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Fifth Flatiron
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East Face South Side or Left 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 7,221
Submitted By: Warren Teissier on Sep 27, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (55)
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BETA PHOTO: View of route from Chautauqua. Notice 5th Flatiro...

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  • Description 

    This is a great climb on great rock. Although, it may at times be difficult to protect.

    Follow the approach description that leads to the southern end of the East Face (from Royal Arch).

    The climb starts in an alcove on the Southern-most end of the East face. Scramble up and right until you come across a left angling crack/strata.

    Follow this toward the south edge of the East Face to a comfortable ledge. At this point the face steepens and you have to negotiate 15 feet of harder climbing (5.5) as you overcome the headwall. Note that exposure here is large and a fall could leave you dangling over the South face (assuming you are roped...).

    Once over the headwall, things ease up. Head up and right passing just above the catscratches until you reach the northern ridge of the East Face near the summit.

    This ridge is beautiful and is the perfect place for a picture if you cared to carry a camera all the way up here. The summit is a few feet further to the south.

    Rappel, from an eyebolt, 75 overhanging feet to the North.

    Protection 

    Standard Flatiron rack.


    Photos of East Face South Side or Left Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: George Bell on the spectacular summit ridge of the...
    George Bell on the spectacular summit ridge of the...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Taken from the summit of the Royal Arch, 6/28/2003
    BETA PHOTO: Taken from the summit of the Royal Arch, 6/28/2003
    Rock Climbing Photo: James setting pro on second pitch.  Illustrative o...
    James setting pro on second pitch. Illustrative o...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Kristin and Peter hang out at the belay ledge atop...
    Kristin and Peter hang out at the belay ledge atop...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Near the south arete (perhaps a bit off route...).
    Near the south arete (perhaps a bit off route...).
    Rock Climbing Photo: "RAPPEL 75 FT NORTH."  A very white man ...
    "RAPPEL 75 FT NORTH." A very white man ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Nice view from the summit.  James after final bela...
    Nice view from the summit. James after final bela...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Jason following the first pitch
    Jason following the first pitch
    Rock Climbing Photo: At the start of the upper ridge.
    At the start of the upper ridge.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Bill and Bernard start the Fifth Flatiron.
    Bill and Bernard start the Fifth Flatiron.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Scott executes the crux move on the secret downcli...
    Scott executes the crux move on the secret downcli...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Bill does a cool hip belay on the summit of the Fi...
    Bill does a cool hip belay on the summit of the Fi...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mark Oveson nearing the pointly summit of the Fift...
    Mark Oveson nearing the pointly summit of the Fift...
    Rock Climbing Photo: The 'rebirthing channel' that leads to the the wal...
    BETA PHOTO: The 'rebirthing channel' that leads to the the wal...
    Rock Climbing Photo: The walk-off descent slab from the Fifth.
    BETA PHOTO: The walk-off descent slab from the Fifth.
    Rock Climbing Photo: James leads off on the 2nd pitch.  Two pieces, 60'...
    James leads off on the 2nd pitch. Two pieces, 60'...

    Comments on East Face South Side or Left Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Mark Oveson
    From: Louisville, Colorado
    Jan 14, 2003
    rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

    This is the easiest and best climb on the Fifth Flatiron. Most of the climb is quite easy, and there are a couple of harder cruxes. The rock is near perfect, and the rating is probably a little high. I'd call it F4, with perhaps two moves of F5 to get over a bulgy step.
    By James Garnett
    From: Bellingham, WA
    Jul 3, 2003

    As of 7/3/2003 there is a BD microcam that some poor soul left nearly fixed at the first belay. I say "nearly" because it's possible to clean it if you don't mind standing about and working on it (which I DID mind, what with the temperature at 100F, the sun beating down, and my second beginning to curse audibly). Grade: if you follow the route described here, there is maybe only one (or at most two) 5.5 moves. The rest is 5.3-5.4. Pro: a bit scarce, but the climbing so easy that it probably doesn't matter. I did a variation of this route a year ago that stayed closer to the center of the face, and the opportunities for protection were much better -- every 10'-20' instead of every 30'-50'. Rope: a 60m rope is just right for the first two pitches; after that, it's more than enough. Gear: a few smaller cams, nuts, hexes. Could've used some larger cams for anchors (BD #3), but they're certainly not required.
    By Mark Oveson
    From: Louisville, Colorado
    Nov 1, 2005
    rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

    I climbed this wonderful route with Rick Accomazzo this morning. This is perhaps my fourth or fifth time on the route. I'd put it on my list of Top Ten Flatiron routes that I'm comfortable soloing.

    We found the ropeless downclimb for the first time this morning. It is not obvious, but once located it is not very difficult. Anyone capable of soloing this route should be capable of doing this downclimb, once you know where you're headed.

    From the summit, downclimb 80' to a prominent notch in the northeast ridge. Several feet south of the notch, find a hole that is just the right size and lower yourself through to a comfortable stance on a sloping shelf. A backpack will definitely not go through this hole unless it is removed from its wearer. A 200-pound person will go through. Don't ask me how I know this.

    The sloping shelf is lichen-covered, but there are a few footholds that inspire confidence. At the far east (lower) end of the shelf, near a tiny tree, there are some reasonably good, positive handholds close to the edge. Use these holds to lower yourself down an overhanging wall to a ledge 10' off the ground. This is the only hard move and it is probably 5.4. Once on this ledge, scramble west to hiking territory.

    Oh, and as a reminder--don't try to hike down between the Fourth and Fifth Flatirons! It's a jungle down there! Hike uphill, around the top of the Fifth, and down a good climber's path south of the Fifth Flatiron until you reach Royal Arch.
    By Andy Leach
    From: Denver, CO
    Jan 9, 2006
    rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

    I shot a short movie of our climb on 1/7/06: leachfam.com/securearea/1movie.... This is a very fun, mellow climb. I'll bet if you have a 70 meter rope you can do it in three pitches - I was tempted to try with our 60 meter rope.
    By Rick Blair
    From: Denver
    Jun 7, 2009
    rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13

    The first part of the description is correct 100%. I started on the far South side but instead of heading right to the "left leaning crack" I kept going left and never found the crack until I was above it at the belay. What I found was a 50 foot run out that I was not happy with, even on easy rock. Head in a rightward direction from the start!

    Easy though long approach and descent, good rock, plenty of good belay station options, sustained 5.5 friction climbing with a fun finish and rappel, tough to protect at times. This would be a classic if it were closer to the trail head.
    By nate3265
    Aug 1, 2016
    rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c PG13

    This route was lots of fun and clearly not climbed very much. but I do think this should be rated PG-13 or R.
    By Christopher Schneck
    Sep 17, 2017
    rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R

    3 full pitches, worked perfectly with 60 m rope. Able to reach a very good belay stance on the first pitch, used the entire rope. Agree that starting to the right of the formal start allows for more protection, though protection is scant on the entire route. Long 2nd pitch also reaches a good stance, then you hit the crux at the start of pitch 3. Hugely fun climbing on great rock!

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