Type: Trad, 650 ft, 6 pitches, Grade II
FA: Bruce Eisner and Joanne Urioste, 1976
Page Views: 104,819 total · 530/month
Shared By: George Bell on Apr 27, 2003
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

This route is probably the most popular multi-pitch route in Red Rocks, and always seems to be swarming with parties. For many years I avoided the route because it always seemed mobbed. Then, on a day when the wind was screaming down the canyon we figured nobody would be on it. Wrong! Another party at the base. We still had a fun time and everyone was very friendly and nobody was in a rush. Good to adopt this attitude on this route - if it's high season it's going to be crowded.

This route faces south and can get quite hot. It can be done on a sunny winter day and you could die of heat stroke in the summer.

Hike the trail to where the two forks of Pine Creek join at the base of Mescalito. Here you want to take the left (south) fork. Follow a trail on the north bank past a prominent buttress, then curve right up a broad, bushy gully to the base of the route. The first pitch faces southwest and is in the shade in early morning, it cannot be seen from the parking lot.

P1&2: Follow a 5.6 crack up and left (4" piece can be useful at one point if you want really good pro). At 110' you hit a 2 bolt anchor, but you can continue to the next anchor (60m rope better for this). The next bolted anchor is off to the right on a ledge, we missed it on the way up. It is easy to get sucked left into a gully, where you can just belay from gear. [Many parties still split this long pitch into two]

This next part is not well described in Swain: wander up and right on a huge terrace to the highest point on the ledge. This is 3rd class except for maybe the first move, and we downclimbed it unroped on the way down, but many people choose to stay roped up for it.

P3: You are aiming for a tree at the top of a gully, make a weird boulder problem off the deck and then continue more easily up the gully to the tree, 5.5, 70'.

P4: The wall steepens. Climb a thin crack in a black face and step left below a roof. Follow another crack all the way up to a block slung with slings, 5.6, 150'.

P5: Above here you see some bolts, this is the 10d direct variation, go for it if you want! The normal finish is to go down from the belay and traverse right around the corner. Keep traversing until you are to the base of a beautiful crack in the center of a black wall, 5.3 50'.

P6: Climb the crack, angle right to a bolt, and then up a face (somewhat runout) to a 2 bolt belay, 5.6 100'. We combined P5 and P6 with a 50m rope but this makes the final runout moves of P6 harder with all the rope drag.

You can continue to the summit of Mescalito from here (many pitches mostly 3rd and 4th with some 5th class), but virtually all rap: First 130' to the top of pitch 4 (lots of rope drag to pull, plus knobs to catch the rope, some recommend doing this as a 50' rap to an intermediate bolted anchor and then an 80' rap to the top of pitch 4). Second rappel 140' from the big block to the tree at the top of pitch 3. Third rappel 70' from the tree to the big ledge. Scramble down the ledge to the bolts at the top of the second pitch (this down scramble is a little tricky at the end, watch out, maybe belay beginners). Fourth rappel 150' from the bolts at the top of the second pitch, angling left (north) to make the ground. We experienced bad rope drag pulling this one too and perhaps it is better to do use the bolts atop pitch 1 to split it up into two. I believe you could rap this with only one 60m rope EXCEPT for the second rappel.

There is an entire chapter about this route in Red Rock Odyssey

Protection

Standard rack to #3 Camalot, two ropes for the rappels

Photos