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Saddle Up 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

   
Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 590', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Doug Foust, Andrew Yasso March 2013
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 2,725
Submitted By: Doug Foust on Mar 24, 2013

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Doug Foust cruising through the third pitch jams.

RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>

Description 

A suprisingly good route tucked away on Jackrabbit Buttress on the way to the Brownstone wall. Pitch 1 has fun interesting stemming and chimneying through a cool cave system. Pitch 2 has a sustained steep handcrack on good rock. 3 and 4 ease off with fun climbing on good rock.

Bushwack your way into the alcove and scramble up some third class to rope up. We didn't have a middle mark on the rope, so pitch lengths may be off a bit.

P1 - Stem and chimney up some very featured rock, eventually the rock smooths out before the base of a slightly left slanting rib. Continue up the rib into into a cave system. Very fun stemming and chimneying up working slightly left to gain the top of the huge chockstone. Build your anchor at a small T-shaped crack about ankle height on the east wall on top of the chockstone. 5.7+ 110 feet.(lots of variations on this pitch that could go harder or easier)

P2 - Step off the chockstone out and right over the void(spicy) to a couple of face moves to gain a nice, steep hand crack on the right. Jam your way up the crack, watching for an occasional jug on the right wall. Continue up past a white flake on the left side of the crack and belay just above. 5.9 120 feet.

P3 - Continue up the handcrack as the angle eases. We belayed from an awkward varnished alcove but there was a nice ledge 15' above that would have a better stance. 5.7 160 feet.

P4 - Follow the left trending crack until it ends, then angle right. The rock and pro is much better than it looks. 5.4 200 feet.

Unrope and walk off heading towards Brownstone wall.

Location 

The route starts in the large gully between Smooth Operator and The Black Pearl. The obvious landmark is the huge chockstone at the top of pitch one.

Descent - Walkoff northwest towards Brownstone Wall.

Protection 

Single rack to 4", doubles .5 to 2", some may find a #5 useful on the first pitch.


Photos of Saddle Up Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Saddle Up
BETA PHOTO: Saddle Up
Rock Climbing Photo: Doug Foust racking up at the base of the first pit...
BETA PHOTO: Doug Foust racking up at the base of the first pit...
Rock Climbing Photo: Contemplating the moves off the chockstone to star...
Contemplating the moves off the chockstone to star...
Rock Climbing Photo: Doug about to climb up and left, under the massive...
BETA PHOTO: Doug about to climb up and left, under the massive...
Rock Climbing Photo: Top of pitch two belay, above the white handjam/fl...
BETA PHOTO: Top of pitch two belay, above the white handjam/fl...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch two steps off the end of the chockstone, ove...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch two steps off the end of the chockstone, ove...
Rock Climbing Photo: Doug Foust at the pitch 3, sloping alcove belay.  ...
BETA PHOTO: Doug Foust at the pitch 3, sloping alcove belay. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Doug Foust nearing the end of pitch two in the sol...
BETA PHOTO: Doug Foust nearing the end of pitch two in the sol...
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting up the first pitch
Starting up the first pitch

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By Andrew Yasso
From: Las Vegas, NV
Mar 25, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Had a great time climbing this thing with Doug. Almost worked out too easy.

Pitch two felt 5.8+/5.9 to me. Hoping not to sandbag people with the rating but also not trying to make ourselves feel good by overrating it.
By Susan Ruff
Apr 22, 2014

I really enjoyed leading pitch 1. I may have not followed the route description above: when the rib got harder than I like, I backtracked left into the cave and climbed a fun cave/chimney pitch that was well protected (I had no #5 and didn't miss it, but I used many slings to prevent rope drag). I love climbs like this one that get you thinking in 3D.

We used this climb to approach The Minerva: on p3 of Saddle Up, easily angle left instead of right to get into The Minerva's huge alcove.
By Andrew Ishimaru
From: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Nov 30, 2015

Awesome climb! The first pitch is just so cool. I decided to lead directly up the cave instead of along the fin on the right side and I'm glad I did. Do yourself a favor and climb the cave-- it's way fun. Good pro and secure moves all the way up.
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Feb 13, 2016
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Really nice route, guys- I really enjoyed the whole thing.

The first pitch was super cool- wide stemming that's well protected into a cool cave and then onto the chockstone.

Second pitch- the start was casual with a bomber #2 that protected the easy step across and then easy gear that protects the spectacular crack above. Really engaging, thoughtful pitch- I thought it was 5.9 for sure. I linked two and three to the alcove belay, it seemed like the logical way, although it was probably 55m or so that way.

Third pitch was good- just up and out on a fun face that looks iffy at first, but ends up being really solid.

This thing would make Armatron a full value day at the grade if used as an approach to that climb.

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