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5.11-, Trad, 600 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III,  Avg: 2.6 from 26 votes
FA: Jay Smith, Randal Grandstaff
Nevada > Southern Nevada > Red Rock > 10-Pine Creek C… > Brass Wall
Access Issue: Red Rock RAIN AND WET ROCK: The sandstone is fragile and is very easily damaged when wet. Details


This is a very good route, with a short bouldery crux and plenty of runout on moderate terrain. To get to the start of the route, walk left along the base of the Brass Wall until the good climber's track run out, then thrash down into a small gully. You are now near the start of the route, which begins by climbing a chimney in a very prominent right-facing corner system that arches to the right. Despite the wide-looking cracks, we found that we didn't use much big gear - 1 #4 Camalot was sufficient. The traverse on the second pitch is the psychological crux, but it can be protected adequately with small cams and brass nuts. The technical crux on pitch 6 takes bomber small TCUs.


Small to medium nuts, double cams #.5 - #3 Camalot, single cams #00 TCU up to finger size, 1 #4 Camalot. Mostly trad anchors.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Looking down the wildly runout fifth pitch below the big roof. December 2018.
[Hide Photo] Looking down the wildly runout fifth pitch below the big roof. December 2018.
Topo by Craig Clarence, November 2004.
[Hide Photo] Topo by Craig Clarence, November 2004.
A climber swinging in space after falling off the big roof crux. December 2018.
[Hide Photo] A climber swinging in space after falling off the big roof crux. December 2018.
Susan Wolfe leading the spectacular third (or 4th) 5.9 dihedral pitch of spectrum
[Hide Photo] Susan Wolfe leading the spectacular third (or 4th) 5.9 dihedral pitch of spectrum
Xavier Wasiak and Bob Conz approach the crux on Spectrum.
[Hide Photo] Xavier Wasiak and Bob Conz approach the crux on Spectrum.
About to launch into the traversing second pitch...
[Hide Photo] About to launch into the traversing second pitch...

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Doug Hemken
Madison, WI
  5.11a R
[Hide Comment] Very good adventure route. P1 is burly. P2 is spooky looking, but it has more gear than you think/fear. The P3 dihedral is runout at the top, but has easy moves on solid rock. P4 has more good hand crack and is well protected. The fixed anchors run out here. P5 has lots of lousy gear on crunchy, easy rock. P6, the crux, is just a few moves long and can be easily aided. Watch the loose rock sitting in the crack above the horn, you don't want to undo all your progress just as things start to ease up!

P7 can be taken sharply left and connected to the penultimate anchors on Birdland at 5.7 PG/R, which makes for an easy descent.

Does anyone know what the anchors to the right of P3 belong to? Mar 20, 2006
Las Vegas, NV
[Hide Comment] The anchors right of P3 on the face? not sure
To the right in the chasm is Brassballs (5.10), in Swains second guidebook. Mar 22, 2006
Las Vegas, NV
  5.11a R
[Hide Comment] Really good line- the loose rock kept things interesting for the entire route. Bolts on the 2nd and 3rd pitch are in excellent shape.

Another option for gaining Birdland is to topout on Spectrum, then downclimb and traverse left to the top anchors for that route.

We also looked around for the rap anchors into the gully, but couldnt find them...maybe we passed them on the way to the top and didnt notice?

Also, we sort of decided that you can really get away with a single rack to 4" and a set and a half of stoppers- the doubles are not necessary as far as we could tell. Apr 15, 2006
Doug Hemken
Madison, WI
  5.11a R
[Hide Comment] We used a standard rack, nuts and cams to maybe four inches. Small cams (aliens) were useful in the hard-to-protect pitches. Over the shoulder runners are useful on several pitches, including the crux. Apr 17, 2006
J. Thompson
denver, co
  5.11a R
[Hide Comment] This route is very good. The rumors of loose rock are true, but it has very little bad rock on it. Once this route see's a few more ascent's it will clean up nicely. Nov 11, 2006
city, state
[Hide Comment] I thought this route was a pile.

THe roof at the end reminded me of Vertigo in Eldo.

Cheers Dec 17, 2007
[Hide Comment] So, we couldn't see any gear on the first part of that traverse. The first hold I grabbed fell off in my hands and when I stood up to grab the next things didn't feel any better. To top it off, there isn't any gear we could see from the chimney, making a fall off that first 15' nasty as hell.

The book said there is a bolt anchor somewhere on the second pitch but we could see none. Having a little pro to shoot for on the first 15' would have made this doable. Did the fire change something up there or were we just looking at the wrong traverse?

Also, is the .10d variation on the first pitch chossing off? two crimps with rotten feet to bad gear and a fall onto a dead mountain holly? I want to go back and do the thing, but things were looking grim. Feb 3, 2008
Las Vegas, NV
  5.11a R
[Hide Comment] tenesmus- the second pitch traverse involves a bit of down climbing before crossing the void- a cam up high mitigates this, but the crux has little/no gear (a microcam at your feet is possible).

on another note- i heard today that the horn (finishing jug) on the roof broke off during a recent ascent- i understand that the route still goes, but the horn is no longer there. I cannot confirm that the grade is still .11a, either. Sep 30, 2009
Jon O'Brien
[Hide Comment] The horn broke on me at it's tip but it's still a very very good jug,(sorry, momma grows em big), I can't comment on the grade as I didn't send, I had to pull on a piece to get over... The start seemed shady so we actually pulled the brass balls crux(very well bolted one-move wonder) and then traversed into spectrum from that... we also traversed from above the crux pitch directly into birdland before its crux without any problem(nice way to finish)... route was ok but we enjoyed taking turns watching big horn adolescents below us practicing ramming for pretty much the whole day! Nov 16, 2009
Tim Wolfe
Salt Lake City, UT
[Hide Comment] If it is cold out and you are looking for a hard multi pitch route that does not have a huge approach (like Levitation) then this is a very nice option with some classic pitches and some hard climbing. I can't rate the route because I pulled on gear at the big roof (the jug at the lip is still there and it is great). I also cheated the first 10 feet of the initial variation pitch because it was choss and dangerous. However, with the exception of the initial 15 feet of the route the climbing was very nice. To get past the manky first 10 feet we did a shoulder stand, popped in a cam and aided for three moves - from then on it went free and the rock was bullet proof black varnish for every pitch except the traverse back into Birdland. The final crack pitch up Birdland is also not to be missed. The dihedral pitch down low is also an absolute gem - one of the best 5.9's around. I definitely recommend this for a cold winter day where you need a good all around climbing experience Jan 30, 2010
  5.11c R
[Hide Comment] Very good adventure climbing. I thought the roof was way harder than 11a but it's only 10 feet. Felt like V2 to me.

The route is either hard, or runout, but not both at the same time. Not a route for the budding 5.10 leader even tho most of it is in the 5.9 range...some serious runouts and the odd bit of sketchy rock.

At the top of P1, the traverse steps down and right. There is no gear for about the first 30 feet or so but the hardest move-- 5.9-- is right off the corner so even if you blow it the fall won't be too bad.

The last pitch goes on and on, and if you stick to fairly close to the arete/edge on the right, you will find the rap anchors (I did, in the dark). Nov 13, 2011
josh holcomb
Las Vegas, NV
[Hide Comment] Climbed this route today. Doubt I will repeat it. The rock quality is questionable. The long traversing runouts are on easy terrain. I did not step down at the start of the second pitch and still didn't think it was 10b.

Could someone explain why there is a bolt on the 5.7 3rd pitch and not at the start of the unnerving 2nd pitch. My partner didnt clip it as there was a .5 placement not too far above it.

It is possible to link the 3-4 pitch with a 70M. The fourth pitch is probably the best pitch on the route do to the quality of the rock and climbing.

The crux pitch is bouldery and well protected. Big moves to good holds. Not a ton of jamming technique neccessary. 11a is a good rating. It felt slightly easier than Risk Bros.

We finished with the splitter 5th pitch of Birdland. A nice treat after climbing all that choss!

Definitly wouldn't put this at the top of my tick list if I was visiting RR. Jan 20, 2013
[Hide Comment] A few notes on the route...
P1: For direct start, climb into chimney type feature up to hand crack. Good gear here, snappy edges on the face next to it. Bolted anchor.
P2: Go directly right of the first pitch anchor to a fixed nut then a good cam at the chalked jug. After that it's spaced gear with bad rock all around. Definitely not 10b as the book suggests, more like 5.9, but you end up going under the anchor of the direct start. If you end up traversing level with the anchor, good luck, that is some bad rock.
P3: You guessed it, more bad rock and spaced gear at 5.7 to the last bolted anchor.
P4: Pretty fun crack pitch with a cool roof pull. Not great rock, but about bullet for this route. Build an anchor up and right of some faded webbing.
P5: Go up crack then shoot right and upwards on pretty bad rock and crap gear. Build an anchor in the flake to the right and below the obvious roof crack on #2,3 and 4 cams.
P6: Yeah, that looks pretty sweet. Finally some decent rock. Shuffle left from belay, plug a good cam below the crack and a bomber .75 in the crack and start cranking. The crux is pulling from the jug at the lip to the shelf above it. Finally, a pitch with good gear and good rock. It's 11a, but with a rack, a small pack on, and about 300 feet below you it's gonna feel tough.
P7: Did you think the bad rock was over? It's up the cracks to a horizontal and traverse your way to the anchors on birdland. If your brain isn't frazzled continue up birdland, otherwise, 4 raps to the ground on a 70.

I have done many long routes in Red Rocks and this ranks at the top of the most heads up route. I took a 20 footer on the first pitch snapping an edge. Luckily, gear is good. If you want to test your head, this route is for you. The roof crack is sweet and if it was on another route it would be classic. The other pitches suck, with a lot of traversing. That being said, it's an easy approach and easy rap off when the days are short and you feel like getting scared.
Took a single rack from green C3 to #4 C4 and an extra 1,2 and 3 C4, several small to medium nuts and offsets. I was glad to have it all. Some of the natural anchors can be tricky. Jan 13, 2017
[Hide Comment] I didn't think the rock was as bad as some of the comments here suggest. Sure, it's not as good as the megaclassics in Red Rock, but I never felt like I was forced into committing my weight to any questionable holds.

One thing that I would suggest is to build your anchor just above the crux roof. The topo here and the guidebook both seem to suggest continuing higher up to build the anchor, but there's a good stance and good finger sized gear just after you pull over the lip of the roof. This allows you to place gear to protect your second without having to worry about giving yourself rope drag. The rock at the lip of the roof is also very very sharp and building your anchor there allows you to manage the rope more easily to avoid the sharp edges. From there you can easily reach the anchors below the last pitch of Birdland with a 60. Feb 4, 2017
Andy Hansen
Longmont, CO
[Hide Comment] There isn't much I can add that others before me haven't said but I'd like to reiterate the sentiment that there is loose rock, it doesn't detract from the quality of the climbing and that there's no more loose rock on a route like this than a route in Eldorado Canyon.

A few key points for future ascents: Push P1 higher into the chimney than the fixed slings suggest. P2 is runout but the 5.10 climbing is secure and fun. P3 is realistically only 75' and could feasibly be linked into P4 or P4 and P5 can be linked easily. The crux roof is less about crack climbing and more about reach. Belay right after the roof section on P6. P7 should just meander over to Birdland.

Single Rack to 3" with doubles in the .3-2 Camalot range. Sep 25, 2017
Kevin Dahlstrom
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] Only adding a comment to balance the discussion... After avoiding this route for years due to reports of poor rock and runouts I found both to be greatly exaggerated. Interesting, varied climbing and despite occasionally sparse protection it never felt scary. Not quite a classic but close.

The crux roof is a V3-ish boulder problem and is probably easier if you're tall. Do it! Sep 25, 2017
Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
  5.11b R
[Hide Comment] Entertaining route and worth doing once if you're very comfortable on friable, run-out climbing.

We started on Brass Balls and climbed it for four bolts before moving left into a dihedral with good pro and then up to the small ledge and bolted anchor at the end of P2 of Spectrum. I would highly recommend this start.
The big roof crux is indeed difficult but easy to french-free (as we did.) Definitely belay right after the roof crux, right on the exposed edge, using a .75 and .5 camlots for the belay. This allows you to see and encourage your follower while minimizing the amount of rope out. Jan 3, 2019
[Hide Comment] We loved the route! Some comments on the first variation pitch, which starts 10 meters to the right of the chimney. We found the first 5 meters to be the crux of the entire route. By no means felt 5.10d, it's harder than the roof pitch. I did it after several tries, with some pieces in the crack already clipped, and think it's at least 5.11b. It's difficult to place protection while climbing and the fall is not nice. After those initial moves, really good climbing until the top. Jan 5, 2019
Eben Freeman
San Francisco, CA
[Hide Comment] A great route for cold days. With judicious rope-drag management, you can link pitches 1 & 2 of the normal start, and also pitches 3 & 4. Jan 6, 2019
North Las Vegas
[Hide Comment] To echo Javier's comment, be wary of the alternative start. The day we tried it, the 5.10 climber backed off it, the 5.11 climber injured his finger, and the 5.13 climber 5-hung the start. It's hard to place the gear safely and down climb, and also hard to continue since some of the holds are not obvious. Whatever grade it actually is, it's heads up and serious. I won't try it again, but if someone onsights this start they deserve to brag, so post up! Jan 6, 2019