Type: Trad, 900 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: Mark Moore and Lars Holbek, 1977
Page Views: 34,222 total · 173/month
Shared By: George Bell on Apr 26, 2003 with improvements by Bill Lawry
Admins: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen

You & This Route


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Access Issue: Red Rock RAIN AND WET ROCK: The sandstone is fragile and is very easily damaged when wet. Details

Description

I enjoyed this route as much as Crimson Chrysalis - it is more crack oriented, less crowded, but has some less than stellar rock on a few pitches. In the past year or so, bolted belays were added which changed the character of the route a bit. Now it is possible to do the best pitches and rap off. Personally I think the addition of bolted belays is a good thing, otherwise some of the belay locations would be awkward. The crux pitch now has an extra bolt (see description). I do not know the origin of these new bolts.

The start of the route may be identified by a 6-12" crack that goes up to a scrubby tree. This crack is clean but the start looks like a grunt, so we climbed a thin crack to the left and stepped right, which seemed harder than the 5.7 rating of this pitch. Continue up past the tree, and climb double cracks (see Swain's topo) up a slot to a bolted belay at the top of a flake/pedestal (5.7, 130').

P2: Move down and step right, then head straight up cracks, through a short chimney, and follow more cracks to another bolted belay (5.8, 150'). I thought this was the best pitch on the route.

P3: Head up to a right facing corner and crank past a small overhang. Crank over and then follow a wide crack and less than stellar rock to the next belay (no offwidthing necessary) (5.8, [90' according to comment below]).

P4: The crux pitch. Move up and then right to a new bolt. Continue up to an ancient 1/4" bolt. There is a new bolt maybe 3' higher than the rusty bolt. I don't know why they didn't just replace the 1/4" bolt. The rock on this pitch is a little suspect, but the crux section is not too long and is now quite well protected. Continue on up to another bolted belay. This is the last bolted belay on the route, so if you want to go down, do so now. (5.9, 140').

P5: This pitch has a reputation for bad rock, and indeed be extra careful as a hold could easily snap off. However bad rock in Red Rocks is still pretty good. Follow a steep crack through nice (too nice) horizontal dikes to a huge ledge. Throw in protection often in case a hold snaps off, this pitch has recorded some spectacular falls, but it is really not that bad, just be careful (5.8, 150').

P6: Scramble easily past bushes to a large chimney, climb the corner to the left and belay on a large ledge at the base of a left facing corner (5.2, 160').

P7: Climb the left facing corner, then move right to a weird dihedral above a bottomless chimney. This next section is hard to protect due to the zig-zag nature of the pitch. Stem up and finish the pitch at a notch (5.7, 160'). Alternatively, follow bolts directly above the belay (this is the final pitch of Unimpeachable Groping). From there either rap Unimpeachable, or rap into the notch from a single bolt, and continue as below.

Descent

Below you to the south is a dirty, vegetated bowl.  Your first goal is to reach this bowl.  You have two options for this, either a) do one double rope rappel to the south into the bowl or b) do one single-rope rap with a 60m rope and then down climb 3rd class into the bowl - watch rope ends!  Doing a shorter rap may help avoid sending rocks down Power Failure. And on the pull, try to avoid the rope-eating crack near the top.

Next, VERY carefully scramble down to the base of the dirty and vegetated bowl.  Use extreme care to not send rocks down on climber's below.  Once at the base of the bowl, make two or three double-rope raps as described in the route Power Failure.

Protection

Standard rack to #3 Camalot, maybe some additional small cams.

Photos