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Running Man 

YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 120'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: Paul Van Betten, Sal Mamusia, Mike Ward 1987
Page Views: 8,904
Submitted By: david goldstein on Apr 1, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (56)
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Bob McGowen in 1987, shortly after this route was ...

Climbing in Red Rocks after heavy rain can permanently damage the rock! MORE INFO >>>


One of my favorite single-pitch climbs in the country, it is of a piece with other masculine enduro-classics such as Quarter of a Man and Mister Clean. Features slightly overhanging Red Rocks crimping. Starts with a cruxy move by the first bolt (harder if short), followed by a long stretch of 5.10 climbing with no real rests and ends with a semi-cruxy move just below the anchors.

The start of the climb is easy to find with the Swain guide. This climb is in the sun almost the entire day.


This pitch has about 10 bolts, which some of us consider insufficient for a climb of this length, difficulty and continuousness. The bolts can be easily supplemented with a few nuts in the #1-4 Rock range and a couple of cams in the narrow-to-rattly-finger range. A #2.5 Friend is handy at the start.

Photos of Running Man Slideshow Add Photo
Running Man!
Running Man!
Doing the Running Man
Doing the Running Man
Dan Montague on Running Man - January 10th, 2014.
Dan Montague on Running Man - January 10th, 2014.
One way to do this climb.
One way to do this climb.
Roberto De La Riva on Running Man. Mar '09
Roberto De La Riva on Running Man. Mar '09
SteveZ on Running Man
SteveZ on Running Man
SteveZ on the super-classic Running Man
SteveZ on the super-classic Running Man
Working on the Running Man onsight
Working on the Running Man onsight
Just passed the thin crux move there is a purple C...
Just passed the thin crux move there is a purple C...
One way to do this climb.
One way to do this climb.
Running Man.
Running Man.
Running Man shot looking east
Running Man shot looking east

Comments on Running Man Add Comment
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By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 1, 2004

This is a very photogenic route. I used up an entire roll of film on it in 1987, shortly after the route was put up.
By 10b4me
Mar 8, 2004

indeed, one of my favorite single pitches anywhere.

does anyone else think it is sporty between bolts at the bottom?

b armstrong
By d-know
From: electric lady land
Jan 26, 2006
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

I could see it from the road and I had to go do it. One of the best!
By Ryan Triplett
Apr 20, 2006

By Paul Hunnicutt
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 20, 2008

I watched Peter Croft solo this climb a few years back. I'm not big into soloing, but amazing to watch nonetheless.
By Bingman
From: Denver, CO
Jan 16, 2009
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

Really one of the best pitches around. Worth all the hype. The bolts are placed well for the majority of this climb, with one run-out on relatively easy terrain (between the 2nd and 3rd bolt?). It would be easy to protect this section with a nut or TCU, but if you are attempting this grade it shouldn't be a problem. I remember bringing gear but not bothering to place it because the climbing in the run-out was easy.

However, Peter Croft thought a rope was unnecessary, so I guess it's all personal preference. :)

It can also be difficult to clip the first bolt if you are short.
By Gaar
From: Springdale / Zion UT / Moab
Feb 26, 2009

This climb is more like a 105ft tall. A 60 Will get you down with about nothing to spare if you swing a little right. KNOT YOUR ENDS!!!
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Feb 21, 2011

For those wondering about the new bolt that mitigates the run-out on this route, it was placed with the blessing of the FA and the local community.

Also, I didnt think this route was all that special- it was just un-ending, mediocre 5.10 climbing with a couple of interesting moves of 5.11.
By Kevin Dahlstrom
From: Fort Worth, TX
Dec 1, 2012
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

This route looks a lot harder than it is. There's only one 5.11 move down low and then it's sustained crimps 5.10 forever. A lot of fun!

No need for extra gear. There's always a bolt when you need it.
Nov 19, 2013

Onsighted this route in 1997 - IIRC the guide back then called it 11d. Definitely not that hard now (despite the fact that I can't do it these days). Maybe 11b/c.

Tricky start (especially if you are short - a #2 cam will protect you before bolt #1) with a long reach from good undercling flake to small crimps / horizontals, then a delicate and technical slab crux at bolt 2 -3. After that, it's a matter of climbing efficiently on the endless 5.10 moves to the top.

Possible heartbreaker move near the end if you don't manage your pump effectively. Lots of places to semi-rest, especially the locker hand/fist jam at 1/2 height. Look around for not-very-chalked holds off the center line of the seam (especially to the left), that make some of the sequences easier.

A 60 meter rope will NOT make it to the ground. You can lower into the corridor on the right and down climb if need be.

A classic. Tied with Mr Choad's Wild Ride for best 5.11 sport pitch in RR.
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