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Third Flatiron
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
1911 Gully T 
Blazing Biners T,S 
College Drop Out aka East Face North Side T 
Direct West Face a/k/a Western Skyline T 
Doctor Merkwurdigliebe T 
Dog's Head Cutoff T 
East Face (Standard) T 
East Face Left T 
Extra Point T 
Falcon's Fracture T 
Friday's Folly T 
Friday's Folly Direct T,TR 
Funny Games T,TR 
Greenman's Crack T,TR 
Holier than Thou S 
Inner Sanctum T 
Northwest Passage T 
Pentaprance T 
Ph.D. Roof T 
Right Of Spring T 
Saturday's Folly T 
Sayonara T,S 
Shoyu State S 
South Chimney T 
Southwest Chimney T 
Super Woo T 
Thin Crack T 
Third Kingdom/Papillion T 
Third World Zone T 
Unknown (formerly entered as Problem Child) T,TR 
Waiting For Columbus T,S 
West Door T 
West Face [3rd Flatrion] T 
Winky Woo T 
Wrongs of Fall T 
Unsorted Routes:

East Face (Standard) 

YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c

   
Type:  Trad, 8 pitches
Consensus:  YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c [details]
FA: Floyd and Earl Millard, 1906
Page Views: 66,102
Submitted By: Ben Mottinger on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (409)
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BETA PHOTO

  • Some crags in this area are closed 1 February to 31 July: MORE INFO >>>
  • Climbing areas reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    To quote Rossiter, "This is probably the best beginner climb in the solar system." This route is best led for the first time following another party unless you don't care about finding the fixed eye-bolts. Since nearly every stance is a rest, it's tough to discern the belays.

    From the East Bench, move up and to the left across a channel to the first belay. Stay on this side of the channel for the next 5-6 pitches with easy 5.0-5.2 climbing. Pitch 5 will traverse the "C" of CU. After pitch 6/7, you must cross the channel at the notch near the top. The last, crux pitch (5.4) starts on the other side of the channel to the top. It's 6 rope-stretching pitches or 8 as described with a 50m rope.

    DESCENT: There are three rappels from fixed eye-bolts. A single 50m rope is sufficient; on the last rappel, you may either use a double-rope for the 140ft. mostly free-rappel or traverse right on a ledge and rap 72ft. on a single rope to the West Bench.

    Protection 

    Can be led with only hexes and nuts. Large eye bolts at the belays.


    Photos of East Face (Standard) Slideshow Add Photo
    Somebody on the summit of the 3rd, as seen from the summit of the 1st.
    Somebody on the summit of the 3rd, as seen from th...
    Brittany Whittern (age 8) working through the final moves to the summit on 2002.08.12.
    Brittany Whittern (age 8) working through the fina...
    Don Aumann making the final moves to the summit in October 2006.  Tragically, he died suddenly of an undiagnosed condition 5 months later.
    Don Aumann making the final moves to the summit in...
    Climbing through the clouds as seen from the Standard East Face on the Third Flatiron.
    Climbing through the clouds as seen from the Stand...
    Typical day on the rocks.  Brittany knocks off another Flatiron.  So many rocks, so little time left to bag them all.
    Typical day on the rocks. Brittany knocks off ano...
    Plac on the peak.
    Plac on the peak.
    Rick Anderson climbing the start of the 5th pitch.
    Rick Anderson climbing the start of the 5th pitch.
    Just another day on the 3rd.  How many climbers can you count?
    Just another day on the 3rd. How many climbers ca...
    Me on the Third, Oct '09.
    Me on the Third, Oct '09.
    Mal Daly leading the way as tour guide extraordinaire... Hands free, free solo on an overhang! <br /> <br />Sept 15ish 2007
    Mal Daly leading the way as tour guide extraordina...
    Looking for the next eyebolt.  (Photo by Joan Wharton.)
    Looking for the next eyebolt. (Photo by Joan Whar...
    Moon rising over Boulder from the east face of the Third Flatiron.
    Moon rising over Boulder from the east face of the...
    Left of The Gash.
    Left of The Gash.
    Eileen starts the final lead off of Kiddy Kar ledge.
    Eileen starts the final lead off of Kiddy Kar ledg...
    Zoom in to see the climbers at pretty much each of the eyebolts.
    Zoom in to see the climbers at pretty much each of...
    View from The Third Flatiron.
    View from The Third Flatiron.
    Arin and Mark pause for a picture before the final pitch.  Can you believe this is December?!!  Photo: Mike Morley
    Arin and Mark pause for a picture before the final...
    John reaches the summit on a moonlight ascent with the lights of Boulder behind.
    John reaches the summit on a moonlight ascent with...
    Summit of Flatiron 3 on a very cold November Day.
    Summit of Flatiron 3 on a very cold November Day.
    MC gashing it out, last pitch.
    MC gashing it out, last pitch.
    Coming up on the summit.
    Coming up on the summit.
    Rippin about 600' off the deck just below the 4th belay (Bottom of the C).
    Rippin about 600' off the deck just below the 4th ...
    Heath leading the summit pitch.
    Heath leading the summit pitch.
    On the top of the Third, Oct '09.  Super fun, excepting the first pitch shivering uncontrollably in the ice and snow.
    On the top of the Third, Oct '09. Super fun, exce...

    Show All 56 Photos

    Only the first 24 are shown above.

    Comments on East Face (Standard) Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 11, 2014
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jul 26, 2001

    Agreed! I couldn't believe it one night when I went to climb it, the route was almost as mobbed as during the day. You don't really need a full moon at all with all the light coming off Boulder, so avoid the exact date of the full moon.
    By Mike Abraham
    Sep 10, 2001

    About the 3rd rap: if facing the rock, you actually traverse left (west) to reach the Friday's Folly rap anchor. From here, it's 72' to the West Bench. Boulder Mountain Parks has mostly idiot-proofed this by adding an instructive sign at the other (east) bolt.
    By JVonD
    From: Boulder, CO
    Nov 11, 2001

    Take a chill. The 5th belay is off a bolt at the begining of the gash. I recommend setting up a 15' clove hitch line off the bolt along with a quick draw for your partner. That way you can climb down to the huge ledge and chill back while you belay your partner. I've seen ppl struggling to belay with their life-lines holding them tightly against the lame slab or off the side of the gash. Not fun!
    By Andrew Klein
    Jan 1, 2002

    With two sixty meter ropes you can do a spectacular 195' (that rivals the maiden, the last 100 feet free hanging)rappel directly of the west face. However pulling the ropes is difficult. If you are soloing and rapping off on a 60m rope on a busy day,you can rap off by this method and have someone on top toss your rope down to avoid the 3 raps and crowds. Happy New Year!
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Aug 2, 2002

    Last evening we tried the single rope rap off the top, just for fun. From the top, we rapped west (not southwest as the normal rap goes) and ended up just 30' feet north of where the normal 3rd rap ends. A 60m rope was plenty for this, I'm pretty sure even a 50m rope would make it. There is no way a double rope rap rigged this way could pull, but this works great as a descent if there was someone else on top who would untie and throw your rope down. The great thing is it doesn't interfere with any of the existing 3 raps, so could be used to bypass traffic jams on the descent.

    By the way someone recently doubled up all the bolts on the normal rap descent. Thanks to whoever did this!
    By Edward Jenner
    Aug 5, 2002

    George makes an important point about the single rap, which I'd like to re-iterate. Unless there is someone to help feed your rope, you will not be able to pull it down. There is just too much rope stretch and friction over the edge.
    By Scott Thompson
    Aug 7, 2002

    George: so a single 60M rap off the west will get you down? and you can pull the rope by yourself? thanks
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Aug 8, 2002

    Lengthwise, it is possible to rap off then summit anchors and make the ground in 60m. HOWEVER, this really isn't much use as you will not be able to pull your ropes due to the rope drag near the top anchors. The only time you could benefit from this is if someone else on top can untie your rope and drop it after you rap.

    I think there are two ways to do the 60m rap: (1) follow the line of the normal first and second rap, and keep going. The normal 3rd rap done this way is well over 25m, but I think this rap from the summit is what Andrew Klein did, and he claims it is 195 feet. I have not tried this line, so BE CAREFUL. (2) go 90 degrees from the regular rap line, to the west or even northwest. This actually requires that the rope from thesummit anchors goes UPHILL for a few feet and then over a lip. Then swing around to the north of a buttress and drop straight down a headwall, ending about 30' north of where the normal 3rd rap ends. This is well under 60m. By the way, I think this rap line is close to the recently added "West Face" route.
    By Scott Conner
    From: Lyons, CO
    Aug 28, 2002

    Gary Clark just added this route, as well as Sykes Sickle on Spearhead to the NA Classics list (www.naclassics.com).
    By DanMoore
    Sep 6, 2002

    Hey,

    Yesterday did this for the first time. Fantastic climb. We actually started at the base and just angled up and to the right, aiming for the 2nd eyebolt. (There were a few normal bolts along that path, as well.) Made for eight great pitches (with a 60 meter rope, we were able to skip the 3rd eyebolt belay and the belay on the ramp after the last eyebolt) of fantastic face climbing.

    However, I was wondering about the descent. After rapping from the top, do you head north or south? We went south down some gullies. Did one rap off a tree, and thrashed around in a ton of underbrush once we got to the creekbed. Is the descent to the north better? (Please say yes.)

    Thanks,Dan
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 6, 2002

    Yes! If you go north, there is a trail. You can scramble down straight north from the 3rd rappel, but there is a sign on a tree about 50' west of the final rap. This is the start of a good trail all the way down. Way easier than going to the south.
    By Chris R
    Oct 7, 2002

    The direct nature of this line makes it an ideal candidate for simul-climbing. My partner and I completed it in under an hour in that manner....a good place to learn simul-climbing technique. My only advice with that is, in the words of Dennis Jackson......."Just don't f&%*ing fall!".
    By Jonathan. D.
    May 5, 2003

    Fantastic Feel Good Climb ! Excellent Early Lead, Bomber holds everywhere and Ample pro (except the final pitch). The last pitch is a little scary with little pro, but the climbing is slabby and moderate.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Aug 12, 2003

    Well I feel like a goonyah... Last night I soloed this for the first time and I think I ROYALLY screwed someone up. There was a rappel set up from the summit to what I thought was the second rap pins. I was worried that no one responded to my calls, so I rapped down, only to find the line "snagged" below the second rap. Again, worried that the line was snagged and no one replied, I thought perhaps someone had gone off the ends, so I pulled the rope from the summit to rescue and went down again. The rope was a fixed rap for someone and there wasn't any accident. I am ashamed that I screwed someone up and had no prusik material to go back and do the last pitch again. My sincere apologies to whomever had that rope there. I hope you had a good time in the moonlight anyway...
    By Charles Danforth
    From: L'ville, CO
    Aug 25, 2003

    Climbed this one two weeks ago (8-9-03) and had a blast. Easy, gorgeous climbing much easier than the grade at least in most places. The last pitch up the runout is really the only 5.4 part on the climb. Eye bolts make for great anchors though finding them is a challenge in and of itself. Sank 2-3 pieces of gear on each pitch and didn't feel like this was too much. Buzzed by peregrins and larger hawks as well as an overly-amorous sail plane. This one would make an interesting moonlight climb. My introduction to Flatiron climbing and a good advertisement for more of the same.
    By Kevin Craig
    Aug 25, 2003

    Did this route on 8/24. Fantastic, fun climbing. We felt the pro was pretty good if you have and can use a diverse rack. Used lots of small to mid tri-cams and big (2.5 - 4) Friends. Only part that was even a bit "s" was the last 30-40' of the "Direct" finish. With a 60m rope you can string together pitches 2 & 3, but don't wander. Combining 4 & 5 requires about 15' of simul-climbing or a 70m rope. Note on the rappel: To find the 2nd rappel anchor, DON'T follow the instructions printed on the summit bolt plate. You will pretty much *land* on the proper 2nd rappel anchor at the bottom of your first rappel. All rappels are double bolted (except the optional 140' rappel from the Friday's Folley ledge).
    By Leo Paik
    Administrator
    From: Westminster, Colorado
    Aug 29, 2003

    Please review the descent before going down even if it is your 20th time. A story from 8/27/3 reiterates this. A 3rd flatiron veteran sent an inexperienced partner down the rappels to the S with double 50m ropes from the top to reach the ground in 1 rappel. Fortunately she was able to stop just before the ends of the ropes. The last party up that day fortunately were able to help out and provide additional ropes to keep this from being a tragedy. Please, recheck out the descents even if you already know them.
    By Kevin Craig
    Aug 29, 2003

    I should clarify... my comment above applies to the "standard," 3-rap descent. I *think* you can also rap to the ground with 2 x 60m ropes using the single eyebolt anchor that you find by crawling SE under the big rock (as it says on the summit bolt).
    By Jeff Gustafson
    Sep 12, 2003

    Did the route yesterday, my first long trad lead. This route is a must for beginnig leaders! Can't say enough good things about the route, the raps, the whole thing... I found large cams to be the friendliest pro...
    By Andrew Klein
    Dec 21, 2003

    Quick comment. George is right, it is virtually impossible to pull the ropes if you do the super rap of the 3rd. So someone will have to be up there to throw the rope to you, or the last person up must rap one of the other ways (or you could jumar back up for fun and rap the standard way)-Peace
    By William McGehee
    From: Choctaw, OK
    Jul 14, 2005

    I tried to post this morning, but it never showed up. Maybe I screwed up. I'll attempt to recreate the post.

    Prepare ye masses... It's open y'all! Tear it up! George Bell sent me an e-mail last night and the link to the OSMP page with closures. We met up this morning at 0600 and headed on up from the Chautauqua Visitor Center. Saw [no one] ahead nor behind us, but on the descent I noticed a few poison ivy leaves broken from their vines on the trail in the talus. From the withering, it looks like they came off yesterday. If someone beat us to the first climb of the season (legally or not), well done. If it was a raptor observer confirming the capacity to lift the closure, even better! Get after it.

    The proof: ci.boulder.co.us/openspace/vis...

    Enjoy!~Wm
    By Andy Leach
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Oct 17, 2005

    I shot a short movie of our climb on October 16, 2005: leachfam.com/securearea/1movie...
    By Blitzo
    Sep 12, 2006

    Best 5.4, anywhere!
    By Jo Holloway
    Sep 30, 2006
    rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

    I was led up this route once before but swung leads today as a member of a trio. What great fun! This route only becomes more magnificent as you explore the nooks and cranies for little pockets to suck up some gear. The views were tremendous! I was amused to learn that other climbers have developed a fondness for the chickenhead (looks more like an anvil: credit to Dave Holliday for that visual) that you can sling on the last pitch.

    Truly a classic!
    By Ken McVicker
    Oct 26, 2007
    rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c PG13

    Climbed this last night in the Moonlight - Full moon. For the end of October, it was a great warm night - breaze blowing up from the city. We were at the top at 1:00 am. A headlamp is useful for placing gear in those dark cracks, but turn it off for climbing as it kills night vision and depth perception. Thanks to the guys who let us join for the rap off, it definitely saved time. What a blast!
    By Eric Brehm
    From: Louisville, CO
    Aug 12, 2009
    rating: 5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c R

    Climbed this route 8/5/09 and again with an organized group on 8/11/09. We shared the face with several other parties but managed to avoid any major traffic jams. Climbing on a weekday and/or getting an early start is recommended for this route, due to its popularity. We did both (started climbing at around 8 AM on weekdays) yet still had to rub elbows with others in a few places.

    We combined pitches 2 and 3 with a 60m rope (from the 2nd to the 4th eyebolts) and had about 10 feet to spare. Otherwise we used the standard belay and rappel stations. The stances at the 2nd and 6th eyebolts do not accommodate large groups very well.

    Small to medium gear (nuts, hexes, cams) work well on this climb. I didn't feel the need for much protection between belays, as the climbing is mostly fourth class, but went ahead and placed 2 or 3 pieces per pitch anyway, on general principle. A #3 Camalot or equivalent is useful on the first pitch to protect the step up from the gully onto the central rib, near the end of the pitch below the 2nd eyebolt.

    This climb has been rated 5.2 for decades, so I don't know why everyone is calling it 5.4 now. The rock is noticeably smoother for the last 40 feet or so, as the summit is approached, but the friction holds are obvious and secure, even for beginners. Soloists routinely downclimb this pitch all the time, sometimes in their approach shoes or sandals. It is certainly easier than many other climbs traditionally rated 5.4 in the Flatirons and elsewhere in the Boulder area. I'll stick with the traditional "R" seriousness rating, but no one who has gotten to within 40 feet of the summit will have any problem leading the last part.
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Aug 12, 2009

    I must admit I cannot tell the difference between 5.2 and 5.4!

    I've also climbed the face in 4 pitches (almost), with a 60m rope, no simulclimbing. To do so you have to follow a straight line between the start and summit, and then I ended up 30 feet short of the summit on pitch 4 and belayed off the giant chicken head (so, 4.1 pitches). I think if you stretch every pitch you could do it, or certainly with a 65m or 70m rope.
    By Eric Brehm
    From: Louisville, CO
    Aug 12, 2009
    rating: 5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c R

    George, you mean when you worked your way through Flatiron Classics you couldn't see a difference between the climbs Roach rated NCCS F4 (5.0-5.2) and those he rated F5 (5.3-5.4)? Even if you were soloing?

    I have met people who could climb 4th class, struggled with 5.0-5.2, and couldn't do 5.3-5.4 at all. For the benefit of those people, it is probably worth making such distinctions. Although I'll admit that the difference between 5.0 and 5.1 escapes me. Maybe if you do the climbs that established the original standards at Tahquitz Rock it becomes apparent.
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Aug 12, 2009

    I see what you mean, perhaps it is more that 5.2 and 5.4 are often graded inconsistently because the graders have trouble distinguishing them. It is the people who notice the jump from 5.2 to 5.4 that should be grading these climbs!

    Soloing almost requires a different grading system....
    By Chris Plesko
    From: Westminster, CO
    Jul 30, 2010

    This climb can be done in 3.5 pitches with a 70m rope and zero simul-climbing. P1 is not quite a full rope length, belay at an eye bolt or slightly above on gear. P2 is also not quite a full rope length and you can belay at the last eye bolt mid face (not the one by the Gash). P3 I stretched the rope fully and belayed on good gear just below the big ledge across the Gash. An alternate belay can be had 10-15 feet below on good gear as well. The final pitch is roughly half a rope length to the summit. Rope drag is minimal with good slinging and runout placements so you will likely only do this if you're confident at the grade but it's great for when you are bringing the rope primarily for the 2nd or for people who aren't into soloing or simul climbing.

    I can't wait to try it again when my 80m rope gets here, 3 pitches to the summit?
    By CJ Coccia
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jul 30, 2010
    rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

    Chris, I support 3 pitches with the 80m! Easy climb but definitely a super fun one if you're in the area! Using a 70m the rappel was done with plenty of excess with only 2 runs. If you feel like having a fun time and enjoying a great view, then do this route!
    By Margaret T
    From: Denver, CO
    Aug 2, 2010

    I did 4.5 pitches on a 60 m rope with no simul climbing. 1st pitch ends at 2nd bolt, second pitch ends at 4th bolt (the one on the left), third and fourth pitches on good gear (three good pieces in for each anchor) with the end of the third pitch about 50 feet above the bolt in the CU, and the end of the fourth pitch just to the right of the top of The Gash, then it was only 50 feet to summit. By belaying the fourth pitch just right of the top of The Gash, you can see the bottom of the fourth pitch. Quite a bit of poison ivy in the ravine hiking down - watch for leaves of three!
    By Candace
    Aug 25, 2010

    If you have two 60 meter ropes, you can rappel down the south face from the rappel station in the notch after the first rappel, skipping the bolts on the ledge system (130 foot rappel or Friday's). Be careful on the pull (we pulled the ropes from 20 feet out from the wall to give them a path not to get caught).
    By keith story
    From: Boulder, CO
    Oct 4, 2010

    Great climb. Free soloed it yesterday. I would agree that it is about a 5.4 if only due to the last stretch to the third (north) finger.

    Both this and the Second Flatiron are great first free solos. The only tricky part is down-climbing the last pitch, which is very crimpy. Fortunately the entire climb is at 45 degree.

    Do this climb, especially if you are visiting Boulder and want to see the greatest sunrise of your life.
    By Chris Plesko
    From: Westminster, CO
    Oct 9, 2010

    Maybe this will help someone else.

    Had to bail at the top of the first pitch today. I had reached the 3rd eyebolt with a 60m rope in one pitch and rapped from there with a single 60m to the east bench from only fixed eye bolts. The last rap is pretty long and diagonal, so proceed with caution, but I made it without issues. As always knot your ends, bring 2 ropes on trad routes where you might have to bail, beware single point rap anchors and be prepared to leave gear. Sometimes you get lucky.
    By Rodger Raubach
    Apr 30, 2011
    rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

    I've done this route a whole bunch...and I rate the final pitch as 5.5 based on the route finding. The easiest line is probably 5.4, but not everyone finds the easiest line.

    That being said, I've taken lots of nOObs up this during the old CMC/RMRG Rock Schools of the 1960s.

    It's a climb that most people will NEVER FORGET! Most "stars" in the universe.
    By Kris Holub
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Aug 29, 2011

    Thought I would add this...I have personally confirmed twice that it is possible to do one mega 70m rappel from the summit using 2 70m ropes and still pull them without needing anyone to untie at the bolts. I'm not sure that this would work with 60m ropes, but maybe.

    Instead of going west off the summit, throw the ropes off the south side like the normal descent. Keep going straight down past the party ledge and all the way to the ground with plenty of rope to spare. The trick to pulling the ropes is to scramble to the top of the large boulder to the southwest so you have a better angle for the pull. There is still quite a bit of rope drag, so you'll need some muscle to pull, but it's really not too bad if you have two guys to do it. Makes for a fun and simple way to get a lot of people down fast.
    By Patrick Kaufer
    From: Laguna Hills, CA
    Jan 16, 2012

    I don't seem to be getting this fully (I'm not from this area maybe if I saw it that would clarify), but do you rap down the face you just climbed or off the back side of the route? Is there a supertopo out there for this route? Thanks!
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jan 17, 2012

    Patrick, the standard descent is three raps with a 50m (or longer) rope off the back side (facing west). Follow the chains, the first rap is only about 15m. Be careful to move to the northmost station for the third rappel, or a 50m or 60m rope won't reach. There are 2 fat bolts plus chains for each rappel (don't rappel off a single eye bolt, this is the long 40m rap off the last ledge).

    You cannot (easily) rap back down the east face.
    By Addison
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 6, 2012

    Did it today in 4 pitches with a 70m rope. I would recommend the direct finish variation (5.5ish). Gorgeous climb.
    By sanz
    From: Raleigh, NC
    Oct 6, 2013

    What is the descent for solists who don't want to rap? Do you downclimb the route or is there another downclimb?
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    May 12, 2014

    Sanz, you can downclimb Southwest Chimney, it's much shorter than downclimbing the route.
    By Jim Fox
    From: Westminster, CO
    Aug 11, 2014
    rating: 5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c PG13

    Climbed this with my son yesterday. More free soloists on route than roped climbers. A great climb, as always, despite being quite easy. Used a 60 meter rope & skipped 1st eyebolt and went from last eyebolt to Kiddy Kar ledge in 1 pitch, but otherwise hit all the standard belays for 7 pitches total. Thought about doing it in less pitches but rope drag and sparse pro inspired me to stick to the classic route (mostly).

    One note - if rapping off single rope anchor on Friday's Folly ledge, throw your rope over the western edge. We dropped our rope straight down the face & were going to flip it over to the west side, but it snagged & my son had to rap down, unsnag it, and then do a bit of a pendulum to the West Bench. Not a big deal but not the easiest way of doing it.