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Schwa, The T 
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The Schwa 

YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 190'
Original:  YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Joe Herbst, 1977
Page Views: 2,819
Submitted By: Jason D. Martin on Dec 12, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (7)
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BETA PHOTO: the schwa is the the awsome splitter to o.w. in th...

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


The Schwa is one of the few members of Red Rock Canyon's exclusive splitter crack club. This club includes the likes of The Fox, Atman, Yin Yang, Red Zinger, and Chrysler Crack amongst a few others.

The Schwa itself feels a lot like The Fox. The second pitch of the route starts with hands and just gets bigger as you go.

The best way to climb this route is to break it into two pitches. There are a few ways to approach the main crack. The left side is somewhat difficult, whereas the right side is somewhat brushy. The best way up is up to you.

The second pitch is the main event. Climb up the central crack as it goes from tight jams to hand-stacks. There is a diving board ledge in the middle of the second pitch where you can shake-out and relax before committing to the forty-foot off-width you'll climb to obtain the top.

Two sixty-meter ropes will get you to the ground.


This is the central feature of the Schwa Area. Look for the diving board to the left of a widening crack.


A normal Red Rock rack with at least two #3s and two #4s.

Photos of The Schwa Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: its a long walk back to the truck from the schwa t...
its a long walk back to the truck from the schwa t...
Rock Climbing Photo: the rack needed to link the direct start with pitc...
the rack needed to link the direct start with pitc...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rico leading The Schwa.
Rico leading The Schwa.
Rock Climbing Photo: Rico getting ready to slam a fat cam in the perfec...
Rico getting ready to slam a fat cam in the perfec...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rico topping out of The Schwa.
Rico topping out of The Schwa.
Rock Climbing Photo: john wilder linking the direct start and the secon...
john wilder linking the direct start and the secon...

Comments on The Schwa Add Comment
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By Russ
Dec 28, 2006

Fun climbing with you out there, let's get after it again sometime!
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Oct 4, 2007
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

additional beta:

1) The direct start and the second pitch can be linked with a 70m rope- especially considering the rack for the first pitch is completely different.

2) The first pitch feels like a bit of a sandbag at .10d, tricky sequence along with stout moves make it feel more like .11 something.

linking them together doesnt increase the grade, as there are several great rests including two ledges to shake out and recuperate.
By Brandontru
From: Nevada
Mar 12, 2010
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

Didn't get to lead it. Though still the best fists Ever encountered in red rock. It just gets better and better.
By Jon O'Brien
From: Nevada
Oct 18, 2010

"feels a lot like the fox" ?! guess i'll have to try it myself! LOL... a fist crack that feels like a varying sized, right-facing corner sounds counter-intuitive,
you think it is as BURLY as the fox?
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Oct 21, 2010
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

jon- the Schwa is probably less physical than the fox from the beginning of the second pitch to the ledge rest, but the upper offwidth is WAY burlier than whats on the fox. Its straight in #6 camalot at the crux and is pretty physical before and after as well. I'd call the Fox 10c, this is 10d, its probably .11b if you do the direct start and link the whole thing into one big 70m pitch.
By Jonathan K
Jun 7, 2011

I second that the 5.10d direct start is sandbagged... Great climb second pitch is awesome
By Matt Kuehl
From: Las Vegas
Mar 13, 2012

I did the original 5.7 pitch leading into the splitter and thought the climbing was varied and better than it looks. We saw several big chuckwalla's in the cracks too. The traverse left to the base of the splitter is airy, fun and worth it.

The second pitch is excellent and a must do for those looking for splitters. Bonus points if you bat hang off the diving board!

I wouldn't bother bringing anything larger than a #5 camalot and the old #3.5 camalots are great for the off-fists part. You can get back to the ground with two single raps on a 70m and I added another nut and some cord to the top anchor.
By Weston L
From: Summerlin, NV
Jul 25, 2013
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Thin hands at bottom of P2 are crux (.5 and .75 camalots) - cruisy tight fists up higher, and good fists in the flare up 2 moves that you could offwidth if so desired, but really just a fist crack. 5.9 fists with 10d thin hands.

Leave the big gear at home and just bring as many #4's as you can. I only placed the big stuff I brought because I didn't have enough 4's (only had 2...walked 'em after the plank, yarrrr)...the "straight in #6" is barely that. #4's in the back...

Absolutely stellar line! Might need to get a rogue hoe and build a proper trail up to this thing.
By Cunning Linguist
Jul 25, 2013

I know some rogue hoes who post here on the REG, son. They fear the wide, whereas others saddle up and ride...
By Josh Janes
General Admin
Apr 22, 2016

From the anchor one could do a double-rope rap all the way to the ground. Alternatively, with a single 60m rope, rap to the Diving Board and then easily scramble to the anchor atop the route Beautiful Bastard. From here, rappel two more times to the ground.

The direct start involves some 5.10- climbing up hollow rock above dubious pro. The actual crux (mid-5.11) is challenging but well protected provided one has one or two pieces in the blue Metolius or red C3 size. That's the sweet spot: 0.3 Camalots are a touch too big and blue Aliens a touch too small.

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