First Light on the Boulder Colorado Flatirons

First light on the Boulder Flatirons as a storm clears. The first flatiron is on the far right of the frame. Photo Credit: beklaus (iStock)

Rescuers were called to the Second Boulder Flatiron on Sunday after a 25-year-old male climber became stuck on the formation while attempting to ascend it with no ropes.

The Boulder County Sheriff's Office reports that the incident occurred at about 3:30 PM when the climber became stuck in the area of the 'Dodge Block' route. According to Mountain Project, Dodge Block is a 5.0-rated route that takes climbers up the Second Flatiron formation. It's not bolted for sport climbing, meaning that most climbers either use trad climbing gear or no gear at all.

Rescuers responded to the scene and were able to secure the stuck climber, lowering him safely to the ground. The climber was with a friend on the formation at the time of the incident, though the friend was able to make it off of the rock under his own power. The entire rescue took approximately three hours.

With a 5.0 rating, the Dodge Block route is rated as the lowest difficultly of technical climbing possible. That being said, the route is not without grave risk. It's long, extremely exposed, and requires some serious route finding, along with technical climbing experience. Rescues and accidents, some of which result in fatalities, regularly occur on the Second Flatiron formation involving free solo climbers.

Free solo climbing is a type of climbing that involves no ropes, aids, or protection whatsoever. It has serious obvious and inherent risks.

The Flatirons are an iconic rock group found just outside of Boulder, Colorado. Hundreds of climbing routes can be found in the Flatirons area.

Agencies involved with this rescue effort include Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, and the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group.

Editor’s Note: Help fund search and rescue missions across the state of Colorado by purchasing a CORSAR card at This is not an insurance card. By purchasing a card, you are helping reimburse teams for costs incurred in providing help to lost and injured hikers, climbers, mountain bikers, hunters, ATV riders, skiers, snowboarders, and more.

Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee is OutThere Colorado's Director of Content and Operations. In his spare time, Spencer loves to hike, rock climb, and trail run. He's on a mission to summit all 58 of Colorado's fourteeners and has already climbed more than half.


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