Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Over Boulder: Climbing the Third Flatiron

Early Saturday morning, I climbed the Third Flatiron with my father. While its only 800 feet high or so, it feels much higher because the first pitch is a lateral traverse at a 40 degree angle out over a face that's already 2-300 feet up. So you just take the first step out and you already feel like you're 300 feet off the deck! Climbing doesn't get much better than that!
Leaving at 5:30 AM, we were sure we'd beat all the lazy CU college students to the face of the climb, but one group was there before us. Fortunately they were moving slowly and we were able to pass them up after 150 feet or so. After that, several parties started to arrive, and we saw 2 or three groups and their neon ropes snaking up the granite slab.
We reached the top first, but it wasn't long before 2 other parties arrived shortly thereafter. Despite the clouds and diffused sunlight, we had some excellent views of Boulder, Denver, and the other Flatiron slabs lining the Front Range above Boulder. See pictures below.

Here you can see my father coming down the first of three rappels. The rappels proved to be a bit awkward, but is tons of fun because the entire upper portion of the Third Flatiron slab is overhanging towards the west. So you can spin around floating through space. You can also read my father's account here.

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