Type: Trad, 600 ft, 5 pitches
FA: Jorge Urioste, Joanne Urioste, & John Williamson - 1978
Page Views: 63,382 total · 324/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Dec 31, 2002 with updates from Robert Hall
Admins: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen

You & This Route

627 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

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


A great, easy romp with 5 quality, consistent pitches. Start well around the left side of Rose Tower, up a gully of sorts at the base of a big corner/ramp.

P1: Begin at a rounded buttress just up and left from a deep recess. Climb slabby rock with sparse pro to a narrow alcove with a sandy floor and huecoed wall.

P2 & 3 (link): Climb straight up nice, exposed cracks just right of the major, right-facing corner, and then step back left into the corner at the top, promptly arriving at a cramped belay perch. This pitch is 200' long.

P4: From the belay on the ledge to the left, traverse right 10 feet, follow juggy rock up and into a left-facing corner (or stay on the face). Continue up, being careful not to go too high, and move around to the right to a spacious belay ledge.

P5: Climb up off the belay at a weakness and traverse right again across a slab and up into a dihedral. Continue up this until it ends, then scramble off right and up to the top.

Descent: From the summit scramble off the back of the tower (two short downclimbs may require a spot). From here drop down and right into the Olive Oil Descent Gully (the gully to climber's right of The Rose Tower). Follow this all the way down.


Standard Rack.


George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
A fun and relatively friendly route. The start is a little confusing to locate, I remember that you start in a dark, cool slot, and climb up the face which forms the left side of this slot. The first pitch is called runout by Swain, but it is not that bad (it is runout, but quite easy). The second pitch enters a beautiful crack system.

Up high it can get confusing, but don't forget you are aiming for a huge corner that splits the summit in half, you need to traverse right at some point to reach it. The corner itself isn't well protected but is much easier than it looks from below (not that it looks that hard). The walk off is very easy and quick for Red Rocks. Apr 5, 2004
Scott Conner
Lyons, CO
Scott Conner   Lyons, CO
To find the start of this route, scramble and thrash up the gully to the left of the Rose Tower and beyond Geronimo. It's best to stash your packs just before you start to enter the gully or else you'll have to make the worst part of the approach twice. Look for the corner that George mentions and a rib of rock to the left of it that leads to a small alcove/ledge with a small tree.

This is how we did it with a 60m:

P1: Climb this rib/face up to the tree. 5.6R

P2: Climb straight up the beautiful crack about 190' to a slopey ledge on the left.

P3: Work out to the right and up on 5.5R terrain, make an improbable rightward traverse onto a perfect ledge. Small nuts and cams for the belay.

P4: Climb up and right on an unprotected face to gain the large chimney/corner system. Make some steep and wild moves up this and belay after about 150'. 5.7

P5: Continue up this another 80' to the top of the Rose Tower. 5.6

Descend northwest down some hairy slabs until you hit a gully that heads down and to the east.

Fun route. Be careful on P3 to find the traverse and stay on route. The natural line here is to continue straight up and people have gotten into trouble as the climbing is 5.10 or harder...

Apr 5, 2004
Scott Conner
Lyons, CO
Scott Conner   Lyons, CO
BTW- I don't remember any bolts on this climb but it's been about 4 years... Have the belays been bolted recently? Apr 5, 2004
My favorite 5.7 at RR. The quickest way to go is in 4 pitches. As a previous comment mentions, it's possible to link 2 & 3 (this seems more like 200' to me - we had to take down the anchor and climb about 5' to stretch to the good ledge. Then a long traversing pitch to another huge ledge below the final corner.

We took this corner in a single 240' pitch. The first and last part of the pitch are very easy so you can completely avoid the semi-hanging belay without having to simul anything very hard.

In spite of all the "R" ratings here and in guidebooks I don't think there's anything on this route that would scare a competent 5.7 leader. Apr 5, 2004
I bought a 70m rope just for use at RR, and Olive Oil was the first time I used it. It certainly eliminated some of the juggling on the 2nd/3rd and final two pitches. I combined both and turned the route into a comfortable four pitches. Combining the last two came out to 231 feet--just right. Of course, I didn't see my partner(daughter)often. Apr 7, 2004
After completing the Crux Dihedral, resist the urge to climb the small roundy "boulder summit" in front of you.

The route scrambles off to its right.

Not knowing this, I climbed to the top (5.7?). Nice view, but no way down. I found an ancient, way wobbly stardrive bolt with a ratty sling. No way I was going to rap off of this...So I had to downclimb and clean my gear, by far the scariest part of the whole climb.

Other than that I had a great time on this route.

WT May 5, 2004
In May 2001, my son and I did this route with the straight up variation. It is not 5.10. He was leading the third pitch and missed the big traverse to the right. We kept going on excellent, featured rock with good pro. I reached a crack that went up through an intimidating overhang with a bail sling and a biner, and two pieces of fixed fear gear. It turned out to be about 5.7. I continued up the crack to its end and belayed on top of another little tower. Around to the right was a nice view of the huge ledge below the final chimney pitch on the regular route. A spooky looking horizontal traverse looked like it would take us back to the regular route. There was a bit of rotten rock but it was easy to avoid. Great footholds made this spectacularly exposed traverse relatively easy. There was just one hard move, no more than 5.8, up a little seam to good holds, and into the chimney. May 21, 2004
John J. Glime
Salt Lake City, UT
John J. Glime   Salt Lake City, UT
Definitely three stars...pitch two is wonderful. There are bolted anchors on this route in two places, to the right of the crack on pitch two and when you get to the super-sized ledge before the final dihedral. Getting to the descent gully after finishing the climb should not be trivialized. There are tricky sections to downclimb, with semi-serious consequences depending on which route you take. This really isn't a big deal with daylight, but I could see a potential problem if you topped out at dusk/dark because of crowds, with your beginner girlfriend trailing along. Use caution. Nov 1, 2004
Bobby Hanson
Spokane, WA
Bobby Hanson   Spokane, WA
The tree at the top of the first pitch is no longer in existence. Jun 21, 2005
Las Vegas, NV
J W   Las Vegas, NV
A quick note for folks considering this route. As of Feb 4th, 2006, there are no bolts on this route. Natural anchors are available, but some creativity at belays may be required. Feb 5, 2006
Las Vegas
sqwirll   Las Vegas
We climbed this route with a 70m rope and did it in 4 pitches. Pitch 1 was really easy with 1 5.7 move to the alcove. We combined pitches 2 & 3 to the top of a pedestal after the crack joins back up with the corner (225 feet). Our third pitch climbed up easy terrain to the big ledge below the dihedral/chimney. Pitch 4 went up to the top of the dihedral/chimney. We soloed the last little 20 foot step up and right (very easy). The descent is very straight forward and I didn't think there was anything sketchy about it. May 1, 2006
Danny Inman
  5.7 R
Danny Inman   Arvada
  5.7 R
P2 and P4 are what make this route great. the P2 crack is nice with great exposure, while the P4 dihedral is immense and super exposed. Nov 27, 2006
Daniel Stright
  5.7 R
Daniel Stright  
  5.7 R
A great trad route. There are currently NO bolts on this route. Can be done in four pitches with a 60m rope with comfortable belay stances. The fifth pitch is a short scramble to the top from the belay at the dead snag at the top of the dihedral. The down climb to the top of the walk off gully has a few fourth class moves. Apr 30, 2007
Yucca Valley, CA
Locker   Yucca Valley, CA
Brandt, Cho and I did this route yesterday. The Weather was absolutly PERFECT. And the CLIMB was GREAT!!! and a total BLAST!!!... Easy, and a "CRUISE"...

the VIEW was unbelievable as ALWAYS at RR...

the CORNER was super COOL!!!...

What a KICK!!!...

I will say though that for the rating, it seems "SOFT"... but so the HELL what!!!... it was WELL WORTH IT...

a "BUSY" route in that there were at least five parties. Four of them being a party of three, as were we. Get there EARLY!!! We were the first at the gate and the first on the route. If you WANT PEACE and QUIET(???) on a CRUISING ROUTE, it WON'T be this one, at this time of year. It's "Big Time" popular and rightfully so...

I give it 3 out of 3 stars...

a BEAUTY!!!... Oct 24, 2007
Karsten Duncan
Sacramento, CA
Karsten Duncan   Sacramento, CA
An alternative to waiting for the loop road to open is to park at the donkey trail. Drive past where the loop road comes out, look for a donkey crossing sign on the right. Just after the donkey sign look for a faint pull-off and small place you can weave through the fence.

This approach adds a mile or so onto the approach but you can get the alpine start and also won't be at risk for a late exit pass. Overall it takes maybe 15 minutes longer to reach the crag even though your walking longer because of the time it takes to drive around the loop to the trailhead. Oct 24, 2007
Brandt Allen
Joshua Tree, Cal
Brandt Allen   Joshua Tree, Cal
I suppose if, LIKE LOCKER, you freeload your way up as the third man on every pitch, contributing next to nothing in getting up the route, it might feel soft for the grade. Those who lead and clean the climb will probably feel that the second and last pitches are indeed fairly rated at 5.7. Oct 25, 2007
Yucca Valley, CA
Locker   Yucca Valley, CA
"contributing next to nothing in getting up the route"...

I was there to provide "Comic Relief"...

and to save your NUTS...

Nohing more...

Nothing less... Oct 29, 2007
Did you play the bongos at the first belay?

If not

You failed the "comic relief" requirement.

hit the solution holes with a flat hand. most of a scale of notes Oct 30, 2007
Las Vegas NV
trundlebum   Las Vegas NV
Nice romp.
Second pitch is a gem, but definitely run it together with the 3rd.

From the pedestal atop the 3rd I (following the sun) stepped left and climbed that corner.
This pitch was almost as good as the final pitch, with the exception of a couple small bushes and not being quite the length.
At the top of this pitch step left around a big chock stone,
(there were yellow jackets in a hueco up right)
and up onto a beautiful (sunny) belay ledge.

A short 30 meter 5.4 pitch takes you straight up to a easy foot traverse and right around the corner. Slither down the sidewalk and you can belay off a couple bomber wireds on a nice triangle ledge, in the corner below the final dihedral.

The descent is pretty casual.

-leave packs at mouth of canyon
-Run pitches 2 + 3 together
-get an early enough start to take in the 'Canola cracks' on the descent Jan 14, 2008
Gary Schmidt
Boulder, CO
Gary Schmidt   Boulder, CO
Super fun route and a must do. Finding the start was a bit confusing as the scramble up the gully takes no obvious trail. Basically just stay as close as you can to the wall on your right. You will eventually come to a kind of rocky opening with a nice belay alcove. It seemed like pretty much a dead end after that. On the wall beside you is some faded chalk writing about bolts and rappelling or something. There is a "ugly" looking kind of cave to your right and to the left of that is a ramp pitch. The guide book says this pitch is run out but I was able to get two good pieces (a tri cam and an alien) just below the initial crux bulge move. After that, pretty much a romp.

Pitch two. Amazing crack that is pretty straightforward but will probably manage to catch your attention in a couple of places. Not for the aspiring 5.7 leader.

One note. We decided to take our packs up with us to avoid having to come back and retrieve them. Good idea until the final pitch where it really narrows in the chimney. Lots of subsequent grunting and expletives and certainly added to the adventure and difficulty of the pitch, but it all worked out and is doable. Just something to consider

Bring your headlamps! The descent gully would be a nightmare without one. Dec 3, 2008
Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
Jason Halladay   Los Alamos, NM  
Indeed there are no bolted belays on this route but it was unnecessarily lame of someone to graffiti the rock at the base of the route with a rock or chalk with the messages "Walk off" and "No bolts" or whatever it said.

The belay at the top of the fifth pitch on the big ledge before the big corner was a bit tricky to setup. A BD 4 at your feet would work well but we didn't carry anything that big. A wobbly 3 and slung chickenhead worked OK. Dec 5, 2008
Aimee Rose
Bend, or
Aimee Rose   Bend, or
Why did someone chop the anchors? Nov 13, 2009
Las Vegas, NV
J W   Las Vegas, NV

They were very unnecessary- they didnt allow for rappel (the anchors were only at the top of the 2nd and 3rd pitches), and there were good gear anchors right next to them. Since there was no real advantage for them, they were rightfully chopped. (IMHO, its one of the better chop jobs i've seen- the old bolt holes are VERY tough to find...) Nov 16, 2009
Debbie Vischer
Debbie Vischer   Loveland
We did this in 4 pitches with a 60m rope. The 1st & 2nd belays weren't super ideal (uncomfortable), but doable. The last pitch up the chimney is super fun, esp if you like stemming. The summit is huge with fantastic views of Vegas and surrounding areas. The walk-off is very easy. Feb 16, 2010
  5.6 PG13
  5.6 PG13
A #4 is helpful on P4. Mar 2, 2010
Stefano Prezioso
Denver, CO
Stefano Prezioso   Denver, CO
Approach was fairly straightforward. Once you start to enter the canyon, hug the right wall tight while scrambling upwards. The route starts on a slabby section of rock directly left of a "polished chimney." It's got some varnish in the chimney, and its pretty deep, maybe 20 feet back or so.

First belay ledge is great. Second belay was semi-hanging. Got stuck in it for about an hour and a half trying to untangle ropes. I was expecting bolted anchors (our guidebook was old), and had to improvise a bit with the anchor since gear was sparse. After that delay, we continued up to the belay ledge off to the left for the start of pitch 4. Pitches 2 and 3 can be combined with a 70 meter rope, but we were using 2 60's (party of 3). Our leader hit the traverse in pitch 4, but hit it too late. Your belay for pitch 5 is atop of a large pillar on the right, but the best traverse point is probably 20-30 feet below the top of the pillar. If you traverse when you are level with the pillar, it is possible, but very sketchy 5.10ish climbing. Also makes the traverse very dangerous for your second climbers. We climbed pitch 5 in the dark, which was fine, but screwed us up on the walk off. After pitch 5, which is a rope stretcher. We went up to the right (not sure if this is correct, but is still possible). It was some mid fifth class climbing for a very short period (20 feet maybe?) which turned into a monkey run as the slab angle lessened. Once at the top, we struggled to find the walk off. We spent about an hour searching, but with three people and one and a half headlamps (one good one, one very dim, and one dead), the process was slow and unsuccessful. We managed to make a call to the members of our climbing group waiting in the car to get better information. Here is what we did.

After finishing the short last "pitch," climb the low angle slabs up to the highest point of rose tower. When we were there (March 2, 2010) there was a cairn here. Continue left down the slabs along the ridge of Rose Tower (there is a large drop off on your right) until you reach a small drop that requires some 4th class scrambling/down climbing. After this drop, you are in a small notch of rock. DO NOT GO LEFT. Continue straight along the ridge up by some bushes until you get to a larger drop off with a large ledge below and some bushes up ahead to the right. This drop is down climbable because of the large intermediate ledge that sticks out of the wall. Assist the first person down to this ledge, and then spot the second people. (This also goes for the first down climb/scramble.) Once you have lowered off this second ledge, there is a cairn and the bushy walk off about 20 feet ahead a bit to the right. After this, scramble down the bushy, rocky walkoff to the side of Rose Tower.

This descent would be a piece of cake to find and manage in the day, but at night, things become very elusive and difficult. We finished the climb at around 7pm and managed to get back to the car around 1am. Mar 8, 2010
Las Vegas, NV
J W   Las Vegas, NV
For those who plan on climbing this route with a 60m line- if you are both competent at 5.8 or stronger, its ideal for the leader to combine pitch 2 and 3 to make the belay ledge atop the dihedral- this requires the belayer to climb up about...6-10 feet into the varnished corner above belay- the climbing is casual- 5.0 or so and allows for a comfortable stance once the leader makes the ledge and needs to set up belay. The gear in the anchor, if i recall correctly, would also allow the belayer to set up a temp anchor with a piece or two while the leader sets up their anchor above.

its also ideal for this scenario to play out on the last pitch (if necessary- a 60m BARELY makes it from the top of the pillar to the top of the final pitch). Mar 8, 2010
Aimee Rose
Bend, or
Aimee Rose   Bend, or
How much of a true "tower" is this? I'm wondering if I should bring my hula hoop. I'm looking to hula hoop on top of various towers and spires. Thanks. Nov 13, 2010
Las Vegas, NV
J W   Las Vegas, NV
Aimee- imho, rose tower is really more of a big buttress than a tower- it's not freestanding by any means- rather it protrudes from the side of the hill it's perched on only slightly. Nov 14, 2010
San Pedro
iwaclimber   San Pedro
A good link- is to climbing Olive Oil and then climb Mister Z. My partner and I did it this past weekend, and it was a nice day of climbing. Dec 20, 2010
Oakland Park, Florida
Floridaputz   Oakland Park, Florida
I just climbed this for the 4th time and enjoyed it tremedously. The 2nd pitch is so good and P4 is classic red rocks. Only one rope needed because of the walk off. Great half day adventure. Mar 22, 2011
Robbie Flick
Baltimore, MD
Robbie Flick   Baltimore, MD
Climbed this on 3/22. Didn't see one bolt the entire time. Did it in 5 pitches with 60m doubles. Belays are mostly obvious, but make sure you cut out right after the third belay to stay on route - I've heard of parties going left, which makes for a much more difficult challenge.

Be prepared for crowds - we got on behind 3 other parties. Everyone was very friendly and helpful, however the first party got lost routefinding and the entire route got clogged up. We expected to be done in 5 hours by ~3 pm and were summiting at 7:30 pm in twilight, happy that we decided to pack our headlamps for what we were sure would be a short route. Keep this in mind.

Also, the last pitch felt pretty stiff compared to the rest of the route. Overall a fantastic climb and highly recommended. Mar 24, 2011
Tim Hadfield
Steamboat Springs, Co
Tim Hadfield   Steamboat Springs, Co
This route forces giggles and grins from you start to finish! Especially the top 2/3. Apr 30, 2011
Mike Caruso
Mike Caruso  
Had this all to ourselves on a Tuesday, but due to late start and three in the party, we got to the descent gully just before dark. The descent is no fun with head lamps. Got back to the car about 10pm. Still a great route and P2 goes on forever. May 4, 2011
I have a little bit to add/change. I did this route in 4 pitches with a single 70m rope. No hanging belays.
P1: climbing up the ramp to a smally, sandy hole with a small tree stump and a standing belay (~100 feet)
P2: take the face crack out of the alcove, eventually meeting back with the corner on the left near the top. "crouching" belay (~200 feet!)
P3: traverse right to the center face crack. Beware of the corner/column to the right, when it becomes a ledge, be on it! (~130 feet) a nice belay ledge, large cams for anchors.
P4: off the ledge and to the right takes you to a dihedral and eventual chimney. I had to take my pack off mid-route. top out (~180 feet)
Downclimbing: gnarly 4th and 3rd class down the gulley, well traveled. bring thick pants for the cactus! Jan 3, 2012
Greg Malloure
Prescott Az
Greg Malloure   Prescott Az
There was nothing really special about this route other than four easy and fun pitches. The absense of bolts made building anchors more fun as well as allowed the leader the option of going off route. As for the runouts I didnt find them to be too bad and I dont think a 5.7 leader would have any probelm with them. Jan 11, 2012
Stefano Prezioso
Denver, CO
Stefano Prezioso   Denver, CO
Even with a 60m rope, you really should consider doing this climb in four pitches, linking pitches 2 and 3. As others have stated, this requires about 10 feet of simul-climbing up 5.easy terrain to a good stance where you can wait for your leader to build the anchor. This is much better than dealing with the semi-hanging belay. Did it today, and things went very smoothly. May 22, 2012
A 70 meter rope shines on this route, recommended, no simuling needed with the proper cord.

Done this thing a million times, nice mellow romp. Noticed that there has been a recent bolt-and-chop game being played on this route-I would say the choppers are winning this round. Saw a well-patched hole (you start noticing these things once you replace a few hundred bolts for the ASCA) at the first pitch crux, the patched hole was less than 2 feet from bomber .4 and .75 camalot placements. Saw a couple more patched used-to-be-stations up higher, looks like some enlightened drill owner decided to set up arbitrary stations right by good gear. Tune in next week to As the Olive Oil Turns....

We used a bunch of #1 camalots on this thing. We brought three and used all of them on pitches 2+4. There are a couple of well-stuck nice looking C4s on pitch 2, but you're gonna need a work ethic to get 'em out....deeper in than nut tools can reach. Jul 28, 2012
There are no belay bolts/anchor bolts on this route. Gear anchors are good, just bring enough gear. The pitches are long and can use up gear, space it out. The gear is good for any moves you may feel uncertain about and the run outs are up easy terrain. The guide book gives the best description of the route with sizes for the anchors. It should only take 5 pitches of roped climbing and top out with a 30ft 4th class scramble to the summit. Nov 29, 2012
austin ely
Las Vegas, NV
austin ely   Las Vegas, NV
Did this yesterday in 5 pitches (could have easily been 4) with a single 60m. Here's how:

P1: Climb up the ramp full of pockets, step left around the crux bulge where it's juggier, up the the standard belay at ca. 90 feet in the sandy alcove.

P2: Climb up the jugs and out to the crack system to the right of the big corner. This is a full rope length and then some (210-ish feet), just keep following the crack until the pillar to your left becomes a sloping ledge with a fixed cam behind a block. Since the belay is so roomy at the bottom, the second can leave minimal protection in to make cleaning the anchor a breeze. Once the rope runs out, the second should simul up about 10 feet to a great stance while the leader builds an anchor at the top.

P3/4: Head up and right on the really easy 5.5 terrain. Pass (or belay at) a sloping ledge on the right underneath a roof (70 feet) or just keep going up to the gigantic belay ledge at the base of the final corner (50 feet).

P5 (4): Make the standard step right, and go up the crack until it gets easier. Keep going until you can no longer see your belayer, at which point you should have about 20 feet of rope left. Stretch it to the top and find a great alcove with a crack recessed on the right that takes big cams (#5 camalot, might be a space for a 4 or a 3 higher or lower) -- make sure you don't use your big stuff in the chimney! 195 feet.

Scramble up to the right on a ramp which feels easier than the class 4 descent. Mar 31, 2013
Stan Pitcher
Stan Pitcher   SLC, UT
Great and beautiful route! So glad the bolts/belays were removed. The belay at the last big ledge can be made using nuts, hand-size cams, or just use your rope to lasso the whole belay ledge. Apr 10, 2013
Wherever we park!
AOSR   Wherever we park!
Fun route. Almost entirely in the sun in December. I think it would be most efficient to hang a right at the wilderness sign, hike the trail to the descent gully, drop packs there, then follow another short trail to the next gully and begin your climb. Dec 13, 2013
Josh Z
Boston, MA
Josh Z   Boston, MA
We did this Dec 28, 2013 with double 60m ropes in 4 pitches (although we had to simul-climb the last 30-ish feet of pitch 4 because we ran out of rope), using the 4 pitches in the Roxanna Brock guidebook.

This climb was AWESOME and crazy fun. But I want to point out two things:

-It seemed to me like the sloping ledge belay right before the traverse right (it's the top of pitch 2 in the Brock guide, and I think the top of pitch 3 in the Mountain Project beta) was actually two massive but detached blocks. Did this worry anyone else? The right-side block didn't look to be sitting on much; I couldn't see whether the left-side block was detached or what it was on. That belay spooked me and gave me the heebie-jeebies.

-The walk-off descent had massive steps down at two points, which were pretty 4th-class scary in the dark. My partner and I are both tall, and the steps down would probably have been trickier and scarier if we were short. Jan 6, 2014

Although a very easy pitch we ended up setting up belay about 20 yards to the left of the right spot. The right spot is a comfortable large sandy Alcove/cave with enough space for 3 pple with bomber cracks.

Please stick to the right when climbing the first pitch and you will end up on the right spot.

What made it tricky is that the description on the guide book for the second pitch also matches the false/wrong route that we took, so you think you are on track, until you get half way up the false/wrong second pitch and then it doesn't feel like a 5.7 anymore, more like a 5.10.. at the time of our climb there were 2 nuts with one binner that looks like pple have used to bail out and go down and back to the right route. Mar 30, 2014
Fan Zhang
Washington, DC
Fan Zhang   Washington, DC
Climbed with JV on 3/31/14. Very windy, meaning it was comfortable when the sun was out and cold when it was cloudy. There was one party ahead of us and at least two behind us. Linked P2&3 with a 70m rope. I second the descent beta by Stefano Prezioso (above). Getting off the summit of Rose Tower involved some sketchy down climbing initially with bad fall consequences. But once in the descent gully, route finding was straight forward and almost never 5th class. Descent was a little painful because we left our approach shoes at the base of the climb.

Things to do differently next time: Take approach shoes on climb. Wear more sun screen. Be prepared for colder temps above P1 if windy. Most importantly, on the approach hike in, stash packs with stuff not needed for the climb near bottom of descent trail, thus saving at least 30 minutes of scrambling to retrieve gear at end of a long day. Apr 7, 2014
William Thiry
Las Vegas
William Thiry   Las Vegas
This is a very nice route well worth the approach. Every pitch is good, but the 2nd, 4th and 5th pitches are exceptional. The 1st pitch may surprise some people because the bulge at 20 feet is 5.6/7 R. (PG-13 if you take the left side of the bulge). The route is a solid 5.7.

With a 60-meter rope you can do this in 4 or 5 pitches. Neither is intrinsically any better than the other, it's a matter of preference.

For five pitches simply set your 1st belay in the alcove at the top of the ramp, then set your 2nd belay about 100 feet or so up the crack. It will be a semi-hanging belay where rope manangement will be imperitave because the highly featured rock can easily snag and tangle your rope. From here it's another 100 feet or so to reach the 3rd belay atop a pedestal on your left. This is a fantastic belay spot. From here you step right onto the standard 4th and 5th pitches.

To execute the 4-pitch option with a 60-meter rope you need to lead past the alcove on the 1st pitch and climb up the crack about 20 feet to set up a hanging belay. You can then reach the belay at the top of the pedestal on your next pitch. Nov 25, 2014
Midwest Will
ann arbor, MI
5.7 X
Midwest Will   ann arbor, MI
5.7 X
Great route..no bolts which was refreshing some of the popular trad routes out there are now sport routes thanks to the overbolters.

I have to vote 5.7RX as i look 20' down at my last placement i pretty sure it would'nt hold 40 footer. Dec 21, 2014
Ash Gambhir  
Great Climb! IMO better than Cat in the Hat and less crowded! Dec 23, 2014
  5.7 PG13
  5.7 PG13
Great climb, if not a bit scary!

I'm a Medium-level 5.7 leader. I had no trouble leading Birdland or Big Bad Wolf, but this route terrified me. I could handle most of the runout (only placed 2 pieces on p1), but there's just so much of it. The harder parts were P2 and the final dihedral. I overprotected on both of those and had to pitch-out midway in a hanging belay. We totaled 7 pitches, but I could have done it in 5 or 6. Really glad I brought a C4 #4 for the last pitch, didn't need it until then.

Note: After the P2 crack / left belay, when you start traversing right, there is a sloping ledge on the right that looks like a belay ledge. Don't be fooled. The right-side belay ledge is huge, and the final dihedral/chimney is clearly visible from it.

Also, want to echo that the descent is pretty far from the base of the climb. We stashed some extra water at the entrance to juniper canyon, but probably would have done better to stash it somewhere on the Oak Creek trail flats. Apr 13, 2015
Reno, NV
BruceB   Reno, NV
Such a fun route. We had it to ourselves which was a huge improvement compared to the clusterf**k on Birdland the day before. And more adventurous too.
The last pitch is a total blast, a bit of all sorts with great exposure. There is good pro, you just need to be creative. Definitely not X or R, even PG is stretching it.
Easy hike off. May 1, 2015
Chase D
Chase D  
Climbed this route yesterday and had a great time. A well-known classic for good reason. Bring a variety of cams as this route will eat up everything from the smallest to largest. We placed a BD #4 on nearly every pitch. The P5 corner was an exciting lead and definitely my favorite pitch of the route. Dec 14, 2015
For those reading these comments because they're lost at the base, the start of Finding Nemo looks like the description that the guidebook gives for the start of Olive Oil. We walked by Olive Oil and didn't even consider that it would be a climb - the initial ramp is only about 45 degrees or so. Dec 26, 2015
Mike Womack
Los Angeles, CA
  5.8 PG13
Mike Womack   Los Angeles, CA
  5.8 PG13
A few thoughts: This route should only be lead by someone more than confident with 5.7 climbing. The pitches are long and none of them were gimmes (in my opinion).

Great climbing, but quite the adventure, so start early so you don't have to do the descent in total darkness! Feb 16, 2016
Las Vegas
Scott360   Las Vegas
Fun route, protects well. The 5.7 grade seems about right. Glad I had extra runners to sling chicken heads. For p5, both my partner and I wish we'd taken our packs off and extended them below us on our belay loop--dihedral gets a little crowded with a pack on. Also, I dropped an alpine draw on p5; not sure where it landed. If you find it, I'll spring for a six pack of your favorite beer if you return it to me. See my post "Lost: Alpine Draw at Olive Oil, Red Rock" under the Lost and Found section of Forum. Mar 28, 2016
The approach is pretty straightforward and well cairned, especially with its proximity to the other well-traveled routes to the south.

There are a few runouts as noted here, but nothing too horrific, and large sections of the climbing are incredibly cruiser. Parts of Pitch 5 felt awkward, but generally the holds are large and right where they are wanted.

The descent off the top has one big step down, but again with good cairns it is perfectly reasonable.

At the top of P1 we built a belay about 15' up and left of the obvious sandy alcove. There is a thin seam that goes straight up there, and I mistakenly climbed it (confirmation bias somehow tricked me into thinking the description of P2 matched this.) It was steep and not chalked up, plus there were some fragile holds and at least one that I broke off. The moves never felt harder than expected until a rooflet 50' off the belay. At this point the gear was very very thin and the move tricky, feeling much harder than 5.7. After sketching my way through that there was a nut with a bail biner, which I used to traverse right to a bail anchor in a corner. From there I could easily see where the second pitch was supposed to go (and questioned our rockcraft in thinking we were in the right place before.) Still, it is obvious that others have done this. Does anyone know what actually goes up there? Apr 2, 2016
Climbed this today - Friday in late march, beautiful day out. We arrived at 630 to a jam packed parking lot and feared the worst. We were alone on the route all day. Don't get too hung up on the traffic jam posts!

For the last pitch, we were on the "upper" ledge, not sure if it was the proper one, there was clearly one below us but my partner felt there was no gear to build there. We had no issues walking the ledge then carefully downclimb/traverse to the corner. Mar 24, 2017
My wife and I accidently did the first pitch of the picture below. As it turns out we were about 200 or so feet uphill from the actual start of OO. The climbing was in the 6 range. After exactly 35m I came to some new cordelette slung around a rock outcropping/large chickenhead. Twenty feet to my right was a ledge in an alcove with a two bolt anchor. We bailed as the P2 description of OO didn't match what we saw above. Does anyone have any idea what we were on? I can't figure it out from either the guidebook nor M/P. Given the anchor I'm betting we're not the first to make this mistake...
Apr 19, 2017
Jordan Angus Gay
North Carolina
  5.6 PG13
Jordan Angus Gay   North Carolina
  5.6 PG13
This is a great climb comprised of long and sustained pitches with the exception of p1, which is a scramble up to a poorly protected move out left to a slanting jug rail, probably the hardest moves on the entire climb. The p2-3 link is a jug haul with good pro that ends at a small but amazing belay, make sure to soak in the view. P4 is pretty runout but over easy ground, ending at another fantastic belay. The last pitch is great, but longer than expected, and having a 70m made belaying a lot more comfortable. The summit of Rose Tower is beautiful and the descent is straight forward. If you're worried about the 4th class move on the descent then you probably shouldn't lead this route. Also, I noticed people recommend to stash your packs at the base of the descent gully, which you should do if you know where the base of the gully is, but scrambling back up to the base of OO really isn't a big deal, the claim that it adds 30 minutes is ridiculous. Nov 13, 2017
Aaron Price
Los Angeles, CA
Aaron Price   Los Angeles, CA
Just did this route for the first time this weekend. That move going over the bulge on the first pitch definitely got me focused up, stick to the right and look for a back step against the wall, could not find much protection to protect that one or two moves. In my opinion I think I would either do this as 5 pitches or link pitches 1 and 2. Pitch one is so easy except for one or two moves and the climbing and protection up to the hanging belay on pitch two is very easy, yes the nice belay on pitch one is enticing but I found that linking pitch 2 and 3 was so long that I was running out of gear (double rack + #4 and 0 tcu... yes I do put a lot of gear in) to make my belay on pitch 3. Pitch 3 was quite nice and had some decent moves in the crack for a 5.7. At the top of pitch 3 the belay ledge was full so I made a belay in a thin crack to the right more directly underneath pitch 4. Probably slightly bigger than the hanging belay on top of pitch 2. Pitch 4 is straight forward with a big ledge up top but not much to build a good anchor and most parties seemed happy to wander around there with no protection. Best bet is to get a cam or nut in and loop some chicken heads to make a 1/2 decent anchor. Pitch 5 was my favorite, the first part is easy getting to the chimney and then got interesting as the dihedral climbing turns to squeeze chimney climbing. Did not have a hard time protecting it and as soon as I came over the top of the chimney I just stayed to the right and ran up the last 5.1 to 4th class (20') to the true top, put your last piece out a few feet from the crack to minimize rope drag and ensure good directionality. Easy anchor with 2x #2 and one .75. I had 5 quick draws, 4 normal extendos and 2 long extendos, I kept running out of all of these since the pitches are long and wander from the belay, would have loved to have had like 2 extra extendo slings. Nov 27, 2017
Washington, DC
Pau1ie   Washington, DC
Great route. As long as you stay on route :) My partner and I went left instead of right on P3 and ended up having to traverse right and downclimb to a ledge at the bottom of P4. During the traverse I came across a 40-50 lb boulder that's ready to go (very nearly took out my belayer as he was about 10-15 feet below me as I was getting ready to downclimb) above the far left side of the belay ledge on P4. Was able to get it somewhat stable but still very precarious as I was deathly afraid on the downclimb knowing the boulder above me is ready to go. Jan 17, 2018
Chad Elliott
Las Vegas
Chad Elliott   Las Vegas
Any competent party can easily do this route in 2-3 hours to the top. I wasted all my gear at start of second pitch because pro was so good and basically linked the 3rd with no gear. The holds and wall are really that good the whole way.

Really reminded me of "the Bulge" in Eldo on pitch 2 except with good pro.

Must do moderate. Jan 26, 2018
Ted Pinson
Chicago, IL
Ted Pinson   Chicago, IL
Phenomenal route. I wouldn’t agree with the R (and definitely not X) ratings, as all of the runouts (with the possible exception of P1) are on easy terrain. If 20’ of runout qualifies something as R, then half the multipitches at RR would be at least that. I’m a total pansy of a leader and found the runouts linking P2-P3 perfectly reasonable. Just make sure you place pro before making any hard moves. Feb 19, 2018
Lindsay Randall
Boulder, CO
Lindsay Randall   Boulder, CO
There is a discrepancy between the Red Rock book and this description regarding pitch 2/3. I wanted to comment because both are relevant.

1 - The book lists Pitch 2 as 120 feet and pitch 3 as 100 feet - NOT 200 feet. Consequently we did not link them since we had a 70m rope and 220 feet is not enough... This should either be clarified or corrected in the pitch descriptions.

2 - In the book (the newer Handren) the description for pitch 2 is listed as (and reality confirms)to climb the large black corner... which it is. What the description here says is "climb the exposed cracks"... there are exposed cracks to climb... but they are indeed not the route you want, but the devious finger crack described in some of the comments below.

I suggest updating the route descrition for pitch 2 accordingly. We were fine getting up the pitch of 5.10 with an unprotectable traverse, but the fixed nut and the nut I bootied on the pitch tell me others aren't so lucky. Seems easy enough to fix, right? May 7, 2018
Las Vegas, NV
Ashort   Las Vegas, NV
Got the rope hopelessly stuck on the last pitch where the crack pinches down about 2/3 of the way up. I think a placement was forcing the rope into the crack, so take care how the rope is running. I had to fix the rope and rap down to clean it, which burned up some time.

As far as traversing vs going straight up into 5.10 terrain on the 4th pitch (3rd when linking 2+3), just make sure you move right onto the big ledge just above where the right crack becomes #4 size. May 10, 2018
Nick Buffini
Beverly Hills
Nick Buffini   Beverly Hills
Super fun and enjoyable evening onsight rope solo. Climbed till I ran out of rope and built anchor wherever that happened to be, ended up climbing bottom to top in three 70m pitches. The pro is just so good all over this route, and all the 5.7 moves are well protected (Totems). 7 hours car to car.

For P1 I went left at the bulge on lead, and then direct on follow (backstep opposing wall). Both are cruiser. P5 chimney is outrageous amounts of fun and I found ample pro.

Descent was very easy to navigate in the dark. Head West along the summit ridge (two step downs on the way), then drop down into the North gulley. Simple - as long as you use a compass! Nov 17, 2018
Brice Pollock
Oakland, CA
  5.7 PG13
Brice Pollock   Oakland, CA  
  5.7 PG13
Route is good and fun but not sure what is worth all the fuss.

Likely to spend more time waiting than climbing. On the weekend before thanksgiving we arrived at the gate at 6:08am and were party #4 arriving at base at 7:40am before the first party started up. Five parties showed up at 10am while we were stranded atop P1 for two hours. Nov 18, 2018
Nathan Burke
Playa del Rey, CA
Nathan Burke   Playa del Rey, CA
Amazing route; found it to be more enjoyable than Frogland, which is the only other multipitch I've done in Red Rocks. I found the first pitch had one tricky move to get over the bulge - primarily because the piece before it doesn't provide much confidence. I had a 70m and linked pitches 2&3 with some rope to spare. These follow a beautiful crack system up to a somewhat slopey ledge that is slightly left of where the route starts shading to the right. A #4 Camalot is perfect for the belay here. Pitch 4 is easy but pretty runout by necessity, and it leads to a massive ledge with two platforms. The last pitch is by far the best and it contains some of the most enjoyable stemming, squeezing, and face climbing I've ever done. Plus, the view is incredible.

Overall, it's a route that I want to climb again and again. Runouts shouldn't be scary for a solid 5.7 leader, and the gear is good in the tougher sections. Definitely recommend bringing a 70m so you can link 2&3 and avoid the alternative which is a semi-hanging belay. This is the most fun I've ever had on a multipitch; make sure to take in the views and enjoy the beautifully exposed moderate climbing! 7 days ago