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East Face/First Flatironette

5.2, Trad, 350 ft, 2 pitches,  Avg: 2.3 from 91 votes
FA: unknown
Colorado > Boulder > Flatirons > North > First Flatironette
Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details

Description

The East Face of the First Flatironette is generally climbable. Why is there only one route on this broad slab? Well, there could be dozens, but the climbing is all generally the same and wandering a little here and there keeps the general difficulty at about 5.2. The only real difference from one section to another is how continuous the climb might be or how many trees and gullies you might pass along the way. Rossiter suggests going up from the low, left-hand edge of the rock past a few gullies to the most continuous and solid part of the face. This is perhaps 100 feet up and right of the very base. I agree that the climbing from this point is great. Climb up and onward, tending slightly left past flakes, cracks, and pockets for a few pitches to reach the summit.

This is a fine climb at its grade and perhaps the best Flatirons introduction to slower parties and less confident leaders. Like any Flatiron, there are to be some runouts, but the lack of difficulty and frequent secure rests will likely keep even a skittish leader's head cool.

Descend by scrambling the ridgeline up top to a point where you can step, hop, or scramble off to the west. Next, walk north past a gully, past The Spy, and continue North down a hill until you reach a well-traveled East/West Trail. Head East on this trail to gain the cliff base again. This trail is pretty good and should take only 5-10 minutes.

Protection

A standard light rack.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Looking down from the top....
[Hide Photo] Looking down from the top....
Greg near the top of the East Face.
[Hide Photo] Greg near the top of the East Face.
We took a line through what appeared to be about the cleanest part of the face. Definitely Class 5 and reasonably well protected after the initial slab.
[Hide Photo] We took a line through what appeared to be about the cleanest part of the face. Definitely Class 5 and reasonably well protected after the initial slab.
I chose this for P1 up to the large block with the little tree, ~35m.  Comfy belay spot and you can talk to your second.  The second pitch will get you 6 feet  below the very peak of the south pinnacle with a 60m rope.  Might be a short 5.4 crux, I was wearing sneakers, so I couldn't tell.  Probably got in 5 pieces on this pitch, so it protects reasonably.
[Hide Photo] I chose this for P1 up to the large block with the little tree, ~35m. Comfy belay spot and you can talk to your second. The second pitch will get you 6 feet below the very peak of the south pinn…
Dylan and his Grandma Diana on his first climb.
[Hide Photo] Dylan and his Grandma Diana on his first climb.
Early morning on top of the First Flatironette.
[Hide Photo] Early morning on top of the First Flatironette.
Behind the Spy on top of Flatiornette 1.
[Hide Photo] Behind the Spy on top of Flatiornette 1.
Starting low on the First Flatironette in December, after having been frozen off the First Flatiron.  'Twas a fun little consolation prize.
[Hide Photo] Starting low on the First Flatironette in December, after having been frozen off the First Flatiron. 'Twas a fun little consolation prize.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] Good First Lead. Not particularily memorable, but plenty of opportunity to place pro and very moderate climbing. May 5, 2003
[Hide Comment] A nice fun climb with great views, excellent if you're new to leading multipitch or getting back into it. Also, even on weekends when other climbs are crowded, you'll probably share this rock with at most a couple of other groups. We climbed the main part of the face (past the 2 gullies); the first 100 feet or so up to 2 large flakes is easy but somewhat run out, I think I placed maybe 5 pieces total. After that protection is much more evident and rock is lower angled, we took 2 1/2 pitches to get to the "summit" where you just downclimb about 10 feet to get off. It's a great climb even for beginners, but if you have a leader who is more experienced and a leader who is less experienced, the more experienced person should take the first pitch. Walk off via the quasi-trail to the North of the Spy (the next rock to the right) Jun 7, 2005
[Hide Comment] Fun climb. My opinion: Don't bother with a rope, it will do you more harm than good. If you are not comfortable climbing this 'sans rope', then ya might want to leave it for another day. Sep 20, 2007
[Hide Comment] Still a good crag when the First is just too long & late in the day for a date climb. The cleanest line started uphill & offered a couple of really fun sections. Wish I had a 70m, but it was cool all the same.

Any excuse to get out and be near the Southern Sun!! Oct 21, 2007
HTP
Longmont, CO
 
[Hide Comment] The hub and I did our first trad lead on the East Face. We started north of the two gullies per Roach's guide. Pro was thin off the deck but improved. On P2, I wandered right toward the exit for the last 60 feet or so, and while gear was thin to nonexistent there, the climbing was easy. The best part? It was a beautiful Saturday, and though we could see plenty of other climbers on the First and Third, we were alone on the Flatironette. Sep 6, 2008
Jeff Welch
Denver, CO
  5.2 R
[Hide Comment] If you felt like this was over too quickly, as I did, you can walk 50ft down the gully between the Flatironette's summit and the Spy, and climb the Spy to its top.

A good climb to take a beginner up, but not a good beginner lead. Runout even by Flatirons standards, especially if you take the cleaner (more funner) rock. Aug 16, 2009
Wes B.
  5.2 R
[Hide Comment] Fun route but run out (the way we did it). We did it in 2 pitches and I think we placed 3 pieces of protection in 300'. Great views!!! Sep 14, 2009