|Redgarden - Tower One
Neurosis is a rarely done climb, although I was surprised to see chalk on P2 and P3 (but none on P1). Perhaps people approach via P1 of Psychosis, moving left near the top of that pitch rather than right.
Somewhere between 1 and 2 stars. A good adventure climb. P1 is mostly just hard (impossible for me) with difficult gear. P2 is spectacular but easier. P3 is loose to start, indirect, with an unsatisfying (but welcome) finish if you escape around the arête to the right.
FFA by a stellar team. Art Higbee (Art's Spar) is a little less known than Wunsch and Bragg, but Art climbed a lot with Jim Erickson including on the free ascent of Half Dome (see the movie).
Erickson's 1980 guide says, "Slightly less severe than PSYCHOSIS, yet analysis and commitment may be necessary." He also says of P1, "...conquer a minor overhang..." The "minor" overhang is a large and very difficult roof, and the crux of the climb. Did something break off since the first ascent? I'm good at roofs and can climb most Eldo routes to easy 11, although sometimes with hangs and falls. I could not do this roof despite many attempts. I'd like to hear from any 5.11 climber who can do this. The way that almost worked for me was to stem with a low left hand jam, long reach for a good pinch at the lip, and try to pull on that pinch to reach the good hold.
Approach:Hike up to the west side of Redgarden. After the steel ladder, continue past a couple more switchbacks until you can cut back right on a ledge that leads to Psychosis and Vertigo. This is one level below the start of Yellow Spur. Psychosis starts just left of the largest tree on this ledge. Neurosis starts about 12 feet left of Psychosis at a right facing dihedral. For a warm-up, you can climb from below to this point via Schizophrenia (5.8) or one of the harder climbs on either side of that.
P1 10d++ S?:This is rated S in Rossiter's guide. If you're tall (I'm 6'2" with mediocre reach), it's not S, but perhaps "protection difficult." Climb the initial corner at about 5.9 with barely adequate gear. Move very carefully onto the ledge on the left. There is lots of loose gravel and some bigger rocks on this slanting ledge that want to fall off. The belayer should be wearing a helmet and be out of the fall line (rope, too). Get good gear on the underside of the roof. I used HB offset nuts and some small cams. Move right on a large block under the roof with a horizontal crack and buckets. The left side of this block is suspect. You can get some gear on the right side. You can place a blue Ballnut in the roof. From the ledge on the left, if you are tall, you can place a very good #3/blue Camalot in the obvious slot at the lip. This topropes the crux. As I said above, I couldn't do the crux, so I can't offer any advice here. A very long reach will work. Perhaps a hand jam where the blue Camalot is (and place the cam after getting the good hold). Perhaps left hand on some small sidepulls. Climbing from directly below puts the lip much further away. Some combination of heel hooks with sloper holds might work. Pulling over the lip is 5.9 or so on good holds. You can place a 0.75/green Camalot before you pull over the lip. Above this the climbing is maybe 5.8. I placed gear in the main corner but climbed a bit further right where it was cleaner and less steep. Gear is sparse but adequate. It's not obvious where to belay. Traverse left around the main corner to a hidden ledge. Further left and down on this ledge are good cracks taking green and yellow Aliens and a 0.5 Camalot. You can protect the second on this traverse with a yellow Alien or medium nut above the big horizontal crack.
There is a variation to the left of the crux roof that is apparently 10a. Looking down from above, it looked pretty dirty above the roof on that variation.
P2 9+:The second pitch is the best pitch. It looks pretty hard from the ground, and it is pretty hard at about 9+. Gear and rock is good, but you have to work for the gear at a few places. Like the regular 2nd pitch of Psychosis, it's very steep, but with more interesting moves and better rock than Psychosis. When you top out, there are a few gear placements, but the rock is a bit suspect. I prefer to move right and down to a very good horizontal crack that takes hand-sized cams (#2 and #3 Camalots). Up and right from there is an excellent 1" cam placement. This belay is a little less comfortable than up and left, but safer, and there's more rope out for the initial hard moves of P3.
P3 10d:I first did this pitch accidentally thinking it was the 10d variation of Psychosis. The guidebooks say climb to the roof and move right, but you actually climb right about 15' below the roof. Climb the shallow right facing corner that is left of Psychosis. The first 10' of this is a little loose, and gear is difficult, but available. Continue up the corner as high as you can to place gear. The climbing is about 5.9. Step down a bit and move right onto some decent handholds. It may be possible to traverse straight right from here and avoid grief later, but we traversed diagonally down and right (first crux) to the shallow left facing corner. It's very difficult hanging out at this point to get gear. Get a good high nut. (Double ropes useful! One high on the left and one running low across the face to this point.) Make hard moves up the crack and then desperately reach an obvious crystal/flake on the arête, and escape right into an easy corner (top of Psychosis). It may be possible to continue up the crack without moving around the arête, but it's very steep and a little dirty. Rossiter just says of this pitch, "...traverse right (10d), and up to the top."
Double cams from microcams to #2/gold Camalot, #3/blue Camalot. 1 or 2 sets of micronuts. HB offsets and Astros work well. Blue Ballnut is optional and doesn't get you much. 1 set bigger nuts to 1". HB offsets worked well on P1. Double ropes very helpful on P1 and P3.
|By Brian Milhaupt|
From: Golden, CO
Mar 8, 2007
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 5c
Climbed this to Psycho Pigeon. What a contrast in rock quality, with this one getting the short end of the stick.
Ivan, we did the #3 Camalot move with little success in freeing it. I did get it seconding by taking the cam out and moving up higher and left and using tiny edges in the roof to reach right to the fist jam. Swinging right onto that hand proved incredibly painful. The rock above this was suspect to the end except for the enjoyable steep 9+ section. While fun it didn't seem worth it. The final pitch could be cool if you could punch it straight up. Looks hard, I wonder if anyone's done it?