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Andrei Dorenbaum finishing up p2.
Lotta Balls is a very unique route. Although not that long as far as Red Rocks trad routes go, it has very good climbing. Do the 45 minute approach to the Lotta Balls wall from the First Creek Trailhead.
P1) Climb up horizontal crack features on the huge leaning boulder. Once on top of the boulder, climb the left facing corner and up a flake system to a fixed anchor on a small ledge (bolted anchor). (5.6)
P2) Climb up the namesake section of the rock. There is no crack here, only a lotta balls. Two bolts are in place for protection. Pinch and edge on the really cool ball shaped holds for about 25 feet. This section can be a bit spicy. Then follow a corner to a large ledge. (5.8)
P3) Climb up the corner above the ledge, then traverse left and climb a crack to the top. This pitch is a full rope length.
Descent: Descend down the gully to the left side. Do 3 rappels from trees and scramble the rest. This descent is pretty quick and straight-forward.
Standard Rack, 2 bolts
BETA PHOTO: Looking up at the balls.
Andrei Dorenbaum starting up p3.
Topping out on the 2nd pitch.
Looking up at p1 (climbers at the belay).
Andrei Dorenbaum nearing the p1 belay.
Even the raps off this route are gorgeous!
Unknown climber at the first belay. Photo taken O...
Calder Lane following up the first pitch of Lotta ...
A climber starts up the corner on pitch 3 of Lotta...
Nearing the top of the flake on the first pitch.
The Hebrew Hammer.
Trish working her magic on the jammy whiteness of ...
Trish is working on the 3-points-off Sylvester Sta...
Heading up pitch 3
|By Jake Wyatt|
From: Longmont, CO
Feb 17, 2004
The variety of climbing on this route is great! An overhang, the pebble pinching, a wide corner, and a nice dihedral. The pro in the top half of p2 (above the "balls") seemed suspect in places, so take care.
From: Sacramento, CA
Feb 18, 2004
The crux protection bolt and one bolt at the first pitch belay anchor were replaced in March 2002 by the American Safe Climbing Association. To date, the ASCA has replaced over 350 bolts in Red Rocks. Consider supporting the cause by making a donation at the ASCA website
|By Matt Faust|
Feb 25, 2004
What a great route! There are bolts on top of the 2nd pitch if you want to rap from there, but why would you? From the top of the third pitch you do need to scramble up another 50 feet or so (4th class) before dropping left into an easy gully. Three short raps and you should be down in 20 minutes or so.
|By Edward Jenner|
Mar 29, 2005
Climbing the 'balls' certainly made the route worthwhile. I was giggling through that section.
|By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?|
Sep 23, 2005
rating: 5.8+ PG13
Climbed in the shade today.I'm aware the face climbing section on pitch two can be considered a bit runout ( 2 bolts in like 40? feet), but I felt there were enough features ie; A Lotta Balls, in my face and at my feet,on this section to put my mind at ease on lead.In my opinion, if you're a trad leader who has experience leading 5.8 P.G. -like sport climbs, especially in Red Rock, it's a comfortable lead. The crack after climbing on "the balls" was pure fun and well protected. Pitch one and three were a blast too! A very worthwhile climb if you haven't done it already! Note:There's a bolted anchor at the top of pitch two (semi-hanging, as you will be standing on the rightmost corner of the comfy ledge)
From: Oakland Park, Florida
Aug 30, 2006
A great 3 pitch climb. It's a good lazy half day adventure. It's about an hour hike each way. P1 is an easy overhang to a large flake ending at a belay with bolts. P2 is the Lotta Balls Face. Nice slabby moves takes you past two bolts to the crux. Make a few moves on some really tiny balls and you are to a crack for some more pro. It stays hard to protect for a while as you wonder back and forth then climbing up to the top of a pillar with a bolted anchor. (you can rap from here with 2 ropes) P3 From here follow the inside corner and turn it to the left entering a wide crack to a tree. It's a squeeze past the tree to the top, then head East to 3 single rope rappels. One rope is really all you need. The nature of the rappel is not straightforward, so it's actually not worth trying to use two ropes here.
|By Danny Inman|
Nov 27, 2006
Fun stuff. P3, in the Barnes guide said 200ft-I think it is more like 230 ft to the tree from which you can belay.
Mar 7, 2007
I have never climbed RR before, but I am going to make a visit soon. Can someone make a more specific rack recommendation for this route or at least say what is the biggest piece needed? The last pitch seems very long. Is a 70 meter rope necessary?
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Mar 7, 2007
Stays cold even when other routes are not- windy up there too. Best for a warmer day. Also, it gets wet a the crux and in such a state it felt hard at its grade to me (in January).
For what it is worth, you don't NEED a 70M , but I was happy to have on on the route and on the raps I ended up on (which were apparently the wrong ones)
|By Ron Olsen|
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 7, 2007
Here are my notes from an ascent in October 2002:
Pro: Standard rack to #4 Camalot; no brass, no ball nuts. One 60m rope. Bring webbing and rings to back up rap anchors.
The first pitch goes up stacked blocks, up a corner, then right up a flake to a belay stance at a bolt anchor.
The second pitch goes up the "lotta balls" face, past two bolts. This is exciting face climbing on marble-sized knobs. The pitch continues up a long corner to a ledge with a two-bolt anchor.
The third pitch goes up a corner, then left at a roof, and up a long easy crack almost to the top. This pitch is about 190'.
A final short scramble (30'-40') takes you to the top.
With a 70m rope, you could run the third pitch all the way to the top.
The descent goes down a gully to the left, with three short rappels (not two rappels as stated in the guidebook) from trees. I beefed up two of the rap anchors with new webbing and put a new rap ring on one of the anchors. A short scramble down and around leads back to the base of the climb.
Mar 26, 2007
This is the coolest route I have ever led! Great variety, the balls are a trip!
Warning: careful if rapping the route from the first or second belay ... the crack on the first pitch eats ropes. I saw at least 4 rope fragments jammed in there (in fact I cut the rope of the previous party that got their rope jammed on rappel at their request so they could retrieve part of it).
From: Las Vegas, NV
May 15, 2007
This climb is supreme FUN and a must do!! All of the pitches take great gear (understatement). Pitch one is all the way fun especially when hearing the hollow sound of the huge flake. Pitch 2 is awesome on the "balls" if you will, a little spicy (underline the word 'little') but not as bad as most make you think; while pitch 3 is just super cruiser and possibly the best, at least the first half is until the move under the roof. If anybody is chasing shade, this climb does NOT go into complete shade until close to 2:30 in the afternoon (at least in May), so prepare to be warm before this time if arriving early and bring some tanning lotion!!
PS: The anchors at the top of pitch 2 are completely unnessecary IMHO; perfect crack right there on top of the pillar but oh well, have fun!!
|By Matt McMurray|
From: Castle Rock, CO
Aug 27, 2007
Ron's notes will serve you well on this climb... Fun moderate, with the first two pitches being excellent.
|By Johan Grahnen|
From: Atlanta, GA
Mar 22, 2008
It's possible to ignore the flake on p1 and just climb the dihedral until it and the crack in it peters out -- at that point, the anchors should be just 10-20' to the right. The traverse felt more like 5.8 friction than 5.6 crack climbing, though.
From: Decatur, GA
Apr 7, 2008
rating: 5.8+ PG13
Fantastic climbing! Leading P2 definitely goes on the highlight reel for my first trip to Red Rock. Climbing the "balls" face isn't overly difficult but requires precise movement and concentration -- no lunging for holds on this pitch. On P3, we did a short simulclimb to reach the top to avoid the scramble at the end. The descent is an unpleasant pain in the ass, but was worth it for the quality of the route. Don't miss this one!
Dec 28, 2009
Great climb! Each pitch is fun and unique.
We used a 70m rope and on pitch 3 ran it to the very end to gain the top belay. The climbing at that point is very mellow, however, and the last portion of the P3 could be simulclimbed if you don't have a 70m.
Climbed it on Dec 22 (warm day) and it never got too cold. Enjoy!
Mar 29, 2010
|By Top Rope Hero|
From: Was Estes Park, now homeless
Mar 31, 2010
OK...what? Climbed this a week ago. Good times, but I hardly think this rates as a 4-star, uber-ultra-mega-stupendous-fantastic-super-neat classic. It was good. Funky. NOT run out if you're solid at 5.8. A bit chilly in the spring. Memorable...but I probably wouldn't go back and do this again--which for me is THE mark between 3 and 4 stars. This I give 2.
So? Do it. But don't expect to see the face 'a god.
Flash it out and then run up Black Magic for a great but casual and low-commitment 1000ft day.
Photographer's Note: Bring a quality zoom and have yer friends flash Black Magic, 100 ft to the right of this line. From the top of P2, look up and right. BM climbers stepping across the void on the airy opening moves on P3 would make for a magazine-quality shoot.
Nov 10, 2011
So a friend of mine had a new red camalot get stuck today on the third pitch. If anyone can get it out and are looking for karma points if you could pm me I will get it to her
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jan 28, 2012
I don't think there is any left leaning boulder to start this route. My friend and I jumped on trihardral (thinking it was lotta balls) because that is the route that has a leaning boulder.
|By Killing In The Name Of|
Jan 29, 2012
It's there, you guys didn't match up the guidebook picture, most likely. It's more of a huge flake/right facing corner, the boulder's right under Black Magic, and that IS a boulder, you can scramble under it.
|By Tim Wolfe|
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 31, 2012
Phenomenal face sequence - one of the best slad section I have done here. You can do this in 2 pitches with a 70 meter rope - Pitch 1 plus 2 are almost exactly 70 meters.
|By Peter Lewis|
From: Bridgton, Maine
May 21, 2012
Just did Lotta Balls for the first time last week---after 8 visits to RR over the last 20 years. (No idea why I waited so long!) Here's a fun variation on the last pitch: go up the long right-facing corner above the "balls" pitch, turn the roof on the left (as per the usual finish), and continue up about 40 feet to a belay (semi-hanging) from cams (2" to 3.5") at the obvious traingular roof 5 feet right of the upper chimney. Then climb out right for another 5 feet and up the easy face (5.4) with good gear all the way to the very top of the formation (about another 100-120 feet). Dead-easy climbing in a beautiful position.
Dec 3, 2012
P1 is pretty fun, and has a real interesting fixed U-stem...camalot(?) with a spike driven through the lobes just below the anchor. Never seen that before. On P2, you'd better have good ball fondling abilities. P3 is pretty cruiser, but loooong.
Mar 31, 2013
Edited Monday April 01 2013, in an attempt to remove inaccuracies:
In March 2013, the descent shared by this and other nearby routes was involved in a bolting disagreement. Bolted rappel anchors have been added, removed, and replaced. As of the end of March, the second rappel anchor is the tree again, while the third rappel anchor is bolted.
If you climb any of the routes that use this descent, be aware that the status of the rappel anchors might be in flux. It would be a good idea to bring extra slings, webbing, cord, rings, etc. to rebuild or reinforce the anchors if necessary.
Further information added Monday April 01 2013:
On the afternoon of Wednesday March 27 2013, the descent anchors were:
Rappel 1) A collection of webbing and cord around a large tree, with multiple rings. (This anchor was fine)
Rappel 2) A single sewn sling around a small tree, with a single non-locking carabiner. (We left some gear behind to enhance this anchor)
Rappel 3) Two bolts with chains and rings. (This anchor was fine)
|By Killing In The Name Of|
Apr 1, 2013
^^^^^^Wrong, wrong, wrong again, and also, wrong. Don't pay any attention to the previous post, which is about as far off from reality as possible. Don't hesitate to bring webbing to back up the existing stuff on trees, this is good policy in many parts of Red Rock, not just this descent. I'm not taking time to pick apart all of the inaccuracies, just making a statement of erroneousness and moving on.
From: Oak Park, CA
Apr 11, 2013
Also stretched a 70m on P3 to the summit, just long enough.
Pro to 3" (one blue Camalot), as in the recommended #4 not really needed.
P1 and P2 anchors are both bolted.
The descent no longer seems to consist of 3 short raps. Encountered only two tree slings on the raps down. The last of the two is long and doesn't quite reach the final landing ledge using one 70 (about 10 ft short), but does reach a downclimbable block. There's a solid tree that could serve as intermediate rap anchor on this last of two raps, about 2/3 of the way down; saw no rap slings on that nor bolted rap anchor nearby.
Route entirely into shade by 10:30 AM now, in Apr. Lotta Balls Wall and adjacent Alcohol Wall are the first of this stretch of cliff to go into shade.
Apr 14, 2013
Sean, it is possible that the third rap station bolts have been pulled again, but you also could have just missed them. Even though I knew generally where they should be, I completely missed them on my way down, went past the tree, saw that my rope would not make it all the way down, scrambled back up, and then found the bolts on a face to the left of the tree.