August 20, 2006

First Flatiron

Ashley and I had so much fun on the Third Flatiron last weekend, we decided to do the classic route on the First Flatiron this weekend. The standard route on the First is slightly longer (9 pitches compared to 6) and slightly more technical (5.4-5.6 compared to 5.0 to 5.4). In preparation for this climb, I ordered some Metolius Cams from Mountain Gear. Climbing the Third with just a set of nuts was fine, but I felt with the added difficulty and sparser protection opportunities associated with the First, it would be nice to have some active protection. Ended up using them quite a bit too, so it was a good choice. We got an earlier start this time, and didn't have to wait at the start of the climb like last time. The exact route was a little more difficult to follow, and the belay stations weren't bolted as they were on the third. Although the climbing was more technical, it was still quite easy and the rock was superb. The views to be had while climbing the First were arguably better than those to be had while climbing the Third, primarily because you can see around the Front Range and into the Indian Peaks once you gain the castleated summit ridge.
The descent involved a single 100 foot rappel from the top of the First Flatiron down to a semi-popular hiking trail. As it turns out, this is the perfect distance for a 60-meter rope. We even had about 5-10 feet to spare. The hike down was on a nice trail, so we never had to battle the poison ivy. The whole trip took us about 6 hours. On the "Must Do" rating scale, Josh gives this one a "Yes".

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

On the Dorkiness Scale, Ashley gives Josh a 10.

I love Risk said...

The first flatiron rules - good job!