Fabio and I had tried to climb the Third Flatiron the previous weekend but got rained out. We climbed the first pitch and decided it wasn't much fun on the cold, rain-slick rock. We rapped off and decided to try it again another day.
We didn't have to wait very long because the weather the following weekend was forecast to be superb. This time I wanted to bring Julie along and we tried to find a fourth. After several options fell through we made a last minute plea on summitpost.org for a fourth without luck.
Undaunted we set off on a perfect Sunday morning to climb the 3rd as a team of three. Fabio had a GiGi plate so the first could belay both seconds at the same time. This would have worked out like a dream except that my 11mm rope was a little thick to slide through the GiGi smoothly. Consequently belaying the seconds became a huge chore. I was a little suprised when Fabio offered to hand the lead over to me after only the second pitch. I let him have one more and then took over after the third pitch.
When I got to the top and began to belay up Fabio and Julie I found out how tough it was to muscle the 11mm rope through the GiGi. However, the extra work was worth it to get to lead the remaining four and a half pitches. The climbing was really fun and the weather was perfect. Although the three rappels off the back were my least favorite part, they went smoothly.
We didn't set any speed records (it took us about seven hours car-to-car) but we had an absolutely fantastic day on a true classic.
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