First Flatiron - Zig Zag (5.7)

First Flatiron - Zig Zag (5.7)

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 39.99056°N / 105.29325°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.7 (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 4
Additional Information Grade: II
Sign the Climber's Log


Zig Zag is a good climb that reaches the summit of the First Flatiron via the Northeast Ridge. It is located uphill from both the Direct East Face route and Fandago. While not a classic like the last two, it's still a worthy climb and is on a less crowded part of the rock.

The FlatironsPanoramic View of the Flatirons over Boulder


The start is located about half-way between the base (East Face Route) and the trail below the summit. Look for a large "alcove" with a series of roofs above it, a tree at the center of the roofs, and a large left facing corner. Below and to the right of the tree is a set of ratty slings.

Route Description

Pitch 1: Climb up the easy slab (a little run out) to the roofs. Our guidebook said to belay under the roof, but with a 60m rope, you can climb through the roofs and belay at the tree. The "roofs" are the crux of the route - watch for some loose rock and flakes through this section.

Zig Zag P1Pitch 1

Pitch 2: Continue up and right from the belay, staying in a dihedral. A little easier than the first pitch, and easier than it looks from the belay. Sling a couple of trees early for additional protection. Pitch 2 is a full rope length.

Zig Zag P2Pitch 2
Zig Zag P2Pitch 2

Pitch 3: Continue up the dihedral (who knows if we were actually on route at this point, but above the 2nd pitch, it never got harder than 5.5 or so) for another full rope and belay about 30 feet below the Northeast Ridge.

Zig Zag P3Pitch 3
Zig Zag P3Pitch 3

Pitch 4: Climb the last bit of the face to the Northeast Ridge and then join the Direct East Face route to the summit.

Zig Zag P4Pitch 4

The Descent

One 60m rope will get you to the ground from the large eye bolt on top. Two raps needed with a 50m. Fun, free hanging rappel.

Zig ZagSitting on the Summit
First Flatiron SummitSetting Up the Rap
First FlatironFree Rappel
FlatironsWalk Back to Car

Essential Gear

Standard Flatirons rack - I don't remember using anything bigger and a #3Camalot, the protection was good throughout with the exception of the initial run out on easy terrain on the first pitch.

External Links Zig Zig (5.7)