Flatirons Beta Report
If you’ve been to Boulder, then you’ve seen the infamous Flatirons. These massive, slanted, reddish-brown sandstone formations make up a portion of Boulder’s foothills on the west side of town. It’s their most iconic landmark and it provides the residents of Boulder with one spectacular backdrop. Hiking in the area is beautiful and highly recommended, but we’re going to take a minute and talk about climbing in Boulder’s Flatirons.
Most climbers in Colorado have heard about Boulder’s Flatirons. It would be extremely difficult to find another climbing area in the country where such a wide-ranging variety of climbing, from scrambling to hard trad routes exist so close to a major metro area. In just 20-30 short minutes, one can go from sitting in their office at work, to unloading their gear at the base of a 1000+ ft. multi-pitch climb. It’s a weekend warrior’s dream!
How to Get to Boulder’s Flatirons
To get there, all you have to do is look west. Once you get to the west side of town, there will be three main areas to choose from. Flatirons North, Flatirons Central, and Flatirons South. There are a number of trails, crags and rocks that can look fairly similar. It would be wise to take a climbing guide book with you. I took “Climbing Boulder’s Flatirons” by Jason Haas, which we do sell here at Ski Haus. It got the job done and provided me with the most updated information.
Important Access Info
There are various areas of the Flatirons that are closed for falcon nesting from Feb. 1 up to July 31 and for bat nesting April 1 to Aug. 31. Please check with city of Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks at 303-441-3440 before heading up there. Also, 303.441.4060 ext 420 can provide information.
My Experience in the Flatirons
One of the main reasons I wanted to get out to the Flatirons to climb was because it offers a wide range of grades throughout the area. Plus I wanted to play with my new shiny toys! Ski Haus now carries the new Black Diamond Camalot C4s (#.3 – #6), so I had to treat myself and add these to the rack. The Flatirons are a great place to practice your trad climbing and gear placement due to the lower grade options, with a little less consequence in some situations.
I made my approach from the Chautauqua Park parking lot in the Flatirons North area. After a casual incline for about 25 minutes or so, we made it to our first climb near the top of the Second Flatiron. We then had a 5 minute mosey on over to one of the little ironettes. Here we found some fun single pitch trad climbs. After getting our warmup on some of the easier routes, we made the 25 minute journey to the backside of the Third Flatiron. Here I got to push my grade a bit on one of my harder and more exposed climbs I’ve ever done. So all in all, I got everything out of my trip that I came for. Easy to hard climbing, as well as pushing my grade a bit. I’d highly recommend checking it out!
As I’ve previously mentioned, we sell just about everything you’ll need for this type of adventure here at Ski Haus. So come on by and have a chat with our friendly sales staff and gather some beta for your next climb. Also, all climbers are welcome to add themselves to the “Steamboat Climbing Community” Facebook group. Just a way for us climbers to spread some beta and find some climbing partners. As always, be smart, stay safe and get out there and send it!