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By Jake wander
Aug 11, 2014
Hey all,

I'm looking for some beta on the a approach to angels way in the flatirons. I'm coming out from MN for Labor Day and would like to climb it. I have never been to the flatirons before so a lot of the approach info based on other climbs in the area doesn't help a ton.

Also, if anyone has photos they took at the base of the climb or on the way, I'd love to see them.

Thanks a ton!

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By J. Broussard
From CordryCorner
Aug 11, 2014
Young Good Free Face, 11b
It's a shitty approach.
And this year, with all the moisture, it's going to especially shitty.

LOTS of other classics

If your supper gun-ho on Angels way. PM me and I'll send you some detailed directions.

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Aug 11, 2014
Bocan
There's actually a ton of poison ivy up in the flats too from all this rain. haha I might not want to bushwack.

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By Jake wander
Aug 11, 2014
do you guys have any recommendations for easier routes that arent super crowded. im taking my gf who has never done multi pitch so i wanna do something in the 5.2 range.

freeway doesnt sound quite as fun.

thanks for the input guys.

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By J. Broussard
From CordryCorner
Aug 11, 2014
Young Good Free Face, 11b
The fourth flatiron the the seal both feel like 5.2. A bit wandery, and very little pro (as with any east face in the flats). Freeway is cool if you've never been on a flatiron before, don't rule that out if your friend is only climbing 5.2.

EDIT: are there access issues for The Seal and the 4th still?

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By J mac
Aug 11, 2014
Zermatt
I would do the East Face Standard on the third. It is 5.4. I have taken several people up that had never climbed before. There are 3 raps though. Only the final pitch is 5.4 and it can be skipped.


mountainproject.com/v/east-fac...

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Aug 11, 2014
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Pea...
Oh God yes, avoid anything in Skunk Canyon. In fact, I only went there once. It traps moisture in there and is very lush compared to other areas of the Flatirons. This means tons of undergrowth and lots of poison ivy.

Besides the numbered Flatirons, also consider the Seal, The Slab, and of course the Maiden.

mountainproject.com/v/the-maid...

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By good pro
Aug 11, 2014
Don't be dissuaded by these nay sayers. Just head up Skunk Canyon staying left of satans slab. after you pass satans slab angels way is the next ridge maybe 100 yards past, some creativity will keep you out of the ivy

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Aug 11, 2014
Bocan
Check out the front porch as well.

mountainproject.com/v/front-po...

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By Paul-B
Aug 11, 2014
Flakes of Wrath
Highly reccomend the Seal, one of my favorites. The Slab is not bad either. Avoid the 1st/3rd they are ALWAYS packed.

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By Jake wander
Aug 11, 2014
is seal rock pretty run out?

as mentioned before, i havent climbed in the flatirons before so i dont know how run out things normally are. Ive heard some routes have lots of 50ft run out which i would like to avoid.

also, does anyone have a good description for finding the route to seal for someone that has never been in the area?

maybe im just overly worried about route finding.

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By Keen Butterworth
From Boulder
Aug 11, 2014
Bouldering on Rabbit Mtn. Photo by Forrest Weller
Seal is better protected than most East Faces in the Flatirons. Most of the east faces in the Flatirons are not crowded at all, except for the first three numbered ones. Skunk is usually devoid of people altogether. It is closed most of the year for raptors so that keeps the trails vague and overgrown, but for some of us, that is a wonderful thing.

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By Ryan Watts
From Bishop, CA
Aug 11, 2014
Flatirons
Most climbs in the flatirons are going to be "run out" in the sense of not much pro -- but the climbing is generally pretty easy so it doesn't feel "run out" if you know what I mean.

I would recommend the east face of the third flatiron personally. The approach is obvious, no poison ivy, and 90% of it is 4th class (and the 5th class parts have gear IIRC).

Also of you do it at night the view of boulder is pretty cool.

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Aug 11, 2014
Bocan
Yeah they are run out, but not like a dangerous run out. Just enough to make you pucker a bit. If you were 3 feet off the ground you wouldn't think twice.

It's slab climbing with some spots that you just need to keep moving. The pro is there albeit sometimes a little more creative. I recommend having some tri-cams for the funky huecos and slings for runnels and chicken heads.

Don't even worry about it, totally worth climbing. On alot of the climbs it's pretty much go up once you find the start.

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By ErikaNW
Aug 11, 2014
Rapping off the Matron October, 2010
Highly recommend Seal Rock - but it does have a 200ft rappel that is largely free. This could be an issue if your gf has any height issues - it's a very committing step off. Definitely take 2 ropes for the rap if you do this as the intermediate station is fully hanging and I believe you might have to swing into it (not sure - I always take doubles). The climbing is awesome though - the last pitch is a super fun 5.4 finger crack that eats gear. The 1st 2 pitches are more typical flatiron slab for gear. I have never seen another party up there and have climbed it several times.

Freeway is actually a really fun climb and not as crowded as the 1st and 3rd. It also has a walk off which is nice. Climbed it by moonlight last night.

Don't be worried about the runouts - nuts and tricams generally work really well, sometimes you have to be a little creative. If you are comfortable on easy slab you will be fine. Have fun!!!!

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By Brian C.
From Longmont, CO
Aug 11, 2014
On Blanca after traversing from LB
FWI to all you Skunk Canyon haters out there, the flood last year really cleaned it out and the approach is WAY better than it used to be. This is what it looks like as of about a week ago...



That photo was taken just past Angel's Way, between the N. Ridge on Dino Mtn and Mohling's Arete. The poison ivy was completely avoidable.

EDIT: I would like to add 2 things. First, I believe that the Royal Arch trail is still closed, which without creative approaches can cancel out access to some of the upper formations on Green Mountain (4th Flatiron/5th Flatiron area). Also, somebody above mentioned the poison ivy this year and that should be emphasized. Learn what it looks like! It is much worse this year than it has been for a while.

Itch itch, scratch scratch.
Itch itch, scratch scratch.

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By brenta
From Boulder, CO
Aug 11, 2014
Cima Margherita and Cima Tosa in the Dolomiti di B...
A few notes, with some overlap with previous replies.

  • Angel's Way is a very nice solo, but not a great roped climb. I'd be a bit reluctant to bring a multi-pitch first timer up there: rope drag, out-of-sight, out-of-hearing partner, traverses... you get the idea.
  • The Seal is usually done with two 60m ropes, because the standard descent is a single 50m rappel. There are other options, but they are more involved.
  • The start to that rappel is a bit awkward. Not the place to learn rappelling. There's always the option to lower your partner, though.
  • Pro is abundant once you get on the "back" of the Seal. At the start, not so much. As noted already by others, this is pretty common in the Flatirons.
  • Having said that, the crack on the Seal's East Face Right is probably the best pitch at that grade (5.4) in the Flatirons and possibly around Boulder. Besides, it's not committing for the follower.
  • The Third is logistically simple and there's bound to be someone up there to show you the descent on Labor Day weekend. The last pitch is 5.2-5.4, depending on where you go, and the rope from the follower goes straight up to the belayer. It's a beautiful easy climb that works well for beginners. Just be prepared for a lot of traffic.
  • There is poison ivy on the descent from the Third, but it's easily avoided.
  • The Front Porch has been mentioned. Tip Toe Slab is fun if you, as a leader, don't mind very long runouts. Same consideration applies to the Slab.
  • Freeway is the easiest of all these options. The logistics are super-easy. The climbing is mostly comparable to what you get on the Third, though it's less continuous, and the position is not as good.
  • I'd be very surprised if there were no parties on Freeway on Labor Day weekend (unless it rains) but it's always less crowded than the Third when the latter is open. I've always done Freeway without rope; hence, I'll let someone else comment on pro, but the impression I get is that it is comparable to the Third. No eyebolts, though.

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Aug 12, 2014
Bocan
Fandango is a great one as well. Goes at 5.5 but it isn't that bad.

I also like the East Face Gully, although I do it different than the description.

Up past the direct and start at a roof. Once on the face trend left (straight up should be the CMC route I believe). Most folks cross the gully and then go up the NE Arete, but I stay in the dihedral's right side going straight up to the walk off. Can't go more than 5.5 and can be done in 3-4 pitches with a walk off.

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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Aug 12, 2014
Also, not to beat the poison ivy thing into the ground but...

I'm not sure about Minnesota poison ivy, and this may be old news to you, but Colorado PI looks VERY different from classic New England PI...leaves are a lot bigger in CO and usually less shiny, also usually not at all reddish. Still in threes if I recall correctly. So be sure you know what you're looking out for...I paid for my ignorance big-time when I moved out there from Boston in '85!

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By brenta
From Boulder, CO
Aug 12, 2014
Cima Margherita and Cima Tosa in the Dolomiti di B...
Optimistic wrote:
also usually not at all reddish.

That depends on the season. It's true now, but it won't be in October. The picture posted up-thread by Brian C (with caption "itch itch, scratch scratch") shows a nice growth of poison ivy (the Flatiron variety) at this time of the year.

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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Aug 12, 2014
brenta wrote:
That depends on the season. It's true now, but it won't be in October. The picture posted up-thread by Brian C (with caption "itch itch, scratch scratch") shows a nice growth of poison ivy (the Flatiron variety) at this time of the year.


Ha, memory fading, I guess! Need to get back out there!

Pretty fascinating how many forms, even right in our local area, PI can take. There's a particularly devious form that grows in closely-mowed grass, super-tiny leaves and very short plants. There's a vine form too, I found that one by moving a tree that'd fallen down across a bike path here...the rash cleared up in just 5 short weeks!

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Aug 12, 2014
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Pea...
This is from Eldo a few weeks ago. Poison Ivy along the creek.


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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Aug 13, 2014
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
Jake wander wrote:
do you guys have any recommendations for easier routes that aren't super crowded.

You want to be alone? Go do the East Faces of Jamcrack Spire and stuff like that.
Of course a popularity vote will vote for the most popular flatirons.
If you want to do the stuff that nobody will be on, getting info will be harder.

Personally, I do think that Angel's Way is worth it if you just keep the rope out of the PI at the base. Since the flood it's not so bad.

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By Eric Klammer
From Boulder, CO
Aug 13, 2014
Heading up the best pitches of the route. Perfect ...
Angel's Way is awesome, and the approach/descent is all part of the adventure. Make sure you have good directions to the start of the climb before you head out and go do it! The ability to disappear up a canyon and see nobody else for the entire day is one of the best parts of climbing in the Flatirons.

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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Aug 13, 2014
Jake wander wrote:
do you guys have any recommendations for easier routes that arent super crowded.


Not something everyone likes to do, but I'll bet if you're walking at 5 or 6am you'll have your pick of anything you want on the Third or the First, and sunrise hitting the Flatirons is pretty sweet. As others mentioned, both of those formations require a rappel to get off,so factor that in as you mentioned that your girlfriend was new to multipitch.

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By George Bell
From Boulder, CO
Aug 13, 2014
Hip trouble ...
If you stay off the 1st and 3rd Flatirons, you won't have to worry about crowds. It is rare to even see another party on your route.

Stairway to Heaven starts in Skunk Canyon, and is much less of a slog than getting to Angel's Way. I did it a few years ago and saw a Mtn. Lion near the base.

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