North American Classic Climbs

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Flatiron (Third)

Regular East Face

Beta Images Slide Show

As the backdrop to Boulder, Colorado, the Flatirons symbolize the spirit of that city. Outdoor recreation is one of the attractions that has contributed to produce a burgeoning city where not long ago there was a small town. Boulder may well be able to claim the highest percentage of committed and accomplished climbers in the country. There are thousands of excellent routes within a very short drive (or even hike), and this face is one of the closest, most obvious and well-known. Guidebooks and articles on the Flatirons are fond of quoting legendary climber Yvon Chouinard, who called this "The finest beginners' climb in the country." Due to its location and quality, it has been the scene for many stunts, including an ascent by roller skates. Full moon ascents and extreme speed ascents (less than 10 minutes) are common. The quality of the sandstone, the positive nature of the holds produced by eons of weathering, and the gathering exposure and views as one reaches the upper stretches of this 1000-ft, 50-degree face keep bringing climbers back again and again. Whether you have enough experience to climb it unroped, or a beginning leader looking to gain experience, you can't fail to enjoy this climb if you climb for the pure pleasure of it rather than to impress your friends with big numbers.


  1. The anchors are huge eyebolts placed in 1931 for guided parties. However, there is little protection beyond these. The leader should be very comfortable at the grade, as almost every pitch has long runouts.
  2. All climbers of the Third Flatiron should have experience in rappelling before climbing this route! The rappels are serious, overhanging affairs, and many a beginner has decided they belong in another sport by the time they reach the ground.
  3. The crag is closed from February through July to protect nesting raptors.


Lowland Rock




Boulder, Colorado



G1, W34


II, 5.3


Route Descriptions & Maps:

Route Diagram

First Ascent:

E. Millard, & F. Millard, 1906


Trip Reports:

Wright, 8/02
Wyatt, 8/02