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Riding Hood Wall
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Big Bad Wolf S 
Over the Hill to Grandmother's House T 
Physical Graffiti T 
Riding Hood T 

Physical Graffiti 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 290'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: Martinet, Grandstaff, Gordon '73
Page Views: 17,060
Submitted By: Peter Gram on Feb 17, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (257)
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Just in time to catch a great sunset over the scen...

Description 

Physical Graffiti is an excellent crack climb for the beginning leader. Start near the left side of the Riding Hood Wall at the steep crack with big jugs around it.

P1) Climb up for most of a rope length, passing a small roof, to an anchor. (5.6)

P2) Get into the crack to the right (small gear), and jam it to the top of the formation. (5.6)

Descent: Rap off the west face, then downclimb the gully (tricky).

Protection 

Standard Rack


Photos of Physical Graffiti Slideshow Add Photo
Working the 2nd pitch of Physical grafitti
Working the 2nd pitch of Physical grafitti
You can rap from the first anchor on a 60m rope with this much left over--perfect!
BETA PHOTO: You can rap from the first anchor on a 60m rope wi...
2nd pitch of Physical Graffitti,   Always a fun climb. If doing the 5.9 variation first pitch it's a great climb!
2nd pitch of Physical Graffitti, Always a fun cl...
The start of the walk off to climbers' left. It's a moderate 10-15 minute descent from here back to base of the climb.
BETA PHOTO: The start of the walk off to climbers' left. It's ...
Bonnie Kelso and Ron Graham at top of first pitch.  There are glue-in bolts and a comfortable foot ledge here.
Bonnie Kelso and Ron Graham at top of first pitch....
Physical Graffiti. Nice start -- the first 20 feet up the crack in the corner might be the best part of the climb.
Physical Graffiti. Nice start -- the first 20 feet...
Start by the two trees/shrubs located at the bottom of the crack and follow up right to nice belay ledge.  Than follow the nice long right crack all the way up.
BETA PHOTO: Start by the two trees/shrubs located at the botto...
Riding Hood Wall
BETA PHOTO: Riding Hood Wall
Riding Hood Wall - Climber at the top of the second pitch of Physical Graffittiand another at the belay station
Riding Hood Wall - Climber at the top of the secon...
Debbie Zois on the first pitch.
Debbie Zois on the first pitch.
Start of the first pitch of Physical Graffiti <br />Photo Courtesy of <a href='http://www.ClimbPHX.com' target='_blank' rel='nofollow' >climbphx.com</a>
BETA PHOTO: Start of the first pitch of Physical Graffiti Phot...
Two unknown (but loud) climbers at the belay ledge.  02-16-2007
BETA PHOTO: Two unknown (but loud) climbers at the belay ledge...
Photo taken from Big Bad Wolf
Photo taken from Big Bad Wolf
Red Riding Hood Wall and Physical Graffiti
BETA PHOTO: Red Riding Hood Wall and Physical Graffiti
Fun sustained 5.6 climbing on the Second Pitch.
Fun sustained 5.6 climbing on the Second Pitch.

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 23, 2014
By Scott Conner
From: Lyons, CO
Feb 19, 2004
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I think the first pitch is a great beginner lead but the second pitch is hard for the grade, insecure and weird...
By Richard S. Adler
Apr 9, 2004
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

..........damn, Physical Graffiti is one of my favorite obscure routes at Red Rocks. While the masses are conga lined up on some of the acknowledged classics. This nice line is typically san humanity. Scott is correct, in my opinion, about the first pitch. But The second pitch is terrific. A beautiful hand and finger crack that eats gear. We found the walk off strait forward, albeit tricky. No rappel's needed!

-r-
By 10b4me
Jun 29, 2005

You can actually desend climber's left and aviod a rap. Mainly class 2 with a little class 3 to keep things honest!
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jun 29, 2005
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

You can descend right or left off of Physical Graffitti, neither descent requires a rappel. If you go right, when you reach the rappel station, just head off left (away from the main wall), traversing about 20' total. From here, you drop back right and end up at the base of the wall. There may be one or two 4th class moves, but nothing serious.
By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From: Vegas
Jul 11, 2005
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I prefer the descent to the climbers left, as I've done both right and left. The right's "rap part" was O.K. but the downclimbing was sketchier and it seemed to have taken longer to get back to the base, in comparison to the left.I'd like to give the first pitch a one star(a bit boring and wandery), but in my opinion, the second pitch deserves two stars, mainly because it's such a nice clean crack that takes gear well. Anyway, a nice climb to do if you want and/or need a "quickie," (multi-pitch, that is).
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jul 29, 2005
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

It should also be noted that the second pitch is a long one (almost a full 60m), and if you are a beginning leader take note- unless you have about three full sets of cams with you, you are most likely going to have to climb above your gear in a few spots.

I think the first time you do the second pitch, it can seem a bit contrived and awkward at the grade, but once you've done it, it seems much easier upon a repeat ascent...
By harmonydoc
Mar 27, 2006
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Climbed this last weekend, I thought the whole thing was great! I'm a pretty new leader, took me some thought to figure out the start of the pitch 2 crack, but once I got in the swing of it things felt quite reasonable and secure. My 2 followers both thought pitch 2 was harder than pitch 1. We descended down the gully off climbers right, didn't rap, there were one or two sections that required a few technical moves, but nothing horribly intimidating. Took a while though, since we had to move carefully not to dislodge the loose debris in the gully.
By Matt McMurray
From: Castle Rock, CO
Nov 13, 2006
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I climbed this a few weeks ago for the first time. I would strongly advise walking-off to the climber's left. I went right, and thought that the down climb through the chimneys were more difficult and exposed in spots than the whole climb... okay maybe that's a bit exaggerated, but it gets the point across. I spoke with the group ahead of us and they did the descent in about 10 minutes (to the left), whereas it took our group more like 15-20 (to the right).

A very fun route... =)
By Mike McGlynn
From: Henderson, NV.
Nov 26, 2006

IHO the best way to get off of P.G. is to first go right past the rap anchors, go up the ramp about 15', go through the slot to the left, come out on the other side and then descend as normal to the left. By descending this way, you avoid the - somewhat - scary exposure of immediately going left from the top of the climb. Getting to the slot through the rock is very easy - and much less intimidating - than taking the immediate left, especially for beginning climbers that you may be taking on their first multipitch route. I'm not sure why anybody would descend right, it is much more of a pain in the neck, and dangerous to boot.
By OKClimber
From: Folsom
Nov 5, 2007
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Just a note on the length of the first pitch - most guide books call for a 'long' first pitch, while it is actually about 95' to the anchors. I found this out once when I had to rap from the anchors with a single 60m after my partner refused to ascent the lower section due to nerves. I luckily found out I could reach the ground with a little room to spare with a single 60.
By Jay Holland
From: Henderson, NV
May 10, 2009

Climbed this yesterday. We got an early start so the heat was not so bad. By the time we got to the bottom 10:00 am it was getting warm. Two groups waiting to climb the route at that time. The route is an excellent lead for beginners or good practice. First pitch I thought was much easier than the second. The second starts off tricky but the holds are all very positive. The whole climb is very sustained at the grade. The descent to the right was easy to find , but make sure you rap down to the first gully and leave your rope up and drop down to the next level as well. 60m makes it fine. The down climbing was a little tricky through the gully. This is an excellent get out and get in a morning climb route though!
By cassondra
From: las vegas, NV
Sep 2, 2009

During the summer months, this route goes into shade after 2pm. It is a nice place to climb on a summer afternoon. Also, it gets morning sun in the winter. It was beautiful last January.
By cassondra
From: las vegas, NV
Nov 28, 2009

There is now a bolted belay anchor at the top of P2 positioned somewhat below the crack where one would customarily build a gear anchor. This should speed up the conga line a bit.
By Top Rope Hero
From: Was Estes Park, now homeless
Apr 1, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Fun. But not all THAT fun. Most of the magic looks like it would be over in 60 feet.

For spice, try either of the direct, 5.9+ roof starts, 40 ft to the right, called "Over the Hill blahblahbalh..." Yummmm!
By JeanGClimbs
From: Reading, VT
May 6, 2010

Climbed this twice last week (different partners) and thought it was a stellar climb for the grade. If you find the 2nd pitch either difficult or unpleasant, you are probably getting sucked into the crack. If you stem the entire pitch you will find it fantastic, fun and quite easy! I agree that a leader who climbs 5.6 or 5.7 as their limit might be a little intimidated.

Indeed there is a fixed anchor at the top of pitch 2 now (not required to build a belay unless it is crowded). My partner and I tried rapping the route since there was no one else there. The wind was up but we were able to pull and retrieve our ropes successfully. Double rope rap from the top to midway anchor (lots of places for your rope to get eaten) and a single rope rap to the ground.
By Ron Graham
Jun 13, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I agree with the last commenter. You won't likely find leading the second pitch to be awkward if you stem the first part, get into the crack in the middle when the stemming holds thin out but there are great hand and foot jams, and then climb the face just left of the crack near the top of the pitch.

To get onto the line of the second pitch, you need to do an easy traverse about 8 feet or so to the right from the ledge at which the first pitch anchor is located. There is a horizontal crack a little bit above head level in between the first pitch anchor and the vertical crack constituting the line of the second pitch. This horizontal crack is just deep enough to take a BD#3 cam. Placing and clipping into this will keep you from falling on the anchor and penduluming far if you slip before placing gear in the vertical crack. After placing a piece in the vertical crack, you can easily back clean the #3 cam so you won't have rope drag issues later on.

In my opinion, the crux of the climb is the beginning of the first pitch. There is some great pro right away but a few awkward moves until the angle backs off. The rest of the route is smooth sailing with tons of holds and pro.
By Rich F.
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Mar 24, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Fun route, worth climbing. Anchors look good on both pitches. Best part of the climb was the first 30 feet, and then doing a layback on the top half of the crack on the 2nd pitch. Two ropes required to rappel the route since the 2nd pitch is so long.
By Larry DeAngelo
Administrator
From: Las Vegas, NV
Mar 25, 2011

Rich, two ropes are unnecessary. Most people will walk off left or rap to the gully on the right with a single rope.
By cammyjams
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jun 7, 2011
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

As of 6/6/11 the anchors at the top of pitch two have been removed and filled. I found this odd as the rap chains 50' up around to the right were not maintained and still have scary cold shuts on one side. Why go to all of the work removing/filling bolts and leave manky rap rigs up there? Anyway, belaying safely at the top of pitch two now means building a SERENE Trad anchor under a huge block at the top of the climb. You will need every inch of a 60m rope to accomplish this, and a couple of large pieces too. FYI, C.
By Nelson Day
From: Joshua Tree, CA
Sep 19, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Climbed this yesterday. I agree that the second pitch does take quite a bit of gear. If you are a new leader, probably doubles and maybe triples in the 1" range is not a bad idea. There are a couple vertical crack hand and foot jam moves you will need to do, which seemed a little sandbagged at the 5.6 level. The first pitch was very enjoyable, and the rock formations in the area are beautiful.

Save a .75 camalot and a #3 camalot for the gear anchor at the top under a prominent formation.
By Alex Rogers
From: Sydney, Australia
Sep 19, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I led the 1st pitch, my partner the 2nd, and I definitely felt pitch 1 was easier - pitch 2 probably 5.7. Very well protected, lovely rock, great position - a really great fun climb. We rapped on one rope into the gully to the right, easy down-climbing thereafter, no issues at all.
By William Nelson
From: Cave Creek, AZ
Feb 20, 2012
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Awesomeness. First pitch was easy 5.5. starts out pretty vertical but with huge jugs and great pro. Second pitch is spicy for 5.6. Great protection, awesome stemming moves sometimes requiring just palming dishes with your hands. Second pitch took almost entire 60 m rope length. Can use two bolted anchors at top of pitch (angle slightly left on headwall) which also is used for relatively new multi pitch 5.9 sport route around the corner to the left of start of PG. Badass leaders will runout second pitch and hardly need to protect. The rest of us want to sew it up. On second pitch, I used all cams. 1x.3,1x.4,2x.5,2x.75, 3x 1, 2x2, and a 1x 3 BD C4s. 12 cams in 200 feet may feel like runout for first time leader, but just protect the few bulges and spicier moves instead of sewing it up every 10 feet. Walk off climbers left down gully is easy if you don't want to rap.
By zachw
Mar 31, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

First pitch is a gem for beginning leaders. So many bomber nut placements! The second pitch, though, is a bit more awkward. If teaming up with an experienced leader, the beginner should probably lead P1 and then clean P2 to see how its done on an easy but funky RR crack.

Bolted anchor at first belay. Build your own anchor at the top in the obvious cave. Make sure to bring a camera for the ubiquitous vegas pic at the top.

Also consider the bolted 5.9 to the left (4 pitches?)
By Jared R
Sep 23, 2012

I think that the first pitch was great and easy. The second pitch was much, much harder, in my opinion than the first pitch. It felt sustained and harder than the 5.6 rating. It was a good route though. Definitely worth doing.

The descent was not good. Next time I would just rap the route to the left, Big Bad Wolf in 4 raps with a 60M rope.
By ClimbPHX.com
From: Mesa AZ
Sep 26, 2012

We did the Over the Hill to Grandmothers House start - Great initial moves with nice 5.9 face moves through the top section - Adds a bit of spice to a 5.6 climb - Plus the 2nd pitch is a stout 5.6 lead for new leaders so overall a great climb.

climbphx.com
By BarryO
Nov 2, 2012

Great climb and loads of fun!!! Left hand and foot jams all along the way. There are NO ANCHORS on the top of the 2nd pitch but there is a great crack to use for anchors which allows you to get in to a great seated position. Make sure to save some gear for the anchor station (small to medium cams). The rappel into the canyon to the right was fun although you don't have to and you can cross over 2 fins to get to an easy 2nd class down climb. Someone has even cairned the route although it may have been for scrambling as I have extensively scrambled in the area and someone may have decided to set it up for hiking groups. A must do climb in Red Rock and I suggest listening to the album on the drive up and back - Zeppelin rules!!!
By dnoB ekiM
Nov 3, 2012
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Barry0, While there are no anchors atop PG's 2nd pitch, a 70 meter should allow you to continue up and left to the top anchors of BBWolf and belay from those anchors, if you wish. This is a fabulous route.! EZ, fun and protection opportunities the entire way. Over the hill to GMs house 5.9 (to the right) is a Great!!! alternative first pitch!
By Mike Hill
Nov 20, 2012
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Great 2 pitch route. I think both pitches are about the same difficulty but different styles. The first pitch is a little overhung early on but then eases up. The second pitch is a lot of stemming and long. Go up left at the end if you want to belay from the top of BBW if nobody is over there with a 70M rope then walk off left. Nice easy approach to the climb. We only had a half day so we were able to do this climb before we caught our plane later afternoon. The second pitch eats gear if you are not running it out a little. Double rack mid gear .75-3 if you don't want to run it out a bit. Lots of nut placements too. No trouble finding gear placements anywhere on the route.

We also rapped BBW with two 60M ropes but I don't recommend this as we caused too much rock fall by doing this.
By Hiro
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 25, 2012

P2 is definitely harder to lead than P1. Read the other comments about getting off the top - we walked climber's right to the anchor, rapped into the gully. Walking down the gully was real though, technical walk offs are not my favorite at all. Getting to the ground required some (unprotected) chimney work.
By Tom Lausch
From: Madison WI
Nov 28, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

First pitch is an easy lead. The second pitch is amazing. An easy hand crack that swalows gear the whole time. Also plenty of good stances for putting on pro. Watch out thouhg, a 60M rope will just barely get the job done. The rap off to the right with double ropes and easy downclimbing provided to be no problem at all. A must do route
By wankel7
From: Indiana
Apr 8, 2013

Super fun climb with pitch two being the best! We did the walk off to the left following cairns marking the way. From the belay walk left and up skirting the rock that forms the belay. Once you get to the top of the gully you can walk about 30 seconds towards RR park and you can get a super awesome view of the whole park :)

Anyways the left hand gully was super easy and not sketchy at all.

You could also rap down mountainproject.com/v/big-bad-... If nobody is on it. However, you can't see that from the top of the raps so it is best to just take the gully.
By Emmanuel B
Dec 2, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I climbed this route last week with my wife and that was awesome. Loved it!
I agree with several commenters that the first pitch feels pretty easy and the second one harder. Despite having read the comments here before going on the route, I got caught off guard by those hand and foot jams. Not that hard after all but it added some spice!
Since the second pitch is long, I was worried I was going to run out of gear so I ended up running it out quite a bit, which had no consequences in the end.
As for the gear anchor at the top, I used a crack on the right of the ledge with a BD #.75 cam and 2 medium size nuts. Felt really solid.
Also, my wife and I couldn't hear each other when I got to the top of the 2nd pitch. Thankfully there was a party on Big Bad Wolf and they helped us communicate. Not sure if the wind was strong or if it was something else but without them, that could have been a problem.
By latestarter
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Dec 18, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Did this last Friday and it was a fantastic climb. One of my partners led the first pitch, and I led the second. Parts of the crack felt a little awkward, and to bypass some of the trickier sections, I ended up going out to the left onto the juggy, 5.easy (but unprotectable) face for a short way, before returning to the crack. This was a looong pitch on a 60-meter rope, and communication with my second from the belay stance was difficult.

Re: the rappel+walk-off descent, I see a lot of people got sucked into the chimney after doing the rappel. We almost did the same, but we were lucky enough to notice a series of cairns which led us through a series of class 2 ledges to the *left* of the chimney (descender's left), and this felt very comfortable and secure pretty much the whole way down. Compared to the other walk-off, which we later did after climbing Big Bad Wolf, the rappel/walk-off for Physical Graffiti felt much more secure, as the BBW walk-off involved descending through a steep, slippery chute full of loose rocks.
By susan peplow
From: Joshua Tree
Mar 14, 2014

Seems popularity is growing especially with it's pseudo-new soon to be uber classic neighboring route. Luckily you can see the scores of people at the base from the wash below and decide your own fate before hiking up. My partner and I fired the first pitch while waiting for Big Bad Wolf . Lots of holds and obvious gear placements for the budding leader. Fun enough although I think the money pitch is the second. Perhaps on another visit link up Over the hill to grandmother's house then top out on PG.
By Fan Z.
From: Washington, DC
Apr 7, 2014

Climbed on AM of 4/6/14 with JH. Windy and cold, but got sunburned. P1 is easy except for first 15'. P2 felt more secure after learning a little about crack climbing since last time I led it, but it still felt exposed at times and was super fun. And yes, a little stiff for 5.6. Almost all of the hand jams were with the left hand on P2 (at least for me), so I quickly ran out of gear on my right side and wished I had racked more gear on the right side.

Another vote for descending via the gully to climbers' LEFT. We followed the cairns at the top and found the descent very straightforward and fast (10-15 minutes). No 5th class moves and no raps needed.
By Jake Douglas
Oct 12, 2014

None of the climbing was as steep as it appeared to me in photos here, except the very beginning which was steep jugs for about 25 feet. The fact that the crack is in a shallow gully also helps lessen the feeling of exposure.

The first 50-60 feet of P2 are the hardest climbing, awkward at times. I had to build an anchor after this and split the pitch because I was burning through gear. My experience was that it took almost all #1 and larger, and by the time I could place smaller pieces the climbing had eased off to very easy low angle. I think I arrived at the chains with 5 small cams that I had not been able to put to much use. Go heavy on #1, #2 and #3. There are places on each pitch to place a #4 too, if you feel like carrying it.

Walking off left is totally the way to go. As you depart the chains it is somewhat exposed (although easy) and beginners may want a quick belay, but after that it is cairned, unexposed and easy. Much faster/safer than rappelling.

Very fun climbing and a good challenge for new leaders around 5.6-5.7. P2 is harder and more sustained than other 5.6 I have climbed and I am glad I had done a few 5.7s before this.
By s.price
From: PS,CO
8 hours ago

I did my second ascent of this route yesterday. Twenty seven years after my first. Just as much fun. And I used cams instead of hexes and stoppers.
The four of us had the place to ourselves. First trip to Red Rocks for the couple who joined us Great line, sweet times.