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Well... it's definitely a big slab like the other Flatirons, but perhaps a bit more tree spotted. Typical Flatiron rock, pretty good friction most places but, some spots seemed a little more slick. That was partially due to more lichen, as it is remote and less climbed, and there also is some different seams of rock in places. There is a little more oportunity to place good old nuts in this rock, however we climbed it with just tri-cams and cams, more than we needed too. Climbing is 5.4 - 5.5 most of the way, don't weigh yourself down with a huge rack. 5-6 small nuts, 4-5 Tri-cams, and 3-4 regular cams up to #2.5 Camalot will be more than sufficient. The two route descriptions in Rossiter's book put the climb at 5.6-5.7. I think you would have to go out of your way to find 5.7 climbing. There are definitely several unexplored or just unwritten routes on this Rock. Summiting the arch is not that difficult, but you decide which pillar! I'll just say that the East pillar has a little more lichen on it than the west (and some of my blood). The best thing about the route is the remoteness. There were no other climbers and we got to see an impressive hawk fairly close as it swooped and hovered looking for prey. The rappell off the west pillar is doable on one 60 meter. Be careful of some large loose rocks near the end of the rappel. Carefully descend the talus slope for a few hundred feet and head in to grab a pint of Colorado Kind. It took us about an hour and twenty from the base of the rappel back to the car.
You can leave from either NCAR or Shanahan Ridge trailheads. We left from Shanahan Ridge, caught the South Fork Shanahan trail until it met the Mesa trail. Head south on Mesa for maybe 500 to 600 yards. There's an open meadow that you can look across and see the Devils Thumb and the Flying Flatiron in front of it... we could see a spot of light at the top of the flying flatiron, but couldn't quite tell if it was the "arch" or not. Since there's no definitive trail according to Rossiter's book, we just made a bee line for what we could distinguish as the base. We had to cross some loose large talus, and one poison ivy infested gully, but it wasn't that bad. Don't wear sandels or shorts and you should be fine. We actually hit the base of what we think was The Apostle and soloed up over the top and walked off the north side... swung around to the left and dropped down to the base of the Flying Flatiron. It took us about an hour and a half to get there, but we stopped to consult maps and the guide book a couple times. It should be doable in an hour if you area a decent hiker. It may sound vague, but the route is more apparent once you get there and look at it. One other note, we turned off the Mesa Trail before we hit the Big Blue Stem Trail.
5 Total Routes
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Flying Flatiron:
East Face Complete 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b Trad, 6 pitches, 930'
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The Inside Passage 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b R CO : Flatirons : ... : Flying Flatiron
This is the largest overhang in Boulder and the coolest thing I've ever done - which is saying absolutely nothing. The route climbs the 45 to 50 degree ceiling of a cave and exits through a natural arch. There is a crux right off off the ground (5.11) and another crux halfway (5.11c). There is a rest at 1/4 distance (lay on your hip on a flake), and a luxurious bivvy site at 2/3 distance atop Pigeon Prow, followed by a 5.11 R/X finish out a chossy A-frame. Route was lead in July of 2008 as a hea...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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