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Flatiron veteran with gumby questions about Freeway on the 2nd
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Jul 20, 2014
So, I've scrambled Freeway probably a hundred times. It's my favorite cardio activity. I've taken three of my kids up it ropeless, and a number of beginners on belay.

That self-serving, preemptive defense aside, I'm curious for input on two question, the first trivial, the second vexing.

First: Is the trail to the base and from the top a lot more treacherous since the storm floods last year? It seems a lot looser and rockier to me. I'm not talking about the obvious erosion gulleys near the trailhead, but loose and protruding rocks in the upper two-thirds.

Second: On the second mini-pinnacle, the one after the jump-across and close to the top, has anything broken off? I can't find the easy way I used to do it. There are at least two ways to negotiate the pinnacle: Gorilla hang around the left side of the highest point, or a little lower on the right, a subtle step down to the main face. That step-down used to be no brainer automatic. Don't get me wrong, it's still easy, but, it seems serious, not obvious and bomber. Every time I do it, I clench up thinking about the children and beginners I've taken or watched others take over that spot. I feel like I would be terrified doing the move as a beginner or neophite.

Has anything changed? Did I forget the secret hold? Or am I just getting old and feeble?
Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Joined Mar 4, 2008
0 points
Jul 21, 2014
Hey Shawn-

I've been up Freeway and the 1st many times since the flood. Immediately after the flood (even when the trails were still "closed" - shhhh) the 3rd and 1st Flatiron trails were in great shape - no different at all from their pre-flood state.

Overall though, the 1st Flatiron trail has progressively gotten looser and rockier in the last 3-4 years, most especially in the upper switchbacks. It was definitely not this loose in the 2006-2010 timeframe in my memory.

When it was snowy this spring, I know there was a lot of shortcutting and ice-avoidance going on which has probably contributed. Also, I think the increased traffic since the floods, likely because the most popular non-scrambler trail (Royal Arch) is still closed, has really caused the 1st Flatiron trail to get hammered with traffic all day every day. Ahh, such is the life of a trail.

As for the jump-across on the 2nd, I guess I never noticed an easier way before and have always done the jumps...
Stefan Griebel
From Boulder, Colorado
Joined Oct 21, 2002
285 points
Jul 21, 2014
Oh can't you see me standing here
I've got my back against the record machine
I ain't the worst that you've seen.
Oh can't you see what I mean ?
Might as well jump. Jump!
The Blueprint Part Dank
From FEMA Region VIII
Joined Jun 21, 2013
40 points
Jul 21, 2014
It's just a slight case of dementia. Should get worse as time goes on. Buff Johnson
Joined Dec 19, 2005
545 points
Jul 21, 2014
I was living in Boulder during the floods and I climbed it both before and fairly soon after they got everything cleaned up / opened. I don't remember anything that stuck out as different.

That said I'm not sure I would be comfortable taking a non-climber up it just because I'd imagine that could be a bit scary for them.
Ryan Watts
From Bishop, CA
Joined Apr 15, 2013
0 points
Jul 26, 2014
I think the descent trail is suffering from the increased traffic due to the persisting closure of the Royal Arch Trail. As for Freeway, if I'm not mistaken in identifying the "mini-pinnacle," I always pass it on the right. There used to be a loose hold, which at some point must have broken off; or else, I've learned to automatically avoid it. I don't recall any notable change due to the flood. brenta
From Boulder, CO
Joined Feb 2, 2006
15 points
Jul 26, 2014
I think the trail has been severely eroded... I see tons of idiots up there cutting the switchbacks. There are a lot of rocks sticking out that used to be buried as well. Phil Lauffen
From The Bubble
Joined Jun 20, 2008
1,645 points

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