OK, full disclosure: I've never climbed in the Colorado Flatirons, and I've never read the 1987 first edition of Flatiron Classics by Gerry Roach. Wow, that's the kind of honesty I'm talking about! Usually I don't get that kind of catharsis until the morning after a plate of jalopeno poppers and a few pints of Moose's Tooth IPA.
Roach is the second person to have climbed the seven summits, a list that is currently only 229 names long. This pedigree might lead you to believe that he would take the "you ain't squat until you've climbed like me" attitude, but he does just the opposite: "I grew up climbing with the following definition of difficulty: 5.7 is hard climbing, 5.8 is where you are really worried about falling off, and 5.9 is where you are falling off." That fits the subtitle of the book, Easy Rock Climbs Above Boulder, and no climb in the book is harder than 5.8. Amen, brother!
After a chapter on peaks, trailheads and trails the book dives straight into nine chapters organized by peak. Route descriptions and photos of more than 20 vertical miles of routes (!!!) are comprehensive with particular detail paid to descents. The book has some major omissions: there are no maps, there is no reference to gear required (are all the climbs bolted?), and although Roach designates 51 routes as "Classic" and includes a Top Ten list the lists are not actually… well… listed. You have to make your own list from the route descriptions and index. Still, if reading Flatiron Classics doesn't make you check ticket prices to Denver then you're not paying attention.