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Routes in Fourth Flatironette

East Face and South Ridge T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Type: Trad, 300 ft, 2 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 317 total · 2/month
Shared By: George Bell on May 2, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details


This is a strange climb. Not only is it more lichen climbing than rock climbing, but most of the first pitch you are only 20 feet above the Royal Arch Trail - literally, as it zig-zags up the south side of this formation. The climb is about 300' long (2 pitches).

Step onto the lichen near the left (south) side of the East Face (a few feet right of the trail), and head up. Protection can be found but you have to work at it. The climbing is quite easy but the lichen makes it scary. Near the crux you will see two large Ponderosa Pines above you. One of them grows by the trail and up the South Face, the other is on the East Face itself. The crux is heading straight up the left edge of the East Face between these two trees.

There is pro behind a hollow ear-like flake off to the left below the crux. Unfortunately it's quite exposed moving left to this flake, take care not to drop anything (particularly yourself) onto a passing hiker. After the crux lichen, exit into a tree and onto a large ledge. After this section the climbing eases to 4th class and the lichen is less. You can belay as the face turns more to a ridge and heads right (south).

The last pitch is 3rd or 4th class and ends at some pitons just before the summit. To descend, downclimb the route for 75' or so, and walk off west on an easy ledge.


Light rack to a #3 Camalot.


Long Ranger
Boulder, Colorado
Long Ranger   Boulder, Colorado
I mistakenly downclimbed this route after Yodeling Moves, thinking it was the much easier Last Flatironette or Lost Flatironette, and what they hay - it was right in front of me. Everything went fine until just before the tree - there's no real way to avoid the Suck by going north - you'll just hit pine needle infested ledges and some pretty hollow sounding flakes. The dropoff below is pretty severe.

Luckily, there is a way off the ridge to the south not far above the tree. The climbing afterwards is not too bad - the last pitch to the summit is actually really fun!, but, obtaining that traverse to the summit will require you again to climb some questionable rock. Just test your holds, some of them may move. Oct 20, 2016
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
I walked by this route again recently and there is now *TONS* of poisin ivy visible at the base. Beware! May 28, 2002
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Beware of poisin ivy in the vicinity of this route. We both seemed to have picked up a little. Maybe this route does deserve a bomb ... May 15, 2002
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Well, I guess maybe I have less aversion to lichen. I keep thinking "Man this would be an OK climb if all this lichen was cleaned off!". At least there is no bushwhacking to the base of this route as it's right off the trail (unlike 1911 gully).

I think I've only given 2/32 routes the bomb, it seems a bomb will guarantee nobody will ever try it. May 9, 2002
Yes, I did recently climb this damn thing for the second time because I mistook it for the Fourth Flatiron. How embarrassing. You'll know when you're at the Fourth Flatiron when it ACTUALLY touches the Royal Arch Trail, not just gets close to it. Also, ten feet up on a ledge is currently a cairn on the Fourth Flatiron. If you don't see these signs turn around. This route sucks!

I've soloed it twice and there is a very dicey section fifty or more feet off the deck. Both times I've regretted not having a rope... But, like Warren said, the only reason to do this route is a quest to do every route. Oh, one other reason to do it: by mistake! :-)

I also agree that this is zero star route and I'd definitely give the 1911 Gully one star. It didn't have any poison ivy in it when I did it - just ferns - and the upper part of the 1911 Gully is fun climbing. May 9, 2002
George, I just realized you gave this one (1) star? I thought it was horrible. I think 1911 Gully was way better and we gave that one a Bomb... What's up with that?

I'd go back to 1911. I'll never go back to this...

Your turning soft on me here...

WT May 9, 2002
HMMMM grubby, yes, very much so.

Nope, not recommended. Only for those cursed with having to complete all the climbs on the Roach book... Or those who climb it thinking it is the Fourth Flatiron... I think Bill did this by accident last week...

Would be a major mind trip to solo... May 9, 2002