The immense Flatirons that rise over Boulder are unmistakable landmarks signaling the presence of the Rockies. They offer exceptional climbing on hard conglomerate, Fountain Formation sandstone. Most of the climbs on the east faces are well suited to the beginner and intermediate levels, thanks to excellent flakes and face holds.
The First Flatiron is a massive slab formation towering over beautiful Chataqua Park on the north end of the ridge. The Direct Route is given a moderate 5.6 rating, although it is also given an "R" rating due to a few runouts and some mild route finding.
The Direct Route is one of the longests climbs in Boulder (Grade II) and, hands down, one of the best. The line goes directly up the center of the East Face following flakes, corners, pronounced edges and excellent friction for over 1,000 feet. The crux of the ten-pitch route comes right off the ground, then easier climbing leads to the spectacular final ridge and traverse to an airy summit. The route feels like a classic mountaineering route in a sub-alpine setting and has the best view in Boulder.
Whether you're just passing through town, or you can see the route from your kitchen window, the Direct Route on the First Flatiron should be on your to-do list. The weather is perfect, so grab your shoes - we'll see ya up there.
The Colorado Mountain School offers a convenient, economical way for you to experience the most popular route on the First Flatiron, with scheduled climbs of the Direct Route every Saturday through the summer. You can find out more here.
Photo Credits: Todd Reeves, Topher Donahue/Alpinecreative, Topher Donahue/Alpinecreative