Type: Trad
FA: unknown
Page Views: 6,548 total · 30/month
Shared By: George Bell on Apr 2, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details


Another fun Flatiron route with a reasonably short approach. This climb is approximately 300' long. The bottom of the east face of the Spy is connected to the north edge of the First Flatironette. Climb this face near it's north (right) edge to a five foot vertical step, where the Spy becomes a separate rock. Climb over the step either on the left (5.3) or right (slightly harder).

Now follow the narrowing arete to the summit. Very exposed and not much pro. Since you are on a narrow fin, a fall by either leader or follower could result in a pendulum down either side, and it might be hard to return to the route.

From the summit, continue west and pass an overhang by means of a jump. Hike back down the north side of the rock.


Light rack
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
A good combo is to do this route and then the North Arete on the First Flatiron. Apr 22, 2003
a note about getting off of the spy: near the top, after crossing the flat blocky section, stay on the fin and belay off a big flake on the top. to get back to the ground, scramble down off the fin (very easy and safe - this is not "the jump"), then climb up the slab directly behind you. "the jump" is off of the top left corner of the slab. not as bad as it looks at first sight. if one of you is more confident than the other, you can sling the top of the slab you jump to with a tied off cordelette and tie your partner off to give them a bit more confidence.

a fun route. Apr 7, 2004
Mike McMahon
Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT
Mike McMahon   Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT
The Spy is actually a good climb with really solid holds. Seeing the level of exposure on all sides, if nothing else, a rope would have been a pychological booster! I'm not sure where the 'jump' was, it's been a while, but I remember getting off the summit as being pretty straight-forward. Jun 17, 2007
Ebb Ebbing
Vancouver, WA
  5.3 R
Ebb Ebbing   Vancouver, WA
  5.3 R
There's a real nice photo up above of "the jump." Definitely unnerving the first time you try it, but it looks much worse (from the jumper's vantage point) than it is! :) Jul 23, 2008
Phil Lauffen
Innsbruck, AT
Phil Lauffen   Innsbruck, AT  
This is a cool scramble with the exposure on both sides! Complete psychological mind trip! Be careful to descend to the north, as to the south it cliffs out. Maybe it was the snow, but I got mildly trapped about 20 feet over some pointy rocks while trying to get to the standard face of the first. Apr 7, 2009
Jeff Welch
Denver, CO
Jeff Welch   Denver, CO
Great exposure on the thin rib! I found this to be a little more mentally challenging than most easy Flatirons climbs, but it really made for a unique experience. Aug 16, 2009
Chris Plesko
Westminster, CO
Chris Plesko   Westminster, CO
Despite the crappy first pitch and the too short length, I keep coming back. Really fun solo to link with North Arete on the 1st. Wish it was longer! Mar 20, 2011
Rob Nevitt
Louisville, CO
Rob Nevitt   Louisville, CO
For those of you who prefer the safety of a rope... I led the first pitch. About 30 feet above the 5-foot vertical step I was found a reasonable belay crack. I was able to get 4 of my smallest pieces to build a solid anchor, and, in retrospect, I would not have been able to build a multi-piece anchor any higher. My partner Dale led the 2nd = crux pitch. Above the belay, Dale placed 2 or 3 pieces before the crux where there was absolutely no gear which made the runout deserving of the R rating. At the top of the crux, protection was again available. Dale set up a belay at the summit immediately before 'the jump', though this used every bit of our 60 meter rope.

'The jump' was reasonable. I would agree that this climb requires more care than the average east face scramble because of the continuous exposure. Jul 25, 2013
Ryan Marsters
5.2 PG13
Ryan Marsters  
5.2 PG13
The jump is easy, but it can also be easily downclimbed. Turn around and lower off the edge slightly descender's right of the jump to hidden but big feet.

The crux step had three options - left (5.0ish), right (5.3), or a crack center left (5.6ish move). Aug 13, 2014