Sea Level to Second Flatiron

Sea Level to Second Flatiron

Hahaha, trying to write this report on Supertopo is what triggered me to create this website! Between not being able to link to external pictures, and waiting forever for the pics to upload (if they weren't rejected for being too big), I couldn't take it any more. I have been toying with the idea of setting up my own website for this stuff forever, but supertopo was a convenient place to just keep doing it.... No more!

Business called me to Denver, so I arrived a bit early to squeeze in some fun. Between the time I landed in DIA, and meeting a college buddy at 4pm in Boulder, I had a small window to climb. I reached out to the supertopo peanut gallery hoping to get lucky.... No such luck, so I opted for something easy on my own. Made a bee-line from the car rental place to Boulder:

I went a little out of my way for a very good lunch at Arabesque (because life is too short to eat crappy food), and parked it at Chataqua with the destination middle peak (Second Flatiron) plainly in sight:

This pic doesn't really show it, but one of the things I really like about Boulder is how many people, from hard-bodies to normal folks and families, that are out using their bodies and enjoying their surroundings. Between the natural beauty all around and the inspiration of others out there getting after it, I feel very inspired to do stuff when I'm in Boulder.

Speaking of doing stuff... somewhere early on the route Freeway on Second Flatiron:

Looking down near the start:

The wider view for perspective:

A good perspective to show the general steepness or slabbiness:

I found a hand jam! Also some good easy liebacks and fingerlocks and general fun romping everywhere across the face. Route-finding is not at all an issue. Casual cruiser just about everywhere (at least wearing climbing shoes):

I found myself wandering all over the face to make it more interesting, because it was too much like a hike and not enough like a climb if I stayed over to the right:

A weak video of a little jump somewhere up there:

Before making that jump:

Looking back after:

Onward and upward:

At the top of the Freeway route, where I encountered some other non-climberish dudes that looked like they were having a grand adventure:

Looking up the last little dog-leg to the left that extends the scrambling a bit longer before getting back on the trail:

And then, after a minute on the trail, you reach the saddle right below the actual summit of Second Flatiron. The most technically committing part coincides with the point of most exposure, so it is a big bump up in commitment from the rest of the route (maybe 5.6ish steep/overhang in do-not-fall territory). Probably no surprise that I was the only one who went to the summit despite how many people were scrambling on the other slabby part below:

Beautiful views from the top!

180 degree pano:

I seem pretty stoked to be there!

And there you have it. Down-climb from the summit is a bit spicy, reversing the overhanging roof until the feet find a purchase, but at least the hand/finger-jam is pretty solid if at a bit of an awkward angle. When I get down that and I'm at the top of the saddle, I realize that I've got about half an hour before I'm supposed to meet my college buddy at the fire station south of Boulder! I debated calling him to say I'm going to be late, but instead, I changed back to my regular shoes and started running down. I didn't think of it at the time, but in retrospect I realize that this is a good benchmark for my improving health- flew from sea level that day and then at a mile high managed to run down to the car without stopping! Not a big deal for these crazy Boulderites that are all in shape, but I'm not a runner. So I make it to my car, back down Broadway and show up to meet my buddy exactly 1 minute before 4pm.


Prologue: After a great evening hanging out with my college buddy and playing pool, then a few days of getting my work stuff done, I did a pre-dawn start from the Denver Tech Center area where I was staying, making the pilgrimage up to Nederland to go hang out with Tarbuster (Roy). Got to meet the lovely Lisa, with an iron grip handshake that caught me off guard! Had a nice breakfast, chatted about art and philosophy and emotions and a bit of climbing, checking out his classic Flatirons guidebooks. He's a deep thinker and well read. We headed out to a little flat spot with a grand view of the Continental Divide, except our distant views were concealed by the moody weather. It was a perfect morning stroll, then back at the Tarbuster and Lisa compound for a brief session of playing with Custom JavaScript (CJS) plugin for web-browsers to make the images show up inline for Supertopo again. All too soon, it was time for me to hit the road and catch my flight.

I'll be back!

Thanks Roy!

Author: NutAgain!

... 'cause I speak of the pompitous of love.

7 thoughts on “Sea Level to Second Flatiron

  1. Way to get after it Scott and nice site ya got here.
    Only did 1 route, N. Face of The Maiden in that area bitd (77) while I was working a summer firefighter job for BLM in Wyoming.
    Have not been back since but it's on the short To Do List!
    How's the van build coming along?
    Wife and I head out next week in the TADMO BL for a tour of Grand Canyon N.P. , Utah N.P.'s, Tetons and Yellowstone N.P.'s. 🙂
    Best wishes,

    1. Tad, sounds like a glorious itinerary! I hope you get a big chunk of time to enjoy all that. Van build is slow- but I do at least have the sliding bench/bed in back, so can comfortably sleep and safely drive with 4. One of the beds is just a mattress on floor in back right now. Next step is kitchen/galley- still debating whether to do it sideways with raised bed full length in back, or do it lengthwise with bed on side.

  2. Oh, and that reminds me there are more pics and more of this story to share! I'll finish that up. Had a great visit with Roy (Tarbuster) up in Nederland too.

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