News and Events
The FCC sponsors trailbuilding and restoration events, the FHRC holds public meetings to review new route applications, and Open Space and Mountain Parks holds public meetings where your input is needed. These and other events could use your involvement – stay tuned!
September 2013 Flood Damage
The torrential rains and run-off have severely damaged trails and bridges throughout the Flatirons resulting in a temprary closure of all trails. The Flatirons Climbing Council has been and will continue to assist City of Boulder – Open Space and Mountain Parks with updates to the climbing community re: the status of the closure. We will also assist with repairing trails by helping organize traildays and drawing volunteer labor from the climbing community. The FCC welcomes your donation that will be used to purchase materials and support trail work that will directly impact climbing access. We appreciate your generosity. We are a 501c3 organization and your donations are tax dedctible.
November 5, 2013 Update
The closure list has grown pretty small. Remaining closures and status:
Skunk Canyon – although the Skunk Canyon Trail is slated for re-opening by 12/31 it is the Mesa Trail, slated for 2014, that provides access to the mouth of the canyon and climbing. The gully-crossing is blown and a few switchbacks up the northern hillside were swept by a sluff. Skunk has a Feb 1 raptor closure.
Royal Arch Trail (formations include S Face – Third Flatiron, Ironing Boards, Fourth and Fifth Flatiron, Royal Arch, etc.). The Bluebell blow-out at Royal Arch Tr (slated for 2014) will require some time before re-opening. The wheels are in motion as we work with OSMP on this significant project. The Third F’iron and Ironing Boards have a Feb 1 raptor closure.
The Matron – The access trail, South Shadow Canyon Trail, was damaged and is slated to be re-opened by 12/31.
Eldo crags along Eldorado Canyon Trail(formations include Physical, Veil, SoBo and Diamond Head) – All should be open this week.
Recent openings include:
Boulder Canyon – The Dome and Elephant Buttresses are open. The Standard Route (5.7) on the Third Elephant Buttress is closed due to a large, loose flake that threatens the water pipe.
Mickey Mouse Wall – open. Please note: Eldorado Canyon State Park discourages hiking the Fowler Trail near the eastern Park boundary due to flood damage. Please don’t use this trail to approach M Mouse.
The Sacred Cliffs are open.
Night restrictions apply. Off-trail restrictions do not apply in climbing areas but do elsewhere. Additional flood-related information may be found at OSMP’s website.
In addition to our focus on climbing terrain we’re also working with OSMP on trail restoration plans/projects. There are three critical north/south links in the Mesa Trail that remain closed and have the unfortunate effect of nearly isolating adjacent areas without a major detour. The Mesa Tr is blown-out at three gully crossings: Bluebell, Skunk and Bear Canyons. OSMP’s Long Range Plan indicates 2014 re-opening for each. We intend to help expedite re-openings via planning and volunteer projects. We’ll keep everyone posted as we work on all these issues and more.
October 26, 2013 – Gregory Amphitheatre Area now open
- Fifth Pinnacle
- Fifth Pinnacle (North Ridge)
- Fouth pinnacle
- Gregory Flatironette (fifth pinnacle)
- Second Pinnacle
- South Amphitheater Pinnacle
- Third Pinnacle
October 24, 2013 – Flagstaff bouldering now open
Flagstaff bouldering is now open. Hike-in access only as Flagstaff Rd remains closed to the public. Flagstaff Trail, Crown Rock Trail, Gregory Canyon Trail and other Flagstaff summit trails are all open. Night and on-trail restrictions have been lifted in these areas. The road to the Gregory Canyon Trailhead parking lot was destroyed but as a trail it is open to peds.
October 19, 2013 – Flatirons post-flood update
In addition to climbing on the First and Third Flatirons , OSMP has re-opened two other areas:
- from Shadow Canyon Trail north to parts north of Fern Canyon Trail. North of Fern Canyon The Goose, East Ridge, Nebel Horn and Seal Rock are open. Bear Canyon is closed. Please note Shadow Canyon cannot be accessed from the south due to damaged trails that remain closed.
- Dinosaur Mtn/Mallory Cave Tr formations habitually accessed from the Mallory Cave Trail are now open. This includes Dinosaur Rock, Der Zerkle, Red Devil, Finger, Hand Box, etc. Skunk Canyon and climbs typically accessed from Skunk Canyon are closed.
The FCC organized 15 volunteers to meet with OSMP on Oct 9 to learn trail assessment methods. Beginning Oct 10 the volunteers assessed climber-access from Mickey Mouse Wall in the south to The Dome in Boulder Canyon in the north. Reports and images were given to OSMP for their prioritizing and planning needs. Once OSMP determines that access trails are safe and passable without further damage they will progressively re-open climbing terrain. Trails that require restoration will be prioritized and scheduled for work.
Lands and structures (bridges, culverts, etc.) have suffered significant damage. After prioritizing needs OSMP will welcome volunteer help with trail repairs. (Please send us an email if you’re willing to volunteer: email@example.com .) We’re hoping the climbing community shows-up in strong numbers to lend a hand. The FCC will keep the community posted on volunteer projects and re-openings. Once the closures have been lifted, in whole or in part, OSMP will post any change in status on its’ website.
Trail Day – Monkey Traverse
We’re holding our Annual FCC Trail Days project at and near one of the country’s most historic and popular bouldering areas, The Monkey Traverse. Decades of bouldering and hiking have taken a toll. We’ll repair worn trails, close social trails and restore terrain. We’ll provide lunch, snacks and drinks. Past Trail Days have included improvements to the Mickey Mouse Wall trail and Third Flatiron descent trail. More info and register here.
Trash Cleanup – Flagstaff Mountain
The Trash Bash has been postponed indefinitely due to the damaging rains and run-off.
What: 13th Annual Flagstaff TRASH BASH
When: Postponed indefinitely.
Why: It’s a clean, green, happening scene!
The 13th Annual Flagstaff TRASH BASH will be happening on Tuesday, September 17th, 2013.
Mark your calendar, recruit/brainwash some friends, and head up to the Summit to pick up trash, eat dinner, drink beverages, and hang for the raffle.
The trash cleanup starts with signup at 4:30 pm (or when you get there after work), at the Flagstaff Mountain Summit. To get there, go about three miles up Flagstaff Road. Take a right on the Flagstaff Summit Road and drive to the Flagstaff Summit parking lot. Look for “The Stone Shelter” to the west of the lot.
After the work we’ll have food and beverages followed by the raffle. Bring work gloves if you can, and warm clothes for later. Bring a friend and car pool if possible. Parking fee will be waived for non-resident volunteers. If you are running late, come anyway to help recycle the trash, and enjoy the “zero waste” BBQ.
Hosted by the Flatirons Climbing Council in partnership with the City of Boulder OSMP and the Access Fund and made possible again this year due to the generous support of our prime sponsor, CUSTOM SOLAR.
Past and current contributors to the Trail Days and Trash Bash include CUSTOM SOLAR, Boulder Beer, Annette Yuan Massage, The Spot Climbing Gym, The Access Fund, Mont-Bell, Wilderness Exchange Unlimited, Avery Brewing, Cliff Bar, Mammut, Neptune Mountaineering, KT’s BBQ, Scarpa, Vic’s Expresso, Camelbak, Bittersweet, Bent Gate, American Bouldering Series, BOA, Bent Gate, Sportiva, Rock and Resole, Movement Climbing + Fitness, Eco Products, Fixed Pin Publishing, and many more………
Thanks for being part of this event, again. Come out and clean up!
August 2013 FHRC Applications
One application has been submitted for the current cycle of the Fixed Hardware Review Committee’s application process: on the west face of Overhang Rock. Visit http://flatironsclimbingcouncil.wordpress.com/category/route-applications/2013-august/ to view it; please post comments below the application or submit them via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The public meeting and vote will be held Wednesday, September 18, at 6:30 p.m. at The Spot gym, Boulder, Colorado.
January 2013 FHRC Applications
Three applications have been submitted for the current cycle of the Fixed Hardware Review Committee’s application process: two on the south face of Seal Rock, the other on the west face of Overhang Rock. Visit http://flatironsclimbingcouncil.wordpress.com/category/route-applications/2013-january/ to view them; please post comments below the application or submit them via email to email@example.com. This cycle closes January 1, 2013, though applicants are encouraged to submit any new routes well in advance. The public meeting and vote will be held at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 16 at The Spot gym, Boulder, Colorado.
August 2012 FHRC Public Meetings and Applications
The Flatirons Climbing Council FHRC’s public meeting and vote for the August 2012 FHRC application cycle will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday September 5 at The Spot gym in Boulder, Colorado. One application has been submitted for this cycle, for a new climb on the South Face of the Maiden. Visit http://flatironsclimbingcouncil.wordpress.com/category/route-applications/2012-august/ and/or show up to the meeting. (You can post comments below the application or submit them via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.) The next cycle for applications closes January 1, 2013.
Flagstaff Fire Closure Modified
July 24, 2012: As of today, the fire-closure boundaries have been moved west from the Mesa Trail, allowing access to many of the formations formerly affected by the Flagstaff Fire closure. More info and an updated closure map are available from OSMP at http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1158&Itemid=2552
A reminder to everyone to stay well clear of the closure and burn areas as you head back in to hike and climb. Enjoy!
Bear Peak and the Flagstaff Fire Closure
July 20, 2012: Due to the Flagstaff Fire on Bear Peak in late June and early July this year, a fire closure remains in place for all areas west of the Mesa Trail between Shadow and Bear canyons in the southern Flatirons. This includes all formations from Devil’s Thumb on the south to Overhang Rock on the north and any bouldering areas west of the Mesa Trail. Climbers are reminded not to hike, climb, or trespass in the closure area. Open Space and Mountain Parks is looking at moving the closure line farther west in the near future, which would allow for access to many of the formations. Please visit OSMP’s home page for updates.
2012 Memorandum of Understanding with OSMP Adds New Formations to Pilot Area
June 3, 2012: The Flatirons Climbing Council (FCC) and the FCC’s Fixed Hardware Review Committee have signed the latest Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks formation. This new, latest MOU also adds new formations to the pilot area. For more information, visit the FHRC’s home page.
May 2012 FHRC Public Meetings and Applications
The Flatirons Climbing Council FHRC’s public meeting and vote for the May 2012 FHRC application cycle will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday May 30 at The Spot gym in Boulder, Colorado. One application has been submitted for this cycle, for a new climb on the South Face of Seal Rock. Visit http://flatironsclimbingcouncil.wordpress.com/category/route-applications/2012-may/ and/or show up to the meeting. (You can post comments below the application or submit them via email to email@example.com.) The next cycle for applications closes August 1, 2012.
January 2012 FHRC Public Meetings and Applications
The Flatirons Climbing Council FHRC’s public meeting for the January 2012 FHRC application cycle will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, February 2 at The Spot gym in Boulder, Colorado. Four applications have been submitted for this cycle, two for new climbs, and two that pertain to existing climbs. To view the proposed applications and leave comments, visit http://flatironsclimbingcouncil.wordpress.com/category/route-applications/2012-january/ and/or show up to the meeting. (It’s probably best to submit the comments via email for now.) The next cycle for applications closes April 1, 2012.
June 2011 FHRC Public Meeting
The June 2011 Flatirons Climbing Council FHRC public meeting will be held Wednesday July 6 at 7 p.m. at The Spot gym, Boulder, Colorado. Three applications have been submitted for this cycle. To view the proposed applications and leave comments, visit http://flatironsclimbingcouncil.wordpress.com/category/route-applications/2011-june/ and/or show up to the meeting. The next cycle for applications closes September 15, 2011.
Hardware Replacement Day for Overhang Rock
On May 22nd and 23rd The Flatirons Climbing Council and volunteers will upgrade the aging fixed hardware on the Overhang Rock formation with new bolts and anchors. Overhang Rock is located on the south side of Bear Canyon in the Central Flatirons and hosts classic routes such as Snake Watching, The Big Picture and many others. In total, 8 routes and approximately 50 bolts will receive an upgrade with stainless steel, ½” bolts and anchors. The American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA) and the Anchor Replacement Initiative (ARI Hardware have generously donated hardware. FCC Board Member Ted Lanzano, with the City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks’ approval, is coordinating the effort. If you are interested in volunteering or learning the proper bolt-replacement technique please contact Ted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Climbing in the West Trail Study Area
January 25, 2011
The Community Collaborative Group (CCG) was a committee of volunteer citizens, representing various recreational, conservation, and neighborhood interests, selected to study trails and trail use in the City’s Open Space and Mountain Parks. The focus of the CCG was the West Trail Study Area (TSA), which includes all of the climbing areas in the Flatirons. After 16 months of determined work and negotiations, the CCG released its report on January 19, 2011. While the report contains many substantial recommendations, particularly for dog and horse uses, it presents no significant changes for climbers and climbing access. The only climbing issues called out specifically in the CCG report are the following.
1. Designated access will be provided to the Ghetto Boulders, Fifth Flatiron, Front Porch, Back Porch, Lost Porch, Fee, and Fumbledeedum.
2. Designated access will be provided to the Terrain Boulders (Animal Chin, Funk Soul, and Ice Cube-Fairview) and Seal Rock
3. Designated access will be provided to the Maiden and Matron.
The fixed hardware application process is unchanged by the CCG recommendations. Also unchanged is access to formations near the Sacred Cliffs, on the South side of South Boulder Peak, and near the Mickey Mouse Wall. For detailed maps of these areas showing the formations that are accessible with and without an off-trail permit, go to
Off-Trail permits are available on-line at