Beginning Feb. 1st each year, a seasonal wildlife closure will be in effect on Redgarden Wall in Eldorado Canyon State Park to protect nesting and roosting sites of the canyon’s falcons. The closure is in effect through July 31st unless lifted early due to early fledging or inactivity.
The closure includes the following climbing routes: The Naked Edge (last 3 pitches only), The Diving Board, Centaur, Redguard (last 3 pitches only), Red Ant, Semi-Wild, Anthill Direct (last 3 pitches only), and The Sidetrack.
This is a cool, "semi-wild" route left of P2 of Anthill Direct that is rarely done. I've never seen anyone on it, and there was no chalk. I've wanted to do this since I first noticed it a couple of years ago from P2 of Anthill Direct.
The adventure is good, position is good, high above the creek and across from The Edge, but the approach and descent involve some work, and the rock has some powdery green lichen which raises the stress level. And there's the scary roof crux.... Maybe 1.5 stars?
There's no gear at the crux roof. The gear is 4 to 5' below, and it's one bomber big brass and another fair brass with better gear below. The roof is reachy and strenuous, and it's not totally clear how to do it. I nearly fell off when my left foot skated off a flake I was pushing off of to increase my reach.
The route: the Rossiter topo shows the climb starting on P2 of Anthill Direct and then angling left across the slab to the base of the vertical crack. We climbed further left, skirting the initial ceiling, up a left angling ramp (good horns to sling), and then angled right on easy ground to the base of the crack. You could also climb more directly up the slab with no gear. The lower part of the crack, up the slab to the base of the headwall, has good gear. The first moves up the headwall are a bit spooky. With difficulty, you can get a fair medium brass to protect these moves. The climbing above is well protected and interesting, with a balancy move to get up to the roof. Get as much gear as you can, since there is no gear at or above the roof. Climb straight through the roof (don't move right through it, although that may also work), protect your second well, and traverse straight right to the Anthill Direct P2 belay.
Descent: if you're familiar and comfortable with Anthill Direct, the best "descent" may be to continue up on Anthill Direct. Otherwise, you can rappel to the Upper Ramp and then off of good bolt anchors in two single-rope or one double-rope rappels to the ground. There are currently two good pins at the top of P2 of Anthill Direct, but there may be no slings and rings. You'll want webbing and rings or leaver biners. If you want to backup the pins with a nut, you'll want more webbing. We left a good, big brass nut in a crack to the right and connected it all with an old cordalette. The rappel passes some large blocks and you land to the right of the Anthill Direct P1 anchor bolts. Easily hike left to those bolts, and then rap from there to the ground.
2+ sets small cams from green to red Alien, doubles above that to #2/yellow Camalot, 1 or 2 sets brass nuts, 1 set bigger nuts to 1", 20 slings, 1/2 full length, and 2 ropes to rappel. Double ropes are handy on the lead. Bring webbing and backup gear to rig the rap anchor.
Tony's tale reminds me of an experience I had on this route back in late eighties:I had to back off S.W. because I had blown out the inside toes of my Sportiva Monolo's. Remember the old green shoes that were built with a symetrical last. The idea was that the shoes could be worn on either foot (there was no left and right) and when you blew out the inside toe, you could just swap them around and wear them on the other foot. A nice idea but the problem was that once you wore them they conformed to your foot and then when you tried to swap them, it was like trying to wear standard shoes on the wrong feet.Anyway, my feet were in absolute agony, so my partners and I decided to bail. I was so distraught that, without thinking, I tossed the rap line down without calling "rope!"I was [embarrassed] beyond belief when my rope nailed a guy who was roping up at the base. That guy was Layton Kor. He had come out of hibernation and was climbing with Justin Kramer, a kid from his neighborhood. I finally got to meet my hero and the circumstances of our meeting was not as I had hoped.Boy did I feel like an an idiot. The one time I tossed the bail line without giving warning and I nail Colorado's most prolific and famous climber.