Fourth Flatiron East Face AKA The Watercourse
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P1 of Watercourse.
Overall, this is a worthwhile route if one is looking for something different to climb when conditions in the Flatirons are good. Perhaps not as good as the routes on the first 3 Flatirons but still quite entertaining.
Follow the water groove on the left side of the east face 50 feet or so from the trail. This ends at a ledge with a small tree. We belayed here. Scramble down to the left onto a ramp which you follow up and left from the ramp step up onto another ledge with a tree. From here, drop down into the gully that angles up and right below the rest of the east face. You can also reach this point from the bushy gully between the Fourth and Fifth Flatirons. Walk up the gully for 150 feet or so and look for a water groove that runs up the rest of the face. Follow this to the top in 3 pitches or so. In perfect conditions, one can imagine that this would be an awesome thin runnel of ice. Alas, what we found was a combination of poorly bonded ice and a snow veneer on the surface of the groove. We ended up belaying from a crack on the right at about 120 feet up this feature and were glad we did. The next pitch we did was around 170 feet and ended on a flake on the left. The last pitch was more like 190 feet passing a couple of tricky chockstones.
This starts just a few feet from the Royal Arch trail. Look for a water groove leading to a couple of trees on the left side of the east face.
Regular rock rack.
Looking down from the anchors at p4.
Summit alcove (aka the hanging garden) of the 4th ...
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