Type: Trad, 800 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: FRA Jimmy Newberry and Phil Broscovak 2003
Page Views: 18,817 total · 102/month
Shared By: phil broscovak on Feb 20, 2004 with updates from Dillbag
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


The route starts in a small cave with a tree about 15 feet up out of the prominent bushy gully, and ends at the top of Jackrabbit Buttress. Two pitches of 5.7 chimney, roof and hand cracks leads to a "zebra striped" slab. A full pitch of up and over left on easy climbing deposits you at a small tree at the base of a nice 5.6 black finger crack that angles up and right. This pitch ends at a chimney beside a large block atop a detached pillar. Behind this pillar is a large bush in a bomb-bay flaring stem that leads up through a really great crack. This pitch ends at a horizontal crack after an exposed traverse right and a nice 5.7 black crack. Three more progressively easier pitches take you to the very top of Jack Rabbit Buttress.

To descend, walk straight back to the Brownstone Wall and down Juniper Canyon back to the base of the climb. This is not a particularly difficult route, but it was one of the funnest days I have ever spent at Red Rocks. The awesome views of Crimson Chrysalis are reason enough to give this route a go.


A stardard rack with extra long draws.


phil broscovak  
MysterZ is a route named in honor of Zack Martin who died in a tragic auto roll over on Thanksgiving Day in 2003. Jimmy and I had met Zack on a Vegas trip in 2001 through our mutual friend J.P. Zack had earlier jumped in and surfed an avalanche to dig J.P. out on a trip to Alaska. Heroic and uncommonly modest, Zack was a truly gifted climber who had climbed all over the globe and been the winner of several climbing grants including the Anatolli Boukorev award. Currently there is a climbing grant in his name administered by the American Alpine Club. The goal is to attain an amount of at least $25,000 so that this grant fund can become perpetual. I would strongly urge everyone interested to make a tax free donation to the "Zack Martin Memorial Breaking Barriers Fund". This is a good cause and who knows you may even be able to win this award for one of your climbing adventures. Feb 21, 2004
Larry DeAngelo
Las Vegas, NV
Larry DeAngelo   Las Vegas, NV  
This is an excellent route! Most of the climbing is is pleasant and relaxed, with an occasional tricky move to make sure you're paying attention. The less experienced leader will find a couple of spots where a large cam might be appreciated. Feb 7, 2005
phil broscovak  
Larry- Wow I am really honored that you went and did ths little climb. Nice pictures. Looks like a great day! I am glad you liked it. Jimmy and I thought it was a very pleasant adventure. I think it would be a logical link-up route for the Brownstone wall climbs. Well take care and keep climbing. philo ps: Your book is really awesome! Feb 9, 2005
Larry DeAngelo
Las Vegas, NV
Larry DeAngelo   Las Vegas, NV  
Phil- excellent route. I thought some more and bumped my rating up to 3 stars. This route has something for everyone. For the old hands it is an aesthetic easy day, or a good linkup. For the new leaders it is a good adventure. Feb 9, 2005
Doug Hemken
Madison, WI
Doug Hemken   Madison, WI  
Three parties of 3 did this route on 20 March!

Lots of nice climbing on this one, though not much 5.7. As nice as Geronimo. The crux is pitch 1, and it is much harder the bigger you are! The collection of bail slings at the top of pitch one is unsightly.

Pitch 4 and pitch 6 could use wide gear (4-6") unless you are comfortable running it way out on easy (5.5) ground.

Pitch 5 is much easier if you run up the face to the right ... but there is almost no gear out there. The final move up the black crack in nowhere near 5.7.

We saw a herd of at least 30-40 desert bighorn at the base of the Brownstone Wall as we were walking off. What a magical canyon! Apr 1, 2005
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Fun and relatively friendly route. It gets a lot of sun and we were really cooking on it. I suggest not entering the squeeze at the top of pitch 1, this looks very unpleasant, especially if you are a big guy like me. I went straight up and out here and quickly got onto the left face (juggy) and out of the big crack.

Pitch 6 may be easy, but there is essentially no pro for the first 50' and the crux. It's a gully that is 6-8" at the bottom, the good news is the angle is only about 45 degrees. The bad news is the flakes you grab and step on are a bit creaky. Anyway it's not hard but the leader can't be afraid to run it out (eventually you can get a #4 Camalot in).

Decent route, but I didn't think it was as "classic" as Olive Oil. The descent is pretty simple and no raps. Apr 19, 2005
Does Anyone know the location of the route Rose Hips, the guide gives a description of the pitches but isn't very clear where it starts. Oct 5, 2005
Las Vegas, NV
  5.6 PG13
J W   Las Vegas, NV
  5.6 PG13
A really nice route- this one is well worth doing. I'm not sure i'd call it 5.7- it never felt harder than 5.6 to me, but maybe the chimney on the first pitch might slow some people down.

That said, gear is sparse for sure, but never where its hard. This route has sprouted rap stations on the first two pitches, although I'd love to see someone actually use the one on the 2nd pitch! Nov 17, 2007
When in 2003 was this climbed?

My wife and I climbed much of this route in the latter half of 2003. We eventually rappelled into a gully to the right after about 5 very long pitches.

Just curious.

Brutus Nov 13, 2008
Larry DeAngelo
Las Vegas, NV
Larry DeAngelo   Las Vegas, NV  
Brutus-- the history of this route is lost in the mists. I recall having seen a photo of Tom Kaufman on this general line back in the 70s. Like much of what was done back then, the details and memories have faded. But Phil and Jimmy have their own place among the legends of the era, and their story was meaningful, so it seemed appropriate to let their name take official status. Nov 13, 2008
Larry --

yup, no worries. The naming seems appropriate, and my wife and I figure any number of folks had wandered up there before us as well.

Brutus Nov 13, 2008
Ron Graham
Ron Graham  
This would be a very good route for an early leader, as it has relatively easy but varied climbing, comfortable belays, and sucks up gear. The terrain offers hand and fist cracks, chimneys, face climbs, and even some slabby sections if you decide to get out of the cracks on the upper pitches. Also, there are a number of relatively low angle cracks beyond the top of pitch 3 that a relatively new leader could use to practice setting up hanging belays. Most of the rock is pretty good, although there are some chossy areas at the top of pitch 1 and on pitch 5 that you need to look out for.

There are a lot of options for getting past the chimney near the end of pitch 1, which makes that an especially fun pitch. I squeezed through the chimney on black varnished holds and pockets that allowed me to place some protection. My partner climbed the features on the face on the left side of the chimney, which had juggy but chossy holds. The right face also offered a lot of holds, but the protection placements were less evident.

What I would call the third pitch, which climbs a long crack on a corner, is absolutely the bomb! The pitch has terrific holds, continuous gear options, and links up with small but very sweet fist crack coming up the face. We only wished we could do that pitch again and again!

The anchor at the top of pitch 1 is currently a blue 11 or 12 mm rope slung around a rock protrusion. It would be wise to back this up with some cams in the cracks at the back of the belay cave because there appear to be some growing stress fractures in the protrusion.

Make sure you bring your approach shoes with you on the climb, as the walk off is long and somewhat strenuous. The "three more progressively easier pitches" after pitch 5 are on what I would consider to be Class 3 terrain. My partner and I put away our rope and changed into our approach shoes for the fun scramble off when we reached the big yellow blocks at what we would consider to be the top of pitch 5. Cairns leading left will show you the descent route. Feb 26, 2009
smassey   CO
If one headed for the obvious black crack above the 3rd class section (not trending left to the "nice finger crack"), they would find that it too goes at 5.7. A bit of slightly fragile face climbing deposits you in a nice finger to hand crack with a little bit of chimneying thrown in for good measure. Continue until you run out of rope with a 60m and build a hanging belay in a nice finger crack (.5, orange and yellow metolius, sm. wire). Run it out off this belay (fragile 5.6 for 25' )to link back with MysterZ. Pretty good. Mar 24, 2009
Just wondering if climbing MysterZ provides access to Brownstone Wall ? - Thanks. Feb 10, 2010
Las Vegas, NV
rockratrei   Las Vegas, NV
Great approach climb to the Brownstone Wall ! Feb 10, 2010
Lynn S
Lynn S  
Nice route, pretty casual way to approach the Brownstone wall. Mar 26, 2010
San Pedro
iwaclimber   San Pedro
A fun link is to climbing Olive Oil and then Climb Mister Z. Dec 20, 2010
Jim D  
This route turned out to be a little bigger than we had expected. We were planning to climb it and Black Dagger and be at the airport at 5 pm. It took us until after 11 am (about 4 hours of climbing) to reach the top of the route so we had to skip Black Dagger. Without our time restriction it wouldn't be too bad to link the two routes, but Myster Z wasn't nearly as fast as I'd imagined it to be after reading some of the comments on here. The pitches are long, sustained for the grade, and with a number of significant run outs. Also, it would probably take 30-45 minutes of scrambling to get to the base of Black Dagger from the top of the last pitch of Myster Z.

The first pitch is particularly airy and far and away the best pitch on the route. Grab that lead if you get the chance. If wearing a pack, plan on climbing the jugs on the left of the chimney at the top. You can sling a horn and get a solid stopper in but there's plenty of air under your feet.

The fifth pitch has the only tricky routefinding. If you get to a spot where it looks like you need to pull a 5.9 roof to get out of an alcove go back down 20 feet and go 30 feet to the right to get to the next belay. If I had used the topo on this site instead of the one I had it wouldn't have been an issue (take a glance and you'll see what I mean.)

I didn't see any fixed gear anywhere on the route. A comment above mentions rap stations at the tops of pitches 1 and 2. I didn't see them. Maybe they're gone. Maybe I'm blind. Apr 10, 2011
Andy Hansen
Longmont, CO
Andy Hansen   Longmont, CO
Did this yesterday as an approach route to the Brownstone Wall. Good route overall but nothing too stimulating. The 1st and 2nd pitch can be linked with a 70m. The 4th pitch was by far my favorite as I felt that I was actually climbing the whole time as opposed to doing low 5th class movement to a 5.6 crux. The 5th pitch is very good as well and the "airy traverse" is quite good. This pitch can be linked into the 6th if you use long runners to reduce rope drag- use a 70m cord. After this some low 5th class moves bring you to scrambling up to the base of Brownstone. Regarding the route description in Handren's book; I think the pitch lengths are a little short on every pitch except the 4th. This is probably the best way to approach Brownstone and would be a great link up to ANY of the routes on that wall. Dec 26, 2011
  5.6 PG13
bergbryce   California
  5.6 PG13
I thought this was a quality route and a fine memorial to your friend Zack.
I did not see any fixed gear on the route. Aside from the final pitch of real climbing (pitch 6 in the topo shown here) the rock quality was good. That pitch was a bit crumbly but easy climbing, but basically no pro until you exited the chimney/wide crack. Nothing really felt 5.7 to me either, the stemming over the bush seemed really casual.

I agree that there are definitely some sections of sparse or no pro and the leader needs to be confident on standard Red Rocks easy fifth class terrain well above their protection as well as stemming wide cracks/chimneys. There is a fair amount of both these styles on this route.
I took a 4" cam but would not take anything larger than a 2 next time, with at least doubles of .4-1" and lots of long slings.
The route had everything, face climbing, cracks, chimneys, including a great squeeze chimney on the first pitch which was the physical crux, it's tight! The enjoyable climbing combined with a cool topout and a descent that added to the flavor of the route made for a fun day. Apr 7, 2013
Peter Lewis
Bridgton, ME
  5.6 PG13
Peter Lewis   Bridgton, ME
  5.6 PG13
We did this in 2009 as an approach to Armatron. The route goes fast and it's no kidding, a three-minute walk from the top of MysterZ to Armatron--so it's a wonderful approach to the right side of the Brownstone wall. And the linkup to Armatron makes for a wonderful day of mostly very moderate climbing (on Armatron there is 1 short pitch of 5.8 and about 20 feet of 5.9). And going to the summit of Juniper is easy and beautiful and the walk-off is utterly obvious and casual. (You go east from the summit and then down around to the south and west and walk right underneath Armatron, so you can leave your packs there, then easy slabs and trail down and out.)

Gosh I love Red Rocks! Apr 26, 2013
G. Vesp
Las Vegas, Nevada
  5.7 PG13
G. Vesp   Las Vegas, Nevada
  5.7 PG13
I thought this was a very enjoyable route. I thought that the climbing was consistantly 5.6 with maybe a few moves of 5.7. At times you could get a good distance above your gear and maybe that is why it felt 5.7 in a few areas. I carried a double rack up to a #2 and a single #3/3.5/4. I was glad to have the extra pieces when setting up the stations. Oct 22, 2013
Sadly, I left a 0.75 Camalot on this route. Grab it and it's yours. Feb 10, 2014
Wow, what a climb. Linking this with Armatron made for an amazing day! I had to give a chuckle when I came to write this post and saw the most previous post "Sadly, I left a 0.75 Camalot on this route. Grab it and it's yours." by NickKohut because sadly, I have met the same fate. I wanted to leave a comment stating that I left a 0.75 Camalot with an alpine draw on 03/17/2015. The cam was brand spanking new along with the biners on the draw. The draw sling was bought in February 2014 and was taken good care of. We didn't get it stuck, just somewhere around pitch 4 noticed that it was not with us any more, we are still puzzled as to what happened to it. Anyway, congratulations to whomever grabbed it, and I hope you enjoyed the climb as much as I did! Apr 20, 2015
Idaho Bob
McCall, ID
Idaho Bob   McCall, ID
Found gear on first pitch today. Identify it and I'll get it back to you. Contact me via MP. BTW, on the 5th pitch I'd didn't want to deal with the tree, so I climbed the face to the right of the gully. There is reasonable small pro, Aliens or Offsets. This option bypasses the traverse at the top of the handcrack and leads directly to the 5.7 move. May 7, 2015
Chase D
  5.7 PG13
Chase D  
  5.7 PG13
Fun route. There was another group on the first pitch when we arrived, so we climbed Mz Why and linked up with the 3rd class traverse on P2 of MysterZ. There are a lot of wide cracks on this route...we placed a #4 cam on every pitch and still had some major runouts. Not a big deal if you are comfortable on this terrain. Feb 16, 2016
Ryan Gittins
San Diego
Ryan Gittins   San Diego
As George said, being a bigger guy will make the P1 squeeze-chimney suck. I've got the elbow raspberries to prove it. And as George said, P6 is a little runout on suspect rock. I was able to get a grey alien a little bit above the headwall but then you're running it out for 20 or so feet. The climbing is easy but the rock is not confidence inspiring. Although low angled, it is just enough angle to possibly fall past the headwall making for a probable injury. Choose holds wisely on that pitch or bring a 4 or wider gear. Feb 18, 2016
Weston L
P1 squeeze? There's jugs out left...climb light :) Feb 19, 2016
Serge Smirnov
Seattle, WA
Serge Smirnov   Seattle, WA
Good climb overall, but I couldn't figure out how to protect the initial face moves left of the chimney half-way up P1. Probably only a 10-foot fall onto the ledge, but still unpleasant. Feb 21, 2016
Vikram Sahney
Seattle, WA
Vikram Sahney   Seattle, WA
Video of climbing the route. Can link this to other routes like Armatron.

youtu.be/ixB1GAYWCB0 Sep 1, 2016
phil broscovak  
Vik, I love the video. Not sure how to edit it in to data base. Maybe Admin will step in. Sep 8, 2016
Chris W
Somerville, MA
  5.6 PG13
Chris W   Somerville, MA
  5.6 PG13
This is a great adventure! Don't hesitate to do it, but building and finding the belays can be a bit tricky and there are some sections that are rather serious. I don't think this is a route to be taken lightly. Me and my partner thought we would be able to do this and then run over to Spare Ribs, but by the route finding held us up a bit, I think this would make a great approach to Brownstone Wall if you are:

1) A team of fast climbers.
2) have done the route before. Apr 18, 2017
Alex Fletcher
Anaheim, CA
Alex Fletcher   Anaheim, CA
Definitely didn't love this route, but pitch 4 was probably my favorite. There's a 10 foot section of splitter hands that if it was longer would be a money pitch for sure.

The "5.7" on this route is short, soft, and right at the beginning in the middle of pitch 1. Other than that I'd be hard pressed to say there was even 5.6 climbing anywhere on this route. We did it in about 1 hr 45 min. We were halfway up pitch 1 when a party hiked past us and that same party was half way up pitch 1 of armatron when we arrived there. So in other words, this makes for a much better "approach" to the brownstone wall than that awful hike up Juniper Canyon. So use that information as you will Feb 11, 2018
Chris Adams
Mesa, AZ
  5.7 PG13
Chris Adams   Mesa, AZ
  5.7 PG13
Fun route and great way to get to the base of Armatron and the right side of Brownstone wall.

Approach Beta: This route can be clearly seen to the walll climbers left of the start of geronimo. Don’t do what we did and walk 1/2 hour further into the canyon. You really don’t enter the canyon proper at all to get to the base of MysterZ. If you get where the trail drops into the wash you’ve gone too far.

The Handren guide seemed way off in terms of pitch length on this one. With the exception of the easy climbing at the top I don’t think we used more than about 120 feet of rope in a pitch. Rough estimate. First pitch is definitely much shorter than described. This might be because we chose to belay from the obvious ledge with the small cave and tree at the start. A single rack to #4 + nuts felt more than adequate for this route.

Be comfortable on easier terrain (maybe 5.5-5.6 slab) because there’s some run out involved. Especially pitch 4 (after the 3rd class zebra striped rock traverse).

The squeeze chimney on P1. Is easily avoided for bigger folks. Actually, seeing the jugs to the left of the chimney, I’m not sure why someone would try to worm their way up through the slot anyway. pro during that section is sparse but the climbing felt very solid. Apr 27, 2018
Las Vegas, NV
Ashort   Las Vegas, NV
I got a solid 0 mastercam in the roof on P1. We linked pitches 1 & 2 as well as 6 &7 which took most of a 70m rope. Overall the route finding was pretty straight forward, but IMO there are better routes up jackrabbit. 1 day ago