Type: Trad, 6 pitches
FA: Baker Armstrong?
Page Views: 13,880 total · 67/month
Shared By: Warren Teissier on Jan 7, 2002 with updates from Dan Petty
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details


This is a classic route. It is exposed without being overwhelming and keeps the technical difficulty in the first moves of the first pitch. I am thinking date climb or if you're without a date, solo climb.... This climb can be finished by either completing the ascent of the First, via the North Arete, or downclimbing a bit to the start of the North Arete and down to hiking territory.

Start at the same place where ZigZag and The Roof routes start (see description), but rather than going up the slab, look for a small alcove on the right of the slab next to the trail. This alcove leads to a small vertical wall. From the alcove and above the wall, you will see a small tree, maybe some 40 feet up. This tree is a shared belay with the first pitch of Fandango. Getting up that small wall and to the tree is the crux of the route.

From the tree, continue up a small trough for some 10 feet, and then traverse right and only slightly up. You are aiming for a weakness on the small step to your right. Above that small weakness you will see a small gully climbing diagonally to the North with some small trees.

Once you are on top of the small step, the gully becomes very defined. Many of our friends have missed this gully and gone in exploration trips into undocumented gullies further up the wall....

Once on the gully, scramble up passing the junction knob on your right and until you reach the arete. This is really easy climbing.


Standard Flatiron rack.
Climbed this classic route yesterday. We started the route at the easy access point below the start of Zig-Zag (2-3 switch-backs down). We climbed for about one and a half pitches straight up, shortly after a bulge, there was a fixed bolt. About 10 feet above the bolt there was an obvious slot that allowed us to angle up and right. Followed a serious of right angling ramps for a few pitches to the arete. Some parts of the arete were a little runout but nothing to serious.

Excellent climb!!! Jun 9, 2003
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
For those of use who find the Standard Route on the First a bit freaky to free solo, this route would appear to be a better alternative. However, I have always found the initial moves over the small overhang pretty spooky sans rope. Although this crux is only 20 feet up the route, because the ground slopes away to your right a fall from here would be pretty ugly. Perhaps I have never gone the easiest way, but there always seems to be a short section without great jugs for handholds. I suggest the following route as the most "casual" free solo of the First Flatiron: climb Fandango to the tree mentioned in the above description, then follow Baker's Way to the North Ridge and onward to the summit. Downclimb via the SW Face. For more fun do Freeway on the Second Flatiron as an approach. Apr 27, 2004
Chris Zeller
Boulder, CO
Chris Zeller   Boulder, CO
I noticed a rap anchor at the top of Baker's Way just as the upper gully gains the ridge. It's a small cable threaded under a block. It looks like you could rap west from there all the way to the ground with a 60m (didn't try it). This might be useful in an emergency in order to cut out the upper ridge. Aug 23, 2005
William McGehee
Choctaw, OK
William McGehee   Choctaw, OK
George and I climbed this route tonight. It is a wonderful moonlight solo adventure. In the light of a waning moon even, the route is do-able, though if you have not climbed this way maybe twice before, it might not be a great idea as a solo, even as roped. If you have climbed it a few times before, DO IT! It's more fun for me than the Third at night.

I got a laugh when I saw the anchor on the summit ridge junction. Someone had backed it up with a sling! What a hoot. Even added a beefier screw-link... The rappel is possible here with a single 50m rope. Just be certain that you have the middle for safety, but I think even a 50 leaves a bit of rope on the ground. One suggestion about the anchor however... Leave the overlapped, doubled up part BEHIND the slung horn/tunnel. This will decrease the amount of pressure damage on the cable due to the tapering of the crack. You'll understand when you get up there and see it. It also isolates the cable clamps regarding tensile stress. It's just a better idea to have the doubled-up part in the tunnel and the single line part on the downhill side. It was designed to fit that way in the first place.

~Wm Aug 24, 2005
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Actually so low-angle as to make it less fun. Jun 3, 2007
Mike McMahon
Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT
Mike McMahon   Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT
So, the first time I attempted this one, I ended up on a strange Zig Zag/Kamikazee/Atlanta variation. Well, I tried it again tonight, and I clearly climbed the first pitch (40' or so) correctly to a slung tree. After that, I'm assuming I missed the north gully. I ended up at a huge slung tree maybe a rope length above the first slung tree. I cut right here, and followed a major gully to the N. Arete. I think this last bit of climbing is Gerry Roach's Fandango var. 3. Maybe I'll get it next time! Oct 18, 2007
Phil Lauffen
Innsbruck, AT
Phil Lauffen   Innsbruck, AT  
I definitely missed the step up and then the gully....but the gully I found farther up wasn't bad t'all. I feel this is simply a rising traverse of the First Flatiron. Don't worry too much about getting 'off route', unless it leads you into dangerous territory. Aug 25, 2008
William Thiry
Las Vegas
William Thiry   Las Vegas
The 1st pitch is the steepest and easy fun. Traversing over into the gully is kind of fun, too. The rest of the way is basically hiking territory, which is fine, but not really climbing (you can do the last 300 feet hands-free). May 28, 2014
Bear Creek, CO
percious   Bear Creek, CO
The instructions to the first belay are wrong in the description. After pulling the initial overhang, you want to look right and head towards a line of weakness leading to the troth. Heading left puts you on fandango. The large tree is the second belay for Gandango, NOT Baker's Way. Nov 27, 2016
Long Ranger
Boulder, CO
Long Ranger   Boulder, CO
I'm a little surprised the FA for this route in MP isn't granted to Baker Armstrong - the route bears his name. May 11, 2018