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First Flatiron

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Atalanta T 
Baker's Way T 
Butterfly T 
Direct Route T 
Dumais Direct T 
East Face Gully T 
East Face North Side/1st Flatiron T 
Fandango T 
Fandango Variation T 
First in Flight T 
Hubris T 
Kamikaze Overhangs T 
Massugu T 
North Arete T 
Red Slab Variation T 
Southwest Face T 
Way of the Ancients T 
Yellow Brick Road T 
Zig Zag T 

First Flatiron Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 6,713'
Location: 39.9908, -105.2928 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 154,064
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ben Mottinger on Jan 1, 2001


67° | 47°

70° | 39°

51° | 36°

62° | 42°

63° | 39°
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BETA PHOTO: 0 Far Right, 2. 1 Direct E Face, 6R. 1a Butterfly,...

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  • Description 

    The First is a huge Flatiron with many good face routes starting from the bottom to the top of the East side. It's probably the 2nd largest Flatiron overall. The climbing is longer and more varied than the Third with huge flakes, dihedrals, and the rollercoaster ridge. Climbs range from about 4-10 pitches. Virtually every climb is a quality line. There is adventure and there are crowds. A 60m rope is nice for these routes, especially for the rappel.

    On a rare winter, you can even find an ice climb here....

    Getting There 

    From Chautauqua Park (W on Baseline, near 9th, off US 36), take the diagonalling "Chautauqua Trail" from the parking lot. At the trail intersection once in the trees, go briefly south (L), then follow signs (R) for the 1st Flatiron to the base. Depending on which route you're going to do, either take the wooden bridge to the base (routes starting near the nadir) or stay on the trail and keep hiking up the hill to the left to another trail that leads to access for climbs that start higher on the East face (e.g. Fandango). Approaches range from 20-40 minutes for the casual walker.

    Climbing Season

    Weather station 2.3 miles from here

    19 Total Climbing Routes

    ['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',10],['2 Stars',8],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

    Classic Climbing Routes in First Flatiron

    Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for First Flatiron:
    Southwest Face   5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c     Trad   
    Atalanta   5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a     Trad, Grade II   
    East Face North Side/1st Flatiron   5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a R     Trad, 5 pitches   
    Baker's Way   5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a     Trad, 6 pitches   
    North Arete   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 5 pitches   
    Fandango   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 4 pitches   
    Way of the Ancients   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R     Trad, 3 pitches, 500'   
    Massugu   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13     Trad, 3 pitches, 550'   
    Fandango Variation   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 6 pitches   
    Butterfly   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R     Trad   
    Hubris   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R     Trad, 3 pitches   
    Direct Route   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R     Trad, 10 pitches   
    Yellow Brick Road   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R     Trad, 6 pitches, 1000'   
    Zig Zag   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 5 pitches   
    Kamikaze Overhangs   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Grade II   
    Red Slab Variation   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R     Trad, 7 pitches, 1000'   
    Dumais Direct   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R     Trad, 6 pitches, 1000'   
    Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in First Flatiron

    Featured Route For First Flatiron
    Rock Climbing Photo: 0 Far Right, 2. 1 Direct E Face, 6R. 1a Butterfly,...

    Direct Route 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Colorado : Flatirons : ... : First Flatiron
    This route climbs the entire 1000+ feet of the First Flatiron, and is pure joy the whole way up. The pitches are based upon using a 50m rope. It's 7 for a 60m rope.P1: Start at the base of the Flatiron, just across and left of the bridge. Follow a water gully up, passing two eye bolts on the left side, to belay on a ledge by the tree if you have a 60meter rope. Otherwise, you'll have to belay at a small shelf about 1/2 way there.P2: Continue straight up, belaying at another nice ledge a rope...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

    Photos of First Flatiron Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Evening scramble up the First Flatiron with the Go...
    Evening scramble up the First Flatiron with the Go...
    Rock Climbing Photo: The first and second from the top of the Third.  O...
    The first and second from the top of the Third. O...
    Rock Climbing Photo: From the summit, 9/5/10, shortly after the fires b...
    From the summit, 9/5/10, shortly after the fires b...
    Rock Climbing Photo: On the last "false summit" tower.
    On the last "false summit" tower.
    Rock Climbing Photo: The "FIRST" and a junk car?
    The "FIRST" and a junk car?
    Rock Climbing Photo: Rapping off the summit.
    BETA PHOTO: Rapping off the summit.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Solo down-climbing off the summit.
    BETA PHOTO: Solo down-climbing off the summit.
    Rock Climbing Photo: The ridgeline somewhere off of First Direct/Baker'...
    The ridgeline somewhere off of First Direct/Baker'...
    Rock Climbing Photo: This is my impression of the Dumas Direct (5.8R), ...
    BETA PHOTO: This is my impression of the Dumas Direct (5.8R), ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: As of today: the sketchy eye bolt has been replace...
    As of today: the sketchy eye bolt has been replace...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Further up the trail heading towards the First Fla...
    Further up the trail heading towards the First Fla...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber following with 2nd Flatiron in the...
    Unknown climber following with 2nd Flatiron in the...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mike on False Summit of 1st Flatiron Direct East R...
    Mike on False Summit of 1st Flatiron Direct East R...
    Rock Climbing Photo: The Third Flatiron from Fandango.
    The Third Flatiron from Fandango.
    Rock Climbing Photo: My dad six pitches later.
    My dad six pitches later.
    Rock Climbing Photo: 6 in the morning and a sweet day of climbing ahead...
    6 in the morning and a sweet day of climbing ahead...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Looking south from the 1st.
    Looking south from the 1st.
    Rock Climbing Photo: First & sunset.
    First & sunset.
    Rock Climbing Photo: At the base of the Direct Route. The tree at top o...
    At the base of the Direct Route. The tree at top o...
    Rock Climbing Photo: First Flatiron. Photo by Blitzo.
    First Flatiron. Photo by Blitzo.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Start of the downclimb.
    Start of the downclimb.
    Rock Climbing Photo: First from the Third.
    BETA PHOTO: First from the Third.

    Comments on First Flatiron Add Comment
    Show which comments
    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 9, 2017
    By J. Thompson
    From: denver, co
    Feb 10, 2002
    If you solo this route in winter, TAKE A ROPE! I once had to down climb the east face when I found 3 foot ice sickles and snow all over the final summit block! I couldn't climb up to get to the down climb. What an adventure, f... I love climbing!
    By Aaron Shupp
    Feb 14, 2002
    A few summers ago there was a severe bee problem on the summit block. It is possible to avoid the nests by climbing straight up and to the left instead of circling up the ramp to the right. This requires a few slightly more difficult and committing moves than the standard top out.
    By Bryson Slothower
    Apr 24, 2002
    As of 04/19/02 there was a bee nest on the first pitch with lots of unhappy looking bees.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Jun 1, 2002
    While roping up to climb the East Face yesterday a very big lion was checking us out from the top of the Macbeth boulder. We started the climb and watched park rangers try to chase it away, to no avail. The approach and descent trails from the First Flatiron were all closed. We had to bushwack down the boulderfield to the descent trail for the Third. $1000 fee if you are caught on a closed trail. The cat did not bother us but it did make the rangers very nervous and they yelled at us multiple times not not come back to the base. Also, a cloud of bees at least the size of an SUV was roaming over the bottom pitches of the East Face. It got very close to us and the sound was pretty incredible. Lots of fun.
    By Luu
    Jul 23, 2002
    What an amazing climb, I just did the 1st flatiron direct route! First pitch was my favourite, definitely a waker-upper. Back at work now, can't believe that as I type this, 24 hours ago I was up on the big headwall. *sigh* Reality beckons!

    John Luu (Didn't feel like registering)
    By Kevin Currigan
    From: Lakewood
    Aug 30, 2002
    I was coming down the Saddle Rock Trail from the 1st today and about 200 yds. from the Gregory Canyon trailhead I met up with a bear. She was 30 yards away and looking down the trail. She didn't even know I was there until I spotted her; impressive animal. She took off down the trail and stopped about 15 yds. further down then turned and watched me. She apparently wasn't going anywhere. So, I chucked a couple of rocks grenade style into bush about ten yds. left of her. That sent her downhill into the bush. I was sure to make a lot of noise all the way to the trailhead. This is a nice alternative to the trail down the east side of the 1st.
    By Tom Wilson
    Oct 14, 2002
    We were up there Saturday (10/12/02) and did the rap in two parts, using the standard second fixed rap point on the south side. This is a single old, large eyebolt.

    We did not back up the eyebolt, but I watched it as Bryan rapped first... and THE TOP OF THE RAP ANCHOR MUST HAVE FLEXED 1/4 INCH!!

    I do not know how deep these bolts are placed in the rock, or what the bolts are like. It's difficult to back this bolt up easily, but I recommend it. Backing up fixed anchors is always a good idea, and especially this one!
    By James Garnett
    From: Bellingham, WA
    Jul 12, 2003
    This is a popular rock now; get an early start on summer weekends unless you enjoy crowds on the summit ridge!
    By flynn
    Oct 14, 2003
    Another descent option if you don't have a 60m rope is to downclimb the south face route. This is 5.1. It starts going down the west face right below the rappel bolt. Reach the monster ledge about 30 feet down, saunter around the corner to reach the south face, then diagonal - left as you're looking toward the ground - down the strata to step off the wall at an ancient snag. Establishing belay anchors, if you need them, could be a bit of an adventure, but should be manageable with springy things or TriCams.
    By Kevin Coopman
    Mar 16, 2004
    Hello, I brought my 5 year old up the First Flatiron. We had a party of 4 so it took 1-1.5 hours between pitches. If you are going to climb the Flatiron, a smaller party (2 or 3) is much, much better.
    By William McGehee
    From: Choctaw, OK
    Jul 20, 2005
    Avoid this guy in the late afternoon. Right now there are millions of gnats congregating on high points along the ridge. I climbed the Direct Route this afternoon and felt like I was in Alaska in the spring when I got to the ridge. At least they weren't mosquitos. Be prepared to swat! Rock cools off a LOT after a short period of cloud cover, so don't be afraid to head up there if you see cumulus clouds in the sky. It might be cool enough to climb on.~Wm
    By Chris Zeller
    From: Boulder, CO
    Aug 23, 2005
    I noticed a cable rap station at the top of Baker's Way where the route intersects the ridge. The cable is threaded under a large block and looks like it would go with a 60 m rope (have not tried it). This would be a good escape from either the [Direct Route] or [Baker's Way]. The direct route crosses [Baker's Way] at the gully and its very easy climbing in this gully to the ridge.
    By Peter Holcombe
    Aug 25, 2005
    I just climbed this route again today and noticed a 3rd bolt on the first pitch. It is a Leeper hanger and 1/4" rawl drive 10-20' above the 2nd big glue in bolt. It had been a while since I last did this climb but I had never noticed this before. Has anyone else noticed this? Is someone adding old bolts to routes? I thought this was strange.
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Aug 29, 2005
    Peter: The new bolt has been mentioned previously, see the comment by AC on 5/9/2005 under "Direct Route". I remember more discussion but it does not seem to be on this page any more. It seems that this is indeed a new bolt and all comments recommended removal.
    By Jerry Cagle
    From: Tucson, AZ
    May 15, 2006
    What route were David Roberts and Gabe Lee climbing when Lee fell to his death?
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    May 15, 2006
    Jerry, that is a great question and I don't know the answer. David Roberts' new book talks about he and Jon Krakauer repeating this route a few years ago. However, there isn't enough detail given to pin it down exactly. I believe it was on the left-half of the east face, but it may not even be on one of the official routes.
    By Matt Amory
    From: Boulder CO
    Oct 23, 2006
    I'm planning on doing the direct route on the 1st with a friend from back east on Wednesday. Am I right in thinking that we're looking at about 4 hours car to car?

    Thanks Leo and Tony for your responses. We had a stellar morning on either Zig-Zag or Kamikaze Overhangs (I'd be glad to hear from anyone what exactly the difference is between these routes)
    By jleining
    From: CO
    Jul 3, 2007
    Helpful tip, unless you would like to practice your rope management, My Climbing Co guide book said the descent from the top of the First Flatiron requires two ropes. Guess what it doesn't. I wasted my time scrambling this thing and dragging two ropes up while doing it. If you're gonna do the First, it is only 92 ft from the summit eybolts to the ground!
    By Rhonda
    From: Golden, CO
    Apr 1, 2008
    Climbed the 1st Flatiron on Sat. March 29th and rappelled off an anchor before the ridge (wind was howling). After reaching the ground, I was unable to pull my rope. If anyone retrieved my rope, I would appreciate hearing from you. My email is Thanks!
    By Graham Rogers
    May 11, 2009
    Lost my left Vasque trailrunner shoe here on Saturday as it unclipped from my beltloop, probably on the downclimb. Any sightings? It was a great shoe.
    By Squirming Coil
    From: Morrison, CO
    Jul 7, 2009
    Does anyone know anything about this variation (in red)? Or is it the actual route?
    By Larry Graham
    From: Boulder, CO
    Aug 21, 2010
    For those of you who like to solo this: (a great outing by the way) as I was finishing the downclimb today I noticed that the old white dead tree that always provided a convenient way to get down the final 15-20 feet has suffered some damage. It seemed like it was further from the wall than before, but more disturbing is that one of the small broken off limbs that used to serve as a foot placement is now gone. This forces you to use holds on the wall--actually quite good--that I never had to bother with before. Overall, it makes this section of the downclimb just a bit more thought-provoking. Unfortunately, some day a big wind will probably fell the tree, but it will still be possible to get down those last few feet via rock.
    By James Beissel
    From: Boulder, CO
    Nov 19, 2010
    Hi-res panorama (372 MP) of the First, Second and Third Flatiron. Requires Adobe Flash to use the GigaPan viewer:
    By Dan Holz
    From: Denver, CO
    May 22, 2011
    Just found a GO PRO camera at the base of the First Flatiron. If it's yours, send me a message detailing what kind of unique 'case' it was in and I'll get it back to ya!
    By Chris Plesko
    From: Westminster, CO
    Sep 24, 2011
    The tree is gone off the SW face downclimb. It still goes just fine though, but it's a little harder. Luckily, you're only 10-15 feet off the ground by that point. I'm sure you could find another easier way, but I didn't bother.
    By Rodger Raubach
    Oct 15, 2012
    My favorite formation in the North Flatirons! I particularly recommend both Butterfly and East Face Direct. Both are runnout and exposed, but a competent leader should have lots of fun here!
    By Samuel Cooper
    Jul 31, 2014
    Lost my harness including two ATCs, two slings, and three lockers on the back of the first Flatiron! Please give me a call (93six,twozero6,0onefour0) if they've been found! Thank you very much!
    By jkglenn
    From: Tabernash, CO
    Oct 26, 2014
    Hey guys and gals. Had butterfingers for a second today and dropped four or five nuts on the 5.6R direct route. I dropped them a couple pitches below the ridge and am pretty sure a few of them stopped on the ledge below. They're taped with red, green, and yellow tape. If someone finds them, could you please email me @ Thanks!
    By Hannah12 Miller
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Mar 21, 2015
    We dropped/left an Alien cam while climbing the slot up the Direct Route on the First Flatiron above Baker's Way OR from the ridge to the summit. Please return for good karma and a six-pack of your choice.
    By Aaron Furman
    May 31, 2015
    Be polite and communicate with the climbers if you are soloing this one, though easy and a great confidence builder, many of the climbers on this rock are novice and get scared when they see you jumping around with nothing but your smile.
    By enkoopa
    Sep 17, 2015
    We bailed off what we hoped to be Fandango a week ago. Left a single BD 120cm sling and two Edelrid biners.

    It was maybe the "3rd" pitch of whatever we were climbing, I basically solo'd up from a tree belay (smaller tree to the right, and a small boulder/ledge above)". Put 1 piece in when I realized things looked like they were going wrong...the slab was going to end in 5-10 meters or so. To the left was a dropoff to another level of slab, and to the right, a slightly overhanging face which was the thick edge of the slab to the right. At the top (end) of my piece, I put a sling around a triangle flake, got lowered almost all the way to the tree, and we rapped out in the dark.

    If anyone finds them, let me know - I don't expect to get them back, but I'm wondering what the hell we ended up on.
    By Kian Tanner
    Aug 28, 2016
    I left a rope in a green rope bag at the bottom of the rap off yesterday. (Sat. Aug. 28th). When I went up to get it this morning, someone had already retrieved it. I would give a reward if it was returned. If you need more details about the rope, I can PM them you.
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 26, 2016
    The fastest approach to the First Flatiron is from the Gregory Canyon Trailhead; however, this parking area fills very quickly. When hiking out, most people use the trail between the First and Second Flatirons. If parked at Gregory Canyon, a faster hike down starts from the saddle west of the First Flatiron. Head north, down steeply on a primitive trail (marked) and down into the Gregory Canyon trail system, eventually passing The Amphitheater.
    By Caleb Lowery
    May 30, 2017
    Climbed up May 21st - still plenty of snow around. Lots of people showed up to hike which turned the trail back down from the top into a muddy, slushy, slippery mess. Route was clear / dry / in sun all day, so climbing was great.
    By Grant Perdue
    Jul 3, 2017
    I climbed the First Flatiron the afternoon of 07/01/17 - very fun climb, however, my partner and I left a 35L BD Creek backpack at the base of the climb, intending to retrieve extra gear on the hike down. When we got down around 8:30pm, the gear was gone. The bag contained trad gear we need for the rest of our trip (we're from Nashville). If you see / hear / know anything regarding the whereabouts of our gear, please call me @ 615-522-4336. Thank you!

    P.S. I recommend a single rack and small backpacks you're comfortable climbing with! Not leaving anything at the base again.
    By Ben Coryell
    Jul 14, 2017
    My partner couldn't retrieve a brand new Black Diamond #1 on the pitch just after the bolted anchor on Hubris. Lots of beer and good Karma if you can return this to me!

    Ben (720) 837-9501
    By Kellon Spencer
    From: Tempe, Arizona
    Oct 9, 2017
    LOST: had someone snag my Arcteryx Miura 50 pack while I was up on the flatiron. Had hidden pretty well, so I don't think a climber would have taken it. If you grabbed in good faith of thinking I left it behind, I got a 6 pack for you! If you took it in bad faith and return it, I have a 6 pack for you no questions asked! Just want my pack and its contents back.


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