|Redgarden - Tower One
One-and-a-half stars. Perhaps worthy of two stars just for the funny name! This pitch starts as for Art's Spar, and then jogs up and left throught the steep bulge, to finish on the Upper Ramp just right of Grand Giraffe. Approach by starting up Ruper or (for a more strenuous warm-up) the first pitch of Super Slab. Belay in the large right-facing dihedral, just as for Art's Spar. Climb as for Art's Spar for about twenty feet, then where Art's Spar moves right under the obvious roof, arrange some RPs (large ones) and figure out the committing moves up and left. You can step right to get a hands-off rest, between attempts on the moves. Once you commit, you'll discover that there is in fact a jug on the lip, just as you were hoping. There is also a bomber wire. Resist the temptation to hang on the wire, (ahem, like I did) because from here just a couple more strenuous moves (bit of a reach) gain a welcome rest, and good views into the intestinal tract of the Grand Giraffe, just left. The Upper Ramp is just above. The pitch is awkward and strenuous, and the crux is comparable to say the overhang of Rain. One day the entire flake (where the bomber wire, that you were not supposed to hang on, goes) will fall off, but certainly not while you are on it.
Bring some RPs and wires to protect the approach to the crux. There is also a large Alien, about 1.5" in a pocket. There is a bomber medium wire at the lip. The gear is good, but awkward to arrange. Most of the wires before the crux are behind small flakes, but there is also a good straight-in large-RP slot if you look carefully. Double-rope technique helps. Possibly serious, maybe "s" because you do have to commit to the crux, and you would slap into the steep slab below if you blow it at the lip before clipping the "Thank God" wire.
|By Shane Z|
Jan 3, 2002
An excellent route that scared the crap out of me as I managed to pull myself over the roof.
|By Andrew Klein|
Mar 5, 2002
I too followed the crux pitch. Looks deceiving but my partner got in some decent gear in the flakes (they at least held body weight, hint-hint). This pitch sneaks around to the right (from the fixed belay below the offwidth crack on G.G.) and basically takes the line of least resistance in the roof between the Grand Giraffe and Art's Spars' cruxes. Have at it!
|By Anonymous Coward|
Jul 10, 2002
I did lead this baby, and loved it. Was planning on finishing Grand Giraffe, but the lack of gear on my rack to protect the off-width sent me looking for options around the side and it wasn't tell later that we figured out what we'd climbed. Wires worked good for me following the crack up and back around to the left, but I stuck a cam in just above the lip. The hold there next to it was positive. Was psyched to see the climb now goes at 10d; I think old-school (Ament) ratings had it at 10a. Like the first pitch of Rincon, a helluva challenging 10a! Enjoy it...
|By Casey Bernal|
From: Arvada, CO
Aug 5, 2002
On Friday Aug. 2, my friend Darren and I responded to two climbers (Mike and Hunter), one of which (Mike) fell from the crux of [Electric Aunt Jemima] and pulled a green Alien and impacted on the slabs causing a compound fracture to his left ankle. The piece that caught him was a red Camalot that must have been edge loaded because the cable was bent almost 90 degrees. I don't know where exactly he fell from in the roof, but be sure to get in good gear to prevent such an accident. Hopefully, since it rained this weekend the blood will wash off the rock soon. Hope Mike heals soon.
Darren and I climbed up the first pitch of [Superslab] and continued up on easier ground to the belay stance under the [Grand Giraffe]. We met a guide who was guiding a client up [Ruper] and he gave us a first aid kit since we would get there first. Darren bandaged him up and we decided to lower him in order to save time. We were on the last lower to ground when the first rescuer showed up from above (they lowered him down with a 600 foot rope from the top of Redgarden). I was told we bought at least an hour off the rescue time. Just shows how important self rescue is. Be safe.
|By Charles Vernon|
From: Tucson, AZ
Aug 6, 2002
I was in the canyon the whole time this rescue was going on, and I have to counter the slander above--the rescuers certainly "know where the Redgarden Wall trail is". Whether they were otherwise "too slow" or not is not my area of expertise, but my observations at the time were that 1) the injured party was calling for help, and had not initiated self-rescue on their own, and 2) due to their nature high on the cliff, the rescue team ascended the East Slabs of Redgarden, loaded with much rescue equipment, including a litter (I believe they were unsure of the exact nature of his injury) with the intent of rappelling down to the climber. I watched the rescuers on the East Slabs and they apparently know that complex route quite well.
|By Casey Bernal|
From: Arvada, CO
Aug 6, 2002
I apologize if it sounded like I was criticizing the whole rescue team (actually there were two teams). I watched as some of the members walked up the loose talus/scree to the west of [Redgarden Wall], not on the marked trail. I didn't understand why they did this, unless they were clearing a way to lower the sled down. Some of the members were very competent and impressively capable (I was impressed by the ability of the people who hiked up the East Slabs carrying the 600' rope, sled and what ever else). I was trying to stress the need for self rescue knowledge, that way you don't need to put more people's lives in danger and it makes for a more timely rescue.
|By Ivan Rezucha|
From: Fort Collins, CO
Jan 12, 2003
This felt more like 10b, maybe even 10a to me. There are much harder 10c roofs/overhangs in Eldo in my opinion. But two disclaimers: *1) for 18 years I lived and climbed in the Gunks where roofs rule, and (2) I followed this pitch, although I don't think that's relevant. The gear is good and easy to place. There is no need for wires--there are good cams including a micro cam at the lip. The moves left and up are on big handholds with good footholds. These moves are easily reversible. The "roof" is only mildly overhanging, at least compared to Art's Spar. There is a huge bucket at the lip that is easy to get, a big foothold underneath that makes it easy to step over the lip. The crux for me was that above the bucket at the lip, the handholds are rounded, but not small. Once standing on the bucket at the lip, it's awkward standing up since the handholds are in the wrong place. To me this is a full grade easier than Grand Giraffe, but then there are no offwidths in the Gunks.
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Apr 21, 2003
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b
A nice way to approach this climb (If you are up to it) is to start as for Ruper, but where Ruper climbs to the right after perhaps 20', you keep going straight up, near the arete and climb up to below the thin-crack pitch of Grand Giraffe, staying lower and left of that pitch to avoid drag and to cover new ground. After perhaps 30 meters, you reach the ledge from which you move left to climb the easy, wide pitch of Grand Giraffe to reach the belay below the OW. This can be done in under 60 meters if you don't wander your rope around too much with gear.
The Electric Aunt Jemima pitch itself is a nice climb, but it is too short to be a stellar climb on its own. Linking up with other pitches makes it great. The crux has some so-so- holds pulling over the lip, but there is also one decent one above the jug, a solid wide pinch if you are strong enough to reach it and hold it, or even a thin hands jam (I have small hands, but couldn't fit, my 5'5' female partner got hers in.)
The Electric Aunt Jemima pitch itself is a nice climb, but too short to be a stellar climb on its own. Linking up with other pitches makes it great.
I think it is just a shave easier than Tagger, but certainly not 5.10a.
I did the roof without TCUs or Aliens- I had the wide profile micro Camalots with me and I tried to place pro in the beginning of the roof. As a result, I about had my A$$ handed to me. I got pumped trying to shove in the little boogers into the wavy crack and ended up just giving up, pumped - and still went on empty handed. It occurs to me that shoving some tiny TCUs or maybe even better, some fat Ballnuts would be more ideal. Shove them in deep though, because the wire across the flakes edge may apply enough stress to break them out if they are shallow. It's also OK to skip the thin pro and go straight up to a little pod and plug a #2 Friend. My red Camalot would not fit, and a green was too small. You need a purple HB (2") or the like. You can still continue up to a HUGE jug/sidepull in the roof and set a great nut (#8-10 BD stopper is bomb proof) before doing the crux lip. You can even double-up in this placement and you'll be really well protected. It's bomber if you place it right, which is not hard to do- perfect bottle neck.
(One week later):
Just did it again. Pro: a #7 stopper just at the start of the traverse set horizontally behind a beefy flake, a Purple HB cam (2" flex-friend) up in the pod, and a #9 stopper in behind the roof jug. No danger necessary if you find these placements. Only the first of these will be tough to find. The key to pulling the roof easily is the left foot... I did not find that the first time and it was a lot easier with it.