Type: Trad, 300 ft, 4 pitches
FA: Joe Herbst and friends
Page Views: 6,141 total · 36/month
Shared By: blackflyrancher on Apr 23, 2005
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 route is relatively easy to find as it finishes on a large boulder perched atop a column of rock roughly 250-275 feet tall. As you are following the trail into Oak Creek it would be most efficient to keep your eye out for a faint trail near the mouth of the canyon that breaks off northwest at a large, scoop of vanilla ice cream boulder roughly the size of five golf carts or 8 donkeys of relatively equal mature stature. Continue the approach as for Johnny Vegas and its neighbors but cut north earlier - when you are even with the column of rock with the boulder on it - and aim for the southeast section of the column where you will find an obvious varnished right facing corner. Red Zinger will be visible directly to the east across a small gully.

P1, 5.7: Climb the beautiful corner to a comfy ledge where you could bivy if you got lost on the approach. This pitch is as sweet as a pint of New York Super Fudge Chunk.

P2, 5.7: Continue from the belay up and right on some peanut brittle to a short left leaning hand crack. Fire this wicked, two move splitter and head up and left to a small ledge with a bolted belay. Keep looking left for the small ledge or you will miss it like I did and have to build a belay on another ledge the size of Missouri, which works out well when you have to pee in the middle of belaying your second. Hint: if you are on a ledge the size of Missouri, you have gone too far...unless you have to pee. A decent pitch - Albertson's French Vanilla maybe.

P3, 5.6R: Climb straight up from the bolted belay to a steep but short section off of the Missouri ledge; get what will probably be your last piece of gear for 25-35 feet, then meander up and left on white slabtastic rock to a two bolt anchor. Clip this and keep going up and left on a ledge around the summit boulder until you see an obvious and perfect belay crack at about waist height. Mediocre pitch - Ice Cream Sangwhich.

P4 5.9PG: Climb up and left from the belay on steep jugs in a flakey cracky thingy, then rock over to your right and traverse the face (bit of sphincter pucker possible) to an arete. Get a good horse stance and clip an archaic rusty bolt. Head straight up to the summit and a bolted anchor doing some more cool steep moves. A good pitch with some nice monkey moves on it, well worth doing but very short. Pint of Chunky Monkey.

Descent: Rap the route with one rope. Rap from atop the boulder to the anchors you clipped and passed on the 3rd pitch.

A good alternative to the overpopulated Johnny Vegas, Beulah's Book area. 372 rope catchin', lethargic leadin', traffic jam rappin' muthas on those two climbs when we were there (wanted to do Beulah's). Not one soul on The Friar.


A standard rack to a #3 Camalot will suffice.
I climbed this route a couple months ago and thought I could add a few comments to clarify the descent beta.
1) The new Brock/McMillen guide book says, "Rappel the backside of the boulder, and then rappel the route in three rappels using 2 ropes."
2) The Swain book says you can rappel the route with 1 rope, but his description of how to do it was not very helpful, although I cannot say it isn't possible. But having climbed and rappeled the route I'm still not sure exactly how to understand his descent instructions. (Maybe this is more an indication of my intellectual abilities than it is an indictment of the Swain book's descent beta.)
3) The first sentence of the descent info, in the description on this site, is accurate if you're using at least a 60 meter rope. "Rap the route with one rope."
4) This is what we did with one 60 meter rope. From the P3 anchors rap to the P2 anchors. From the P2 anchors rap to the P1 anchors. From the P1 anchors rap back down to the base of the climb. (P.S. The rap from the P1 anchors back to the ground is a full 30 meters so a 60m rope just barely reaches.)
Anyhow I hope this info helps others who, like me, hate to haul two ropes up a climb when only one is necessary for the rappel. The overall experience of climbing any given route can be made much more enjoyable if the descent is as fast and easy as possible. Jan 22, 2006
Anthony Anagnostou
  5.9 R
Anthony Anagnostou   nyc
  5.9 R
i thoguht this route was a lot of fun. unique summit for red rocks. surely, it was just as fun as johnny vegas, if you're willing to do the dicey upper pitches. personally, i thought p3 was probably 5.6ish R straight up to the boulder, on steep iffy rock with no pro (serious feeling) or something like 5.3 R trending right to the shoulder and traversing back left to the bolts (not so serious feeling). then p4 was way dicey, as if a hold breaks or you burn out there is little pro, none of which is great, and you'll deck onto the sub-summit ledge. i definitely call it 5.9 R, but then- im a pansy. you may not be. the bolt is not a 1/4", but the rusty hanger is old school and the combo is not awe inspiring. you can get a decent cam in at the same place to back it up. not really much else in the way of pro.

the rap- single rope raps on every pitch. there is an anchor (good looking bolts and some slings and rings) on a hanging belay slightly up and right of the p2 anchor (further right than the friar route) which shouldnt distract you. there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY you can rap from p2 to the ground on one 60. we rapped from p1 with a 60 and had about 10' rope on the ground. its possible swain (or whoever) rapped from p3 to the lower anchor out right (off friar route) and from that you might just barely be able to get to a ledge off the ground on a 60 with rope stretch, but it is untested and it'll be a headache so dont do it.. Mar 13, 2006
Las Vegas, NV
  5.9+ R
J W   Las Vegas, NV
  5.9+ R
Really fun route- the bolt on the 4th pitch is hard to see from below, but generally, climb the obvious jugs, then cut right to a stance. From there, straight up to the top!

Beware: this route, while pretty sweet, it probably not for the beginning 5.9 leader- the last pitch is pretty spicy at the grade. Nov 18, 2006
A great climb for the grade. Follow the original Red book description and it goes slightly different. Pitch three heads up RIGHT (plenty of protection) and goes under the right side of the friars cap. The original descent only takes one rope and used to go down the steep wall and gully to the north of the friars tower. Step across the gap and look for the anchors (slings - used to be OK when it was kept up). One single rope rappel takes one into the gully and a little hiking down to one short rap off a tree and to the base. More adventuresome (old school) and it avoids having to rap back down the route if others are climbing. Nov 9, 2009
Luis Cisneros
Luis Cisneros   Tucson
I went left instead of right on the last pitch, basically following chalked holds... so I ended up doing an overhanging corner that felt like a 5.10c R with really bad gear... does anybody know anything about this variation? Dec 1, 2009
Great route, Great description!
Single 60m gets down in 4 raps Apr 2, 2010
aaron hope
Walnut Creek, CA
5.9 X
aaron hope   Walnut Creek, CA
5.9 X
It appears that the beta for this route should be taken seriously. Especially Anthony's. Tragic accident. A hold broke on P3 and the unprotected fall killed someone on this route.

mountainproject.com/v/injur… Dec 2, 2010
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
Based upon this tragic event (see link above), should the rating be upgraded from R to X? Dec 12, 2011

  5.9 PG13
  5.9 PG13
you haven't done the route, but feel that it certainly should be R? Dec 14, 2011
I HAVE climbed the route, but it seems like the "haven't climbed it but I'm in agreement with the in-crowd" have the info on this one on lockdown, so I'm going to post a grade confirmation on Dreamcatcher .14d in Squamish because I'm sure Sharma knows what he's talking about.

Ridiculous. If you're a 5.10 climber and have a pair, climb this thing and make up your own mind. Otherwise, I hear posting fan mail to routes you've never booted up for is what the cool kids are doing this season.

Any opinions about the bolting on Silbergier? The condition of the trenched heads on Intifada?

Edit to add: an anonymous climber confirmed the danger rating on the route without having ever climbed it, hence slim's comment and my rant. Comments by the non-ticker removed. Dec 17, 2011
maggie-girl Wenski
Mammoth Lakes, CA
maggie-girl Wenski   Mammoth Lakes, CA
Beautiful route! (If you can find the gear and holds that are in the "good" rock).
p4 was the most solid rock of the climb- great nuts/small cams in patinas along with the old bolt. The rap anchor on the top is in need of some help; we left our cordelette.
If the FA party would put a bolt on the p3 face, this climb would be 5 stars; those ledges are way too close to be dealing with the run out on friable rock. HUGE rap anchors already there, why not a bolt? Recommend building a belay at top of p2 over the first ledge past rap anchor so you can see you leader on p3.
Great approach trail; easy/quick to the start.
Fun, thoughtful climbing with a bolted rap anchor at the top of each pitch. But, probably won't go back to it until a bolt appears protecting the run-out of p3. Feel like we got lucky once (no holds broke), no need to press our luck. Mar 6, 2012
This is a great route to do even if you do just the first three pitches. All of the rap bolts were added long after the first ascent. The original descent was off the backside into the gully with one rappel and some downclimbing. (See post above) The original line up pitch three goes up and right around the east side of the perched summit block. It takes plenty of gear (sixteen pieces last count) and is not the serious ending that many are experiencing. The rap bolts are for rapping and do not define the path of climbing. If done in the original way, it makes for the pleasant outing that it seems to be. Mar 6, 2012
maggie-girl Wenski
Mammoth Lakes, CA
maggie-girl Wenski   Mammoth Lakes, CA
Going up and right on the 3rd pitch to the gully didn't even come to mind. All the topos we looked at showed the route going up and left under the summit block... Interesting. Have to look at that next time. Mar 25, 2012
This is a high quality outing. Unfortunately I was intimidated by the athletic moves required to send the last pitch and spent WAY too much time trying to find the right size piece to shove in that little hole...finally found it and traversed over to the arete where, pumped out, I promptly whipped off. The little piece held and the swing was clean and not close to the ledge...Next time I will try the relaxed, confident approach instead of the "I'm a frightened weakling" approach. Good quality climbing for sure.
May 3, 2012
Santa Rosa, CA
Royal   Santa Rosa, CA
I was able to rap the route with a 60 meter with no problems. The first pitch is quite good and on the third pitch there are two moves of amazing hand crack, other than that, it's nothing special till the summit block which is the real deal. I'll admit the summit block scared me but it was really, really good climbing - totally classic. Improbable, athletic, dangerous. A budding 5.9 leader would be asking to get hurt / die if the jumped on it IMHO. The route shouldn't change though, it's supposed to be dangerous. I felt I was just at the right level to do it - I wouldn't have wanted to be any weaker. For comparison, I've recently onsight soloed solar slab, onsighted mushroom people, and onsighted straight shooter. I'm a 10b/c sport leader in RR. Be safe and have fun on this one folks! Jan 16, 2015
Kevin Dahlstrom
Boulder, CO
Kevin Dahlstrom   Boulder, CO
This route is fun and worth doing once. The first pitch is great, the rest are nothing special but they get you to a cool summit. The third pitch is probably more X than R. Easy climbing on bad rock with no pro.

The 4th pitch is intimidating but can be adequately protected. Before you start climbing place a #3 in good rock above to protect the first couple of burly moves. Once you establish a stance on the wall you can place a small nut in solid rock above your head to protect the short rightward traverse around the arete to a mini ledge. Once on the ledge the pitch is basically over. Clip the old rusty bolt, back it up with a 0.75 in a slot above and pull the 5.7 moves to the summit. Apr 25, 2015
Simon W
Nowhere Land
Simon W   Nowhere Land
An enjoyable novelty climb. The first pitch is a worthwhile single pitch at the grade, the rest of the climb is mostly novelty. Can be a safe outing for the solid 5.10 leader.

P3- Three sections. First section involves spanning some 3.5' wide crevasses to get to the base of a 15-20' face. This face takes 2-3 good pieces of gear and is the only you will get on the pitch. After climbing the face you get to the base of another whiter face with lower quality rock. Straight up is the 5.6 X where my partner nearly pulled off a large (30lb bread loaf sized) rock at the start while following. Up and right from there is a ramp which leads to a low angle arete similar in rock and quality and difficulty to the Epinephrine top out. The rock could break but the angle is lower so it's much easier to keep three points on. The 5.6 would be trivial if the rock was good. It is not. Traverse back left at the top, clip one of the anchor bolts and build a belay at the base of the 5.9

P4- Fiddly pro and steep hard moves off the ground. Old school 5.9 (read, it's probably pretty solid 5.10). The best strategy for this pitch is also not to fall. You can get in gear that would hold a fall but you can also get in gear that wouldn't. The lone bolt comes after the business. Jan 5, 2019
I saw the spot where I think Kevin was saying the #3 cam could go (just pulling up a bit off the ground for 4th pitch), but it did not fit (so I could have left that cam at home). Slot was too shallow. Anyway, a #6 BD nut goes in once you establish on the face, then I was pretty much soloing up and left to the top...which I see now is the wrong beta (Luis Cisneros and I apparently did the same thing). I've been informed that if I had gone right to the arete after that nut placement, I would have discovered a bolt and it wouldn't have been the big run out. Two good anchor bolts up there for the final belay. Also, note on pitch 3 that you can sling some chicken heads for extra pro.

Here's an updated link to the accident report from back in 2010 when Heather Gray fell on P3 - mountainproject.com/forum/t… - the old link quit working when I was trying to look this up. Jan 7, 2019