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Labyrinth Wall

Nevada > Southern Nevada > Red Rock > 14-First Creek Canyon
Access Issue: Red Rock RAIN AND WET ROCK: The sandstone is fragile and is very easily damaged when wet. Details


The Labyrith Wall is a steep multi-towered/tiered section of rock that rises above the First Creek Slabs. The north facing wall gets early morning sun and remains shady for the remainder of the day. This secluded wall is guarded by 1000+ feet of easier climbing below.

Getting There

Hike into First Creek (~45min) and take any of the Slab routes to the obvious ledge system.

Routes from Left to Right

5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b R
Celtic Cracks
Trad 8 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Worried Wives Club
Trad 9 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b C1
Trad, Aid 8 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Jet Stream
Trad 12 pitches
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
The Minotaur
Trad 8 pitches
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c R
Tiers of the Setting Sun
Trad 8 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Celtic Cracks
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b R Trad 8 pitches
Worried Wives Club
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad 9 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b C1 Trad, Aid 8 pitches
Jet Stream
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R Trad 12 pitches
The Minotaur
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R Trad 8 pitches
Tiers of the Setting Sun
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c R Trad 8 pitches

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

sunrise on the Labyrinth Wall, First Creek Canyon
[Hide Photo] sunrise on the Labyrinth Wall, First Creek Canyon
Andrew slides down the easy offwidth under the large chockstone.  This will drop you out at a large ledge system
[Hide Photo] Andrew slides down the easy offwidth under the large chockstone. This will drop you out at a large ledge system
Labyrinth Wall descent gulley.
[Hide Photo] Labyrinth Wall descent gulley.
Dead tree
[Hide Photo] Dead tree
Labrynth Wall Descent
[Hide Photo] Labrynth Wall Descent
The Adventurous Labyrinth Wall
[Hide Photo] The Adventurous Labyrinth Wall

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Karsten Duncan
Sacramento, CA
[Hide Comment] There are NO bolts on this entire wall. Lets keep it that way! Dec 14, 2007
[Hide Comment] I bet there are bolts on the original line on the wall, Jay Smith's 1970s 5.11 first ascent of the "Labyrinth Wall"(not Jay's name for it)-anyone repeated The Guiness Book, and know for sure? Bolting's a terrible, terrible thing, though. The last thing Red Rock needs are more quality routes that allow for a swift rap descent in case of storm or injury, I mean who likes to climb terrible routes like Cat in the Hat, Birdland, Dream of Wild Turkeys, Ixtlan, Sour Mash, Refried Brains, Rock Warrior, Prince of Darkness, The Gobbler, La Cierta Edad, Hot Flash, Lotta Balls, The Walker Spur, Dark Shadows, Y2K, Epinephrine, Armatron, Original Route on the Rainbow Wall, Crimson Chrysalis, Spare Rib, and so on?

I mean, no one actually ENJOYS those routes, right?

Climb Guiness and get back to me on that. Nov 25, 2011
Larry DeAngelo
Las Vegas, NV
[Hide Comment] No bolts on Guinness Book . . . Jan 12, 2012
[Hide Comment] Larry, have you climbed the Guiness Book? Jan 14, 2012
[Hide Comment] Jay Smith routes in Red Rock that feature bolts:
Whiplash 11+/12- 2 pitches
Mercedes 11a single pitch
Hot Point 11d 3 pitches
Tuff Guys Don't Dance 11c 2 pitches
Sky Dive 11b single pitch
Ripcord 12a 4 pitches
Spectrum 11a 8 pitches
Voyager 11b 3 pitches
X15 4 pitches
K-day 12b single pitch
Rock Warrior 10b 6 pitches
The Flesh 10d many pitches
Jay Smith Unnamed Route on Wholesome Fullback Buttress 10d? 2 pitches
High Plains Drifter 10d single pitch
Elephant Man 11b single pitch
Big Top 10d single pitch
The Geezer 11b single pitch (drilled pin, but counts)
Cocaine Hotline 11b single pitch
Reach the Beach 11a single pitch
Eight Ball 11a single pitch
Iron Man 10d single pitch

So if I'm wrong on this it's not like I wouldn't have some small reason to assume that if the route's between 5.10 and 5.12, has some tough climbing on it, and doesn't have natural protection available every foot of the climb, it might have a bolt. Especially as word has it that Guiness was Jay's first new route in Red Rock, and people tend to trust this type of rock less on first inspection than they do after taking falls on it and seeing gear hold.

But anyone who's climbed Guiness and has seen firsthand that there are no bolts on the route, by all means, post up! Jan 14, 2012
Larry DeAngelo
Las Vegas, NV
[Hide Comment] Yes-- I would say I have climbed it. I cannot be certain of the original line as I have only second-hand info. The info I had was that Jay Smith had thought the route was easy and rated it 5.9. This was consistent with my own observations, and clearly there is a boltless line there.

Of course, the presence or absence of bolts on this or any other specific climb allows no conclusion about bolting in a general climbing context. Currently it seems the general direction of climbing is toward casual addition of bolts to reduce commitment or add convenience, with not even a tip of the hat to the traditional concept that they ought to be minimized. Certainly the recent routes on this wall adhere to the old ethic, and I think the experience is richer for it. There are still more lines here that will go boltless, but the future will probably see some impressive and worthwhile routes with drilled protection, so perhaps we should hope merely that any such bolts would be minimal.

It strikes me, Killis, that you often argue the case against the convenience-oriented climber, so your current position seems surprising. But perhaps you are worried that if there are no bolts, no one will leave any perma-draws? Jan 15, 2012
[Hide Comment] Good stuff, Larry. Glad to hear you climbed it-- recently, I've been hearing a lot of "expert opinion" on routes from some of our elder statesmen that have struck me as almost painfully uninformed and assumptive. I hadn't done the route, and think that making guesses as to the nature of something you haven't been on is fine and good, but making blanket statements such as Karsten's above seem to me presumptive and narrow-minded. I'm sure my own anti-bolt sentiments in many ways mirror Karsten's, though I think we both come off as jackasses to people that don't know us well enough to put our words into context.

Climbing is a very personal thing to each of us. If anything, Mountainproject is a study in contrasts, where some users quietly lurk, others blow the trumpets of their own often meager accomplishments, some like me just add zeroes and ones ad infinitum in between weather windows, and some condemn things as if child rape were a synomyn for the most recent imagined headline controversy.

I'll never understand people who cannot see past the pebbles that sit at the foot of the mighty mountains, nor could many boulderers wrap their heads around the logistics of a trip up Celtic Cracks. Permadraws, as you've mentioned, are a particular grain of sand in my shoes, as I value onsight, ground-up climbing and the ability to place my own gear whenever feasible; for some, this concept sounds like annoying work that threatens to interfere with their preening, photo-taking (buttshots taking on one of several sport-climbing related meanings), and fashion discussions. More power to them, if that's how they like to spend their time.

Since I'd never spoken with anyone who'd done the route, and have obvious reason to believe that Jay had no problems sinking bolts in sandstone when necessary, I thought Karsten's post rather silly. I've heard him rationalize rap-bolting on Brownstone Wall and then in the same breath condemn a ground up route like Prince of Darkness. I respect his desire to not see Labyrinth turn into the Gallery, yet find it odd to note his lack of comment on canyon areas receiving much more rampant, and, in some persons' view, invasive development. Some of this development has been aided by fixing entire walls from the top down and bolting on rappel. Permadraws have also been employed. Since all of the above in my view have no place in the canyons, and Karsten would seem to become irked at the very point that drill bit touches stone, it would seem congruent to hear him organizing chopping parties at them mention of top-down rap-bolted development on big walls. The only chopping I've heard him mention was in reference to Hot Flash, which is certainly bolted in a fairly low-impact fashion compared to much other new development in the canyons.

Realistically what puts a hair in his beer, your beer, or my Appletini is a very personal matter. It's just rock climbing, and us Conquistadors of the Useless all have our own agendas and tastes. I respect the developers of amazing Red Rock climbs that were put up in the Golden Age by Joe+Betsy, Randy, Nick, Jorge+Joanne, Richard, Paul, Sal, Bob, Mike, Mark, Larry, Jay, Wendell, Shelby, and many more enough not to marginalize their acheivements and explorations by assigning a Scarlet Letter to routes that feature fixed protection when it is absolutely necessary and not festooned with convenience permadraws. When and if the Labyrinth sprouts bolts up some proud line, I look forward to them being placed conscientiously and safely so as to preserve the adventure and the lives of those to whom Red Rock is special. Bolts do not equal cowardice, bad taste, or the end of adventure. Bolts in the hands of cowards produce cowardly routes. Climbing in the Needles or Tuolomne will quickly make this clear, or just a quick jaunt over to Smears for Fears if time is a factor. Bolts are part and parcel of many amazing climbs in Red Rock and beyond and don't deserve to absorb the criticism that is rightfully aimed at people that place them haphazardly or poorly.

So when do we see the topo for Guiness on the site? Jan 16, 2012
Karsten Duncan
Sacramento, CA
[Hide Comment] “If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, . . .”

-Kipling Jan 18, 2012
city, state
[Hide Comment] Adventures like these take a great hit when everything gets bolted. Sure more people climb them. But a solid portion of the remoteness that atracts them is removed from the equation.

I've not climbed here yet. I was browsing this area on MP, and happened apon this discussion.

I do live in Vegas, and I do appreciate the difference between a Jay Smith bolt and a Yaniro pocket.

Realistically, Vegas is crazy.

Mar 25, 2012
[Hide Comment] Bolts all over this area, probably for years now. Don't let my chortling get in the way of alpine-style hi-fiving or whatever it is the cool kids are doing these days. Check out Contrail comments for details.

Every now and then, it's just nice to be right. Jan 7, 2014
Andrew Gomoll
Las Vegas, NV
[Hide Comment] Killis,

Its never been about "cool kids" for most of us, it has about sharing an adventure with a good friend (or friends) in a remote area. Yeah, the style is important, but let's leave something for those in the next generation who are much better than us to climb bolt free to see what they can do.

Andrew Nov 8, 2014
[Hide Comment] Yer missing the pint, serr. Nov 8, 2014
Alex S
Ridgecrest CA
[Hide Comment] The large dead tree trunk as seen in…

has fallen over and wedged itself in the tight section of the gully below. This trunk no blocks access the the chimney under it, and juts out 5ft into space, with a 20ft drop under it. after coming of Minotaur we had to do an extra single rope rappel to bypass this new obstruction. Mar 29, 2021