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The Flatirons

Green Mountain, home of the world famous Flatirons
3rd, 2nd and 1st Flatirons
Green Mountain
When you think of Boulder, Colorado, you think of the Flatirons, especially the world-famous and easily recognizable First, Second and Third Flatirons. Though the area has quite a long and venerable history of roped climbing, concerted efforts to develop the scattered pockets of excellent bouldering in these steep mountains were forestalled until the early 1990's. With the advent of the bolting ban, climbers bored with the same old shit up on Flagstaff and the boring shit traverses on Mt. Sanitas began hiking around, looking for new rock.

 The sandstone in the Flatirons is of the Fountain formation, just like Eldorado Springs Canyon seven miles to the south. The climbing is both varied and unique, offering holds that range from bathtub sized huecos to crozzly crimpers to snot-slick pebbles. As a general rule, the darker the rock the finer the grain and the better the quality, as the lighter red and whitish bands of sandstone tend to be very unconsolidated and friable The Flatirons could be said to extend from Eldorado Springs to Flagstaff Mountain. The bouldering could be found next and below long standing traditional climbing areas like the Matron and the 2nd and 3rd Flatirons. Up hard to get too talus fields like the PB Boulders. And in beautiful pine covered mesas like Bob Block. But always there is a price to pay in terms of approach. Some areas, like the Satellites and Terrain are comparatively moderate 20-25 minute semi flat stroll. Others like the PB's are a good hour hike in with talus fields to navigate through mountain lion country. And to boulder at The Ghetto you have be willing to highball 50 feet off the deck on easy 5th class climbing. And speaking of highballs, don't even bother going to The Elephant Rocks unless you're comfortable on being way off the deck on stone that doesn't see that much traffic.

Bear Mountain
southern Flatirons: Bear Mountain
Again, the main drawback to Flatirons bouldering is the distance between areas. Unlike Hueco Tanks, or even Flagstaff Mountain, where you can visit many of the rocks in a day, Flatirons boulders pop up in either distinct but distant clumps, isolated blocks or bedded ridges. The highest concentrations of bouldering can be found at the Ghetto, the Satellite Boulders, the Terrain Boulders, and in Fern Canyon.

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