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Avoiding the wide crack on the first pitch
I enjoyed this route as much as Crimson Chrysalis - it is more crack oriented, less crowded, but has some less than stellar rock on a few pitches. In the past year or so, bolted belays were added which changed the character of the route a bit. Now it is possible to do the best pitches and rap off. Personally I think the addition of bolted belays is a good thing, otherwise some of the belay locations would be awkward. The crux pitch now has an extra bolt (see description). I do not know the origin of these new bolts.
The start of the route may be identified by a 6-12" crack that goes up to a scrubby tree. This crack is clean but the start looks like a grunt, so we climbed a thin crack to the left and stepped right, which seemed harder than the 5.7 rating of this pitch. Continue up past the tree, and climb double cracks (see Swain's topo) up a slot to a bolted belay at the top of a flake/pedestal (5.7, 130').
P2: Move down and step right, then head straight up cracks, through a short chimney, and follow more cracks to another bolted belay (5.8, 150'). I thought this was the best pitch on the route.
P3: Head up to a right facing corner and crank past a small overhang. Crank over and then follow a wide crack and less than stellar rock to the next belay (no offwidthing necessary) (5.8, [90' according to comment below]).
P4: The crux pitch. Move up and then right to a new bolt. Continue up to an ancient 1/4" bolt. There is a new bolt maybe 3' higher than the rusty bolt. I don't know why they didn't just replace the 1/4" bolt. The rock on this pitch is a little suspect, but the crux section is not too long and is now quite well protected. Continue on up to another bolted belay. This is the last bolted belay on the route, so if you want to go down, do so now. (5.9, 140').
P5: This pitch has a reputation for bad rock, and indeed be extra careful as a hold could easily snap off. However bad rock in Red Rocks is still pretty good. Follow a steep crack through nice (too nice) horizontal dikes to a huge ledge. Throw in protection often in case a hold snaps off, this pitch has recorded some spectacular falls, but it is really not that bad, just be careful (5.8, 150').
P6: Scramble easily past bushes to a large chimney, climb the corner to the left and belay on a large ledge at the base of a left facing corner (5.2, 160').
P7: Climb the left facing corner, then move right to a weird dihedral above a bottomless chimney. This next section is hard to protect due to the zig-zag nature of the pitch. Stem up and finish the pitch at a notch (5.7, 160'). Alternatively, follow bolts directly above the belay (this is the final pitch of Unimpeachable Groping). From there either rap Unimpeachable, or rap into the notch from a single bolt, and continue as below.
Descent: Do one double rope rappel to the south, trying not to get your ropes stuck in the cactus. Scramble down to the base of a bowl, and then do three more double rope rappels down black water streaks, the route Power Failure. The anchor for the second rappel down the waterstreaks is off to the right (facing the wall). Do not go off the end of your ropes! Scramble down around the toe of the buttress to your packs.
Standard rack to #3 Camalot, maybe some additional small cams.
BETA PHOTO: The first 5 pitches of Ginger Cracks, with approx ...
Looking up pitch 2
Looking up the crux pitch 4.
Starting out on the 5th pitch
Mike on pitch 3.
Christa finishing the beautiful crux pitch 4.
Jon Hanlon approaches P2 belay on Ginger Cracks.
Mike Morley, atop P5 of Ginger Cracks.
Climbers on p2 of Ginger Cracks. 4/24/06
dont stop here at the fake pitch two anchors it is...
Climbers on the first pitch of Ginger Cracks
Roberto de la Riva on Ginger Cracks
The awkward chimney on p2
BETA PHOTO: Top of pitch 4, real cool belay ledge for pitch fi...
|Comments on Ginger Cracks
|By Ty Morrison-Heath|
From: Bozeman, MT
Mar 15, 2013
Whoever took a dump on the ledge that is 20 feet into the first pitch...REALLY? If I find you I'm going to throw those feces at you.
|By Jake Wyatt|
From: Longmont, CO
Feb 18, 2004
I'm surprised to hear (and have mixed feelings about) the new bolted anchors on the route. I suspect that one of the things which kept Ginger Cracks less crowded than Crimson Chrysalis is the fact that the belays were not fixed (and sometimes uncomfortable), and that it would therefore be impossible to bail after the crux pitch without leaving a lot of gear behind. I still doubt that it'll be as crowded as Crimson, given the quality of rock, but the bolted belays seem to change the character of the route.
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 18, 2004
There was much discussion about the bolts on redrockresole.com, but at the moment this site is "temporarily unavailable". Maybe rec.climbing had a discussion about it.
Like I said I do not know who placed these bolts. I hope that they do not get blindly chopped. For all we know, they may have been placed with the blessing of the first ascent team.
From: Sacramento, CA
Feb 18, 2004
George, I believe that Jules George, the owner of Red Rock Resole, was killed in a motorcycle accident a while back. She was a J-Tree and later Red Rocks local. Very sad. Not sure if someone else took over the business.
|By phil broscovak|
From: Boo-older, Co.
Feb 20, 2004
Mike:I just wanted to take the time to personally thank you for taking on this effort. If you ever need any help don't hesitate to contact me. I love the haunting walls and canyons of the Red Rocks. Rerockresole.com was a great database and clearing house of information but with the tragic loss of Jules George things were looking bleak. Thanx again for keepin' keepin' on! Philo
Mar 28, 2005
I found Ginger Cracks to be a thoroughly enjoyable route! The bolts don't detract from the route at all, considering the amount of natural gear and the quality of the rock.The newly bolted top pitch variation will no doubt generate some controversy, but we joked about it being the sport climb with the longest approach in RR (do the first 6 pitches of Ginger Cracks)! This route is a great day out, and comes highly recommended. The easy descent is a bonus.
Mar 30, 2005
The real start to P1 has a grunty move or two, but not bad really. I thought P2 had some fairly stout moves on suspect (hollow-sounding) rock right off the belay ... P3 I remember as 5.7, and not really a roof so much as stepping over or around an overlap. I barely noticed the crux on P4, it was really sweet and smooth climbing.
NB that you cannot link P4 and P5. My partner hung himself off of tiny sh|t 20' below the huge ledge, and it was up to me to Not Fall on those 20' of loose too-big horizontals.
We went up & over (this was in 2001?), but given the choice today I'd rap after P4 - between the bad rock, grunty 5.5 that followed, and rope-snarling bushes in between raps above, it detracted from the day (and led us into night, as it were).
|By Stephen Langley|
Apr 3, 2005
I think pitch 3 is only 90 feet, not the 150 listed in the description above. Also there are 2 boilts just under the roof in the middle of P2.
From: boulder, co
Apr 4, 2005
I'd say the bolted variation out left for the last pitch goes at .6 to .7 and is well bolted. Not sure how it compares to the regular finish since we went left instead. Worthwhile way to finish.
Raps didn't seem bad at all, I wouldn't let getting off stop you from going to the top.
FUN route! Although the comments about suspect rock do ring true, had a couple pop....
|By Jason D. Martin|
Apr 15, 2005
The left hand bolted variation at the top of Ginger Cracks is actually the last pitch of Unimpeachable Groping.
If you elect to do the bolted route on the left, the descent is slightly different. Rappel into the notch from the single bolt and then continue down the normal rappel route as it is described in a number of books. Do not try to rappel the entire distance off the single bolt.
Apr 26, 2005
I found this to be a great route, not busy and pretty much in the shade from mid morning to afternoon. I would not characterize the rock on pitch 5 as "bad" but rather as "not as good" as the other pitches, besides it is well protected. We also did the bolted variation (unimpeachable groping) on the last pitch, I thought it was a great finish with nice exposure. The rap off of this pitch is a good looking bolt that was backed up with a good stopper (#5 ?). We double rope rapped to right above the water streak. It is low angle, but ropes pulled okay, and if they were to get stuck it may be 5.2 to go retrieve them. Kick-Ass route, Finish early and do Power Failure next!
Watch for agressive cholla bushes on the descent
|By Christa Cline|
Oct 20, 2005
This is a great route. The crux pitch (#4) was one the most beautiful pitches I have ever done. Pitch 5 is also great, steep and exposed. If it wasn't for the less attractive final two pitches this would be a three star route for me. Definitely worthwhile doing.
|By rex parker|
From: mammoth lakes c.a
Apr 30, 2007
just some advice i dont know who put them their or why but towards the end of the second pitch theirs two bolts under a roof to the left, after the finger chimney, dont stop here trend rightand follow the crack system after the roof to get to the end of the second pitch. so far out of the red rock climbs ive done, as a local, this is my favorite by far . rex
|By John Wilder|
From: Las Vegas, NV
Oct 12, 2007
this is a great route- a total must do for any visitor to Red Rock. the quality of rock is high for the entire route, despite how it looks when you get on it up higher- dont let the short 4th class pitch distract you- the last pitch is great and a wild lead at the grade.
the belays are only bolted until the top of the crux pitch, after that, you're building your own.
i do think that all of the lead bolts save one are unnecessary- why the other three are up there, i have no idea.
great route, absolute must do- certainly a classic at the grade. and, if you're fast, you can also tick off Power Failure, another good route, on the way down!
From: davis, ca
Mar 15, 2008
i also thought the (original) last pitch was really cool...definitely a cool route
|By Aimee Rose|
From: Bend, or
Oct 28, 2009
Is this climb in the sun or shade (or when does it get shady) during early December? Thanks.
From: Las Vegas
Oct 28, 2009
We climbed this last Saturday. The route was out of the sun by 9:30 or so. I can't imagine that it would get much sun come December.
Also, I didn't think the rock quality on pitch 5 was bad at all.
From: Laramie, WY
Jan 4, 2010
Can you hit the rappel route of unimpeachable groping at the top of the 4th class pitch of this route or is it to far out of the way?
|By John Wilder|
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jan 4, 2010
um, yes- you could theoretically rap unimpeachable groping from the top of the 4th class- but given the option, i'd at least climb the last pitch of unimpeachable (if the wide last pitch of Ginger doesn't suit you), then rap Power Failure- four quick raps vs six or more.
From: Laramie, WY
Jan 5, 2010
John thanks for the beta, the reason i am asking is that i am flying down there for a few days and have the chance to climb in between work and i was thinking it might be a faster rap from there and then be able to hop on unimpeachable groping and kind of link the two to get in the most pitches possible. Kinda jonesin to climb as much as possible because it is about negative ten where i live right now. also if you know of any good linkups in the 10 to 10 + range that can be done in winter i would be psyched to hear about them. thanks
|By John Wilder|
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jan 6, 2010
nah, its not really faster- the power failure raps are super quick and drop you about 150' or so up-gully from the base of Unimpeachable...
Mar 31, 2010
There is a set of anchors directly below the anchors at the top of power failure that make rappelling very easy if you have two ropes. This anchor is two good bolts with newly added chains. The anchor is hard to see until you are right at it, but if you keep heading directly down from the top anchor you cant miss it. It means two quick clean raps vs three somewhat sideways raps.
|By Lee Jenkins|
From: Buena Vista, Colorado
Apr 5, 2010
Did this route yesterday. There are indeed 3 'new' bolts on the crux pitch 4. The old 1/4 incher apears to have been chopped. The 1st 2 bolts are ~ 20-30' above the belay and the 3rd is maybe 15-20' higher.
Pitch 5 was fun and yes there are still some 'portable' handholds on it but they are pretty obvious. Just test them 1st then find another if one is suspect. This pitch has many handholds and great gear! The last 'wild' pitch above the 'bottomless' chimney is very cool and pretty well protected. There are a couple of committing moves but they are on great hand holds. Go for it!
|By John Wilder|
From: Las Vegas, NV
Apr 19, 2010
on the rappel, you can make it to the ground with two rappels from the bowl below the notch. make the first rap (two 60m lines needed) to the power failure anchors below, then rap straight down from there. two 60m lines BARELY reach the ground (you could easily downclimb the last 6' or so).
|By Eugene Kwan|
May 7, 2011
This route was super fun. It's got some unnecessary bolts, and may be a bit overgraded, but it's really excellent climbing in a stunning location. We went to the top of P5, where we rapped off a bush. Be careful of getting your rope stuck. We were able to move the knot past the edge and still have plenty of rope to get back to the P4 station.
|By Arch Richardson|
May 21, 2011
The first rappel South from the notch to the bowl(slung chockstone) goes with one-60m rope (stretch). The main rappels East below the smiley face require 2 ropes and involve 3 drops if you diagonal over (climbers right) to the Power Failure pitch-2 anchors. We missed the set of anchors described by Alasdair (but still had a hassle-free descent).
|By Patrick Kaufer|
From: Laguna Hills, CA
Jun 11, 2011
The FA was done by my now high school IB Math teacher! Way to go Mr. Moore!
Oct 15, 2011
Rap anchor above black water streaks buried in mud.
A heads up for anyone who is climbing ginger cracks. On Oct 7,2011 I was part of a party of 3 who enjoyed our climb up however on the descent at the bottom of the bowl we could not find the rap anchor. *insert long story here* In the end it had been buried by a mudslide and was not visible. There was a fair amount of scree and lose rock coming down the bowl but I expect that is typical. However the anchors which are essentially on the lip were covered.
It was nice to have cell reception up there but it would have even been nicer if our buddies could have found a note like this telling us to dig. Hopefully no one else experiences this but if they do i hope this helps.
Also note that this rap anchor is the top anchor for Power Failure. If you can find the anchor the rap is an easy 2 raps on double 60m ropes.
|By Caleb Padgett|
From: Rockville, utah
Oct 16, 2011
Just climbed this route last week. A new one for me and a recon to evaluate the anchor condition for the power failure raps. There has been a BIG rockfall event which deposited a bunch of rock and carnage in the bowl where the power failure raps begin. We found the bolts and had to excavate them. They were undamaged but there is a bunch of loose rock to walk through getting to them. I was concerned that the bolts are placed in rock that is continually damp from a nearby spring and only 6 inches apart. kinda sketch
|By Buster Jesik|
Oct 20, 2011
In regards to the first Rap anchor on power failure... It is still kind buried in mud, but the bolts seem fine and it isn't very hard to find. I moved most of the loose rock from the rock fall out of the way, so it is a bit safer now. Continue to use caution though especially if there is a party above as there is still a good amount of loose rock.
|By Patrick Mulligan|
Oct 1, 2012
Bolts on Power failure are fine now and completely clean. They do however look somewhat rusted (hangers are totally fine). Given that they're in an obvious area of run off they see a lot of water.
|By jason sartor|
Nov 28, 2012
I did this route on Saturday, November 24th, with a friend and had a sweet time. Temps were amazing, climbing was fun, and the darkness that accompanied our rappel was unplanned, though still a good time.
Be advised, however, that because of the above mentioned rockfall somewhere up in the bowl and the resulting scree in the chute that gives you access to the 1st rappel at the top of Power Failure, this makes for a potentially very, very dangerous rockfall situation for anyone climbing Power Failure or rappelling Power Failure ahead of you. There is so much loose rock in that chute that it is very possible that you will send rocks down onto anyone on that route/rappel.
I was considering climbing Power Failure but have decided not to go anywhere near it until conditions above have changed.
|By Tyson W.|
From: Reno, NV
Dec 18, 2012
I have to agree with both Jason and Buster. Getting to the anchors at the top of Power Failure was ridiculously sketchy for both myself as well as any parties that could have been climbing Power Failure. My partner was scrambling/down-climbing towards the anchors behind me but I had him stop, as a dislodged rock on his part could have easily sent me on the "E" ticket ride to the base. Even still, I had to walk with cat like reflexes to reach the anchors of Power Failure. The amount of loose rock in this gully above the anchors is pretty terrible. To clarify on the update of the anchors being covered I can confirm with Patrick's post that as of Halloween 2012 they were fully uncovered and visible.
When I get back here I will insist on climbing Ginger Cracks earlier and faster to hopefully have time to clean this descent up... Because this route deserves it as well as what looks like an insanely awesome route in Power Failure. I would certainly not climb, nor recommend anyone climb, Power Failure until this descent is cleaned up.
Perhaps even more sketchy than reaching the anchors of Power Failure was the initial rappel to even begin the approach to the anchors of Power Failure. We had climbed the traditional route, i.e: "P7: Climb the left facing corner, then move right to a weird dihedral above a bottomless chimney. This next section is hard to protect due to the zig-zag nature of the pitch. Stem up and finish the pitch at a notch (5.7, 160')"
This final pitch leaves you hopelessly in a 30 foot tall notch between the top of the alternate route, "The final pitch of Unimpeachable Groping" to your left, and the summit of the mountain on your right. Your only option is to rap off the backside of the route on a chock-stone slung with weathered slings and webbing.
I can't believe nobody has commented on this yet. Maybe everybody goes for the final pitch of impeachable groping, not sure. But for a climb that has bolted anchors on nearly every pitch, it seems like two extra bolts to make a safe rap off the route wouldn't be too much of an issue.
If you climb the original route I've described and not the final pitch of impeachable groping, then be prepared to leave behind a few shoulder length slings and a biner, enough webbing to sling the chockstone, or to just cross your fingers and commit to the weathered tat that is already installed.
We stupidly opted for the latter option, and I regret it to this day. $40 is not worth my life, or my partners, but I let it be on that rap. Thankfully we made down it without issue.
Once you reach the top anchor of Power Failure it is pretty much smooth sailing. The only other note I have is that on the third rap you hit a false ledge that has some rap slings on the bushes, but if you have two 60m ropes you can continue to the true base with plenty of rope to spare. I think this would probably be really obvious in daylight, but we were rapping in total darkness at this point.
Looking back on all this, especially doing it in the dark, made it somewhat of an epic, but I still give this route an absolute 4 star rating. We hiked in looking at 4 parties on C.C., plus a few more waiting at the base, and walked up to Ginger Cracks and had it all to ourselves the entire day. This is an insanely worthy route, and if it didn't have the weird scramble 6th pitch, I'm sure it rival any moderate multi-pitch route in the area... and perhaps it already does.
Dec 19, 2012
Storms this past fall have littered the slabs above the power failure raps with debris. Obviously, care is needed. It was sketchy enough prior to that. It is every climbers' responsibility to bring sufficient hardware to repair natural rap stations as needed. $40? 1/2" webbing is like 20 cents/foot. On any route with natural anchors, carry 30' and don't be worried about chopping your dyneema slings. Or leave a cordalette or something. The reason no one has commented on the chockstone rap is that it's pretty standard. It's a trad route - one would think that being prepared for traditional anchors would be a prerequisite to trad climbing. FWIW, the anchors on p.1-4 are retros. No more bolts needed. I'd rather rap off that chockstone than some 3/8x1.5" wedge bolt anyway.
|By Killing In The Name Of|
Dec 22, 2012
^^^That's my boy! The chockstone is safe, the problem is just what Scott said: people taking "consumer" routes for granted and not carrying cord to back up anchors.
Bring some cord, sirs. It's your own responsibility, and if you're not an ASCA donor yet, that might be a good first step after buying some webbing and a knife to cut it.
|By Andrew Yasso|
Dec 27, 2012
I guided Ginger Cracks in early December, before Tyson G. I found the rappel off the chockstone to be completely suitable for my guest and I and did not find the need to back up the webbing at all. I doubt the webbing weathered considerably in the two weeks between my climb and Tyson's. However, we all have different levels of what is acceptable, and I find myself pretty conservative in this area, seeing as I am making a safety decision for not only my life (which I value considerably) but that of my guest as well. I do not feel the need for an additional rap station.
Additionally, we descended the bowl safely while there was a party of two climbing Power Failure. Yes there was some loose rock, however I didn't find it all that difficult to not knock it off. I believe most of us learned to walk before we climbed 5.9, and as such should know how to navigate such terrain. As we sat at the bottom of the bowl at the fully uncovered rap rings, I believe a grand total of one(1) small pebble was dislodged and I yelled the obligatory "rock!" The two climbers below thanked me, as the pebble bounced harmlessly more than 10 feet to climbers right. We completed our raps, and then proceeded to climb Power Failure ourselves as the party of two rapped through us.
I do not write this to say that there is no danger of rock fall at all, or that an accident couldn't happen. I write this to just say the danger may not be as great as some people may make it out to be. Also, I would like to remind everyone that rock climbing is dangerous, accidents can happen, and you might even die.
|By Killing In The Name Of|
Dec 27, 2012
Respectable words. Logic must be a virus, a few posters are displaying it these days-pretty unusual in these parts. Thx for the perspective, Yasso.
|By Ty Morrison-Heath|
From: Bozeman, MT
Mar 14, 2013
I climbed this on a 70 degree day in March and was surprised how cold I was on route. I ended up climbing in a R1 pullover all day and was glad to have it. To all the posters talking about how dangerous the walk off is for people on Power Failure....really? We walked down without knocking down a single pebble with very few issues. I assume if you are coordinated enough to climb 5.9 you are coordinated enough to walk down the bowl. Watch out for the cactus on your rope throw if you climb the last pitch of Unimpeachable Groping. There were two bolts on top of the Unimpeachable Groping for the rappel. All the rope pulls were reasonably easy and the descent was mellow for a Red Rock climb of this length. I climbed with a rack of doubles of #1 C3's through #3 Camalots, and a single rack of nuts and felt like it was adequate. In a couple of places I would of appreciated one smaller cam. Fun climb with nice belay ledges. If you haven't been to vegas before there are other climbs I'd point you towards but for those of us who have done many of the other classics this was a worthy route.
|By Stan Pitcher|
From: SLC, UT
Apr 10, 2013
The rap off the top into the bowl really needs extension - the pull is hard! We were able to downclimb without kicking down any rocks but the party before us knocked off something rather large sounding. Really nice climb - its a shame un-necessary extra bolts have been added to the crux pitch!