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Fifth Flatiron
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Cat Scratches T 
East Face South Side or Left T 
East Face, North Side T 
Northeast Face T 
Pinball T 

East Face South Side or Left 

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

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches
Consensus:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 4,820
Submitted By: Warren Teissier on Sep 27, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (32)
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BETA PHOTO: View of route from Chautauqua. Notice 5th Flatiro...

Climbing areas reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>

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
Nice view from the summit.  James after final belay.
Nice view from the summit. James after final bela...
Taken from the summit of the Royal Arch, 6/28/2003
BETA PHOTO: Taken from the summit of the Royal Arch, 6/28/2003
The 'rebirthing channel' that leads to the the walk off descent slab mentioned in Mark Overson's comment.
BETA PHOTO: The 'rebirthing channel' that leads to the the wal...
Mark Oveson nearing the pointly summit of the Fifth Flatiron.
Mark Oveson nearing the pointly summit of the Fift...
Near the south arete (perhaps a bit off route...).
Near the south arete (perhaps a bit off route...).
Bill does a cool hip belay on the summit of the Fifth. Scott and Bernard are nearing the summit.
Bill does a cool hip belay on the summit of the Fi...
Scott executes the crux move on the secret downclimb.
Scott executes the crux move on the secret downcli...
George Bell on the spectacular summit ridge of the Fifth Flatiron.  This photo was taken only about 20' below the summit.
George Bell on the spectacular summit ridge of the...
Bill and Bernard start the Fifth Flatiron.
Bill and Bernard start the Fifth Flatiron.
"RAPPEL 75 FT NORTH."  A very white man going off the summit.
"RAPPEL 75 FT NORTH." A very white man going off ...
At the start of the upper ridge.
At the start of the upper ridge.
Kristin and Peter hang out at the belay ledge atop the second pitch.  You can see Fabio beginning the second pitch far below.
Kristin and Peter hang out at the belay ledge atop...
Jason following the first pitch
Jason following the first pitch
James setting pro on second pitch.  Illustrative of difficulty.
James setting pro on second pitch. Illustrative o...
James leads off on the 2nd pitch.  Two pieces, 60'.  Don't mind the rope drag...
James leads off on the 2nd pitch. Two pieces, 60'...
The walk-off descent slab from the Fifth.
BETA PHOTO: The walk-off descent slab from the Fifth.

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: Fort Collins, 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.