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5.9-, Trad, 200 ft (61 m), 2 pitches,  Avg: 2.8 from 34 votes
FA: Joe Herbst, Bill Bradley 1979
Nevada > Southern Nevada > Red Rocks > (09) Icebox Canyon > Necromancer Wall
Warning Access Issue: Red Rock RAIN AND WET ROCK: The sandstone is fragile and is very easily damaged when wet. DetailsDrop down


Atras is located on the right-facing dihedral on the left side of the Necromancer Wall descent gully. This gully is on the left (east) side of the Wall. Approach as for Necromancer Wall then walk left until you are at the base of the descent gully. Scramble up ledges about 100 feet until you reach the base of the climb.

Pitch 1: Climb the dihedral through many off-width sections. At the top of the corner, go through the vegetation and loose blocks and belay under the roof that caps the left chimney.

Pitch 2: Stem the chimney, undercling the splitter crack on the left side of the ceiling and pull the well-protected crux move that surpasses the roof on the left side and then fire up the chimney to the top. This chimney is a tight squeeze.

Descent: From the top of the feature, scramble down to the climbers right (west) toward Necromancer Wall. Descend the gully that is between Atras and Necromancer Wall. There are a few slings in the gully for rappelling, but I've always downclimbed it.

Notes: This route is definitely a stiff 5.8 but a very fun climb featuring a wide variation of techniques. There is an easier escape chimney on the right side above pitch 1, probably 5.7.

Also, at the top of pitch 1 I actually set up a belay in the crack below the escape chimney and then did a short, poorly protected traverse left to the crux chimney at the start of pitch 2. This may be a good idea as the crux chimney had a lot of loose flakes that I was raining down on the standard belay position.


Standard rack up to Camalot #4 plus doubles of #3 and #3.5.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Dave following the pitch 1.
[Hide Photo] Dave following the pitch 1.
Pulling the face moves leading to the chimney. The squeeze is just out of sight in the shadows.
[Hide Photo] Pulling the face moves leading to the chimney. The squeeze is just out of sight in the shadows.
[Hide Photo] Atras
Looking down after the narrowest bit of the squeeze. I'm a thicc 175 pounder and I fit fine. Reminiscent of the tightest parts of Plumber's Crack.
[Hide Photo] Looking down after the narrowest bit of the squeeze. I'm a thicc 175 pounder and I fit fine. Reminiscent of the tightest parts of Plumber's Crack.
Looking up from first pitch belay.
[Hide Photo] Looking up from first pitch belay.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] First pitch is excellent, with a bit of novel movement, stout for the grade. Second pitch looked like very poor rock quality, we didn't do it. Also there is a wonderful bolted route on the face to the right of P1 that starts on the ledge, don't miss it (goes at about 10a., a couple of pieces of gear makes it more comfortable, 70m rope gets you to the ground from the chain anchor.) In the end of June, these two routes get shade until about 1pm. Jun 25, 2012
[Hide Comment] This definitely an old school "5.8"...being a solid 5.10 climber would be a good thing. The first pitch is awkwardly aesthetic and a bit burly. The second pitch is the must do money pitch - really intimidating...Wow! There is certainly some poor quality rock on the way up but some gear can be had. Up into and out of the squeeze is pretty crazy fun. There is plenty of normal size gear in the squeeze and the exit is well protected by a number 2 or 3 Camalot. Great route to have done. Apr 8, 2013
Stan Pitcher
[Hide Comment] Only had time for the first pitch and thought it was one of the more interesting pitches I've done at RR. I had just done Cold September Corner and thought that was hard for the grade and this is definitely a step up from that. From the first pitch anchor (slings) you can easily traverse to the new 10a's bolted anchor. From there you can rap into the gulley with a 60m. Nov 10, 2016
Anatoly P.
Las Vegas
[Hide Comment] Joe Herbst doesn't disappoint! First pitch is a a beautiful corner climb with a couple offwidth sections with good protection offering a good variety of moves - stemming, knee, elbow and fist jamming while moving along the varnished face.
Climbing is somewhat bolder for a grade and after passing a chockstone, easier 20 feet will bring you to the belay ledge equipped with numerous slings.
Second pitch is even better adventure of bold climbing and is greatly satisfying. The first section until the chimney leading into the roof has protection although not abundant with a short blank section that is easily doable although could make one feel a bit insecure for a second. On the left the rock is a bit chossy, with an obvious block that would be better to be avoided.
Once under the roof, there is an option to use undercling or climb straight into the outer edge of the roof - both offer ways are bold, they both offer good holds to do so.
This is a fun pitch as it requires boldness and creativity. Once above the roof on a good stance, move inside the squeeze chimney. I have 44 size chest and was able to move through. After about 20 feet of squeeze, chimney widens and you can come on a face of beautiful moon-cheese rock 5.5 that takes you to the top.
On the climbers right below the flat top you will see a tree with rap rings. Go to the block on the back and start down-climbing to the rap station on the side. Oct 17, 2017
Stefanie Stewart
Wilton, CA
[Hide Comment] Like others have commented here this route is stout! It requires a full repertoire of classic climbing skills with 5.10 leading skills. Not for a new leader! You will pay full price for admission plus fees! You've been warned.
Beyond that the first pitch is burly and you'll be doing delicate edging along with powerful jamming. Second pitch has a classic squeeze offwidth chimney that will give you that feeling of being born again. Have fun! Scrambling off the top to the first wrap is a bit spicy at the top. I wrapped off a tree for a short down climb as a back up to keep it safe. May 4, 2022
William Elliot
Las Vegas, NV
[Hide Comment] What a great route. I remember saying the following to my partner, just after navigating the most narrow section of the squeeze on pitch 2:

"There's a lot of Herbst routes where I wonder, 'why don't people climb this more often?' This isn't one of those routes, I get it."

4 stars Jun 29, 2023
[Hide Comment] You want to climb this route ! Jun 30, 2023