Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fourth Flatiron

Today we climbed part of the Fourth Flatiron. The rock is split into three pieces separated by gullies. We climbed the first piece in 5 pitches (about 700' over 5 hours).

This was our first climb anywhere near the Fourth, so we weren't even sure where the rock was or what it looked like. Typically we waste a lot of time trying to find the right starting point, but this rock was easy to locate and identify -- right off the trail with a big cave 200' up.

The routefinding was surprisingly easy. The landmarks we were aiming for (cave, ledge, face, ridge) were all oversized and obvious, so there was no question we were on route. The climbing itself was enjoyable too -- mostly friction work (typical for east face routes) but there were occasional sections that were more vertical and definitely felt harder than 5.4.

The climb isn't far from the Royal Arch. It was neat seeing it from afar -- when you hike to it you don't get a good look until it's right in front of your face. To the north we could see the Third Flatiron and to the East was NCAR.

Once we get our climbing chops back we'll have to return to do the entire East Face of the Fourth. From the rock's summit it isn't a far hike to the summit of Green Mountain, which sounds like a very fun hike!

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