On the east face of Mescalito in Pine Creek Canyon there are two large left-facing corners on the south end. This route climbs the second (north) corner. Follow the trail into the canyon. Approach as if going to Cat in the Hat. Head up just before entering the south fork. There are a few thin climber's trails up to the east face of Mescalito. The climb starts atop a small ledge system. We started below this band on its south end and climbed up a short easy chimney to the base of the route. The line is up the corner for two or three pitches (depends on where you build anchors). When the corner ends you can continue up Cat in the Hat or rappel it (CitH) with two ropes. I thought this made an excellent direct way to the good upper pitches of Cat. A good option if Cat is crowded, although it is an all gear route a # grade harder.
A standard rack. If you bring big stuff you can use it.
From: North Kingstown, RI
Mar 25, 2006
I've done Cat-In-The-Hat a few times and except for the last pitch I don't get the five star rating. Cookie Monster, on the other hand, is, I believe, a nicer line straight up to the last pitch of Cat, it has bomber pro, and it avoids the cluster fugs of people. Maybe Cookie is not so popular because it is not in Swain's book and you have to build anchors. ??
|By John Hegyes|
From: Las Vegas, NV
Oct 31, 2007
In two pitches we were able to climb Cookie Monster all the way to the base of the final pitch of Cat in the Hat.
We scrambled up from the base of Cookie Monster to a nice belay ledge and we had to stretch our 60 m rope both pitches. On the second pitch we passed the usual end of Cookie Monster (big ledge, tree) and followed a nice connector crack up to Cat.
|By Doug Hemken|
Jan 18, 2008
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b PG13
Fun route. We encountered about a dozen young big horn on the ledge where you start (I could smell them before I could see them)! In winter the first pitch stays in the shade, but beyond that the leader can catch some sun.
We also did it in two pitches and then continued straight up to and through the last pitch of "Cat in the Hat" (so 3 pitches, total). We then continued on to the top of Mescalito and did the gorgeous walk-off (see the beta on the main Mescalito page), which adds a star to the quality of any route up this side.
|By scott isaacman|
From: Silver Bay, MN
Apr 26, 2008
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a
Did this with MG and had a blast. We were the only two on the route: Cat was filled, had a waiting line, and traffic jam with rapping.
|By Debbie Vischer|
Feb 16, 2010
We also did this in 2 pitches (200 ft for the first from the big ledge) and ~100 ft for the second. The rock was VERY unstable. I had 2 handholds break, unfortunately one was on lead. Took a nice 20' fall onto a nut. Placing pro can be a bit tricky on this route as the rock is very sandy/soft. I think a cam would have blown.
|By John Wilder|
From: Las Vegas, NV
Feb 17, 2010
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b
thats odd, as i found the rock on this route to be among the strongest in the park. just right of the route, though- it gets a little soft. also, if you took the left exit up top instead of the right hand exit, you'd have run into the soft stuff.
overall, though- the route is quite solid. i suspect, though, that the last month worth of rain we got coupled with not that much sun probably left this route somewhat damp for quite a while- i noticed the rock was still pretty soft over the weekend- probably wont firm up totally for a few more days.
|By Ron Graham|
Apr 11, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V S 4b
Debbie might have been off-route. Some friends and I did this in two rope teams of two and found the rock to be excellent. Like some others, we also did this in two pitches. There's one section in the second pitch just below a small roof where the protection gets a little thin, but a thin dyneema sling can be threaded around a sturdy chicken head there. Other than that section, this route is like a ladder with plenty of great holds and pro all the way. My friends and I thought both pitches of it were easier than the last pitch of Cat in the Hat. In any case, we absolutely loved this route, and can't understand why it isn't far more popular than the lower pitches of Cat in the Hat.
For those thinking of going all the way to the top of Mescalito, be forwarned: unless we were missing something, the last pitch is almost totally unprotectable 5.7 with HUGE exposure. Someone might be able to protect that squeeze chimney pitch with Big Bros, but we didn't have any.
Apr 12, 2010
I climbed this route with Ron and have to agree. Great route, solid rock and, in my opinion, the two pitches here are better quality than the first two of Cat.
We did a single 160+/- pitch to a large sloping ledge on the right wall. Another 170+/- foot pitch led to a belay at a tree at the behind a pillar. I thought this was one of the best pitches for the grade I have done at Red Rock!
From here, we scrambled down and did the third pitch of Cat, but it looked possible to continue up this line and connect with Cat below the large crack on the last pitch of Cat. It appears this may be a more direct and natural line.
Definitly will do this variation again, and will skip the beginning of Cat in the future :o)
|By Peter Blank|
From: Grand Junction, Colorado
Mar 20, 2011
Super fun. There is a fairly new BDC4 sized .4 fixed somewhere on the first pitch that my partner couldn't get out. Maybe you can. Good booty. Good luck.
|By Steve Gade|
Apr 9, 2012
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b
Awesome! 2-3 pitches of steep jugs with pro anywhere and everywhere. Relax and belay in the "sun room" before the dihedral/layback that leads to the final and best pitch of CitH.
|By Jay Holland|
From: Henderson, NV
Apr 22, 2012
We did this as well in two pitches. 1st to the big sloping ledge on the right , and then to the top. Easily done with a 70m. I would suggest leaving your gear just above the main trail so you don't have to hike back up to the base of cookie monster after coming down CITH and hiking around. Great Route!
From: Denver, CO
Mar 19, 2013
Looks intimidating from every belay you make. But, there is always a good jug right when you need it. I thoroughly enjoyed this route, although we were in the cold shade the whole day (mid February). The last pitch (Cat-in-the-Hat) pitch was intense! Mentally challenging for sure, but totally worth it.
Dec 17, 2013
Did this gem recently and it is a great climb. I found no bad or questionable rock. Gear was on demand and the climbing was on bomber jugs. You can bring as much gear as you want, it will eat them up especially nuts. I donít believe you need anything larger than a BD #4. I personally recommend a single set to #4 and 10 slings.
When you get up to the tree you can either, scramble down about 15 feet to an another tree (top of the 3rd pitch on Cat in the Hat) and 3 single rope raps will get you to the base of CitH, OR you can climb up the 4th pitch and on of CitH. I think you need two ropes if you do that though.
|By Thomas Laursen|
Mar 25, 2014
Did this route last weekend in 2 pitches with a 70M. The alcove 10 feet to the right at the top of the first pitch provide's nice shade for a belay. The second pitch is exciting and also ends in the shade atop a ledge and below a small tree. From there, we went up and right on 5.6 terrain, ending at the top of the pedestal where CitH's P5 ends (bolts and LOTS of sun). If you make it that far, you must finish on CitH's P6!
The rap down CitH with a single 70 was easy, but long. 6 raps gets you down...KNOT YOUR ROPES! Be sure to establish the second rap at the bolts you pass on the arete. The second rap gets you to the well-slung pancake. The third rap gets you to the ledge near the top of Cookie Monster. You need to downclimb 15 feet of easy class 4 to reach the 4th rap station. The 5th station is waayyyy to the rappeller's left, and at the end of your ropes. The 6th rappell station is waayyyy to the rappeller's right, at a tree.
The rap with a 70 almost sucks as much as climbing with two ropes, which probably cuts the rappel time in half.