're climbing through this alcove you'll notice an archway of rock to your left. Head through this arch and out to the other side. This will put you on a 10 foot wide ramp on the South side of the of the Third Flatiron that heads steeply downward and towards the East. At the bottom of this ramp, about 100 feet away, is a very large pine tree which is constantly visible. This is your goal. The ramp itself is probably 4th class scrambling. Once at the pine tree you'll see an eye bolt which marks the SW Chimney route and indicates that there is 148' of downclimbing to the ground. Head down and SW into the obvious start of the chimney. This will take you all the way to the ground.

A point of note - the climbing down the chimney is very easy, but it is VERY exposed. A fall would be very, very bad, but the holds are huge and everywhere. Unlike soloing up a Flatiron, you are doing vertical climbing here - but the climbing is indeed very easy (never exceeding 5.4) - it's just a much higher fear factor.

Once at the bottom, you can descend south of the Third Flatiron to a trail, or hike up and around the back of it to the usual descent trail. I can't imagine anyone every wanting to UP-climb this route... but I'm sure it's possible.

Protection

There is probably decent pro on this route, but I mainly am listing the description in case you are looking for a way off the Third after soloing an east face route without gear.

Photos