Freischutz - Free Shot + Overture

Freischutz - Free Shot + Overture

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 39.97318°N / 105.28774°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: Class 4
Additional Information Grade: I
Sign the Climber's Log


Der Freischutz is a flatiron in the second stratum of Dinosaur Mountain, a subsummit of Green Mountain. Der Freischutz is easily recognized from the approach trail coming from the NCAR parking lot--its twin summits contribute to Dinosaur's skyline. The rock is to the south of The Hand and to the west of Dinosaur Rock; the first stratum, with Fee, Fi, Fo, and Fum, lies to the west.
Fi, Fo, FumFi, Fo, Fum from the summit of Der Freischutz.
The south face of Der Freischutz is home to a few sport routes in the 5.10-5.11 range, while the east face offers a couple of easy lines, both rated *classic* by Gerry Roach. Free Shot is one of them. Between Der Freischutz and Dinosaur Rock is a smaller flatiron known as the Overture. It is common to add the 100 feet or so of its east face to an ascent of Free Shot. This is the combination described in this page.

Getting There

From the NCAR parking lot, follow the Walter Orr Roberts trail to the intersection with the Mesa Trail, continue past the intersection on the popular Mallory Cave Trail. The trail heads mostly south until the base of the east face of Dinosaur Rock and then rises with a series of switchbacks between Dinosaur Rock to the south and Der Zerkle to the north. Leave the trail when you are at the height of the saddle west of Dinosaur Rock and locate the base of the Overture.

Route Description

From the base of the Ouverture climb to the summit keeping close to the north edge of the east face (class 4). Descend south over boulders for about 50 feet to the base of Der Freischutz. This point may be reached directly from the Mallory Cave Trail. Climb straight up for a few feet to take a prominent ledge that leads up and left to the south ridge of Der Freischutz. Once on the ridge continue for about 200 feet to the summit (class 3). This last stretch of Free Shot is in common with the South Ridge Route. The highest summit is the western one. The rock on this route is generally solid and clean.


Two descent options are the most meaningful after a climb of Free Shot. In either case, the descent is going to be the crux. The first option is to downclimb the route itself. While normally climbing down slabs tends to be a bit unnerving, Free Shot is easy enough to make this a viable choice.
The Ramp of North VeeThe North Vee Ramp.
The second option is to descend North Vee, a short route on the north face of Der Freischutz. The route may be downclimbed or rappelled. Roach rates North Vee 5.0-5.2, while Rossiter rates it 5.4. In my opinion it is 5.awkward. Fortunately, it is also 5.short: From the notch between the two summits, descend toward a right-angling ramp. Downclimb the ramp to easier terrain.

A 30 m rope should suffice in case you decide to rappel. You may find slings threaded through a tunnel on the north side of the eastern (lower) summit. Bring your own slings, though. The one I saw didn't look very new and I don't remember seeing a rap ring.

Once past the difficulties, look for the entrance to a tunnel under the big boulders strewn at the base of the north face. There is more than one entrance to this passage, but only one that is really easy and spacious. Walk through the tunnel and emerge in hiking territory.
From the TunnelThe tunnel at the base of North Vee.
Specifically, you emerge in the so-called Hand Corridor, that runs between The Hand and Der Freischutz. Turn right and descend to meet the Mallory Cave Trail where it skirts the base of The Hand.

Essential Gear

A short rope may be useful for a rappel from the summit. The usual disclaimer about Flatiron scrambles applies: The technical difficulties are low if you stay on course, but it's easy for the inexperienced to get off route and get stuck. A fall would likely have serious consequences. Therefore, while accomplished climbers would normally go unroped on Free Shot, this is not a good beginner scramble. If you decide to bring a rope, a light rack will suffice.

External Links

Mountain Project's Freischutz's page.

Rossiter and Roach's guidebooks cover this route.



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.