This is a fun route on the steep, south face of the Finger Flatiron. Although the East Face was closed in the summer of 2001, this face was open. This route follows a left-slanting, incipient crack/ramp system. Due to the diagonal nature of the route, falls could be nasty even for the follower. There are some runouts but not really too bad for a Flatiron route. The 5.8 section is short, but good route finding skills are needed to stay on the easiest line. This route gets a lot of sun and is often climbable even in winter.
Approach either by getting into the gully west of the Finger Flatiron (see Finger Flatiron description) or by climbing from Mallory Cave to the notch between the Shark's Fin and Finger Flatiron (5.0). Note, however, that this latter route was closed in the summer of 2001 to protect bats.
Begin just east of a large chockstone. Climb up to the diagonal seam/ramp, and follow it up and left, and belay after 110' where another crack angles up to the right.
Continue up the ramp and place some gear. The crux move is now an awkward traverse back to the left. Beyond this, consider carefully the easiest line, and seek out places for pro. The easiest way seems to be near the left hand edge of the ramp (but somewhat runout). Soon you will arrive on a large ledge below the summit.
You can belay here, and then do a final short pitch (or scramble unroped) back east through a hole to emerge on the summit. However, you can also continue pitch 2 to the summit, following the same crack all the way from the ground. This involves an awkward left leaning crack which goes through an overhang, 5.8-5.9 but well-protected. If you opt for this alternative, you can belay on the summit.
Rap 60' NW from some slings to the ground.
Standard rack to 3".
|By Leo Paik|
From: Westminster, Colorado
May 15, 2003
The Rossiter Flatiron climbs guide describes a start just W of the chockstone. You can ascend this groove or boulder up pebbles to gain a short traverse up and R and then gain the groove you follow to the first belay. P1 is easier than it looks but pro is more challenging at times. P2 is a bit licheny to start. A #3 Camalot is useful just before the crux move. An orange Alien or #1 1/2 Friend is useful just after the crux. Crux is both a bit pumpy and a bit balancy. You can certainly reach the summit with this second pitch. Nice summit.
1.5 stars. Nice route but IMHO it pales in comparison with 3 star 5.8s in the area like Ruper, Bastille, Great Zot to Zot Face, Redguard, Bitty Buttress, North Face Center of Cob (I know it's 5.7), Saturday's Folly, East Face of Willy B, or even Bihedral.
|By Doug Redosh|
May 15, 2003
To keep P1 at 5.5 belay at a stance at about 90 feet. This is just before the wall bulges and gets a bit more licheny. Definitely some loose rock (I pulled off a big hold) and some of the pro is less than bomber, especially in the first 20 feet. The second pitch is about 70 feet' and has a good 30' stretch of balancey 5.7 - 5.8 climbing. Also, the start is about 70' east of the high notch between the Finger and the formation to the south and just behind the small pillar called Shark's Fin. One can 4th class downclimb to the start from this notch. The route goes up right about 20 feet, then cuts back up left up the ramp system all the way to the summit.
|By Dave Clark 5.10|
From: Golden, CO
May 4, 2014
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Doug's comment above applies to the alternate start mentioned in Leo's comment, which is the start on the uphill (W) side of the big chockstone. Conclusion: you can start on either side of the chockstone. Same P1 belay location in either case. For the final move on P2 from the big ledge to the summit, I chose to go straight up rather than through the tunnel to the right or around left on the awkward ramp. The short, straight up option is probably 5.10-, well-protected with a #1 cam and a medium-size nut.
|By Doug Redosh|
May 4, 2014
Did this again yesterday for the first time in 11 years. Maybe I am getting older, but first pitch seemed more like 5.7 and P2 more like 5.9.
Belay spot is at a good stance at a crack that angles up and right. The route continues left however. Once on the summit ridge, there are obvious belay slings to the right. However, if one goes left about 15 feet (4th class, exposed), the anchors for Nude Figures in a Hollow Fruit are seen, which is a cool toprope.
Would agree with Leo, 2 stars, as there is still some lichen.