Fun 'n Games
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BETA PHOTO: A view from the road.
This multi-pitch trad climb is somewhat atypical for Clear Creek canyon. It lies on the Southwest face of The Red Slab (aka Rainbow Wall per P. Hubbel). 'Colorado Crags' by P. Hubbel, p. 147 has an topo of most of this climb. When driving down the canyon, it catches the eye of a trad climber with a moderate-sized face although it turns out to be much lower angle than it appears from a distance. There are at least 2 trad lines on this face. This is the better of the two that are on this site. 'The Corner, 5.8' to the left is marginal at best. This first pitch of this face stays shady until afternoon; however, P2 & P3 bask in sun earlier. The climbing is 2-3 pitches in length with potential to scramble off after 2 pitches; however, this appears exposed. This climb has a nice bit of slightly runout stemming on P2 sandwiched between scruffy terrain.
Approach this as for the Red Slab, parking South of US Hwy 6 just East of the bridge below The Little Eiger. I prefer the lower traverse that starts below the level of the road. Arrive below the Red Slab via the obvious trail, continue W past this on a still obvious trail. The final bit is talus-covered.
P1. Start about 30 feet right of the large chimney bordering the left side of this face in a crack-like system. Follow the features up and what-feels-like-slightly-left (though is drawn in on P. Hubbel's topo as trending right). A crack-like feature to the right seems quite brushy. There is still loose rock here. This face is low-angled enough that you could probably climb anywhere; however, this line has pro. Gain a large ledge about 150 feet up. 5.7. A #0.5 Camalot is nice for this belay.
P2. This pitch is probably PG-13 with less-than-abundant pro opportunities for the cluckers (like me) out there. Move slightly R into a large, right-facing dihedral. Use a #2 Camalot just above a bush at the start of the pitch because your next pro is 30+ feet up. Find a fixed, small Camalot at the first crux. A small cord or thin kevlar sling may allow you to thread the hole on the Camalot, but a spectra sling or sewn 9/16 inch won't work. A green Alien can fit just above it. Surmount the bulge (9-), scamper up to the crux dihedral. Alternatively, here you can move left (9, high step) or possibly right (arÍte) or head up the obvious dihedral. You can find an orange Alien placement left of the dihedral. If you go up the dihedral, there is a hidden finger pocket but expect fun, delicate stemming moves hidden pro opportunities for wires. Gain a large ledge with few anchor options (yellow Alien, wire, #9 or #10 hex). Continue up the next block perhaps 30 feet to a large ledge. 5.9- or 5.9 (left variation). #0.75, #1 Camalot & red Alien are useful for this belay. From here, you may be able to scramble off left, but it seemed a bit exposed.
P3. Scramble up & right to a dead tree. Fire up a scruffy, steeper crack for 30 feet to the top, 5.7+, or, better, move a few feet left to a shallow, right-facing dihedral, 5.7.
Hike off to the far left probably 300m and angle back to the base on mostly loose, hiking terrain.
Wires, cams to #4 Camalot, doubles in the 0.5 & 0.75 may be useful.