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Redgarden Wall

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Redgarden - Below Lower Ramp 
Redgarden - Lumpe to the top 
Redgarden - Roof Routes 
Redgarden - S Buttress 
Redgarden - Tower One 
Redgarden - Tower Two 

Redgarden Wall  


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Elevation: 5,500'
Location: 39.9315, -105.284 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 2,888,875
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Leo Paik on Mar 20, 2006
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BETA PHOTO: Redgarden Wall, showing the major features and the...

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  • Description 

    The Redgarden Wall is the premier crag in Eldorado Canyon State Park. It hosts the greatest number of routes, the finest lines, the tallest routes, and it is the largest cliff in the park. Without Redgarden Wall, Eldorado Canyon might just be another climbing area.

    Unless you are truly only seeking the true high-end of climbing difficulty, there is probably ample quantities for you here at this cliff alone. In fact, some people have moved here simply because Eldorado Canyon and Redgarden Wall are here. Probably, every American climber who is anyone special has touched this stone. There is truly something special about this place. The native Americans knew this. This was recognized by the earliest modern visitors; however, it was probably not until the 1950s that climbers became bold enough to venture onto its steeper faces.

    The climbing here is characterized by excellent sandstone with interspersed short areas of lower quality rock. The dominant style of climbing is traditional, face climbing, sprinkled occasional cracks, dihedrals, and roofs with various era fixed protection. Strong protection skills, route-finding skills, and verve are essential on this crag. A solid, mental control is often required for success and good health here. Repeated, uncontrolled falls commonly used at modern sport climbing areas are not advisable in many places.

    For the purposes of this organization, the division of the crag is arbitrary but involves looking at the cliff in terms of obvious distinct features without splitting it into too many sections (goal of 40ish routes or less per section). This approach can best be appreciated by stepping back and looking at the crag with fresh eyes and looking for obvious divisions. Please understand that no one system will be perfect nor necessarily one better than others. However, the lines used here to split the crag are the 1) the great dihedral right of the Naked Edge (Redguard & right - S Buttress); 2) the roof like area at the bottom of Redgarden Wall and the routes that go through it (Roof Routes); 3) the Lower Ramp and routes below it (Below Lower Ramp); 4) the obvious saddle between Tower One & Tower Two and the well-known route that splits it (Ruper); 5) the obvious large dihedral that splits Lumpe Tower and Tower One (Dirty Deed and the best continuation below it - West Chimney). Obviously, there are going to be challenging lines at the edges of these arbitrary boundaries and those that cross through multiple sections such as Rosy Toit, Roving for Love, Ruper to Grand Giraffe etc.

    The likes of Bird, D. Johnson, Shepard, Kor, Dalke, Ament, Culp, Erickson, Wunsch, Ferguson, Bragg, Coyne, Breashears, Webster, Briggs, Hill, Griffith, Hersey, and so many more have wandered here.... The complete list is a virtual who's who in Colorado climbing have left their marks here with first ascents, first free ascents, first solo ascents, repeats, etc..

    There are just so many terrific lines here. Obviously, this list will unintentionally miss some favorites and is inevitably incomplete. Some that resonate between climbers include: Swanson Arete, 5.5; Icarus, 5.6 s; Rewritten, 5.7; The Bulge, 5.7 s; the brilliant Ruper, 5.8 s; The Great Zot to The Zot Face, 5.8+; Alice in Bucketland, 5.8+ s; Redguard, 5.8+ s; Touch 'n Go, 5.9; Green Slab Direct, 5.9; The Green Spur, 5.9; Anthill Direct, 5.9 s; Italian Arete, 5.9 s; the ever-popular route, The Yellow Spur, 5.9 to 5.10b; Darkness 'til Dawn, 5.9+; Grand Giraffe, 5.10a; the airy Rosy Crucifixion, 5.10a s; Blackwalk, 5.10b s; The Serpent, 5.10b s; Art's Spar, 5.10c; Grandmother's Challenge, 5.10c; Super Slab, 5.10d; Psychosis, 5.10d s; Temporary Like Achilles, 5.10d s; T2, 5.10d s; Le Toit, 5.10d s; Disappearing Act, 5.11a; Guenese, 5.11a; the verve-requiring route, The Diving Board, 5.11a; the historic Kloeberdanz, 5.11a s; Vertigo, 5.11b; the ultra-classic The Naked Edge, 5.11b; Pansee Sauvage, 5.11b s; Evangeline, 5.11b/c A1; C'est La Vie, 5.9 P1 or 5.11c; Back in Black to Black Top, 5.11c s; Doub-Griffith, 5.11c s; Love Minus Zero, 5.11c s: Jules Verne, 5.11c s/vs; Le Boomerang, 5.11d; The Contest, 5.11d; Silver Raven, 5.11d; Mellow Yellow, 5.11d s; Fire and Ice, 5.12a; the intimidating route, The Wisdom, 5.12a s; Apple Strudel, 5.12a/b s; Downpressor Man, 5.12b; Scary Canary, 5.12b s; Wasabe, 5.12c; the impressive Psycho, 5.12d; Genesis, 5.11a P1 or 5.12d s; the necky & controversial Paris Girl, 5.13a Kloeberdeath, 5.13b; Desdichado, 5.13c; probably Eldo's hardest, The Undertaker, 5.13d. It would be wise to plan your descent before you leave the ground since none are completely obvious.

    Some lines here can be rappeled. Others may funnel rappelers down lines like the rappel below The Naked Edge first pitch. Many of the lines that go to the top can be descended with at least 2 methods. 1) You can downscramble the East Slabs Descent (plan - to be fleshed out with its own separate description) low 4th class- note this is exposed, lengthy, and particularly slippery when wet. Also, the last bit can be challenging in the spring with a wet slab finish or funky downclimb down a chimney. 2) You can rappel the Swanson Arete or Dirty Deed rappels. 3) You can go to rappel the Chockstone Chimney rappels which take you to the top of the Upper Ramp or Meadows. Here, you can rappel the Vertigo rappels (60m or 2 ropes) or carefully descend the Upper Meadows to the rappels below The Naked Edge. 4) You can ascend to the top and far left end of Redgarden Wall and down scramble the gully at the top. Note, you may wind up a long way from your gear and comfortable shoes.

    So, come here, respect the rock & your fellow climber, soak in the history, climb to your heart's content, fill your spirit, and enjoy the gift of freedom. Redgarden Wall is part of what makes Colorado wonderful.

    Getting There 

    To access these routes, you park at the E end of the park. You walk up to the bridge. You cross the bridge. Your exact approach depends on the exact section of wall you wish to climb. So, read more details on the exact approach for the section you wish to climb.

    Climbing Season



    Weather station 0.1 miles from here

    292 Total Routes

    ['4 Stars',36],['3 Stars',97],['2 Stars',86],['1 Star',59],['Bomb',7]
    ['<=5.6',13],['5.7',22],['5.8',37],['5.9',40],['5.10',52],['5.11',85],['5.12',34],['5.13',8],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

    The Classics

    Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Redgarden Wall:
    Swanson Arete   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 3 pitches   Redgarden - Lumpe to the to...
    Rebuffat's Arete   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 190'   Redgarden - Lumpe to the to...
    Rewritten   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 6 pitches   Redgarden - Lumpe to the to...
    Alice in Bucketland   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R     Trad, 2 pitches   Redgarden - Tower One
    Touch 'N' Go   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 130'   Redgarden - Tower Two
    Ruper   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 6 pitches   Redgarden - Tower One
    The Green Spur   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches   Redgarden - Lumpe to the to...
    The Yellow Spur   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 6 pitches   Redgarden - Tower One
    Anthill Direct   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R     Trad, 5 pitches   Redgarden - S Buttress
    Grand Giraffe   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 5 pitches   Redgarden - Tower One
    Rosy Crucifixion   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13     Trad, 3 pitches   Redgarden - Tower Two
    Darkness 'til Dawn   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 140'   Redgarden - Lumpe to the to...
    Grandmother's Challenge   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 2 pitches   Redgarden - Lumpe to the to...
    Super Slab   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 4 pitches   Redgarden - Tower One
    The Naked Edge   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 6 pitches, 460'   Redgarden - Tower Two
    C'est La Vie   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 3 pitches   Redgarden - S Buttress
    Vertigo   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 4 pitches   Redgarden - Tower One
    Doub-Griffith   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 3 pitches   Redgarden - Tower One
    The Wisdom   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a R     Trad, 4 pitches   Redgarden - Roof Routes
    Hands In The Clouds   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a A0     Trad, Sport, Aid   Redgarden - Roof Routes
    Browse More Classics in Redgarden Wall

    Featured Route For Redgarden Wall
    Joshua Janes starting the thin second pitch by pla...

    C'est La Vie 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c  CO : Eldorado Canyon SP : ... : Redgarden - S Buttress
    Brilliant. Pat Ament has had many first ascents in Eldorado, but few are as perfect and fun as this one. Begin perhaps 20 feet left from the start of C'est La Morte. The first tricky face moves begin from a nice, flat rock. Then enter a broken crack system and move up past one bolt, a fucked-up knifeblade (no longer there) that [was] a perfect example of horrible fixed pro, and past one more bomber bolt right below the crux, which takes you up a hollow flake. The first set ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

    Local Information for Redgarden Wall
    Photos of Redgarden Wall Slideshow Add Photo
    Derek Hersey soloing Vertigo (5.11b), Eldorado Can...
    Derek Hersey soloing Vertigo (5.11b), Eldorado Can...
    Stitch of several photos from the top of the West ...
    Stitch of several photos from the top of the West ...
    No it's not Slim Pickens from Dr. Strangelove, but...
    No it's not Slim Pickens from Dr. Strangelove, but...
    Some of the major formations on the north side of ...
    BETA PHOTO: Some of the major formations on the north side of ...
    The right side of Redgarden Wall. The South Buttre...
    BETA PHOTO: The right side of Redgarden Wall. The South Buttre...
    Tradescantia occidentalis (western spiderwort).
    Tradescantia occidentalis (western spiderwort).
    Behold, the circus that is Redgarden on a crowded ...
    BETA PHOTO: Behold, the circus that is Redgarden on a crowded ...
    Red Garden Wall at sunset
    Red Garden Wall at sunset
    Redgarden Wall
    Redgarden Wall
    Upper Ramp rappel route.  From the base of Chockst...
    BETA PHOTO: Upper Ramp rappel route. From the base of Chockst...
    Upper Redgarden Wall
    BETA PHOTO: Upper Redgarden Wall
    Upper Redgarden as seen from the summit of the Yel...
    Upper Redgarden as seen from the summit of the Yel...
    The new bolted rappel anchor at the top of the Upp...
    BETA PHOTO: The new bolted rappel anchor at the top of the Upp...
    Poison ivy near the trail.
    Poison ivy near the trail.
    the "garden" at the base
    the "garden" at the base
    Travis on the East Slab Descent.
    Travis on the East Slab Descent.
    Redgarden Wall from the Notch above Handcracker Di...
    BETA PHOTO: Redgarden Wall from the Notch above Handcracker Di...

    Comments on Redgarden Wall Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Brad Bond
    Aug 1, 2002
    I was descending the East Slabs today to find that someone had chalked in huge arrows -- about 1 ft. long and 40 ft apart with huge dots between -- showing the way the entire way down from the Naked Edge top out to the trail. I have noticed arrows (much smaller) showing the way for the walkoff on the Bastille as well. Whomever is doing this, please stop. Not only is it obnoxious grafitti, but people have been descending these cliffs for 40+ years without your help. The description for the descent is in the guidebook and there are several rappels, all discussed to submission under Great Zot and Swansans Arete. Please don't turn Eldo into a lame climbing area.
    By ROC
    From: Englewood, CO
    Apr 5, 2006
    WARNING!!!

    The rappel tree on the top of the upper ramp (that puts you more or less at the base of Vertigo) is NOT stable. I was up there last week in high winds and the entire tree was lifting up out of the ground with each gust. I was sitting on the rocks near the tree and was lifted off the ground each time the tree would move. I left a rap anchor that consisted of three equalized stoppers, but I'm afraid the new anchor will be treated like booty gear. The tree may be fine, but under the circumstances I was not willing to trust my life to, "it's probably okay".
    By Ron Olsen
    From: Boulder, CO
    Mar 29, 2007
    ROC wrote:
    WARNING!!! The rappel tree on the top of the upper ramp (that puts you more or less at the base of Vertigo) is NOT stable.

    A bolted rappel anchor was installed near this tree on 8/21/06, after approval by the Eldorado Fixed Hardware Review Committee. See Photo, Photo, Photo for details.
    By David Champion
    From: Centennial, CO
    Oct 5, 2007
    ALTERNATE DESCENT BETA FOR ROUTES FINISHING ON THE TOP OF THE SOUTH BUTTRESS

    There are at least two classic routes--Anthill Direct and Redguard--that finish at the top of the south buttress of Redgarden Wall. The current guidebooks, and the beta on this site, all suggest that the east slabs are the ONLY viable descent from these, and other, routes that top out on the south buttress. This fact alone caused me to resolve some time ago never to climb Anthill Direct again, even though I consider it among the best routes I've ever climbed. Anyone who has descended the east slabs knows what I mean--they are at best extremely annoying and at worst extremely dangerous.

    Here's a far superior alternative: Find the cairn marking the beginning of the east slabs descent at the flat spot just north of the top of Anthill Direct (or, if you've topped out on Redgaurd, in the cleft between tower 2 and the top of the south buttress, look south for this flat spot with a cairn). Go there. Climb UP the 3rd class slab perhaps 75 vertical feet to their top, traverse around the west (left) side of a small pinnacle, and you'll find yourself due east, and about 50 vertical feet above, the saddle between tower 1 and tower 2 (this is where Ruper tops out). From here proceed (some 4th class) to the chockstone chimney/vertigo rappel route, the best description for which appears in the first comment (by Charles Vernon) in the Yellow Spur beta on this site.

    One caveat re: the chockstone chimnet/vertigo rappels: if you are not familiar with them, it can be challenging to find the bolted rappel anchors. Either have done it before or make sure you study the beta carefully, otherwise you may have difficulty finding the anchors.