Published: June 19, 2020

It might not be hyperbole to call the Flatirons CU’s biggest recruiting tool. Here's 10 facts you might not know about Boulder's most famous landmark:

  1. Flatirons as seen from Chautauqua ParkThe rocks are nearly 300 million-years-old, taking their current form roughly 60 million years ago.
  2. Some other names for the Flatirons include “The Craqs” and “Chatauqua Slabs.”
  3. Chautauqua is believed to be an Iroquois word meaning “a bag tied in the middle,” or “two moccasins tied together.”
  4. The rock formation is made of feldspar-rich sandstone.
  5. The fifth peak is the lowest at 6,900 feet.
  6. At 7,630 feet, the fourth peak is the highest.
  7. In 1953, Dale Johnson (Geol'54) climbed the third peak on roller skates using ropes and belays.
  8. They have an average slope of 55 degrees.
  9. A white “CU” was painted on the side of the third flatiron until the city painted over it in 1980: It is still visible to keen-eyed observers.
  10. In 2010, Stefan Griebel (ElEngr'97; MS'00) speed-climbed the east face of the third Flatiron in only 5 minutes 59 seconds.

 Photo by Casey Cass