Fifth Flatiron - East Face South Side (5.5)

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Trip Report
Colorado, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Jan 7, 2006
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74.92% Score
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Fifth Flatiron - East Face South Side (5.5)
Created On: Jan 8, 2006
Last Edited On: Feb 14, 2006

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On a beautiful, January Saturday Fabio (aka brenta), Peter (aka pksander), their friend Kristin, and I climbed the Fifth Flatiron. We chose the East Face South Side Route rated 5.5. I climbed with Peter who is relatively new to trad climbing so I got to lead all the pitches. Fabio and Kristin followed us, swapping leads.

Protection was a bit sparse on the first pitch but the climbing was easy. I ran out the first pitch to the full 60 meters of rope to reach a spacious belay ledge in a giant crack/chimney.

The second pitch started out with a series of tricky moves out of the crack/chimney and up and over a headwall. This was followed by a run-out slab up to another small headwall. I wasn't sure I had enough rope to make it to another adequate belay ledge above the small headwall so I ended the second pitch below it.

The third pitch again involved a short series of tricky moves over the headwall and then easy scrambling up to the North Ridge. The summit was in view and not too far away, but I wasn't sure I could make it all the way there with our 60 meter rope. Instead I opted to set up the belay on a spacious ledge just below the North Ridge. I think Fabio and Kristin probably could have made it all the way to the summit on the third pitch with their 70 meter rope.

The fourth pitch was a short run up the North Ridge to the summit. The ridge was really cool - the east face met the west face at a perfect corner that dropped shear and straight down to the west. There was almost no protection on the last pitch but the climbing was easy.

We made the single rope rappel off the summit to the west and then hiked back to the car. On the way we had to stop at Royal Arch to summit it as well. We couldn't have asked for better weather on this perfect January day.


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Viewing: 1-10 of 10

Andy - Jan 9, 2006 12:29 pm - Hasn't voted

Trip Report Comment

Time for some 5.8 leads now.

Maybe a few 5.7's first ;-)


pksander - Jan 13, 2006 10:24 am - Hasn't voted

Trip Report Comment

Thanks for ommitting the fact that I chickened out on Royal Arch, Andy. Exposure is not my friend!


Andy - Jan 14, 2006 9:57 pm - Hasn't voted

Trip Report Comment

Don't worry - I got your back. (I won't tell anyone how you rappelled off the summit and left your pack on top.)


hagertyp - Feb 14, 2006 12:38 am - Voted 10/10

Love the Video!

I love the video on the TR, everyone looks so relaxed. I'm impressed that you just started a couple years ago--hopefully I'll be there soon.


Andy - Feb 14, 2006 1:09 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Love the Video!

Yeah - I wrote this trip report in 2002 when I was beginner (that was my second 3rd class route). I kept doing harder and harder stuff and then I started rock climbing in fall 2004. A year later I was leading 5.6! The best thing you can do is find some friends who are a little bit better than you and will let you tag along. is great for that.


lisae - Jul 4, 2006 1:49 am - Hasn't voted


Again, A nice video. I really liked the belay sequence towards the end. The belayer is really hustling to keep up with the climber :-)


Andy - Jul 5, 2006 3:15 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Great!!

The belayer is really hustling to keep up with the climber :-) - It's tough to film AND belay a follower at the same time ;-)


lisae - Jul 5, 2006 5:47 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Great!!

I've never tried to film while climbing; it make me nervous when someone asks me to hold on, while they take a picture. I've gone so far as to demand my belayer tie me off :-)

One reason I like cimbing as a party of 3 - more opportunities for playing with the camera . . .


Andy - Jul 5, 2006 5:51 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Great!!

Just to be clear, I NEVER take anyone off belay while they're climbing. (I always keep my brake hand ready to hold a fall and I have my camera strapped to me such that I can drop it in an instant should I need two hands.) It's just hard to take in slack while filming. I agree - it's a lot easier to make good movies when you've got a party of three or two parties of two climbing in close proximity.


lisae - Jul 5, 2006 8:25 pm - Hasn't voted

Just to clarify

Andy, I never thought you were the one who was belaying during the sequence & if you can belay and film at the same time I am impressed. I can't even one hand a small digital camera :-)

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Fifth Flatiron - East Face South Side (5.5)

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