Rock Climbing in Colorado
Flatirons, Eldorado Canyon and more
Colorado is a Mecca for rock climbing, some of the
best in the world. And most routes are easily accessible with a short
hike from a road or parking lot. The most popular places include the
Flatirons and Eldorado Canyon state park just outside of Boulder Colorado.
There are many great climbs near Estes Park as well including Lumpy
Ridge, The Monastery and more. These brief accounts are of some of
the climbs I have done.
Jutting up from the foothills west of Boulder Colorado are a series of uplifts affectionately known as the Flatirons. Paul and I climbed the First Flatiron in May, 2001 using the Fandango route (5.6). It was 6 pitches up and 3 across to the summit and took about 4 hours. Beautiful day! Light breeze, 72 degrees and a few fluffy white clouds around noon. Click here for pictures of the day.
The 3rd Flatiron is the southern most pinnacle and one of the most popular. Joel and I climbed the 5.4 East Face or the Standard route route in September 2004. We arrived at the parking lot about 7:00AM only to find it very crowded. We swiftly gathered our gear and took the short hike to the base of the Flatiron. The trail was well marked and well used!
We beat most of the crowd to the base and quickly Joel took the lead. The straightforward Standard route was a total of five pitches. In my opinion, the rappelling was the best part of this climb in that it was two 70' drops. The intermediate stop was on a smallish ledge where you had to be careful to select the right bolt to set the rap otherwise you ended up dangling from the end of your rope with another 50' to go!
Once we made it back to the base the 3rd was filed with climbers some who had waited over two hours for the route to clear! Click for some pictures
The Canyon is actually a Colorado state park. It costs $5 to park. The climbing starts only a few hundred yards from the parking lot. There are literally hundreds of routes in the canyon but Joel and I did one of the classics: Tagger on the Wind Tower - a 5.4 route with a particularly "interesting move about two-thirds of the way up. It was 3 pitches with an easy walk-off after three pitches.
Here are some pictures