Type: Trad, 1000 ft (303 m), 9 pitches, Grade III
FA: Uriostes, 10/79
Page Views: 130,728 total · 604/month
Shared By: Mike Morley on Feb 19, 2004 · Updates
Admins: Larry DeAngelo, Aaron Mc, Justin Johnsen

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


This super classic of Red Rock Canyon NCA has a little bit of everything; cracks, face, big pro, small pro and is nine pitches long. The route is at the mouth of Juniper Canyon. The access is the same for Olive Oil, but Crimson is located on the Cloud Tower, which can be identified by a pinkish tower capped by a red top. The Cloud Tower is located on the north facing side of Juniper Canyon. As you approach the mouth of Juniper you'll see a bushy ramp that angles up and right (west) to the base of the route. Follow the climber trail up the ramp to the route's beginning.

P1 - Straight up the crack / right corner to a bolt belay 5.7 (130 ft).

P2 - Pitch 2 continues to climb the same crack / corner until you reach a recess with another 2 bolt belay. 5.8 four bolts (90 ft).

P3 - You can link pitches 2 and 3 with a 60 meter rope. Nice jams on this pitch. Continue up past a steep section to a 2 bolt hanging belay. 5.8+ (65 ft).

P4 - Enjoy the chimney above and continue on into the small cracks to a nice ledge to belay. 5.8 (90 ft).

P5 - Continue up the small-to-hand cracks past a bolt for 90 feet to another small ledge 5.8+ (90 ft).

P6 - Up another 90 feet angling right following 5 bolts. 5.6 (90 ft).

P7- A nice long face pitch clipping 9 bolts that will end in the red rock. 5.6 (110 ft).

P8 - Continue up the RR to a ramp with a bolt. Then traverse directly to your right, remember your follower, and then up the left ramp. Finish the pitch up the varnished face clipping 3 bolts. 5.7 (75 ft).

P9 - Up and right clipping 4 bolts over a small roof to the top. 5.8 (80 ft).

[Reprinted with permission from Jed Botsford, Climbing Ranger - RRCNCA].


Many bolts, 12-15 draws (more if linking pitches), plus single rack to 3" (doubles in the smaller range if you really want to sew it up).


Rap the route with a single 70m (barely) or two shorter ropes.

Pro Tips

  • This is one of the most popular moderate multi-pitch routes in Red Rocks. Plan on crowds. Consider a nearby alternative such as Ginger Cracks, Power Failure, Unimpeachable Groping, Test Tube, or Spare Rib if multiple parties are on route or waiting in line at the base.
  • The route is almost entirely in the shade the majority of the year. It is often windy as well. Plan accordingly.
  • The route can be climbed in as few as 5 pitches if linking. Bring extra draws.
  • All belays are hanging, except for the top of pitch 4 where there is a small but comfortable ledge.
  • It is common to have ropes snag on rappel.  
  • All rappels can be done with a single 70-meter rope, which reduces weight and the chance of a snag.  Make sure your rope is a full 70m (i.e. you haven't trimmed the ends for some reason).  Tie knots in the rope-end, use an auto-bloc/prussik, and a rappel extension, as a couple rappels are *very* close.
  • If in doubt, bring a headlamp (never a bad idea).