Mountain Project Logo
To save paper & ink, use the [Hide] controls next to photos and comments so you only print what you need.

Resolution Arete

5.10 A1, Trad, Aid, 24 pitches, Grade V,  Avg: 2.9 from 47 votes
FA: Geoff Conley and Phil Broscovak 1/81
Nevada > Southern Nevada > Red Rock > 13-Mt Wilson > Aeolian Wall
Access Issue: Red Rock RAIN AND WET ROCK: The sandstone is fragile and is very easily damaged when wet. Details


Enough has been written and rewritten about the Res to confuse anyone including the first ascentionists. Suffice it to say that (imho) the best and most accurate description of the approach and climb can be found in Joanne Urioste's new Red Book Supplement. This is a very big route not a casual day at the crags. 1.5 hours to approach and 3 hours to descend, not to mention how ever long it takes to climb the route. This is really more of a desert mountaineering route. You will encounter a little (or a lot) of every thing the Red Rocks has to offer, except the crowds. You will be very much "on your own".


A very full backcountry rack up to a #4 Camalot. Lots of wired stoppers, slings and doubles in the 1-1.5" range.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Mt. Wilson in early morning light.  Photo taken October 19, 2002.
[Hide Photo] Mt. Wilson in early morning light. Photo taken October 19, 2002.
A layout of the major climbing routes on Mt. Wilson. Photo by George Bell
[Hide Photo] A layout of the major climbing routes on Mt. Wilson. Photo by George Bell
Ian leads the left leaning crack to 5.7 chimney (pitch 12ish)
[Hide Photo] Ian leads the left leaning crack to 5.7 chimney (pitch 12ish)
Topping out
[Hide Photo] Topping out
Route and Approach Overlay
[Hide Photo] Route and Approach Overlay
"the Catwalk" - a cool feature on the route
[Hide Photo] "the Catwalk" - a cool feature on the route
Sunrise at the base of the route
[Hide Photo] Sunrise at the base of the route
Overlay: Approach to Inti Watana
[Hide Photo] Overlay: Approach to Inti Watana
P7. The white roof.
[Hide Photo] P7. The white roof.
Scoping the route
[Hide Photo] Scoping the route

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

George Bell
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] Definitely an "adventure route". One logistical problem is that a lot of it is not so steep and with lots of face features hauling is really a pain in the ass. So I advise trying to do it in a day, which is a real a race against the sunset.

My own experiences and info on this route can be found at:… Mar 8, 2004
[Hide Comment] Follow Georges link above for the best topo out there.

Good route. Definately more committing than anything else in Red Rocks that I've done. If you have read climbingboulder, this is not a date climb.

Cheers,Frank Mar 22, 2004
[Hide Comment] 2 hrs approach, 8 hours climbing, 2-3 hours descent if I remember.

Make sure to scope the approach the day before, it is a little confusing. Mar 26, 2004
Eric and Lucie
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] We climbed this route (in a day) last spring (May 2004). I could not say that the climbing itself was that great (by RR standards) but we had always wanted to do it because of the classic line and length. We have many photos, a detailed route description, gear beta, and a trip report on our Note that we have reports and photos for a good number of the other RR classics as well. Oct 14, 2004
[Hide Comment] Wow, what a route! Doing it in a day is a must, George's site has the best topo currently available (thanks, George!). One tip for those planning the route (as heard from George): As you finish the catwalk, look to your right up a gully. The left hand wall of this gully is your pitch, not the corner in front of you!

All in all a great route- we topped at 5:20pm and made it to the fork of First Creek before dark, back to the car about an hour and a half later! Apr 23, 2005
city, state
[Hide Comment] I vastly underestimated the hike off. My suggestion for a rack.

Single Tiny cams, doubles from older version BD .5 to 3, one old 4 camalot. I placed no stoppers, but that doesn't mean squat.

Good times...US classic, imho. Mar 31, 2006
phil broscovak
  5.10 A1
[Hide Comment] The name "Resolution Arête" did not come up because Geoff "resolved" to go back to it after his first attempt with Newberry cashed out. Though that was a motivating factor to be sure, the way it really went was like this...
The first day of the climb ended with us rapping to Sherwood Forest and collecting cactus stalks for a New Years Eve fire side bivouac. In the morning after ascending our fixed lines the first substantial pitch of climbing was a delicate face traverse left and up into a gravely chimney slot with minimal protection potential. [Note: this is pitch 13 in our route description] I watched Geoff lead this poorly protected face like it was a walk in the park and then he disappeared into the chimney. Now back then the Madman was a manly man, he was really large and powerful, (not like the scrawny wimp he's become, umm, He's not gonna read this is he?) and known as an animal on hard cracks, off widths and the like. I on the other hand was a scrawny face climbing specialist and I assumed that if 'ole' monstro could reef on those tiny little layback flakes then it should be a breeze for me. Much to my chagrin, when I got to the crux I unexpectedly popped a flake and went flinging into the overhanging void with a wild pendulum. I came to rest dangling 300'+ above Sherwood Forest, unable to connect with the rock and hearing Madmans' emphatic plea to "GET OFF THE ROPE NOW!" He had also had assumed I would fly across that pitch and when he didn't find any good anchors at the stance in the chimney he just put me on a hip belay backed up by some really crappy wired stoppers behind a dubious flake. The jolt of my fall hit so suddenly that Geoff was ripped off his stance and dragged down the chimney several feet. Two of the three anchors blew out completely and the two of us were literally saved from a fast trip to Nottingham by the Madman’s' shear brute force self arrest and the one remaining marginal stopper. How Geoff ever managed to keep it together wedged like that while I struggled to swing into the overhanging face and unweight the rope is beyond me. It certainly is a testament to his power and drive that he not only saved both our lives but never once thought about going down. We finished the first ascent of the route that day and being that it was new years we needless to say made several resolutions, not the least of which is that; "even if the anchors are marginal at best, put in as many as you can!". And of course there was reference to the well known quote from the old TV. sitcom "The Odd Couple" about the dangers of assuming(*). We had talked about all sorts of names the night before at the bivy but at the end of that second day the name "resolution arête" just sort of made sense. Well thanks for letting me set the record straight! Good anchors to ya.
(*) "Never ASSUME, because when you ASSUME, you make an ASS of U and ME."
PEACE philo Apr 22, 2006
[Hide Comment] Great story Phil! Apr 22, 2006
Brad Warne
Calgary, Alberta
  5.10c/d A1
[Hide Comment] Great route! I agree that George Bell's topo is the best one out there. Not really as serious of a day as I expected, which was a nice surprise. We joined a party from Inti Watana near the end of the route, they said that they were going to rappel Dogma as a descent. Interesting to read their take on that idea on the Inti page. The walk off was super easy, though long (2.5hrs). With a descent like that I dont know why you would consider rapping. The aid pitch is easy, you dont need aiders just some slings. May 9, 2006
Las Vegas, NV
  5.10b/c C0-1 PG13
[Hide Comment] Couple of tips:

First and foremost- descend via oak creek. This is far faster and way more chill- no boulder hopping. There is a moment of 5th class, but you can rig a rap. There is a fixed rap line a little below this point, but you can just hand over hand it, no big deal. The trick for the descent is to follow the limestone/sandstone line until you reach a grove of mature ponderosas and then drop down into the canyon. Go this way and you'll be back to your car within 2.5hrs no problem.

Second, if you're strong and willing to run it out, rack up with a set of stoppers, single green and yellow aliens, two red aliens, two green camalots, and singles above that to a #4. This lets you get through all the cruxes comfortably, but it does limit your gear on individual pitches so plan accordingly.

This route is so much fun- thanks to the first ascensionists for finding it for us! Sep 22, 2006
Nate Furman
Salt Lake City, UT
[Hide Comment] Did this route on Sunday, December 3rd.

Things I would do again:
1. Descend via Oak Creek Canyon. It was very mellow. The beta that vegastradguy posted were perfect. It took about 3 hours to get back to the car.
2. Try to link more pitches down low. We brought a 70 meter and didn't try to link many during the first part of the climb. The top half went very quickly when we started doing this. There were many options for belays at good (enough) stances.
3. The approach was easy; have a great approach beta picture with the line drawn in.

Things I would change:
1. The temperature. The route went into the shade about 11 am. Vegas was forecasted for a low of 35. When we woke up at the campground that morning, the water bottles were pretty frozen. There were a couple nice pitches of water ice in oak creek canyon on the decent.
2. My partners' gear loop broke on pitch 6 and 5 larger cams fell into the void. That made it a little more interesting.

So much fun. Some folks have stated that it's a route that you won't do again after having done it once. I feel a bit different...there's a little loose rock but it's worth it for 20 pitches of fun. Dec 5, 2006
phil broscovak
  5.10 A1
[Hide Comment] It was 26 years ago today that the Madman and I finished the first ascent of the Res. I still clearly remember waking up New Years Day on Sherwood Forest to a crystalline frosty blue morning and a sunrise to "live" for. It was magical!
I just exchanged Happy New Year greetings with both Jimmy Newberry and the Madman and I am immensely gratified that all these years later we are all still great friends. And then I realize that compared to wearing dirt for a shirt, LIFE is GOOD! And good friends are GREAT!

And YES I would do it again. Jan 1, 2007
[Hide Comment] Was on the route with Nathan Furman (see description above...yes, I am the guy with the broken gear loop). I wouldn't add anything to his description except to say that the ice formations in Oak Creek are amazing...there's one plus for doing it in the cold, cold winter.

Another thing, you can bivy very close to Mt. Wilson. On the approach trail are lots of small flat areas to throw down at. I agree that the approach is easy, but don't under estimate it.

Have fun! Jan 11, 2007
  5.11 C0
[Hide Comment] I broke a couple of holds on this route and almost had some big consequences to pay.

The hardest parts are classic and solid.

We counted 22 pitches with 60m full ropes for almost every pitch. Didn't to any simuling though.

Communication is hard in certain places on the route.

Descent was tough to find for us using old "Red" guide..."walk back towards the limestone bands..." Try VTG's beta would be my advice. Feb 28, 2007
[Hide Comment] The crux pitch would be 11c if it were a sport route.

We took the wrong gully into oak creek and ended up doing six or so rappels. We obviously were not the first people to take this gully since we were rapping off of old cams for several of the raps. Apr 29, 2008
[Hide Comment] Great story Philo. Geir and I plan on doing the route this Fall. Jul 17, 2008
Jim Klymer
Las Vegas
[Hide Comment] Wow! Don't do this climb if you are expecting a lot of brilliant climbing. There are a few great pitches, but overall the rock quality is not great. But what an adventure!! My best man and I finally cleaned this skeleton out of the closet 2 days after my wedding and had a fantastic day!

Team Honcho - great to see you lads out there giving it hell!! Hope you didn't suffer TOO much! Here's some salt for your wounds: 33.5 - 12.5 = 100. Old guys RULE.

George's topo is definitely the best, but I would also recommend his route description as a supplement.… It definitely saved us time on a couple confusing sections. Good Luck! Apr 29, 2009
Monterey, CA
[Hide Comment] great route. definately makes for a looong day though. If descending the oak creek side, don't get lazy like we did and with darkness fast approaching get suckered into an inviting looking gully to early. It quickly turned into a ridiculously narrow and steep water chute requiring several rappells and some canyoneering. It dropped us off in one of the side canyons that runs into oak creek proper somewhere in between the slabs below levitation and black orpheus. I think if your descending either oak creek or first creek you need to walk quite a way down the west ridge before jumping down into one of the canyons. Oct 19, 2009
Bend, Oregon
  5.10 A1
[Hide Comment] Did this route about 6 years ago. I'm going back to RR in March so that is why I'm fired up and scoping MP! We scoped the approach, led the first pitch and set up a TR, and stashed food and H20 at the ledge, then returned in the AM to TR the first pitch in the dark, then send. We punched it from there and were back one hour after dark. The bouldering in the descent canyon was good. Feb 9, 2010
Eric D
[Hide Comment] Classic adventure route. So good. Do it in a day, this is not a good route for hauling or carrying heavy packs. Mar 24, 2010
[Hide Comment] An area classic. Killer pitches, route finding, some loose rock, awesome exposure, big air, no crowds make for a real adventure. Do it in a day.

George Bell's topo (above) got us through it. We left car at 5:15 AM, climbed at 7, topped at 4:30 and were back to car at 7:15. We simulclimbed (on tiblocs and grigri) about 6 pitches and took 1/2 hour for lunch atop P10.

If you have not done the approach, scope it on your rest day and stash your gear at the start, then get up early on send day and get in there with ease.

For the descent, see the various posts and pics-- do NOT drop into Oak Creek until you are about a mile back of the summit. The right way down is lots of 3rd class and walking, and 1 20m rap. You can't see the VW block till you are pretty close and basiclaly opposite Eagle Wall. Apr 4, 2011
[Hide Comment] Hey MP, this is my first post, so go easy! A partner and I are looking at doing Resolution Arete in June this year, and I'm wondering if the community has any sagely beta to throw our way!

Our primary concerns are the sun/heat at this time of year - i.e. how much shade does this route get? How much H20 would folks recommend?

My main secondary concern is time. I lead in the 5.10 range and my partner in the 5.11 range, and we're both in pretty good shape. I read George's TR and it seems like it's a real race for daylight. Obviously nobody will have a great idea of timing except for me and my partner, but does anybody have any good general advice?

Thanks! May 6, 2015
phil broscovak
  5.10 A1
[Hide Comment] Nick Thurston you may have to change your name to Thirsty if you go up there in June.
How much multi pitch and route finding experience do you and your partner possess?
Be glad to give you info including cautions. May 7, 2015
[Hide Comment] My partner and I were up there to climb yesterday, and I have a few things to add.

We had to bail after pitch 9 when my partner somehow dropped our backpack from the belay (between having it clipped in and putting it on his back - ALWAYS CLIP THOSE PACKS IN!). It fell about 300 feet, landing somewhere in the drainage that is underneath the second third of Resolution Arete.

A retreat can be made down this drainage with a single 70M rope, but it is a pretty heinous affair and I would not recommend it unless you are in an emergency like we were. It involves about ten raps and a whole lot of brutal bushwhacking through poison oak and scrub oak. Also some low 5th down climbing.

If anybody goes to climb this in the near future, I welcome you to our bail gear! May you use it well. Jun 8, 2015
Flagstaff, AZ
[Hide Comment] July 18 ascent with Nick could be the hottest on record (100 degrees). 2 gallons of water was not enough but we survived. Started climbing just before 6AM and welcomed shade around 1:30PM. Rock quality and movement was excellent from start to finish with exception of last 130 meters of simul climbing on loose rock to the top. Combine the crux pitches (11+ and 10+) with 70m rope.
2 hour 45 min descent from top to vehicle. Jul 24, 2016
Politically Correct Ball
From WA to AZ
[Hide Comment] LOL you two are nuts to climb in the summer *salute* Apr 11, 2017
Neal Harder
San Diego
[Hide Comment] Rope soloed in 11 70m pitches, not counting the 2 walking pitches which I did unroped (pitch 6 and the catwalk).

If you start just past the pine tree you can traverse into a crack that is initially mossy but turns into good 5.7 until it abruptly ends after 80 feet where you can easily traverse 30 feet left into the correct crack system, skipping the 5.9 part of pitch 1. In the dark it can seem like the correct start, but you actually want to go downhill a ways from the tree and take the next crack system- which is probably obvious if it's light out.

Link pitches 3 and 4.

With a 70m rope you can get from the pitch 5 ledge up to where you can unrope and do the easy pitch 6 scramble.

Link pitches 7 and 8 with 70m rope.

Link pitches 9 and 10.

Link pitches 13 and 14.

Pitches 15 and 16 could be linked on rope solo because rope drag is not an issue- they should probably be kept separate if climbing with a partner.

After the catwalk, link pitches 18 and 19 with 70m rope.

The rest of the climb after the tree atop pitch 19 can be done unroped by most, or at least simuclimbed, as it is 5.2ish with a few 5.8ish boulder moves. Oct 1, 2017
Taylor Spiegelberg
Lander & Sheridan, WY
[Hide Comment] Wow. Phil Broscovak's story is epic! There was another similar story in climbing magazine recently about someone simuling where the follower falls and the leader held them while stemming a chimney! Dec 12, 2017
ETC Cantor
San Diego, CA
[Hide Comment] One of my best climbing days ever, not to mention the best partner Anthony G. 21 hours car to car from the highway, not the loop road with plenty of time spent wandering in the desert on the way out and ending up at the road in the dark about 1.5 miles south of the car and no idea which direction we missed.

Recommend Eagle Dance for a warm up to make sure you are ready. Tony and I did Eagle Dance the week before with plenty of daylight to spare and we still ended up pushing to get it all done in under 24 hrs car to car. Feb 23, 2019