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Rainbow Wall: Orginal Route and Rainbow Country varation questions
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By 20 kN
From Hawaii
May 24, 2013

I am planning on doing the OR with the Rainbow Country variation and I am wondering what shoes to bring. I need to know if it is more crack orientated (trad shoes) or face-climbing orientated (hard-sport-climbing shoes). I suspect it is face-climbing orientated from the single-rack recommendation, but it never hurts to ask.

Also, the Rainbow Country variation does not show any bolts on the topo. Is the .12d crux protected entirely by gear? Last, is it possible to rejoin onto the Original Route at the end of Rainbow Country, or does the Rainbow Country force you to end the route on P10?


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
May 24, 2013

20 kN wrote:
I am planning on doing the OR with the Rainbow Country variation and I am wondering what shoes to bring. I need to know if it is more crack orientated (trad shoes) or face-climbing orientated (hard-sport-climbing shoes). I suspect it is face-climbing orientated from the single-rack recommendation, but it never hurts to ask. Also, the Rainbow Country variation does not show any bolts on the topo. Is the .12d crux protected entirely by gear? Last, is it possible to rejoin onto the Original Route at the end of Rainbow Country, or does the Rainbow Country force you to end the route on P10?


I did the route in my crack shoes- but i dont think it really matters. I dont remember doing any intense jamming on the route. Mostly just alot of mellow 5.10 climbing with a few hard moves. The hardest moves I remember involved smearing.

Rainbow Country- I dont remember what my friend said about the bolt situation, i do remember him saying it is quite safe. Rainbow Country ends at the base of the Red Dihedral on the Original Route, so you would continue up the Original Route to finish. More than one friend has said that Rainbow Country is quite hard at the crux, but is pretty good climbing aside from that and I think you can A0 the crux of that route.


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By 20 kN
From Hawaii
May 24, 2013

John Wilder wrote:
Mostly just alot of mellow 5.10 climbing with a few hard moves.

Really? Looking at the topo, with the variations I was planing on doing, the topo shows it is 15 pitches of mostly 5.11 and above climbing. I was expecting it to be harder than Astroman by quite a step. Can you recommend a similar 5-star route that gets shade? I was thinking of Cloud Tower. Any other ideas?


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By kirkadirka
From Boulder
May 24, 2013
turkey rocks

Cruxes are harder than astroman but you won't burn as many calories.

do the original first pitch- adds a nice pitch of 12 to start.


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
May 24, 2013

20 kN wrote:
Really? Looking at the topo, with the variations I was planing on doing, the topo shows it is 15 pitches of mostly 5.11 and above climbing. I was expecting it to be harder than Astroman by quite a step. Can you recommend a similar 5-star route that gets shade? I was thinking of Cloud Tower. Any other ideas?


Yeah, really. The .11d 3rd pitch is the only sustained pitch on the route, the rest have a move or two at the grade. Its mellow. The Rainbow Country variation adds quite a bit of difficulty, but i know im not capable of Astroman and I did Rainbow Wall years ago back when I was barely touching .11s.

If you want to climb HARD, go get on Drifting or the Velvet Tongue or something. That said, its getting way too hot to climb that hard in Red Rock. The OG route will be warm and probably just about doable with current temps.


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By Rob Fielding
From Las Vegas, NV
May 24, 2013
Third pillar of dana descent.

Rainbow Wall is awesome! Highly recommend doing it. Texas hold em, drifting, cloud tower (last pitch gets sun in afternoon). You could also do nightcrawler and then do Times up which gets shade around 130. Ncrawler and Times up have some of the best corners in the park.


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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
May 24, 2013
You stay away from mah pig!

I've done the Original Route on Rainbow Wall (not Rainbow Country), and would partly agree with John on the difficulty. I would say the bulk of the pitches are 11- or so. The footwork, even on the cruxes, was not too technical; I actually was wearing a literally brand new pair of Katanas that were not broken in at all. I've not done Astroman, but given what Ive heard, and people I know who've been on both, Astroman has way more hard climbing. Cloud Tower is quite a bit more sustained, too, I've heard, but again, I've not done it.


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
May 24, 2013

camhead wrote:
Cloud Tower is quite a bit more sustained, too, I've heard, but again, I've not done it.


Cloud Tower really isnt that bad either. Its 5 pitches long, three of which are 5.10 and under. The .12a pitch is three short (1-3move) boulder problems separated by stances with some low 5.11 climbing to finish. The .11d corner (final pitch) is a long pitch of .11a/b with one hard ass move at the very end of the pitch. There's also a hands-free ledge about 15' below the crux of that pitch for total recovery.

If you want to get into Astroman country, you'll want to get on the new age stuff- Drifting, Velvet Tongue, Jet Stream, etc, etc.

Actually, if you want a real big-boy challenge, I'd do Texas Hold 'em to Lone Star. Probably the longest hard route in the part. Clocks in at 20+ pitches with all of them being 5.9-5.11+. With the heat and the sun exposure, though, you'd be hard pressed to get it done in a day right now, since starting early would put you in full sun for the first 4 hours of the day and probably while you climbed at least one or two of the .11c pitches.

All of that said, the OG on Rainbow Wall and Cloud Tower are easily two of the very best Red Rock has to offer. Cloud Tower for splitter crack climbing, Rainbow Wall for just classic position, Red Rock style climbing, and aesthetics. I'm not trying to put them down at all, I'm doing the opposite- letting you know how accessible they are for being hard routes and that more people should enjoy them!


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By Ben Sachs
May 24, 2013

For reference, I did Astroman a few months before I did the OR. Astroman was a total epic involving french-freeing multiple pitches. I onsighted the OR. I suck at pure cracks but still I would say Astroman is way more sustained at almost all points. 5.10 wide cracks take more energy than the 5.10 face climbing on the OR (at least for my climbing style). Rainbow Country looked like the obvious line and I'd like to go back for it. OR is kinda a cop-out....


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By Eric D
From Gnarnia
May 24, 2013
Born again on the last move of the Red Dihedral, high Sierras.

Rainbow Wall is easier than Astroman for sure. Most of the pitches on the Rainbow Wall are over-graded, short, and have short cruxes. But it is worth doing and is of very, very high quality.

You don't jam much at all, I would bring face shoes.


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By J. Thompson
From denver, co
May 24, 2013
Trundling a death block. Photo by Dan Gambino.

Ben Sachs wrote:
OR is kinda a cop-out....



Huh...that's a weird thing to say. Considering the OR follows the natural weakness(es) up the center of the wall. Rainbow country has a big face traverse pitch to rejoin the route at the Red Dihedral...which is not an obvious line. Semantics really, but to say that the route is a cop out? No.

This route (OR) is stellar. Easily climbable by a 5.11 trad climber with a lite rack. Even if you have to do some french free, its worth it.
The 3 times I've climbed it I always took a 60M and rapped it with that, which is NBD, I'd always prefer not to carry and pull up/down an extra 10M of rope if I can.

From what I hear about Rainbow Country there is a "stopper" move on it. I've not heard of anyone onsighting it (and know some super strong folks who have tried) does anyone know of an onsight?

Have fun!

josh


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By Josh Janes
May 24, 2013

Kirk and Ben - who have been on the routes of which they speak - both nailed it:

Comparing any of these Red Rocks routes to Astoman is foolish. Having done Astroman twice and RW too many times, it's my opinion that several of the crux moves on RW (depending on the variations you do) are unquestionably harder than the crux on Astroman (the Boulder Problem). However, No route that I've done in Red Rocks will prepare you for the fitness required for Astroman.

Regarding shoes: wear face climbing shoes. I wear Miuras for RW and RC.

The crux of Rainbow Country is well-protected with bolts and one fixed wire. Please do not remove the wire or fixed draws. You cannot "easily" aid the crux, but you can aid it with some difficulty. If you can climb 12a above a bolt, it is much easier to aid. The crux is hard for the grade, and sandwiched between continuous 5.12- moves.

There are some death flakes on the first pitch of RC - be careful. Also the 5.12- traverse relies on a fragile hold - please be careful.

I think Josh and Ben are both right about the line: the RW is the natural weakness, but RC is definitely the cooler line (and the traverse is actually small compared to the wandering crap on RW).


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By Brian Treanor
May 25, 2013
Just some guy having fun climbing. Tourist Trap WI5 M5.

My two cents (did Astroman years ago, OR Rainbow wall earlier this month):

(1) Astroman is a much harder day all around.
(2) Rainbow wall definitely has much harder individual moves/sequences.
(3) Very little crack climbing on OR.
(4) The cruxes on OR tend to have some desperate smearing, though there is some small-edge work as well. I'd wear my best smearing shoes if I did it again (I will). I wore my super-tight Anasazi Blancos (my go-to redpoint shoes) and was hurting a bit by the top.
(5) I did not do the Rainbow Country variation, but it pretty clearly joins the OR at the bottom of the Red Dihedral.

Brian


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By 20 kN
From Hawaii
May 25, 2013

Does Rainbow Country and Rainbow Wall have 100% bolted anchors? It would be nice to leave the cordlette in the car.


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By J. Thompson
From denver, co
May 26, 2013
Trundling a death block. Photo by Dan Gambino.

All anchors are bolted.

josh


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