Third Flatiron - College Drop Out (5.7s)

Third Flatiron - College Drop Out (5.7s)

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 39.87602°N / 105.33691°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: s
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.7 (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 6
Additional Information Grade: II
Sign the Climber's Log


College Drop Out is a fun line that climbs the right side of the Third Flatiron (also known as East Face North Side). The climb eventually reaches the summit after six pitches (four is possible if you really stretch the rope lengths), with the upper pitches bisecting the "U" on the still all to visible "CU" that was painted on the rock long ago.

With the limited climbing season on the Third (due to raptor closures from February through July) the standard east face routes are generally packed on weekends. If you're lucky, you won't have to wait in line for this one, and you'll still get to enjoy the grandeur of the Third.

Unlike most of the Flatiron's east face climbs, College Drop Out climbs the extreme right hand (north) side of the formation. Instead of being surrounded by a sea of rock, you get to climb alongside the steep drop to the forest floor.

Panoramic View of BoulderPanoramic View of Boulder from the Summit of the Third Flatiron


Get to the base of the Third Flatiron, and aim for the bottom right corner of the formation. The climb is found right of a large tree and starts off the East Bench. The first pitch climbs the "corner" formed by the main face and the drop to the forest floor. After the second pitch you climb on the face itself.

Route Description

Pitch 1: Start from near the same place as for the Standard East Face route at the base of the large corner. Where the SEF route goes left to an eyebolt, climb straight up through a large crack and into the corner. Climb this corner to a small tree and belay. Fun pitch, good pro.

College Drop OutUp P1
College Drop Out P1Down P1

Pitch 2: Continue up the corner to a break in the wall on the left and belay. The next pitch climbs the corner and gains the face. It would probably be easy to combine this and P3.

College Drop Out P2Down P2

Pitch 3: From the corner, look for a flake that points up to the PhD roof crack. Using cracks under the flake and the flake itself, pull up over the wall and set a belay. The first picture below shows is looking down the east face right after gaining the face from the corner.

College Drop Out P2Down P3
College Drop Out P4Up P3

Pitch 4: Continue up the face, staying right of the "U" in the "CU." There is a long run out, but you can cut back into the "U" and set a good belay.

College Drop Out P4Up P4
College Drop Out P4Down P4
College Drop Out P4Down P4

Pitch 5: Climb a thin seam straight up the face from the middle of the "U." The seam takes small gear and protects well. Belay in a small dish.

College Drop Out P5Up P5

Pitch 6: Climb straight up the face (a little run out) to the summit.


The descent is pretty straight forward - two single rope raps get you down to the South Bowl where you can rap 140' to the ground or move 10 feet left and rap 72' to the ground (probably better because it will set you up for the walk back between the Second and Third.

Third FlatironSummit Plaque
The Ironing BoardsIroning Boards
Fourth and Fifth FlatironsThe 4th & 5th

Essential Gear

You might want to bring a little more than the "standard Flatirons Rack." The first two pitches protect well with cams to a Blue Camelot, while the upper pitches take small gear well, and will help during the run outs.

External Links College Drop Out (5.7s)