Adventure Projects is hiring a web engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
Mountain Project Logo

Routes in First Flatiron

Atalanta T 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
Baker's Way T 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
Butterfly T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Direct Route T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Dumais Direct T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
East Face Gully T 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
East Face North Side/1st Flatiron T 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a R
Fandango T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Fandango Variation T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
First in Flight T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
Hubris T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Kamikaze Overhangs T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Massugu T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13
North Arete T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Red Slab Variation T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Southwest Face T 5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c
Way of the Ancients T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R
Yellow Brick Road T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Zig Zag T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Order Wrong? Sort Routes
Type: Trad
FA: Gerry Roach and Jeff Wheeler, 1956
Page Views: 2,657 total · 12/month
Shared By: George Bell on May 31, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

22 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details


This route is similar to the popular Direct Route, but there are no bolts to follow and the route finding is tricky. This climb is very runout in spots (like most Flatiron climbs), but the crux is well protected.

This climb starts some distance left of and above the Direct Route. The easiest way to identify the area of the first 2 pitches is to look for a huge, diamond-shaped slab of pale yellow rock. Follow the approach for Fandango, scrambling around the south side of a big boulder near this section of the face (the Witch's Cabin). This climb begins 40' west of the top of the Witch's Cabin.

Climb a strange, tricky looking gully, which goes through the right side of a roof. Continue up the gully, but eventually break left up the huge diamond shaped slab. Belay anywhere you can find a good anchor.

P2: Continue straight up the slab with little pro (5.4) aiming for a section of roofs above you. The roofs are the crux and there are several ways to pass them. I headed toward the far right side of one, cranked over it (good pro), and then traversed left just over the lip and below another overhang to a good belay.

P3: Head straight up, aiming for a tree about 120' above you. After this pitch the climbing becomes easier and in one more pitch joins the Direct (Regular) Route at the "route junction knob".

[This route is labeled "1a" in the
0. Far Right, 2. 1. Direct E Face, 6R. 1a. Butterfly, 6R. 2. Fandango, 5. 2a. Variation, 6. 3. Baker's Way, 3. 4. Way of the Ancients, 7R. 5. Zig Zag, 7. 6. ?Kamikaze, 9? 9. Hubris, 6. Unmarked Atlanta, 3. ]


Standard Flatiron rack.
I started the route North (Lower) than Fandango but not low enough I guess.

I started directly below the belay tree (exactly 200 feet from it). I made it up a slab (old piton with a couple of bail slings) past some flakes/roofs and to a large roof I deemed to be the crux.

Looking at the pictures now I realize I skirted the diamond shaped slab on the left. I joined the route at the top of the diamond, just before the 5.6 crux...

Neither Rossiter nor Roach have a route on the variation I did. I'd love to claim a FA but the old piton in the initial slab shows someone beat me to the punch. Unless they used it to bail...(wish full thinking)

This variation goes at 5.6/5.7 (S) and is not recommended... Mar 13, 2002
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.6 R
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
  5.6 R
After the first 60' of getting started in the trough, there is a 200'+ pitch of "Puzzle-Piece" climbing that is great. Very different than most flatiron routes, and certainly worth the time. It is pretty runout though. Apr 5, 2002
Rodger Raubach
  5.6 R
Rodger Raubach  
  5.6 R
Typical of Flatiron climbs: i.e. runout and not much protection available. On the other hand, there are good belay ledges and stances. Overall, an exciting excursion on a beautiful formation. Apr 30, 2011
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
Adventurous route finding, classic slab runouts, and just enough loose rock to make it exciting. A really fun outing. There were 3 parties on the Direct Route, and we were able to get around all of them and top out alone. Might be a good plan for proficient parties looking to avoid a traffic jam. Jul 22, 2016

More About Butterfly