Moderate Mecca is just that - a mecca of many easy to moderate crack climbs. The climbing has quick access, straight-forward descents, and usually good pro. The face is sunny and warm, so it is well suited for colder days.
Take highway 159 to Calico Basin road. This is the first major road east of the main Red Rocks park. Follow this road to a T intersection, then take a left and park at the picnic area at the end of the road.
Hike south on a path uphill. Then descend a short ways until it is possible to contour around to your right (west). This is the Moderate Mecca. The routes all start from this ledge system, which has cliffs below and above.
This climb is just to the left of the major deep dihedral closest to the parking area. Climb up a shallow corner only a 5 feet left of Chicken Gumbo (the major dihedral). This route barely feels like a unique route due to its close proximity to its neighbor.Set up a gear anchor, then the base can be reached by a walk off to the right....[more]Browse More Classics in NV
The name Moderate Mecca implies that it is some sort of destination or attraction, a concept I have substantial disagreement with. Relative to the rest of Red Rocks, the climbs here are short, dirty, broken, unaesthetic, and well, not as good. The area was more or less a waist of time for I and my moderate partner, who had better days everywhere else we went. We climbed a line or two that were touted as "one of the best lines at the crag" and found that to be at best a measured compliment, or perhaps more of a back-handed compliment.So I vote "blah" for this area. If what you seek is sun and a few lines to tick, you can go and have a good day, but it's a crag of local, not regional notability & quality.
Moderate Mecca is a superb area for beginning to moderate climbers. South-facing, it gets LOTS of sun. The short approach makes this crag easily accessible to even the portliest climber. Driving to the parking area, however, takes one right through the heart of a residential area, so *please* be considerate of the neighbors.
Traveling west down West Charleston, turn right on to Calico Basin Road. Drive 1.2 miles to a T-intersection and turn left into the Red Spring picnic area. Park at the southernmost end of the lot. Walk south up the old road to a ridge. Head downhill about 25 meters and bear right on to the ledge. If you end up below the Easter Island head, you've gone too far (although there is a nice 5.10+ located here).
My daughter Tia and I finished up three days at RR with a visit to Moderate Mecca. We had half a day before heading back to Riverside. It's quick to get to and has a number of short climbs of varying difficulty. We very much enjoyed ourselves. It's also a good formation for a windy day. There's some loose rock at the base and on the lower ledges but nothing to get agitated about. We plan on going back when we have limited time but still want to get some rockwork in.
What a fun little afternoon of climbing. Some classic overhanging hand cracks,faces, and it is worth going to for a quick run up some fun routes. as per the norm some are better quality than others but I think it is always up to the people going. Some great gear leads valentines day, muckraker, scalawag, boodler, pending disaster, are all good and take good pro. a real classis is ace of hearts. take some small stuff like black and blue aliens, three of each should do and brassy's and 4bd and smaller wires. this is a bit of a more serious lead but a classic for the area. have a stong head and remember power by numbers.
I am Inclined to agree with GiGi. Additionally, this crag is shady in the late afternoon/early evening in July. When it is 110F in the valley, it is surprisingly pleasant in this location (but heats up like a skillet in the sunny portions of the day.) There is quite often a nice breeze ( though occasionally it gets a bit too breezy; in that case, head over to the other side of Calico Basin, by Cannibal Crag and beyond.) It is also good in winter, as it warms up nicely in the morning, due to its southern exposure.