Type: Trad, 1600 ft, 13 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Jorge Urioste, Joanne Urioste, Joe Herbst, 1978
Page Views: 231,449 total · 1,131/month
Shared By: John Peterson on Mar 31, 2002 with updates from Ryan Kramer and 2 others
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


This is it. THE classic red rocks route. And it's just as good as everyone says it is.

Approach as for the Black Velvet wall. After climbing around the chockstone, return to the stream bed and walk another minute or two upstream. The bolts on the first pitch will be easily spotted on the left.

This route has lost some of the original seriousness now that bolted anchors have been placed all the way up. This speeds things up considerably and provides an easy retreat if needed. You'll need two ropes if you intend to rap the route.

The original description had 18 pitches. If you use the bolted belay anchors you can climb Epinephrine in 11 or 12 pitches. This description will assume that you use the bolted belays. It's hard to remember precisely how long (or how many!) pitches are on this route but I'll do my best.

Pitch 1: climb out of the creekbed past bolts to a big ledge (5.8). Continue on past a couple more bolts to a bushy ledge. (165 feet, 5.8)

Pitch 2: work up and left into a chimney, then pull out the right side and work up easier rock to the base of the big chimney that forms the right side of the Black Tower.(165 feet?, 5.7). May need some rope stretch here.

Pitch 3: The main event: chimney up a wide crack with good pro to a ledge on the right wall with bolts. (140', 5.9)

Pitch 4: Chimney up and swing left as the crack narrows. Climb easier rock to a good ledge. Belay or continue on up into a narrower chimney with a fixed nut at the base and then two bolts. The bolts can be hard to spot - you need to work away from the back of the chimney to find them. If you have enough rope you can belay at the top of the Black Tower. Otherwise belay at the top of the chimney and do a short easy pitch to the tower's top. You can avoid the lower part of the chimney on the right. (165', 5.9)

Pitch 5: Climb the face above the top of the tower, passing an overhang, aiming at a brushy ledge. (150', 5.8)

Pitch 6: Traverse easily right to the Elephant's Trunk. Ascend this to a ledge at its top. (80', 5.6)

Pitch 7: Climb up the crack system (some bolts) to a bolted belay at a ledge. (90', 5.8+) (can be combined with Pitch 6). The rap route goes straight down from here, avoiding pitches 5 and 6.

Pitches 8 - 10: Continue up the same crack system, stopping at the bolted belays. A short traverse right (bolt) is found on pitch 10. (400', 5.8+)

Pitch 11: Either rap the route of continue to the top of the crack. There is no rap anchor at the top of the pitch, though you'll see some chopped bolts where there used to be an anchor.

Route exit: You've finished the 5th class climbing, but you're not done yet. There is about 600 feet of 4th class/5.2 slab that you need to climb. If you feel bold, you may choose to unrope and free-solo, or you and your partner can simulclimb the rest of the way up. Otherwise, you can build anchors and place a little gear as you go.

Follow the right leaning ramp all the way to the very top. It ends just after turning into a very well defined right-facing dihedral, where you might find yourself mantling on the face behind you as you climb. If you are doing this part of the climb at night, you'll want to keep an eye out for an "exit" to the right, after passing through the dihedral section. You'll arrive at a large ledge at the top of the dihedral. If you try to keep going straight up, you'll encounter a 12 foot sandy/sometimes-wet "wall". Don't climb that wall.

You'll step right 30 feet, and make a few moves to turn a corner.

Keep in mind that for this entire ramp section, you will not be able to see the famous pine tree or 4th class exit-pitch. Just keep trending up and right.

Once you round the corner, you'll come to a very large sandy ledge protected by a roof. Proceed along the ledge, take the rightward facing ramp that's plainly visible ahead, and congratulate you and your partner for a job well done.

Descent: follow cairns along the ridge leading east from the summit. There are a lot of cairns - if you miss them backtrack until you get back on the right trail. The route will eventually drop left towards Whiskey Peak at the top of Frogland.

Protection: You don't need anything bigger than a #4 camalot in the chimney pitches. A 3, 3.5, and 4 camalot and perhaps a #11 hex, combined with the existing fixed gear, should get you up the chimney without much mental stress.

Logistics: Getting a pack through the chimney pitches is a pain - go light and bring a long sling to trail the pack when needed. The route gets almost no sun so you can go fairly light on water. Get an early start and move fast! Most of the climbing is 5.7 - 5.8. If you can avoid wasting time at the belays you should be able to get up in a day without too much effort. A competent party can easily get up in 8 hours. Figure on about 1 - 1.5 hours in descent. Don't leave gear at the base of the route if you chose to walk down - it's a long way out of the way to go back there.

If the chimney pitches were in Yosemite they would be 5.7. This isn't Steck-Salathe! 5.9 is consistent with other Vegas ratings though.

Here's the step by step descent by Jon P (thanks!)

1. Head up to the summit of Black Velvet peak by rounding the big lone pine tree at the top of the route and scrambling which quickly eases into hiking. Enjoy the view of Vegas.

2. When looking out at Las Vegas from Black Velvet peak, turn to face your 4:00 (right and slightly behind you), seeing another very large peak connected by a ridge and saddle. Follow this ridge, dropping down the saddle, and make your way up to the top of the large peak.

3. Once at the summit of the 2nd tall peak, look to your 8:00 (left and slightly behind) to see another ridge heading toward hwy 160.

4. Scramble down the large peak to obtain this next ridge. Stay as high as safely possible as you follow the ridge which is sporadically marked with cairns.

5. Connect the dots along the ridge, hitting 3 or 4 more peaks as you follow the ridge. Only one of the peaks does not have a cairn on it but continue high on the ridge heading to the top of each peak.

6. You will know when you are at the final peak because it has 4 or 5 very stout cairns on it closely spaced. It is obvious! If you are unsure then you are not there yet!

7. Once on top of the peak with the 4 or 5 big cairns, head left and down following the many cairns along the way. If you head down and do not see cairns, you are going the wrong way.

8. Get dumped into the whisky peak gully decent (turn right when you come to the fork) and continue down behind Frogland, following trails and cairns which are heading in the direction of hwy 160. There are multiple trails going down this decent and they all seem to meet up eventually.

9. Upon exiting the gully, curve around whisky peak following the trail that curves left.

10. The decent trail back to the parking lot is several hundred feet before Frogland, marked with a large cairn sitting on top of a large boulder.


A few extra big pieces


LVMPD Search & Rescue responds to assist lost, stranded, and injured persons, to include fatalities relating to climbing and hiking accidents.  In Black Velvet Canyon, specifically on the route Epinephrine, LVMPD Search & Rescue has seen a substantial increase in rescues. We are asking for your assistance to reduce the number of these types of calls.

Climbers please prepare for a full day of climbing with overnight provisions. Know your limitations and have the ability to retreat from the climb.
There is an Emergency Cache at the top of the peak. The cache may include some overnight supplies, but is not to be relied upon. This is strictly for emergency situations. Instructions will be listed on the outside.

The “walk off” from where Epinephrine tops out has been geo referenced. This is a guide, you are still responsible for your actions. There are no rappels.
Geo Map Instructions:
A PDF map has been designed for use on your GPS-enabled mobile device and can be viewed on any PDF reader. When viewed in an installed mobile map application, each map is designed so that your location can be displayed on screen in real time. Geo referenced map applications allow you to navigate using your mobile device’s GPS even without cellular reception. There are a variety of geo referenced PDF apps available for Apple and Android devices. Consult the mobile app instructions for complete information on how to use.

Go into the  App Store, Download AVENZA MAPS.

  • Download the map onto your device prior to being in an area that may not have data coverage.
  • Ensure location services is enabled for the mobile map application being used on your mobile device.
  • In areas with no cellular reception, phone battery life significantly decreases. Putting your device in airplane mode will greatly improve battery life and not interfere with GPS tracking.
Date: 5/14/2018. No warranty is made from LVMPD or Mountain Project as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of this data for individual use or aggregate use with other data.


George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
I'm glad you added this, John, as I can't recall many details from my one ascent of this route.

If you are unsure of your ability to do this route in a day, one good strategy is to start in the afternoon (when the route is empty, hopefully) and climb just the chimney pitches, then rap off. This way you will have familiarity with those chimneys and will be able to do them quickly. The climbing above the chimneys is virtually all face climbing and feels much easier even though there is still some 5.9. Mar 9, 2004
John Peterson
John Peterson  
All the topos show a bit of 5.9 here and there on the upper pitches but I honestly can't recall any real 5.9 climbing after the chimney. If you can get up the chimney pitches you'll have no problems with the crack above. Mar 9, 2004
The descent from the top of Epinepherine is tricky. The best beta is to follow the ridge as long as possible before descending down into Black Velvet Canyon. Descend too soon and you'll be forced to rappel.

Best to go fast and light on this route. Packs just get in the way on the chimney pitches. If you think you'll be slow, then climb it in May when the days are long and the temps are pretty reasonable in Black Velvet. The upper pitches have lots of 5.9 sections on the topo, but this part of the climb is a breeze and goes quickly. Mar 9, 2004
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Leave the big gear in the car? Yikes! The first chimney pitch doesn't have any bolts at all, as I recall. I think most of pitch only takes #3-#4 Camalots, although maybe there are some places for smaller stuff, my memory is hazy on this. But it's not like the whole chimney section is bristling with bolts. I'd go with John's recommendation (maybe skip the hex though!), unless you are a way honed chimney climber (just came from Yosemite!). Mar 10, 2004
John Peterson
John Peterson  
Last time I was there (2 years ago) there was a suprising amount of fixed pro on the first chimney pitch. Pretty unusual to see fixed #4 camalots! The lower part of the pitch takes about a #2 camalot; higher up it's #3 - #3.5. And that hex is a lot lighter than a camalot - there's a great place for it near the top of the pitch! That said, aside from one placement on the next pitch you're not going to be using the big stuff anywhere else on the route. Mar 10, 2004
Max Schon
Max Schon  
Did this route on 3/13/04. We did it in 9 pitches without any simul-climbing. I brought a #4, #3, #2, #1, and #.5 Camalot, a blue, green, and yellow alien, and a set of nuts. Altough it is easily possible to do the climb without a #4 Camalot, I was happy to have it (although next time I do it I might not bring it, but that's only because I would have already done it). The 5.9 climbing after the chimneys is very easy. More like 5.7-5.8 climbing with one move of 5.9. Rapping the route sounds like a nightmare. There are so many chickenhead to get your rope stuck on. Better to just bring one rope and be determined to get to the top. Having said that, I wouldn't want to do the scrambling to the top in the dark or the descent in the dark. The descent is straightforward, but it takes more then one hour. There is a little fourth class downclimbing on the descent that wouldn't be fun in the dark, even if you had a headlamp. Mar 16, 2004
John Peterson
John Peterson  
I was back in the chimneys last week and I'd like to refine the route description somewhat. All of the fixed gear from 3 years ago was gone so no freebies in the chimney pitches now.

I think the supertopo is pretty accurate and we took the ST route through the chimneys without really knowing what it is. Here's my revised description:

End P1 at the rap anchor (5.8, 180')

End P2 at the next rap anchor (5.7, 160')

P3 goes up relatively easy cracks below the chimney and then traverses into the main part of the chimney. Head for a ledge on the right with the next rap anchor. Work out to ledges below the anchor rather than stay at the back near the end of the pitch. (5.9, 120')

P4 uses the most wide gear - a #2 and #3 camalot for sure; the #11 hex or #3.5 camalot for the more gripped leader. Pass a bolted anchor on the right and pull through a wide section by swinging out left. At a big ledge, work up and right outside of the chimney to the rap bolts on another good ledge. (5.9. 120')

P5 traverses back left to the first bolt and then on up. This avoids the 5.9 part of the pitch by the fixed nut since you don't have to burrow way the hell back into the bowels of the chimney. (5.9, 130')

I'd double the #2 camalot to make the chimneys a bit easier to protect. We never felt a #4 was needed. Place smaller gear whenever you can and save the big stuff for where it's needed.

Don't wear shorts!

Judging by the number of late night headlamp sightings a lot of people ought to have started earlier or climbed faster :-).

John Mar 24, 2004
Bring shoes for the descent!!!! Descending this baby takes awhile and it is more like a Sierra peak than Tahquitz Rock! Mar 29, 2004
i have no idea as to whether its accurate, but i found this link online- graphic descent beta. if its wrong, perhaps someone could comment?

utahphotowild.com/climbing/… Apr 16, 2004
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Regarding the "descent beta" graphic on utahphotowild.com, the diagram makes some sense but has a few problems. First, Whiskey Peak is incorrectly identified, this diagram would lead you to believe it is the highest point reached during the descent. The "Long Way Along Ridge" is probably the best piece of advice one can give, so this part is excellent.

The most troublesome part is the finish, which seems to indicate that you will be coming back towards the base of the climb, under the Black Velvet Wall (can the descent be done in this manner?). It is much easier to head straight for the parking lot, passing nowhere near the base of the climb.

Anyway the best advice is to go all the way to the top of Black Velvet Peak, and then travel "Long Way Along Ridge", farther than you think, before dropping off to the left and then heading more or less towards your car, not the base of the route. All of this should be pretty well cairned by now, but you can still get screwed by leaving the ridge too soon. Apr 17, 2004
climbed epinephrine sunday. we used the original pitch by pitch beta peterson posted. in retrospect, if i were to climb her again, id do the following for best rope-drag/linking-speed, referring to peterson's route description:

w/ 60m rope:p1 up past bolts past ledge to anchors. p2 up again, see description, etc etcp3 first chimney pitch, great protection, you can walk cams up with you and feel completely safe.p4 the not as well protected chimney pitch. and if youre a wuss like me, and stay burrowed in the depths of the crack so you can pretend to place pro, you need a lot of long runners, or you end up with heinous rope drag. like i did. and if you try to break for the anchor at the top-right of the tower, you wont make it with a 60. we had to simulclimb for 20 feet, which i hated with tricep-straining rope drag and not a small degree of griptitude. next time, id stay out of the squeeze-depths, clip the bolts that are hard to find, on both sides of the chimney, and break for the second anchor you come across.p5 would be a short chimney to the anchor at the top-right of the tower, IIRC, and a short clamber left to the anchor at the top of the black tower.p6 link three swain pitches, i think. climb up, pull a little overhang, bear right, and climb up the elephant trunk crack until you hit an anchor. p7- link two pitches following the crack. despite the fact that this crack woul take gear every two feet, you actually clip bolts every eight feet except fro the last 20 feet of the pitch. i have no idea why.p8- link two more pitches, following the crack. end below the roof.p9- short pitch. pull over the roof on the right, admire the deep rope-grooves from decades of climbing, and belay right there to avoid bad rope drag.p10- 5.6 straight up takes you to the ramp system.

ramps- well, you could unrope, i guess. there are a few moves of 5th class, and a few 4th class places where if you slipped on the gravel, or popped a hold, you'd end up in the drainage. if you stay roped, there are three or four 'pitches' of no-pro speedy travel.

descent- basically, from the pine trees at the top of the climb, hike away from teh canyon towards the big peak with big cairns on top. then follow the ridge left for a long ways. when the cairns dissapears, run around in small circles until you find the descent drops off left. follows cairns to a big slab. cairns here must have been washed/rocked off. look below, and youll see them again. cairns all the way from the peak to the main trail for the parking lot. if you dont see any, youre off. thats the best advice, i think. Apr 26, 2004
april 25th, '04

there appears to be a bolt missing from what i assume was an anchor above the 5.9 roof high on teh climb, below the last bit of (5.6?) climbing. there was one good bolt with an SMC hanger, one big bolt hole, and one 1/4" bolt with no hanger. you can still build an anchor with bomber nuts a few feet back, and tying off the bolt, and/or or the chickenhead above, but i thought it might be worth mentioning.

also, the sole bolt above that anchor (on the next pitch) has a nut, but is missing the hanger. its a 3/8" bolt next to a 1/4" bolt with no hanger, or just chopped, cant remember. Apr 26, 2004
Scott Conner
Lyons, CO
Scott Conner   Lyons, CO
Just got back from a hot RR trip. We did Epi on Sept. 3, my wife's birthday. I guess someone has to play devil's advocate and give this 2 stars, but it ain't gonna be me. 10 stars! A very fun adventure and an all day excercise in efficiency. This time of year (late summer) is perfect for this route. The crowds are thinner and the days are longer. Get a later start and plan to be on the black tower by noon. The upper wall goes into the shade around noon leaving almost 8 hours to finish the climb and descend.

I don't recall any 5.9 climbing above the chimneys either. Lots of 5.6 - 5.7 and some 5.8.

On the approach, someone has fixed a rope on the wall in the gully (where you are forced to exit the streambed to the left) making it easy to batman up and stay in the streambed. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Good descent beta here. Thanks. Sep 9, 2004
The very last belay is indeed missing a bolt, so I just climbed past it and built a belay about 25-30 feet passed it. The descent is pretty straight forward once you remeber to go to Whiskey Peak by hiking across the saddle on the back of the Black Velvet Tower. Apr 19, 2005
Kurt Arend
Kurt Arend  
just a short trip report: not to spray so don't get your panties in a bunch. Just one of the best days for me in Red Rocks.Jay and myself have been guiding for a while in red rocks (jay alot longer than me) but we both haven't done the mighty Epinephine. We always just we waiting to guide it. One day (i forget now) we decide to go for it. I pick Jay up in Blue Diamond and told him the news. I had to be home in like 6 hours for my sons birthday. We just laughed. we are at the trail head by 7 ish. As we are racking up these I ask these two guys what they were doing, they said frogland andI told the Epinephine. THe poor guy looked at our rack (only like 4-6 nuts, 8 draws, 3 tcus, and like 3 other cams I think) and they told us to make sure we bring headlamps. and jay says no need he has to be back by noon! They looked confused as did I. I mean 18 pitches right? 5.9 chimneys? We start to run. We hit the base and I am tired, time for a Camel, nothing makes the lungs feel better than sucking on a non filter. I look at Jay and asked where his climbing shoes are and he said he was going to do it in his approach shoes. Huh? I am going to simul with you in approach shoes? Oh well. I was really getting into this speed climbing thing with some wall routes in Zion and in the valley so I was siked. I lead all the way to the chimneys in one pitch (takin the 5.8 way) and only placed like 4 or 5 pieces. I was yelling a Jay to hurry, and we were up 5 pitches in under 20 minutes, I felt like we were running. Jays lead 2 chimney pitches as one in his approach shoes and only placed like 5 pieces. I started the next block of two. I wanted to stop to place pro so many times but it just seemed like it would take forever, I I just clipped the bolts. We hit the black tower in less than an hour of climbing. We were stoked. After a short smoke break Jay go me to the base of the Trunk where I took over and we simuled for a ways. jay took over right before the last roof and we simuled all the way to the top. I remember thinking how come Jay was climbing so fast, but when I turned the lip of the roof he didn't even stop to place pro. The rope was snug at my harness and I couldn't keep up, this guys an animal. we hit the top and just simuled our way out. (its not over till the end for sure) We hit the top and just yelled. I think we did the route in 2-3 hours. (no clock) As we started the decent (no idea where to go) we just laughed and yelled, triped and fell, but had the best time. As we neared the start of Froglands we could see the guys , and we gave a yell, and ran to the car. I thought I was late for sure, but much to our amazment it was still way before noon. (I want to say like 10:45 but I don't remember) so with plenty of time we drove back to Blue Diamond and drank some beers and just really sat back and thought about what just happeded. All of a sudded I sat up and yelled "I JUST CLIMBED EPINEPHINE" jay and I still talk about it, it was one of my best days in red rocks, we had the time of our lives. Thanks for reading, now go have an adventure! Kurt "Burt" Arend Nov 13, 2005
Danny Inman
Danny Inman   Arvada
One of the most memorable climbing adventures I have ever done. This climb is perfect. Doing the descent in the dark is ill advised unless there is a guided party just ahead of you such that you can follow their headlamps the whole way down. Oct 10, 2006
Matt Wolski
Salt Lake City
Matt Wolski   Salt Lake City
I attempted Epinephrine last week; got off route (???) on the 3rd pitch (which from reading the comments above, sounds hard to do). After pulling the 2nd pitch chimney, I followed the face up and left to a pair of bolts with yellow webbing/American death triangle. From there I 4th classed up, saw 2 bolts on the face up and right, went for them, broke a hold, took a digger (40ish ft.) onto the ledge by the belay and rapped due to injury/sense that I was lucky to still be breathing. If you can imagine, it's killing me to find out where the 3rd pitch starts because it sounds hard to miss (big, obvious chimney) but something tells me I missed it. Please send an email/leave a message. llliiil@yahoo.com Feb 23, 2007
Las Vegas, NV
J W   Las Vegas, NV
On April 17th 2007, the ASCA replaced 7 pro bolts on Epinephrine. All were 3/8" x 2 1/4" stainless 5 piece. They were placed as follows (per Supertopo pitches):

Pitch 6 (First pitch off the tower): Two protection bolts.

Pitch 7 (First pitch off Elephant's Trunk): Two protection bolts

Pitch 8 (Next pitch): Three protection bolts (the first two and the fourth). The remaining protection bolt is an okay 3/8" bolt.

Thanks to Greg Barnes and the ASCA for the effort! Apr 18, 2007
John is too nice, he helped hand-drill several of the holes!

Also, the 5th (last) pro bolt on that second pitch off the Elephant's Trunk (right below the anchor) is an old 1/4" Urioste bolt which is missing its hanger. THere is a good small nut placement nearby, and we didn't have enough bolts to replace it. Apr 23, 2007
EricH Helfrich
Salt Lake City, UT
EricH Helfrich   Salt Lake City, UT
What a climb!
Just a note: The last pitch (before the ramp to the summit) is missing bolt hangers... a trad anchor is easily set up with two #3 and a #4 camalot.

Peter, It was great to meet you and Brian in the chimney! Apr 16, 2008
Fort Collins, CO
FCJohn   Fort Collins, CO
Holy Smokes! This climb delivers a little bit of something for everyone! Leave the #4 camalot at home, you don't need it.
The chimney pitches were just the price of admission for the unbelievable upper pitches.

Do not underestimate the descent.... We did car to car in 12 hours and I'm confident that we spent 3 hours of that on the descent.

~Team Gold Bond Apr 30, 2008
Matt McMurray
Castle Rock, CO
Matt McMurray   Castle Rock, CO
My partner and I had a good time. We had the route to ourselves so we climbed extra slow. =) I would also recommend bringing a #4 to move up the third pitch chimney with unless you are proficient/confident. Be careful where you place it though... I was walking it up without really looking and got mine stuck for 45 minutes while I worked it out. LAME! The chimney crux was tight/harder for me than expected (6'2" 190). The upper pitches are great face climbing. We simulclimbed the ramp placing a lifesaver piece every 50 feet or so. It took us 14hrs car to car, including f-ing around on my stuck placement, taking in the views at belays, snacks and pictures at the top, and taking our time hiking back. It wasn't fast but it was memorable.

FYI on the descent: From the true summit it took us 30 minutes hiking at a casual pace to walk the ridge before heading down. There were a couple cairned spots that 'looked' like where to head down, but DON"T TAKE THEM! The descent took 1hr 45min stopping occasionally to rest our sore toes. =) May 19, 2008
We did this climb on Sunday, July 6 (record temps for vegas, I think) and took 10L of h20 with us. Opted for carrying a pack (forever after referred as the "F'N"!!!pack) and a bottle or 2 on our harnesses.
We had a blast and if you're intersted there could still be a #5 cam on the 3rd chimney pitch. After 1/2 hr, we couldn't get it out. My biggest concern was that we'd need it for higher up and thankfully didn't BUT I AM GLAD WE HAD THE BIGGER GEAR. Never climbed a 5.9 chimney before (and could hardly believe the comment that this would be 5.7 in Yosemite) so I guess we gotta practice somemore. dEspite that we did well though slowly and did end up bivying on a ledge several ramps down from the top. Though not cozy it was spectacular...Vegas sparkled like a jewel at night and gorgeous sunrise in the am. Turned out to be just another great part of the climb of this amzing climb. dOWNSIde was that we had drank all but a cup and a half of water by the time we bivied and had to save it for the descent out the next day. Thank god for gas station chips and gatorade at the end.
Thanks to all the people who offered advice on how much water to carry and how during the summer months plus when to start. It was everything and MORE!!!!! Aug 10, 2008
Boise, ID
MJW   Boise, ID
Did the route yesterday....AWESOME! We moved fast but were held up a bit by a party in front and started late. Did the walk-off in the dark. We were able to get down to the saddle behind Whiskey Peak before it got dark. Straightforward from there. Could be trickier doing the upper part of the decent in the dark but there are alot of carins. Thx to all who stacked rocks! Only brought 1 rope...rapping the route looks like a PITA. Rack = TCU's 0,1,2, set of stoppers, camalots(.5,.75,1,doubles of 2,3). Lots of long slings. Didn't need anything bigger. Oct 31, 2008
Karsten Delap
North Carolina
Karsten Delap   North Carolina
A #4 and #5 camalot will make anyone without much chimney experience feel comfortable on lead. Mar 13, 2009
Pete Hickman
Tacoma, WA
Pete Hickman   Tacoma, WA
Hit the base of the climb at 8am this past Sunday and there were three parties ahead of us. While waiting at the second belay below the first real chimney pitch the party ahead of us knocked 150 lbs of rock out of the chimney and directly down onto us at the belay. Terrifying. If you climb soon and find rubble and a sandbox where your belay station used to be thats why. We bailed due to all cams now barely functional, backpack contents destroyed by falling rock, and fear that it would happen again. We returned Monday morning and hit the wall at 6:30am, had the route to ourselves all day, wasted no time, and still had to find the pine tree and descent in the dark. Advice: be on wall at sun up, don't follow any other parties, and when you need a bolt more than you have ever needed a bolt in your entire life... look behind you. Mar 31, 2009
Bryan G
Bryan G   Yosemite
We lucked out on this climb with an abnormally cool day in June. There wasn't another soul in the whole canyon. It was overcast most of the day, which had me a bit worried with only one rope (and just the previous weekend we had an epic bail in a Sierra snowstorm) but it didn't rain a drop. I think we poured out a whole liter of water on the summit, and still had some in our bottles when we got back to the car. Nov 23, 2009

i enjoy suffering, but this would be pretty brutal in the winter. you would get really sweaty while chimneying, and then freeze at the belays. give it a shot and report back to us though. i'm curious about my prediction. Dec 7, 2009
Im not going to reiterate everything that crazy mexican chicken already so accurately and poignantly stated a couple posts up, but what i will reiterate is that this climb is drastically OVERRATED!

I'm not sure where the classic-ness of this climb comes from but I've climbed many other routes that were much higher quality than Epinephrine and far less praised by the climbing community. Are you all just jumping on the band wagon or are you all just that oblivious to what good climbing should feel like? Or maybe you really do like this route (which is ok)- but why? The chimneys? Sandy, awkward CRAP! The never-ending patina face climbing? Cool for a pitch but then otherwise, CRAP! The length? This can not be the determining factor of quality and can not make up for the otherwise CRAP CLIMBING! The exposure or the view? Good, but again can not make up for the CRAP CLIMBING!

I say these things not to be negative but to give another perspective on the quality of this route because I do not want other climbers to be duped into climbing this "ultra-classic" as I was without first knowing all the ("ultra-crappy") facts. Jan 13, 2010
Las Vegas, NV
J W   Las Vegas, NV
I think Epinephrine is a great route- both aesthetically (nearly perfectly straight up for 1800') and for quality of climbing- its varied for the first half, and what it lacks in variety on the second, it makes up for in exposure and position.

The chimneys are anything but sandy- 500' of varnished sandstone hardly qualifies as sandy- not really sure where you're coming from on that one. In terms of the run-out- the upper chimney with two bolts is more like 5.8 at most, but probably mostly 5.7- the 5.9 is well protected and much lower on the tower. I wouldnt recommend using anything other than a large cam at the exit of the chimney, lest you lose it.

Im surprised so many folks struggle with the traverse- I always found it to be incredibly straight-forward and the very natural, obvious line. After leaving the tower you have two choices- a 50' traverse right to the upper dihedrals of the route, or a 300' traverse up and left to the Original Route. Seems obvious to me, but ymmv.

I would be interested to know how much Red Rock climbing you two have done up until now- I have found that many people dont care for Red Rock style climbing at first, and Epineprhine is hardly what I would recommend as a first route for the area- better to get more acquainted with the style and rock in general on shorter routes.

I've done the route twice now, probably wont do it again for awhile- I think its a great route for the area and the grade- if you're looking for a 1800' 5.9 classic route, imho, Epinephrine should be on your short list. Jan 13, 2010
Larry DeAngelo
Las Vegas, NV
Larry DeAngelo   Las Vegas, NV  
You guys ought to be more helpful to persons such as Loco and Alpine. If they are finding the Epi chimneys low-quality and uninspiring, it would a simple matter to steer them, for example, toward Deep Space for a better perspective and a more engrossing experience. Jan 13, 2010
Las Vegas, NV
J W   Las Vegas, NV
You know, Larry- I think you're right- if one was really interested in getting a solid chimney experience in Red Rock, Deep Space would be an ideal route for it! Jan 13, 2010
No group think here... I've climbed the route a number of times and absolutely love it. It's got a little bit of everything and I'll definitely climb it many more times...

Jason Jan 16, 2010
Pete Hickman
Tacoma, WA
Pete Hickman   Tacoma, WA
I think they are just in the early stages of the full epinephrine experience which often includes some initial resentment of the climb, particularly the chimneys. This is a normal part of any stressful, even traumatic experience and I think is a credit to the climb. When I finally arrived at the vehicle in the dark I too swore I would never subject myself to such an experience again. In time I realised that I got from Epinephrine exactly what I look for in a very long red rocks climb. Now, a year later, I'm looking forward to climbing it again soon. Feb 18, 2010
Brandontru   Nevada
Anyone Who is gonna bitch about pro on a chimney with a crack going the whole way. Is being a bitch. (pollo) However.... after the chimneys is kinda cool, but don't expect much. Unless you like getting to the top. (somewhat of the general idea in climbing.)

Then its an awesome route, just imagine if you were free soloing. Thinking this is totally possible and would be a ton of fun. Yet you are still glad you got a rope. :) Mar 12, 2010
Tyler Williams
Flagstaff, AZ
Tyler Williams   Flagstaff, AZ
Did this awesome route 3/5/10. The chimneys weren't as bad as expected - there are really only two short tough spots.

The crux for us was that the final 4th class traverse pitch to the tree was covered in ice! Since we got a late start and got stuck behind another party, we did this section in the dark. very exciting.

I have to say that the descent was not as bad as people are saying in the comment thread. None of us had done it before, and it only took us 2 hours in the dark, including a false start.

also, the #4 and #5 were nice to have in the chimneys

fun route! Mar 12, 2010
Davis, CA
csproul   Davis, CA
Climbed on 3/23/10. I'm not going to lie...the chimney pitches were pretty rough for me. I guess I have very little experience with that type of climbing. They were ok when wide enough, but when they narrowed up or I felt the need to move in for gear, it became physical. I was very glad to have an old style #4 Camalot and probably would have liked two. I'm guessing that if you are confident, you can stay out in the wider parts and run it out a little more, but keep the climbing easier.The chimneys were hard enough that we did not link any of the pitches and used all four belay stations. This was also useful since we hauled a small bullet pack as well. The upper face climbing pitches were fantastic and went much faster. Because of our slowness through the chimneys, we never really hit the sun on the upper pitches, so it was a fairly cold day. In all it was a 45 minute approach, and I think we did 13 pitches plus the last 600-800 ft of simuclimbing, which took almost 12 hours. This could easily be shortened if you can link the chimney pitches and maybe a few others. Despite the reputation, the walk off was pretty straight forward, thanks to ample cairns. The trick is to climb up to the summit of Whiskey peak after reaching the top of Black velvet peak, by way of the saddle between the two. After that, there were cairns marking the way down the ridge until you reach the large double cairns. Here, you drop down a gully system and eventually hit the decent from the top of Frogland. Mar 30, 2010
Las Vegas, NV
J W   Las Vegas, NV
csproul- for clarity, i believe you mean climb up to the true summit of Black Velvet Peak (the peak visible from the canyon floor is the false summit)- from the true summit, head south on the ridge before dropping down to the saddle below.

Whiskey Peak is the peak that forms the wall that Frogland sits on and is where the Epi descent meets the frogland descent. Mar 30, 2010
Davis, CA
csproul   Davis, CA
Hey John,
I was going off of this map from the Los Alamos Mountaineers site (it is the 2nd PDF topo map on the linked website) for the decent. This map called the peak right behind the Black velvet wall "Whiskey Peak". Are you saying that this map is mislabeled and "Whiskey Peak" should be the true summit of "Black Velvet Peak"? Anyway, sorry if that was inaccurate, but even if the names are not correct, this map was basically what we did.

http://lamountaineers.org/NAC/browserf/climbs/epineph/beta.htm Mar 31, 2010
Larry DeAngelo
Las Vegas, NV
Larry DeAngelo   Las Vegas, NV  
Yeah-- the map on the Los Alamos site is mislabeled. Whiskey Peak is the comparatively small peak in the lower left (between where is says "option 1" and "option 2") Mar 31, 2010
Sean Sullivan
Boise, ID
Sean Sullivan   Boise, ID
My camera fell off in the middle of the second chimney and got lodged in the chimney somewhere below. It was in a blue case with a biner attached to it and a gear topo route description. If anyone ends up finding it, I'd love to have it back. I'm sure the camera is destroyed but I'm hoping to slavage the pictures. Also I'm curious how serious Sony is about their no questions asked warranty policy. If you find it, please shoot me an email at tommywiggins37@gmail.com. Thanks! Sean (tommywiggins) Apr 5, 2010
If you have a 70 and are willing to simulclimb short distance off a few belays, this route easily goes in less than ten pitches as follows:

Solo the 5.4 variation to start. Link pitches 1 and 2 with a touch of simuling, belaying at the beginning of the .9 chimneys.

Climb 3 chimney pitches. don't stop at the alternative belay about 80 feet into the second chimney pitch.

From the top of the tower, climb to the top of the elephants perch (no simuling).

Link the next two pitches of richter face and crack climbing. From this belay, the leader will lead through the "5.9 roof with jugs on the left" as noted in the Supertopo (felt easier than 5.9 earlier on the route) with about 50 feet of simuling. From here, you will have a 5.6 pitch, then the fourth class ramp to the top. You can simul this easily, just don't run all 70 meters of the rope out or the drag will be a killer.

The descent is not a big deal, follow the 8 million carins. No need for anything over a #4 cam. We did car to car in 10 hours, descent in flip flops. Apr 19, 2010
Cory Harelson
Boise, ID
Cory Harelson   Boise, ID
Such a fun route! This route has it all, from jam-cracks ranging from finger to fist size, roofs that you can pull over on jugs, delicate stemming in exposed dihedrals, and of course, some awesome chimneys! Every pitch has something fun. I especially liked the incredible face climbing on the pitches above the black tower.

I brought a #4 and was happy to have it for one placement in one of the chimneys, but you could probably do without it if you're comfortable in the chimneys. I never felt like I needed a #5.

The descent was much easier than I thought it would be. I just followed the "don't descend too soon" advice and it went smoothly. The route is extremely well marked with cairns. You will know it is time to descend when you are directly above (actually almost past) Whiskey Peak.

Get an early start! We were at the base of the route at about 6:20am, and we were the 4th party in line. We probably wasted close to 3 hours waiting for the groups in front of us on the chimney pitches. No matter though, once above the chimneys all groups climbed quickly and we still topped out before dark. Apr 19, 2010
Just did this route on the 1st of May 2010 and I wanted to give a brief overview of the decent. I had the pages from the Falcon guide with me to help aid in getting down...WAY confusing map!!

Like others have said. Get to the top of Epie and keep going up hill until you're on top of Black Velvet Peak. An obvious ridgeline will be headed toward the city (East'ish). The ridge will be marked with carins ever so often. Follow the carins allllll the way down the ridge line (headed toward the parking lot). You will go up and down a few different "peaks", but just keep walking. The dreaded "too early" decent is easily recognizable because the actual decent you want does not drop down a steep narrow canyon.

At almost the very end of the ridge there is a really large double stack of carins marking the start of the decent. The trail follows LEFT. Again, this is not a narrow canyon...yet. Descend left toward a lower peak which is Whisky Peak. Once on the saddle between the two peaks continue descending to the Right. Carins are abundant and just keep waking down hill. May 7, 2010
  5.9+ PG13
  5.9+ PG13
"Suum cuique". Epi is CLASSIC! If you're no good at off-width or scared of running it out you probably won't like it.

With a 400' rope we cleaned it up in six pitches and simul-climbed the 4th class at the top, very fast this way. The descent isn't bad just keep heading east as far as you can until you see three very obvious cairns right next to each other that mark the descent. May 12, 2010
Brady Robinson
Boulder, CO
Brady Robinson   Boulder, CO
Just climbed this for my third time last week. Simul-climbed it in 3 pitches. I still love it! Don't be afraid of the chimneys. I got a little freaked in them my first time on the route (plus we took all day to do it and went down the wrong gully in the dark, ended up drinking water from stagnant pools in the middle of the night) but that is just part of the experience. Get up on it and enjoy it! Ignore the haters. Bring a #4 camalot and just keep pushing it above you when you are nervous. For the upper section, remember to FACE OUT (towards the canyon) and keep your feet on the featured and more steep outer section. When in doubt, stay towards the outside of the chimneys; fear will make you want to dive in but don't do it. Oct 31, 2010
smassey   CO
Just a heads up. The good jug that you mantel off on the entrance to the last chimney pitch is going to come off really soon. It was severely flexing today, 3/6/11. Would've cleaned it, but was kinda feeling weak sauce. Sorry sqwrlllll, didn't see the bovinity anywhere. Mar 6, 2011
Las Vegas, NV
J W   Las Vegas, NV
interesting- that'll make that pitch a little more exciting! Mar 7, 2011
Arch Richardson
Grand Junction
  5.9 PG13
Arch Richardson   Grand Junction
  5.9 PG13
We hiked to the summit of BV Peak a few days ahead, cached approach shoes and water up there, less to carry up the chimneys on climb day. This great hike also familiarized us with the approach/descent. See Branch Whitney's website for detailed hiking beta. Mantle on entrance to 3rd 5.9 chimney pitch was a bit tricky(8+), but I didn't find a loose jug (as of April 25th). Apr 27, 2011
My wife and I climbed this route this past Thursday in about 12 hours car to car, a few tips from our outing.

1. Start early, we hiked in under dark and easily found the base before light by headlamp. Waited for first light and went.

2. The only pitches we linked were 1 & 2

3. The second main chimney pitch felt like the crux for me. The first main chimney pitch had mostly crack climbing until the last 20-30 ft of #4 C4 size to the belay. Also, the 3rd main chimney pitch however a little runout had amazing foot/face holds on the outer wall making it less grueling than the 2nd chimney. There was a constriction about half way up the pitch that made it hard to make upward progress.

4. The upper pitches are awesome. If you can get through the chimney's the upper pitches will be a breeze. I really like the 2 right above the elephants trunk.

5. Stay roped up for the ramp but simul and belay as needed from drag.

6. We carried a single rack to #4 C4 with doubles of .75, 1, 2 which was plenty. Bring 6ish trad draws to extend your pieces but this will be plenty of gear for the chimney's. Maybe an additional #4 if you really are concerned with the chimney pitches.

The descent, head across to the main summit and follow the ridge line over several small peaks until you get to the crest with multiple (3-4) large cairns, at this point head down (left) in the gully towards Whiskey Peak (we did Frogland a couple days before to familiarize ourselves with the lower half of the gully). The hardest part for us was following the ridgeline before turning into the gully towards Whiskey. Try and stay as close to the ridge as you can with a few detours down the back side. Once you make the turn into the gully towards Whiskey the trail was very easy to follow.

In regards to whether this is a classic or not, get out and do it and make your own choice. For me this route carried an aura around it and it was everything I hoped it would be. From the chimney's to the dihedrals above in my opinion its well worth doing and a really awesome day and summit in RR. Start early and be first! Oct 18, 2011
Jon P
Duluth, MN
Jon P   Duluth, MN
Step-by-step of the decent for those interested:

1. Head up to the summit of Black Velvet peak by rounding the big lone pine tree at the top of the route and scrambling which quickly eases into hiking. Enjoy the view of Vegas.

2. When looking out at Las Vegas from Black Velvet peak, turn to face your 4:00 (right and slightly behind you), seeing another very large peak connected by a ridge and saddle. Follow this ridge, dropping down the saddle, and make your way up to the top of the large peak.

3. Once at the summit of the 2nd tall peak, look to your 8:00 (left and slightly behind) to see another ridge heading toward hwy 160.

4. Scramble down the large peak to obtain this next ridge. Stay as high as safely possible as you follow the ridge which is sporadically marked with cairns.

5. Connect the dots along the ridge, hitting 3 or 4 more peaks as you follow the ridge. Only one of the peaks does not have a cairn on it but continue high on the ridge heading to the top of each peak.

6. You will know when you are at the final peak because it has 4 or 5 very stout cairns on it closely spaced. It is obvious! If you are unsure then you are not there yet!

7. Once on top of the peak with the 4 or 5 big cairns, head left and down following the many cairns along the way. If you head down and do not see cairns, you are going the wrong way.

8. Get dumped into the whisky peak gully decent (turn right when you come to the fork) and continue down behind Frogland, following trails and cairns which are heading in the direction of hwy 160. There are multiple trails going down this decent and they all seem to meet up eventually.

9. Upon exiting the gully, curve around whisky peak following the trail that curves left.

10. The decent trail back to the parking lot is several hundred feet before Frogland, marked with a large cairn sitting on top of a large boulder.

We did this decent in the dark (with headlamps, of course) and it took about 3 hours as we took our time. It was not hard as the ridge is backlit from the city and you just need to follow the ridge, obtaining each peak until you come to the peak with a ton of large cairns. We kept second guessing ourselves, but there was no need. It is obvious when you are on the right peak that marks the decent into the Whiskey Peak Gully. Nov 30, 2011
Colorado Springs, CO
5.9+ PG13
Newton   Colorado Springs, CO
5.9+ PG13
Climbed on 3/4/12. The rap bolts at the top of pitch 11 (just before the 500' of long slabby ramp) have no hangers. Atop pitch 10 (the 5.9 roof) there is one older but solid looking bolt, but the larger one I had come to expect from the 4 previous bolted anchors was missing, and there was just a big hole in it's place. It is possible to make trad anchors here, just don't expect a safe rappel without leaving gear. Mar 6, 2012
bergbryce   California
Above the chimneys felt like sustained, steep 5.6/5.7 climbing with maybe 2 very short sections of 5.8 and has more bolts than really needed, there are holds and gear options just about everywhere you look. The chimneys are the show stopper though, absolutely incredible climbing. First team on at sunrise, back at the car by 2 pm. Mar 29, 2012
Ken Chase
Toronto, ON
  5.9 PG13
Ken Chase   Toronto, ON
  5.9 PG13
DESCENT BETA for the Handren "DO NOT GO DOWN THIS GULLY" gully :(
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

We were up on Epi last week with a couple parties above us. Finally started at 9am. Waited for a bailing party to rap past us slowing us slightly, then some strenuous chimneying for inexperienced chimneyers (we're 6'+ tall face climbers ;). Lots of knees were used in narrow chimney, ouch! (Yes we need practice ;) That slowed us down a fair bit, top of tower by like 130-2pm (yeah, slow). Much easier face climbing there on out, several pitches are quite long however. Topped out at 645pm, took a few minutes to be convinced we found the traverse/hike out up and right, big pine tree by 745 after sunset. Getting dark.

Found the top of the local peak and went along the saddle to the higher peak (BV?) slightly south. Milled around and went from cairn to cairn around big dropoffs on either side, and basically got lost til a cairn led us down a small chimney under a giant boulder to a platform and a few more cairns down some steep vegetated slab to the left/east. 830pm by this point at least. A few more slides down from boulder to boulder and a few cairns and we realised we were probably in the wrong gully.

The gully goes down steep and a bit slow, but doable, mostly dirt, vegetation and a few areas of boulders. Annoying pointy trees and cactii, occasional cairns help with multiple choices, but it all just leads down to the same canyon wash.

Eventually you get down to sloped rock shaped by water. Truly beautiful and a bit surreal with the small pools in our headlamps. At the first hangup edge where a pool drops off into the abyss, a steep way down is available far left with the help of a tree. Once down, you again come to a narrows with a pool emptying over a curved edge into more void. A beachball sized chokestone is jammed into a 3' groove on the left side near the mouth/edge, and we were about to rap off it, but a new beefy bolt is right above it with a ratty looped sling. We donated another sling and a couple biners and rapped over the bulge down to a platform 30 feet. Another sling with a single ring is wrapped around a small tree, but we opted to not use it and continued over the next edge to a ledge just above a large pool (3-4' deep water!)

If you are careful you can both not drop your whole rope neither into the pool nor into the trickle trough in the ledge above the pool you rap to, as well as pull your rope hard over the rough but dull rock above (total rap is 50-60'). To get around the pool scramble up left and back down (or rap in for a swim :). If you actually get to this spot, please take a picture, the collection of pools around the large one jammed in between curving smooth canyon walls is incredibly beautiful. We were just too freaked to think about it at the time.

Now it'll seem you're hung up again, and you may follow a couple pieces of human-dropped trash out to the left and up more slab, which brings you way too high above the gully floor below also heading left but down. Go right instead where the cairn is at the far right side of the pool at the edge, and the lower gully floor is not too far below after a couple 5.2 moves onto a manmade pile of stepping stones. Continue fighting down through thick trees boulder hopping. Nothing drastic or hard from this point down, just annoying slow progress thru thick vegetation at times.

At one point with the slight S curves of the canyon, it looked like big black walls all around us with no way out - but eventually the walls move away and behind you and the horizon lights up with the city's glow. Found cairns for a cross trail out of the wash to the left back to BVC but lost them within a few hundred yards. Just kept angling towards below BVC's mouth deciding that if all else failed we'd hike back up in to find the trail. A couple official bike paths cut across this line but go kinda the wrong ways (up hill north west or down south east), til we found another that took us northish 300y to the main trail (which is really a big wide dirt road, hard to miss).

Finally hit the car at 130am. Lol. 24h mexican @ Main & LVB saved us (after first drinking about a gallon of water each).

This descent method is not recommended - total was almost 5 hours.

Car to car with ~2h wait for other climbers total and a totally busted wrong descent + [INSERT EPIC ADVENTURE HERE]: 18.5 hrs.

Brought 5.5l of water for 2 people, on an 85F day in the city with 65-70 on the route in the shade (and again 70 in the lower half of the canyon descent, quite warm once off the top) we really shoulda had another 2 litres for bare min, and +3-4 woulda been comfy.

Im so curious what the right route down is, but from BVP we headed along the ridge AWAY from the city to circle around the big cirque to the far side, but kept getting hung up over drop offs til the chimney-down-under-the-boulder cairn misled us :/ Apr 22, 2012
Colin Parker
Idyllwild, CA
Colin Parker   Idyllwild, CA  
Climbed this route on Saturday and absolutely loved it! Our camelback emptied itself on the first chimney pitch so the two of us went all day with only one liter of water to share. Fortunately we made it in 12 hours car to car and managed to avoid death by dehydration...
Anyway, here's pitch beta for those with a 70 or 80 meter rope to complete the climb in 8 pitches:
1. Solo 5.4 variation to start (~50 feet right of the bolts) then climb to the anchors below the first 5.9 chimney.
2. Climb the first chimney and the first half of the main event to the intermediate anchors on the second chimney pitch.
3. Finish the chimneys and climb to the top of the black tower.
4. Climb the face above the tower and continue to the top of the Elephant's trunk.
5. Climb 5.9 face and discontinuous cracks past two bolts, an anchor, and five more bolts to another anchor.
6. Climb 160' of 5.7 to the next anchor.
7. Climb the awesome 5.9 pitch past the roofs and belay on the big ledge.
8. Climb until the end of the rope, setup an anchor, belay the second, unrope, then tackle the ramps.
Enjoy! May 7, 2012
Flagstaff, AZ
JLPierce   Flagstaff, AZ
Walk off has a potential to be epic; I should have been more prepared-
Be very familiar with the route description for the walk off and plan for it to take awhile. Bring enough water (we didn't), shoes (I had sandals) and a good headlamp to spot carins in case you have an evening topout.
Many people say they'd skip the finish and rap after the chimney pitches. I can inderstand the thought behind this but I also pity those people. They don't get to experience the stunning rock features of final pitches, the special feeling that comes from finishing on top, and completing a great accomplishment.
We did it early October 2011 and it was nice for temps. For me, it was a smaller chimney then I imagined and found the offwidth crack deep inside to be quite useful.
Note: I recommend printing off Jon P's descent directions, they didn't exist when I did it. :) Jul 4, 2012
John Hegyes
Las Vegas, NV
John Hegyes   Las Vegas, NV
To familiarize yourself with the Epi descent, climb Frogland first. The lower third of the Epi descent is the same as the Frogland descent. If you climb Frogland first, you might have a shot at learning the lay of the land before you go for the big one. Jul 11, 2012
J Mo
Tucson, AZ
  5.9+ PG13
J Mo   Tucson, AZ
  5.9+ PG13
1- 5 stars, period.

2- the chimneys are tough and serious and awesome, I know it is important to downgrade everything to stoke the ego, 5.7 in the valley, blah blah, but these chimneys are a grunt and SOLID 9....

3- along the same lines, the yapping about how it is all a walk after the chimneys, all 5.7, is also inaccurate. Those pitches are fabulous, but they still take some effort and the grades listed in handren are real.... Go figure.

4- the descent is not 1.5 hours from the tree to your car unless you run it or are very very good or know it really well. The rest of us, in the dark (in winter most likely you'll be in the dark, again unless very very good or you really know this route) plan on 3 hours...

5- whoever put bits of reflective tape to guide nighttime descents is a really fine human being! Dec 9, 2012
Agree, 5 stars!

Did this over Thanksgiving. Would recommend not bringing a backpack. Clipped 2L of water, 2 apples, 2 candybars and shoes to harness.

Descent in the dark took 3hrs. Yes, whoever put reflective tape is awesome! Car-to-car time was 15hrs at a leisurely pace. Big thanks to Jon P for his step-by-step descent beta! We did get side tracked a few times, stay left along the ridge as much as possible, try to keep Whiskey peak in your view as often as possible.

Would do it again in a heartbeat! Dec 12, 2012
Johnny Y
Johnny Y   California
Most of the route is pretty straight-forward, except I almost got lured into what would've been an awful OW at the first chimney section. You are supposed to stem out of the chimney onto the face at the right, sparsely protected and seemed quite a stretch for short people... Dec 14, 2012
Robbie Brown
the road
Robbie Brown   the road
This is a great line don't listen to all the blowhards who say its not. Did it in 11 pitches and loved just about every one of them. None of the climbing is very hard however the last 1000ft of soloing could be scary for a newer climber. Jan 7, 2013
Ken Chase
Toronto, ON
  5.9 PG13
Ken Chase   Toronto, ON
  5.9 PG13
yes 3hr descent for the proper way in the dark, 4 hrs in the do not go down this gully gully :/

How do you clip apples to your harness? :) Jan 30, 2013
This route can be a shitshow on weekends and holidays, plan to be there earlier than anything else I can think of, other than maybe Crimson.

This is not a good route to learn how to chimney on. This is not a route to haul your school backpack up. This is not a good route to try with an unfamiliar partner. This is not a route to drag your girlfriend up when she is still learning how to tie a figure 8. This is not a route to do if you are trying to be courteous to slower parties in front of you-if you're moving fast, just PASS ALREADY and make life easier on everyone, the chimneys are a bottleneck point and can get amazingly cockblocked even with use of linking and alternate belays. I enjoyed the experience but won't be second in line on this route again, the early buh-buh-buh-bird and all that. Hope the other parties top out sometime this week... Apr 14, 2013
Bellingham, WA
MoonMountainMan   Bellingham, WA
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This Climb was sooooooo good. I personally was a little nerves about the walk off because of all the comments talking about epics and what not, so I posted 6 pictures Starting from the top of Black Velvet peak of the Descent. I hope these pictures clear up any confusion about the descent and everyone can enjoy the climb and descent of Black Velvet peak. Enjoy Apr 21, 2013
St. George, Utah
scottso   St. George, Utah
HAHA Killing in the name of!!! How true this is. It's all to common to see inexperienced climbers on the classics here, Moab, and every were else. LEARN TO CLIMB BEFORE YOU GET ON THESE ROUTES!! We went to get on it Friday at 9:00 hoping the slow parties would be up and we could pass them above the chimneys. After waiting at the base for half an hour to see this would be impossible, we hiked back to the car to get a tag line and started climbing at noon. By 3:00 we were both on top of the tower and caught the party that started at 6:30. Neither of us have ever been on it. Of course, we bailed as planned. They kept going... 1 rope raps except off the second pitch - easy pulls. Apr 21, 2013
I am not sure why everybody makes such a big deal about this descent--it is really straightforward and easy--done easily in flip flops. If you want a really messed up, tough descent, go down north dome gully in yosemite--that is a serious pain...

For Epinepherine, follow the 1001 carins down. If you link pitches and don't have a bunch of gumbies on the route, it can be done in 7 or 8 pitches and you can be down by mid afternoon.

Near the top of the route, there are several bolts missing hangers and at the belay above the 5.9 (5.8 in Handren) roof, it looks like a bolt has been fully removed and something etched in the rock "Love me somthingsomthing"

Agreed with Killing in the name of, this is not a good route for newbies or people just breaking into the grade of 5.9. Did this route Friday and sure enough some dude brought his girlfriend up, who could not climb chimneys, and a 3 hour swearing/yelling/crying/arguing session ensued, tainting what was otherwise a great day of climbing. If you or your partner can't climb at the grade, stay at home and don't muck it up for the people who can climb chimneys at that grade. Apr 24, 2013
Absolute favorite multi pitch in black velvet. Get there very early to avoid a line. May 1, 2013
Pitty   Marbach
You forgot a very important detail! There are much more "do not go down this gully, gully" - if you go down the right side of the ridge you have to hike home from Windy Peak not Whiskey Peak :-)

Sorry folks, but you really can't miss the descent!!!!

We made it in something less than 9 hours car to car and we were baked in the sun from the start till the end (ok not in the chimneys.......... Who the hell said starting early is recommended??????

Great big Sandbag in the chimneys but a real funny climb overall.....

In Switzerland we call surfaces like these walls Highways........ but they are horizontal not vertical:-) May 12, 2013
J Mo
Tucson, AZ
  5.9+ PG13
J Mo   Tucson, AZ
  5.9+ PG13
During possible first ever 24 hour enchainment of white punks on dope in needles and epinephrine (at night) as "rest stop" on return to flag..... Long story....

Lost my left approach shoe in the chimneys, a la sportiva vertical K size 11 with one small foot minder orthotic and black running sock inside. Yes I can confirm the descent sucks in 1 climbing shoe and one approach shoe. Anyway,

REWARD: $25 plus postage plus the best six pack money can buy if you get me the shoe. Its super light and packs easily. So please take it with you. Lost it somewhere before pitch 5..... Thanks! Jun 25, 2013
Tane Owens
Las Vegas, NV
Tane Owens   Las Vegas, NV
Leaving the car without a headlamp is a bad idea. Unless you enjoy adding an extra two hours to your decent in the dark that is. Nov 28, 2013
This is probably my favorite route I've ever done, anywhere. I couldn't stop giggling the whole way through the chimney sections. The face climbing was easy but fairly sustained and exposed. This route far exceeded my expectations. Dec 2, 2013
Owen Parker 1
Durango, Colorado
Owen Parker 1   Durango, Colorado
Awesome climb!! However it was freaking crowded! Woke up at the crack of dawn and still didn’t get on the wall until 11. Wasn’t at the top till 2:30 in the morning and 70mph gusts of wind at the top forced our party and another to bivy at the top (Shivering in a small exposed cave). Don’t forget a headlamp and wind breaker. Mar 30, 2014
Salt Lake City
JeffL   Salt Lake City
Amazing route! I brought a single rack green alien to #4 camalot, with a 2nd #2 and an 11 hex. I was very happy to have and place the hex. Nothing else was needed, though you could walk a 5 for a ways in the chimney if you aren't comfortable. Once in the chimneys and once at a gear belay just after the last anchor in the guidebook (not supertopo). The last anchor shown in the guidebook before scrambling is missing the bolts. There's only 1 left, and it's not all that great. You could possibly use rivet hangars on it as of 4/24/14 but you definitely cannot rap from there unless you leave something.

If you haven't heard... the descent sucks. It took us just over 2 hours at a casual pace without any issues finding the route. Just a long way and lots of vertical. If I do this route again my strategy would be much different:

I would start later in the morning. There are way too many parties jumping on this thing from before the crack of dawn til 8ish. If you are fast and confident you could start at 10 or 11 and have plenty of time. I would recommend half ropes and rappel just before the 5.8+ or 5.9 roof because there is no anchor up there. Not having to do the long descent means no shoes and less water. You could probably not bring a pack up and that's a huge plus for the chimney pitches.

Finally... practice chimneys before you jump on this. You should be comfortable on 5.10 terrain, and comfortable 15+ feet above your gear on 5.9 terrain. This will make the route so much faster and smoother. Iron Messiah in Zion is a great practice route for Epi Apr 24, 2014
Toronto, Ontario
gavinsmith   Toronto, Ontario
This was my first trad climb above 6 pitches and basically the first I did any leading on. Yeah, a lot to take in.

Worth mentioning, it was Monday, May 5 and we were totally alone on the route that day.

My partner was experienced, and we climbed reasonably well, but weren't the most efficient at belays (mostly on me). I think we were on the wall for 13 hours total.

When we ended the last pitch, we were surprised by the remaining vertical distance (the rest of the wall is somewhat out of sight for much of the actual climb before this point). The Brock/McMillan book isn't really clear that, if you're going to roped in, that scramble can take an additional hour. We were also not used to climbs of this length and cutting it so close at sunset.

We topped out and unroped right as the sun disappeared. Our descent topo wasn't as good as it needed to be considering we summited in complete darkness and had some trouble working out which peak we were supposed to head towards. We actually skipped the Black Velvet peak and scrambled next to the ridge, chances are there are cairns on the actual ridge leading to the next peak which would have helped out with our confidence level considerably and sped the routefinding up.

Descent took probably near 3 hours because my legs were toast and it was pitch black, I'd guess 1.5 hours in daylight with good route finding (not that hard) and some energy. Tons of cairns, almost nowhere without. If you go 30 seconds without seeing one you're probably off route. Descent from the ridge itself is marked with a dozen cairns.

We had a full rack of Camalots to #5 with doubles in #1 and #2. Used everything often. My partner didn't feel comfortable with runout in the chimneys and suck to the protectable inner area, but the climbing is substantially harder there. Only a 5.9+ in my book because of that. Jun 8, 2014
Tyler Lomprey
Las Vegas, NV
Tyler Lomprey   Las Vegas, NV
did this 2 saturdays ago and i'm still in EPI shock, WHATTA ROUTE!!! Don't be scared of the chimneys, take a couple laps up and down plumbers crack beforehand and you'll be solid. As far as the runouts go on this route, i honestly never felt uncomfortably run out. Sure there are some distances between pieces of protection in some places, but this is all over moderate climbing. If you are familiar with the 5.8 classics in the area you will have no problem. All in all i think it was just over a 12.5 hr day car to car at a casual, enjoy the day pace. Got passed by someone soloing it on the 10th pitch, they had been on the route for just under an hr!!! Wicked! Oct 21, 2014
Las Vegas, Nevada
Likeasummerthursday   Las Vegas, Nevada
Climbed this route last Thursday. No high-clearance vehicle, so we walked with rack, rope and water from the highway. Lots of folks on Black Velvet, but we had Epi to ourselves. After reading all of the comments here, we brought a single rack to #5 with doubles from .5-2. I have climbed quite a few moderate classics out here, and I must say that this route is absolutely phenomenal, from start to finish! The Handren grades are correct IMO. I concur that if you can make it through the chimneys then the upper pitches will go fine. If 5.9 is your limit, though, the upper pitches are no cakewalk. The hardest chimney pitch (p5 in Handren's book) is one of the finest 5.9 pitches I've ever led. We were happy to have the #5, although a second #4 would have been about as useful. If I did it again, though, I would carry the same rack. Also, having 2 #2s was great.

As mentioned above, this is not the climb to learn multi-pitch, definitely not the climb to practice your chimney game and not the climb for breaking into the 5.9 grade. The chimneys are stunning but serious, and the route is long. We also chose to not carry a pack and were plenty happy about it, although these chimneys would not be the worst to haul a pack. We built gear anchors atop the last two pitches. For the second to last anchor I climbed about 20 feet above the ledge with the one good bolt and one good bolt hole and built an anchor on a small ledge. Also, we found the descent well-marked and straightforward. The three cairn piles that mark the descent down from the ridge are HUGE. Oct 25, 2014
Brian O'Leary
Scituate, Ma
Brian O'Leary   Scituate, Ma
Has anybody climbed this in January? I expect it to be cold in the chimneys, but should I be expecting Ice inside them? Dec 8, 2014
No big gear? We took 2 #3s, 1#4 & 1#5 (BD). I was especially psyched for the #5 at my crux section. We simuled the ramp at the end, too. On a cold, windy October day we had a blast and at 7.5 hrs car to car I don't think that gear slowed us down any. Dec 10, 2014
As of 12/15/14 the last bolted anchor is missing a bolt/hanger. This is the anchor before the final pitch of 5.6/7. A gear anchor can be built just to the left of the remaining bolt and actually puts you in a better position to belay the final pitch. ( I used a brown tricam and a couple of nuts) Dec 30, 2014
Climbed this classic with Xavier on 21 February. We did it in 9 pitches without the need to simulclimb, and scrambled the last bit of fourth and low-fifth class. There were two parties ahead of us, and several behind. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait on, or be waited on by any of the parties. Perfection.

What a good time!! This is definitely a Red Rock Classic, well worth the effort. Car to car was 12 hours, with about 8.5 hours of climbing.

The chimneys were strenuous, but part of that was my poor technique. My favorite part of the climb was the 5.9 section after the Elephant's trunk. Amazing. The runout 5.7/easy 5.9 roof pull was pretty fun as well.

Great day. Mar 19, 2015
San Francisco, CA
ChuckSchick   San Francisco, CA
Definitely lives up to the hype. Start early and plan to start at the first hint of sunlight because it's a full day for 99% of climbers. We did this and topped out around 2:30 at a pretty leisurely pace. A couple of notes from the super topo:

1. When you get to the ledge on the second chimney, clip the intermediate anchor and then another bolt about six feet up and right from that one and do the 5.6 variation towards the outside of the chimney. Much easier. I have no idea why ST has this as "x" rated.

2. The belay at the top of the last 5.9 pitch (after the bulge) has one bolt and then a massive hole where the other one used to be. Just head up the ramp a little and there's a perfect crack for a trad anchor. Also, the 5.7R section of that pitch isn't even close to "R". There are way more run out sections on the route that that one.

3. The fourth class step across at the top of the exit ramp is easy but remember that you've been climbing for about eight hours at that point and are exhausted. A fall from there would involve a single bounce off the slab then a 1,500 free fall to the canyon floor. Put a piece or two in and simul it unless you are 100% confident.

4. The walk off is not trivial from a pure knee-pounding perspective. Doing it in the dark would suck and likely double an already long hike. Plan to finish with at least two hours of daylight and you'll be fine. Apr 6, 2015
Cam Reade
Cam Reade  
If you don't spend much time climbing chimneys then bring the #4 and #5. You"lol be glad you did. I would consider my partner and I to be average climbers. It took us 9 hrs to complete the route and about 1.5hrs to hike back to the car. This climb is well worth the effort. Fantastic and varied climbing! Apr 13, 2015
Aeon Aki    
Epinephrine in 8 pitches (70m rope, double rack from .5 Camalot to #4 Camalot):

P0 - Skip the slab pitch and scramble up the ramp-like feature to the right of it, bringing you to a nice flat belay spot in the bushes. Rope up here.

P1 - Link the 5.7 slab and corner into the 5.8 chimney pitch and belay at bolts at the base of the main chimney (about 20' of simul-climbing may be necessary).

P2 - Climb the main 5.9 chimney to the bolted anchor about midway through on a pretty comfortable ledge.

P3 - Finish climbing the 5.9 chimney and belay on top of the Black Tower.

P4 - Link the next two pitches (5.7 and 5.9) and belay at bolts on a small ledge above the Elephant's Trunk (a perfect 70m pitch with good rope management).

P5 - Link the next two pitches (5.9 and 5.7)and belay at bolts on a small ledge (about 30' of simul-climbing may be necessary).

P6 - Climb the 5.9 "roof" pitch and build a belay on top of a huge, flat ledge.

P7 - Climb the 5.7 crack to its end, passing the bolts with missing hangers and build a belay somewhere on the ramp (about 60m is a good place to stop).

P8 - Simul-climb the ramp feature with your partner, keeping a few pieces between you along the way, and build your final anchor at the large pine tree that can be seen from the ground and marks the end of the route. (This is about 700' of easy 4th and 5th class. Be mindful of the rope as there are a few places with loose rock and bushes for it to get snagged.)

Enjoy! Apr 14, 2015
Jordan Cannon
Bishop, CA
Jordan Cannon   Bishop, CA
I climbed Epinephrine for the first time last Sunday for my friends birthday. We started early (parking lot at 4:30am) to beat the crowds and were on the wall by 6am. A team of 3 got to the base when we started the 3rd pitch. We decided to go light and not bring a backpack or approach shoes, and only one #4. It was nice not having to lug up a backpack through the chimneys but I sorely missed my approach shoes on the descent, it was extremely heinous! My feet weren't very happy with me after that...

All in all, great climb! All of the face climbing out of the chimneys felt like climbing 5.8 jugs in the gym with awesome exposure. It took us about 1hr on the approach, 10 hours on the climb, and 4 hours on the descent (no shoes). Also, I should add that we ran out of water on the summit, which wasn't very fun. We each brought a nalgene and a gatorade, but next time I would opt for a little more or just be more conservative throughout the day. Definitely wear pants, even during this time of year it wasn't too hot. We weren't in the sun for too long. A jacket wasn't necessary, but I would bring one if I was planning on having a longer day or if it was pretty windy at the summit. Be patient on the descent and follow the cairns! Apr 24, 2015
HM Scott
HM Scott  
Andy Stephen and I were the first ones on this route the 18th of April.... I found the chimney on the 3rd pitch to be real tough as we stayed inside the squeeze. I think seasoned chimney climbers would sail right up, but it was a baptism of sorts for me. (If you had seen my knees and elbows after you would have thought I had fallen off a speeding Moped!)

The second chimney section was wider and easier I thought, and from there it was really just fun, exposure, and tired toes.

We were on the route by 6:30am and back at the parking lot around 4:30pm.

Great climb, bluebird weather.... Apr 25, 2015
Simon Thompson
New Paltz, NY
  5.9 PG13
Simon Thompson   New Paltz, NY
  5.9 PG13
My buddy and I climbed this on a cold November day as our very first red rocks route. We had an awesome type II fun trial by fire experience and the whole ordeal took us 17.5 hrs car to car. The wide part of the chimney with the two bolts gave us a lot of trouble because we are Gunkies and have very little chimney experience. Needless to say we had quite a struggle fighting up the inside of the chimney, desperate for gear. As stated above a pack can be a pain in the ass in the chimney unless you break it up into a bunch of pitches and haul. Night fell as we climbed the last two moderate technical pitches, though Vegas gave us quite a bit of light. We had one working headlamp between us. Not being used to the terrain, and considering the amount of loose rock, it seemed unreasonable(for us) to un-rope for the low fifth above the end of the real technical climbing and instead did 3 more long pitches up to the real end of the climb at the large tree. We figured out the descent in the dark but not without about 500' of stumbling down a sucker gully and having to scramble back up to find the cairns. Maybe not the best route choice for late November and as our first climb but it was an unforgettable experience. We made it back to the car at 12:30am and capped the day off with a 45-minute drive in the little rental car back down the shitty road. Thank god for the 24hr Terribles right down the road. Great climb and a pretty decent sample of a variety of red rocks climbing styles. Can't wait to go back for another dose! Dec 9, 2015
Larry Shaw
Boulder, CO
Larry Shaw   Boulder, CO
I can't imagine better wide chimney climbing unless you are in the valley, mega classic. Jan 28, 2016
James Xu
2005 Ford E-150
James Xu   2005 Ford E-150
Topped out around noon with a party of 3, chilled and got nood on the summit, then got back to the car by 4. Early starts and efficient climbing negates the need for headlamps (but bring em anyways!) and prevents the epics. We linked the upper two chimney pitches and two of the pitches after the elephants trunk with a 70m.

The second to last anchor which used to have three bolts on the sheltered ledge is missing a bolt (completely pulled out) and a hanger, so the anchor consists of a single bolt. I used a small stopper to hang on the hanger-less bolt to equalize with the single bolt.

The hangers on the final anchor before the 4th class section are also missing, though an anchor could be easily built from cams or slinging chicken heads. Feb 16, 2016
Emmett Wynn
Emmett Wynn   Albuquerque
My partner and I climbed this on 3/18. We were the third party on the wall and things got a little held up below the chimneys as the first party got a rope and a piece of gear stuck. Once that was figured out things moved smoothly even with four parties on the wall.

It took us 12 hours to climb, which was slow but we were proud because we were/are novices. And then the most epic descent of all time occurred, which including walking the wrong ridge (which had sucker cairns on it THE WHOLE TIME) for a few hours, then taking a wrong turn after the steep downhill trail after we had found the descent route. Ended up doing 3 rappels (one of them about 30m, glad for the 70m rope there) at 1:30 am into the main BV Canyon wash. Finally made it to the car 21 hours after we had set out.

The climbing was FREAKING AWESOME however and I would recommend it to anyone remotely able to climb 5.9 trad. My partner cruised the chimney pitches after I lead the first one. My first chimney lead ever therefore was an awkward squeeze and I was mentally exhausted after that. Bring big gear and you'll feel comfy.

The pitches after the Elephant's Trunk are money - a few bolts and small gear will make you comfortable on some dope 5.9ish face/crack climbing. The 5.0 at the top and the 4th class final ramp were super exciting, but I am used to that climbing and my partner isn't, so he was a little sketched. I would definitely recommend simuling if you're not comfortable on ultra-high consequence but easy terrain. Mar 21, 2016
Ben Parsons
San Luis Obispo, CA
  5.9 PG13
Ben Parsons   San Luis Obispo, CA
  5.9 PG13
Managed to lose my gray and green 5.10 approach shoe in the wide crack below the SuperTopo 5.7R face on the last "5.9" pitch. If someone manages to rescue it (or the BD #1 on the 4th pitch), I'd shoot you some cash and beer of your choice!

Great route, not beginner-friendly. Don't get suckered into the off-width on the first 5.9 chimney pitch. Mar 22, 2016
Dan Ressler
Silver Spring, MD
Dan Ressler   Silver Spring, MD
Long winded trip report here. Apr 22, 2016
Matt D
Jay, NY
Matt D   Jay, NY
Great fun climbing this route May 4. Sun was up at 5:30am - its timing was perfect. While the wall was getting full sun, we were in the chimneys. By 12:30 the sun was no longer on the wall, making the upper pitches comfortable.

Comical disaster struck in the top chimney pitch when my gear loop broke and my approach shoes went sailing downwards (glad we were the only party on the route). They likely landed on the treed ledge above the first pitch. We went up rather than down to find 'em (the descent is great fun in rock shoes - ouch). If you find a pair of Scarpa sz 9.5 approach shoes down there (possibly still clipped to a chalk bag) please message me!! thanks. May 7, 2016
Jon Dory
  5.9+ PG13
Jon Dory  
  5.9+ PG13
Wow... Amazing climb. The chimney's are very strenuous. Not difficult but they require muscles not often used by gym rats and sport climbers. Very accurate descriptions and Beta. Thx!. Pitch 6 (or 7) the 5.6 face 5.8 finger crack, takes every piece of gear you have, and then some. The down is epic and the beta is very accurate. Do not stray from the cairns... 14.5 hours car to car, 3+ were the walk down. Our ages sum to 116 and the difference is 2. Are we the oldest pair to finish under 15 hrs. :) May 10, 2016
Mat J
El Dorado Hills, Ca
Mat J   El Dorado Hills, Ca
My partner and I climbed this on May 27th and the weather was a little warm but mostly pleasant. We left the car at about 630 AM and we were the second people to head down the approach trail. Luckily the 2 girls in front of us were climbing texas holdem, so we had the route to ourselves in front of us.

I thought the first and second pitch, which I linked together, were actually kind of spicy with the bolt placements, and a great way to get your head together for the day.

Once we started up the chimneys we felt right at home. Being primarily Yosemite climbers, we were already used to the technique and with the exception of one crux move on the second chimney pitch it went uneventfully. I would recommend bringing a #4 to feel cozy.

After the chimney pitches it really turns into pure fun. All the climbing felt the same grade to me at around 5.7-5.8 and there certainly are no show stopper moves anywhere. We finished the last pitch by about 2pm and were able to simul the rest of the 4th class stuff pretty quickly. It is not very exposed and nothing to worry about.

My one piece of advice is to bring enough water for this climb. We finished our water by the time we topped out and had a pretty miserable decent. Jun 10, 2016
Car to car 1:56 Nov 24, 2016
Did this in Nov 2015. Was a VERY long day. Luckily we were the first party but still 13+ hrs car to car. Difficulty of chimney pitches can change drastically depending on which direction you face. If feels too difficult, may try facing the other direction. Helped me on the last chimney pitch. Upper pitches are easy, 5.7 max but a bit runout. Once at the false top, untie and get ready for scrambling up to the true top. Took us awhile to reach the top. Then, long hike down starts. Would be a lot quicker if have daylights all the way down; otherwise, be careful, some sections are steep. Jan 29, 2017
Red River Gorge, KY
DrRockso   Red River Gorge, KY
As of February 2017, you will reach the end of the last 5.7 pitch at an anchor that is missing the hangers on both bolts. If you continue past here (on the ramps for about 60 feet, you may spot a set of newish looking bolted anchors that are for another route, you can extend the last 5.7 pitch to here if you like, making for a nice spot to transition to simuling. Continue from these anchors up the path of least resistance for 4 or 500 feet, on what at times seemed more like 5.5 than the 5.2 mentioned in the description, at times there will be highly consequential exposure. You wouldn't be unwise to pitch it out if you feel uncomfortable simuling this terrain.

The Following is an important correction to the "Route Exit" description.

When you reach a ledge with a 10-12 foot sandy (sometimes wet) wall/ramp as per the description, you DO go up this wall to reach another ledge, from there head up another 20 foot climb to reach a big long ledge with some smallish trees/vegetation growing on it.

From the end of this ledge you will very easily (in the daylight) be able to see the unmistakable lone pine tree. Head up the obvious easy terrain to reach the pine where you can unrope for the ridge traverse.

Dont attempt to traverse right on the exposed vertical, plated face with a horizontal crack that is around the corner from the 10-12 foot sandy wall, it appeard to go 50-60 feet before turning another corner and going nowhere.

Follow the sometimes distantly placed cairns after unroping at the pine tree.

The complicated descent is not over when you reach the two cairns marking the spot to go down from Whiskey Peak. We did not seem to see many cairns after this and may have taken a longer than necessary route down that included quite a bit of scrambling and a bit of bushwhacking down paths that seemed to have been trodden a bit, eventually reaching a wash with scree that leads out towards the parking lot. Feb 25, 2017
Andrew Yasso
Las Vegas, NV
Andrew Yasso   Las Vegas, NV
In regards to Dr. Rockso comments above - those bolts/hangers have not been there for the last 10 years, nothing new in his comment. Additionally the bolts he describes up and left are not new and are for a different route. Feb 28, 2017
Red River Gorge, KY
DrRockso   Red River Gorge, KY
Thanks for the clarification regarding these anchors being for a different route, and not new. Regardless, one unfamiliar with the route might get confused since the beta claims the station with the missing hangers is the last set of anchors and these anchors are on the path of the 4th and easy 5th class, making it easy to skip the hangerless bolts in favor of a more comfortable belay at the anchor station and a better spot to switch over to simul-climbing.

The important part of my comment (and definitely not mentioned already) is to DISREGARD the part in the mountain project description that claims you should not go up the 12' sandy ramp starting from the ledge after the dihedral. I quoted the part I'm talking about below.

"If you try to keep going straight up, you'll encounter a 12 foot sandy/sometimes-wet "wall". Don't climb that wall." Mar 5, 2017
Doug Foust
Henderson, Nevada
Doug Foust   Henderson, Nevada
DrRockso - you might want to delete or edit you first comment, it's incorrect and super confusing. Since you posted that I know of two parties that got lost at the top of the route and spent the night. The first party called the AAI office the next day for beta and the second party called SAR and had to be rescued.

Your beta reads:

"As of February 2017 you will reach the end of the last 5.7 pitch at an anchor that is missing the hangers on both bolts. If you continue past here (on the ramps up and left for about 60 feet, or on the plated face above, you will reach a set of new looking 5 piece anchors which I haven't seen mentioned in any book or MP comment. Continue from these anchors up the path of least resistance for 4 or 500 feet, on what at times seems more like 5.5 than the 5.2 mentioned in the description, with highly consequential exposure. I would recommend simul-climbing placing gear as needed or pitching it out if you don't feel solid."

You talk about going up and left - All the ramp beta someone really needs is go RIGHT up the 4th class ramps with some short low 5th class sections Mar 6, 2017
Red River Gorge, KY
DrRockso   Red River Gorge, KY
Good catch Doug, I can see how saying left in any way would be confusing. What I meant was if you are facing right from the anchors you go slightly left to start the ramps as opposed to staying right on to the face. I will correct this confusing instruction.

I must correct you on a party calling the AAI office AFTER my comment was posted, I know because we were the party who called you. Thanks Jason btw! We were confused in part due to the mp beta about the 12 foot ramp, this beta also confused a party of locals who went up the day after us, so I'm sure we are not the first to be confused by this. Mar 12, 2017
Don Ferris III
Eldorado Springs
Don Ferris III   Eldorado Springs
Simply put, an amazing route. Every pitch is spectacular. The chimney pitches are quite unique and challenging. Wish there were more of them. A single set of cams to #2, a dozen draws, some nuts and an 80m rope would be ideal.

Pitch 1 to the first ledge. (short, probably link with the next)
Pitch 2 to the base of the main chimney. (ledge just inside chimney)
Pitch 3 link chimney pitches. Stay out and clip bolts for smoothness.
Pitch 4 link pitches to good ledge 30' or so above the elephant trunk.
Pitch 5 link pitches to the belay below the 5.8 roof. (last chance to rap with tag)
Pitch 6 climb to ramp. Un-rope and scramble to the walk-off. Mar 20, 2017
Andrew Stemmler
Springfield, MO
Andrew Stemmler   Springfield, MO
The rack we took consisted of...

1 set of nuts
.1,.2,.3,.4 and yellow, blue and orange metolius for the finger cams
doubles of .5-2 camalots
a single 3 and 4
10 alpine draws

I felt this was more than adequate to protect the climb. Note the following description assumes "the gear loop" topo. There's laminated gear loop topos available at desert rock sports in town. After exiting the chimneys and topping the black tower my partner took over the lead for a pitch and passed the pitch 6 anchors and stopped instead at the top of the elephants trunk labeled as optional anchors. This allowed us to link 7 & 8 which made for an amazing 190' pitch of varnish up a thin crack. We then climbed 3 more pitches to the top of pitch 11 before transitioning to simuling the ramps. All in all a spectacular climb and really the chimneys are nothing to be afraid of.

We took 4 liters of water with us all in dasani water bottles so we could crush them as we drank them. 1 liter for me and my partner to share on the approach and guzzle at the base. 2 liters per person on the climb and a 4th liter to share on the decent. We took a small 16L bag which held our approach shoes and 3 liters of water (plus a crushed bottle) and a light windbreaker. My follower wore the pack most of the climb and said he could barely feel it. He trailed the bag from his belay loop off a sling through the 3 chimney pitches and while it was probably annoying I didn't hear very much cussing due to the bag.

We didn't feel very tired after summiting however the decent was long and grueling. We actually had the opposite problem of most people. Instead of heading down the gully to the left too early we actually followed the ridge too far. It became evident when we stopped seeing cairns which was a pretty good indicator to turn around. This cost us about 20 minutes. After we turned around we found the spot with about 5 large cairns indicating the decent gully. Pro tip follow the cairns and if you stop seeing them turn around. In the end it was about a 1 hr approach, 8 hours on route, and 3 hrs down. We were pretty average as far as time goes. May 25, 2017
I hope they don't mind me posting it here. I thought it was hilarious, and adorable. Brad Gobright posted this two days after he and Jim Reynolds took the Nose speed record from Alex Honnold and Hans Florine:

"Oh and FYI Honnold texted me yesterday that he took my 2000 foot Epinephrine record and gave it a new time of 45 minutes. I knew my 50 minute time would never be broken because alex thought it was too "blue collar". Apparently it was white collar enough." Oct 24, 2017
Benjamin Krick
Fayetteville, AR
Benjamin Krick   Fayetteville, AR
Climbed this last season

1) the pitch from the top of black velvet tower (after the chimneys) to the base of the elephant trunk. make sure to stay right and dont go left. there is a bunch of big loose blocks left that are precarious if you happen to get off route here

2) also if doing the descent at night (which you shouldnt be BUT happened to us) there is reflectors on the trees which reflect when shined with headlamp once you drop down off the ridgeline that show you the descent path Nov 3, 2017
Chase G
Seattle, WA
Chase G   Seattle, WA
Epinephrine speed record: 43 minutes 12 seconds by Brad Gobright on 2018-01-04 Jan 5, 2018
Cole D
Los Angeles
Cole D   Los Angeles
Alex Honnlove just did it in 39 minutes and 50 seconds : 0 Mar 9, 2018
Dave Meyer
Dave Meyer   Ojai
We thought we were raging up the route and Honnold still passed us. "Yeah, I don't think today is going to be the day for the record." Right... Mar 10, 2018
Sean Cooney  
Did an overnight ascent 3/30 - 3/31/18. Primarily used the Supertopo. No offense Larry D'Angelo, but some of the noted difficulties are absolutely Kookydooks (Face start to P5 is much harder than 5.6 and a 5.0 start to P10? Riiiiiiight....). The description here is way more on point.

Missed the move out left on P4 in the dark (note to self, don't night climb a route the first go around), so we ended up struggling like crazy up the chimney. Otherwise, uneventful but very tiring climb.

Only notes are:
I found P4 to be way harder than P3. At 6'6", I struggled to get good traction because it felt like my knees were too close to my chest. But then again, I'm pretty much terrible at chimneys.
The face climbing at the start of P5 is much less featured and, in the dark, felt waaaay harder than anything above it.
Climbed from the top of the tower to the base of the Elephant's Trunk and then linked P7 + P8. Both are solid 5.8, but not 5.8+.

Descent took 2 hours, I think because we were extra delirious from lack of sleep and it was kind of hot. Apr 2, 2018
My partner and I climbed Epi on 4/20/2018. Just a heads up looks like the bolts on the last two pitches no longer have hangers. Also we found a bunch of random gear on route which I posted about in the forums. If it's yours let me know the gear, tape color, and where you left it and we will return it. Apr 23, 2018
Harris Kashtan
  5.9 PG13
Harris Kashtan  
  5.9 PG13
Awesome route and very memorable. We did it right after memorial day and it was a hot one! Definitely would recommend doing it earlier in the year as water became an issue on the descent. I felt this climb was a bit easier than some of the 5.9 chimneys I have done in the valley but still a serious test. The easier side of Plumbers Crack boulder was a good warm up/test for this climb. I had one #4 C4 Camelot which I found useful on the second 5.9 chimney but it's still gonna get a bit run out. The descent is definitely tricky and we lost the cairns halfway down. Certainly recommend doing this in the light if you haven't done it before. Jun 13, 2018
Russell Houghten
San Diego, CA
Russell Houghten   San Diego, CA
There was poop and toilet paper in the crack around pitch 8-9. Looks like they pooped at pitch 9ish belay and it slowly worked its way down into the crack. AWESOME!!! Otherwise absolutely amazing climb! Oct 20, 2018