Procedures and Standards for the Fixed Hardware Review Committee of The Flatirons Climbing Council


The mission of the FHRC is to work with members of the climbing public to receive applications for installation of new fixed anchors, evaluate and, if necessary, revise such applications and conduct a vote of its members and the public to recommend or reject such applications. The FHRC shall consider applications within the list of open formations found here. The FHRC only has authority to recommend new applications. Final authority to approve an application rests with Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks. The FHRC’s decision to reject an application shall be final.

A. Composition Of The FHRC

  1. Membership of the FHRC
    The FHRC shall have four members to be selected by the Flatirons Climbing Council (“FCC”). Members of the FHRC may, but need not be, members of the FCC. The FCC shall have complete authority to remove and replace members of the FHRC prior to the expiration of their terms.
  2. The Chairperson
    The FHRC shall select a chairperson. In the event the FHRC is unable to agree on a chairperson, the FCC shall select one. There shall be no limit on the number of terms that the chair is eligible to serve so long as s/he remains a member of the FHRC.

B. Terms Of FHRC Members

  1. Initial terms
    Two FHRC members shall have initial two year terms and two FHRC members shall have initial one year terms. If the members of the FHRC are unable to agree on which members shall have one year terms, the FCC shall make the selection. The FHRC will decide the effective start date of such terms.
  2. Subsequent terms
    After the expiration of the first year, all FHRC members shall thereafter have two year terms.
  3. Renewal of terms
    FHRC members are eligible for an unlimited numbers of term renewals, but there shall be no presumption in favor of, or against, such renewals.

C. Voting

For all votes other than recommendations on new fixed anchor applications, a majority of the FHRC members present shall be entitled to vote and decide any matter before the FHRC. In the event of a tie, the chairperson shall cast the deciding vote.

These Procedures and Standards for New Fixed Anchors can be amended only by a majority vote of the FCC. In the event of a tie, the chair of the FCC shall cast the deciding vote. The FHRC may recommend changes in the Procedures and Standards to the FCC.


A. The Application Process

  1. Overview of process
    There shall initially be two semi-annual opportunities for members of the public to submit applications for new fixed hardware. The FHRC shall take appropriate steps to publicize the process, create the application forms and make application forms reasonably available to area climbers. After two years, the FHRC may recommend to the FCC to increase or decrease the number of times each year that applications may be submitted and considered based on the volume of such applications and as further experience dictates.

    After receipt of timely applications, members of the FHRC shall work with the applicant(s) to visit the site of the route, discuss possible concerns and modifications to the application and then prepare a public notice of the application. The application and the public notice of the applications shall be precise as to the number, type and location of fixed anchors sought to be installed.

  2. Pertinent dates
    The FHRC shall have authority to select dates for each step in the review process. Initially the following due dates shall govern. In each case, the due date shall be the Friday of the second week of the listed month, except for the dates of the public meeting, for which the FHRC shall announce a specific date during the second week of that month.

    Winter Cycle / Spring Cycle / Summer Cycle
    Applications due: January 1, May 1, August 1

    Public meeting and vote: Early February, early June, early September

    Applicants will be encouraged to submit applications well in advance of the due date to afford them and the FHRC sufficient time to work together on the application in advance of presenting the application for public notice.

    Applications relating to an area subject to seasonal raptor closures should be, but are not required to be, submitted during a cycle (generally, the Fall cycle) during which the area is open for climbing. The FHRC may defer consideration of an application if raptor or other closures prevent sufficient consideration of the application.

B. Public Meeting And Vote

  1. The applications will be made available to the public through a variety of means, including placement in prominent climber use areas (such as the climbing gyms and shops). Members of the public will be given appropriate means (website, e-mail address and/or mail address) to submit comments on the applications to FHRC members. Such comments shall not constitute votes.
  2. The public meeting shall be held at a reasonably convenient location to be announced by the FHRC.
  3. Applications shall be discussed and voted upon one at a time.
  4. The public shall have a reasonable opportunity to voice opinions on each application, subject to the power of the chairperson to control the meeting and bring each application to a timely vote.
  5. The public shall collectively have one vote. Each person in attendance (other than FHRC members) shall be entitled to vote on each application at the public meeting. A majority of persons voting shall determine the winner of the public vote. A tie vote shall count as a public vote to reject the application.
  6. Each member of the FHRC shall have one vote. If a member of the FHRC is unable to attend the public meeting, s/he may proxy his/her vote by informing any other member of the FHRC of how s/he wishes to vote on the applications.
  7. An application can be recommended only upon receiving at least three approving votes. The vote at the public meeting is final with no right of appeal.

C. Subsequent Events

  1. The FHRC shall publicize the results of the vote.
  2. The FHRC shall promptly notify Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks of each application that was recommended for approval.Applications that were not recommended for approval shall not be presented to Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks.
  3. A rejected application may be resubmitted during a subsequent cycle only upon a written statement from the applicant setting forth material changes in the application or other circumstances warranting reconsideration. Changes in the composition of the FHRC or the voting public are not a basis for reconsideration.

D. Anchor Installation

Approved anchors must be placed within one year of approval. If a closure intervenes, the time period shall be extended for the length of the closure. An applicant may request an extension of time from the FHRC, which shall have discretion to grant or deny the request.


There are two absolute rules: no application involving (1) chipped or glued holds or (2) cutting trees or bushes will be recommended. Assuming compliance with those two rules, the decision to recommend or reject an application for new fixed anchors will be based on an assessment of several factors. The identity of the applicants is not a consideration.

A. Criteria For Fixed Anchors On New Routes

  1. The quality of the climbing, including: the quality of the moves, the rock and the route’s position.
  2. The extent to which the route is independent of other routes.
  3. The ability of a leader competent in the grade to safely lead the route.
  4. The extent to which the route follows a natural line and is not contrived.
  5. Whether the route would be better left for top-roping or a future traditional lead.
  6. The grade of the route is not, by itself, a consideration. However, the applicants may be required to demonstrate that they, or someone they designate, can complete the first ascent within a reasonable amount of time.

B. Criteria For Fixed Anchors For Rappels Or On Existing Routes

  1. The extent to which the anchor or elimination of an anchor would improve the route or the descent.
  2. The extent to which the anchor would improve the environment by, among other things: eliminating webbing or the use of trees, or rerouting descent traffic toward a lower impact line.
  3. Opinions of the first ascent party will receive serious, but not decisive, consideration.


  1. All bolts, hangers and chains shall be stainless steel, shall be from a reputable manufacturer and shall be at least comparable in strength to those of other bolts, hangers and chains then in use by responsible climbers.
  2. All bolts shall be minimum 1/2” in diameter and 2 3/4” long.