Type: Trad, 700 ft, 8 pitches, Grade III
FA: Joe Herbst & Tom Kaufman
Page Views: 16,089 total · 92/month
Shared By: Larry DeAngelo on Dec 31, 2004
Admins: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen

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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 a beautiful line directly up the middle of the Community Pillar formation. There are many opportunities for variations, and you could climb the route several times and have widely differing experiences. The choices aren't always obvious, so some explanation is in order.

The start: The "normal" start is in enclosed chimney and goes behind the right side of a huge (cabin-sized) chockstone. This is very tight and scary for a big guy, but the slender and flexible seem to scamper right up. Those fearing claustrophobic death have a few options. Benjamin Smith (see below) suggests a chimney to the left of the chockstone as shown in this
My suggested first pitch of community pillar. . I have heard of people climbing on the outside of the huge chockstone (passing it on the left), but have no first-hand experience. In all these cases, the route continues up the wide crack above the chockstone to a large ledge and easy ground beneath a deep chimney. This point can also be reached by a variation start which bypasses the chockstone and its associated squeezes: climb a 5.8 corner about 30 yards to the right (west) of the normal start.

The next pitch goes up the easy ground and enters the deep chimney, bearing right at the overhang. The tunnel at its top is pleasant and roomy. Belay at the large ledge.

There are two choices above. On the right is a long crack and squeeze chimney with limited protection (5.8). To the left, you can ascend some blocks to a clean, varnished hand crack. This is generally considered 5.9, but is better protected than the wide crack. Both options lead to a small ledge beneath a steep, featured crack. Another pitch up this crack takes you to a belay in a surprisingly extensive cave.

Again there are many ways to continue. The obvious-looking (but not recommended) "window" to the right leads west to Cartwright Corner and substantially harder climbing. It is possible to step back out of the cave entrance and climb the unprotected face on hollow-sounding flakes. Another way is to climb straight up the crack in the cave and move left via some peculiar bomb bay moves and go through a narrow portal leading back to the outside and an easier crack. Probably the best option is to continue up the crack (bearing slightly right at the portal) and heading toward the apparent dead-end at the cave's roof. An unseen squeezeway at the top leads to an opening through the rubble into the floor of another cave above. This is the the upper belay spot for all the cave variations of this pitch.

Climbing above this point leads through an obvious opening above and follows progressively easier climbing to broken ground and the unroping spot.

From the top, scramble to the right (west) to a pine tree in an area of broken rock. Rappel cautiously, then scramble down to the small saddle separating this formation from the Magic Triangle to the west. The most common descent these days is to rappel the gully to the north (which can be done with a few 30-meter rappels). The original descent involves scrambling south and going down the Crabby Appleton approach gully with a few short rappels.

An alternative descent, using double 60m ropes, goes via rap stations on Chocolate Flakes. Scramble to the south to a pine tree in an area of broken rock. Rappel west on one rope. Scramble north to a large obvious pine tree to make a second rappel on one rope - this second rap going north and landing on a ledge with bushy vegetation. You are now roughly at about the same elevation as the the top anchor of Chocolate Flakes. Go through / skirt above bushes on skier's ~right for 10 or 20 feet (?), then scramble up and over to the east on ledges; i.e., do not fully go down the revealed gully on trodden tree-bush trunks and limbs. If this traverse is done correctly, you will end up on a broad sloping ledge with bolted rap anchors about six feet below on a steep face that faces east - the top anchor of Chocolate Flakes. Do three double-rope raps to the ground. The first two are around 55 or 60 meters each; on them, you will pass up bolted anchors at about 30 meters (they'd be hanging belays / rap stations).

There is an entire chapter about this route in Red Rock Odyssey


Some big gear can come in handy...
Followed this beautiful route yesterday, August 12th. I would have given this climb a 1 star last night (just because I was a little beat up from all the squeezing and contortionist moves I had to do) but after "sleeping on it," and after my morning coffee I'm awarding it 2 stars. I can't pinpoint why, but this route felt a little magical to me upon awakening this morning, on the "day after" doing this route. Maybe it was watching in awe, as Jonny, with his full rack on , backpack and helmet dangling below him, amazingly squeeze through a tiny hole , when I had thought, "There's no way, what the hell is he thinking?!" Maybe it was the pleasure of looking out of the cozy little belay caves, down onto the beautiful Pine Creek Canyon floor, or the welcoming bursts of cool air coming up through the chimney cracks. It could have also been the concerning yet exciting loud sounds of thunder from a storm system moving North of us, or the birds suddenly whizzing past the back of my head, as I belayed in peace and quiet. Could it have been the rumbling sounds of rockfall, raining down from the first rappel which awoken my senses? Maybe I was just pleased to be able to do a long Red Rock multipitch, in August. Whatever the mystery may be, this climb will be engraved in my mind forever! Aug 13, 2005
John Hegyes
Las Vegas, NV
John Hegyes   Las Vegas, NV
With three or four tight tunnels, this route should have been named Tunnel Vision - too bad that name was already taken. Chimney Vision would have been a good choice too. The morning after climbing this route, endless chimneys still scroll by when I close my eyes... We climbed this route in the heat of the summer, so we each carried backpacks full of water and I knew that we'd have to take them off in the tight squeezes, but I was less prepared for the fact that these packs would also hinder the wide crack and chimney climbing as well. As a consequence, I was able to get my body into only a few of the chimney sections so, for me the route became mostly a face climb adjacent to the wide stuff. I carried a double rack of C4 Camalots up to #4 and a single #5, a set of stoppers, some hexes and offsets, and still went quite some distance between viable placements of protection. Combine that with steep climbing on fragile plates and zero fixed pro, and it all made for some tense moments. Wearing shorts and a t-shirt led to getting scraped over most of my body inching through the narrow points. We left our approach gear at the base of the climb, so descending to that location as efficiently as possible was key. After taking the first rappel on the backside of the route down a chute full of rock fall time bombs, we headed for the gully between the Pillar and Magic Triangle. We found the four rap stations in this gully to be in good condition and the rappels were very manageable with a single 60m rope. If I ever consider climbing this route again, I'll only need to remember sweating and grunting my way through the initial constrictions to give me serious doubts but I'm glad I did this climb. Aug 14, 2005
Las Vegas, NV
J W   Las Vegas, NV
What a great route this was- did it today finally with some great friends and had a blast. The first pitch wasn't as bad as many had made it out to be, but I suspect that is because it is highly size dependant- the bigger you are, the more you're going to suffer. Luckily, Larry checked out a variation first pitch that starts on the left side of the adjacent gully (i.e. the gully to the right) and meets up at the top of the corner on the second pitch.

Also, if you're solid at the grade, I highly recommend the hand crack variation on Pitch 4- amazing! Steep, exposed, and sustained!

Oct 2, 2005
Portland, OR
rpc   Portland, OR
Climbed this in early '06. Great route!

The 1st pitch was the absolute crux for me - took forever to tunnel thru. - had to rid myself of rack, helmet, and eventually my wallet in my pocket before it went. Fact that I'm 220 lbs does not help. Rest is quite moderate but continuously exciting (esp. one of the mid-section pitches, 5.8 wideness w/o pro and with flaky face holds). Feb 9, 2007
Ian McEleney
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Ian McEleney   Mammoth Lakes, CA
Great Route. It's straightforward to get to the top of the chockstone on pitch one without tunneling, but then you're missing out on the fun. The "cave" pitch higher up the best pitch on the route and pretty unique, don't deprive yourself by staying on the face. Apr 20, 2007
Bruce Lacroix
Las Vegas, NV
Bruce Lacroix   Las Vegas, NV
Wow! I've never climbed anything like this before. I was completely stumped by the crux stem move on the p7 variation. Took a long time to figure it out. Wow! Jun 4, 2007
Los Alamos, NM
Aerili   Los Alamos, NM
This route involves unrelenting and varied types of OW almost the entire way...One of the most physical routes I have climbed so far. While climbing it, I thought I was hating life, but this route grows on you after you are done and you start rehashing how great it was. Also should be rated R on two of the pitches (4 and 5, if I remember correctly).

P4 seemed the sketchiest lead due to the fact that the 5.8 sections are not really protected and the placements you DO get for the last 80-90 feet (i.e. the majority of the pitch) are small pro in useless flakes or brittle-ish cracks that would blow in a fall. If you want true gear on this pitch, nothing other than Big Bros would protect the majority of it--no joke!! The 5.9 alternative pitch is a better protected option (our friends behind us took it ... that's how I know).

Route requires a full rack from very small to very large gear. No fixed gear or anchors exist that I remember. Sep 9, 2007
Bruce Lacroix
Las Vegas, NV
Bruce Lacroix   Las Vegas, NV
Climbed this route again, for the second time, on July 3.
We started the first p at 7:45. Most of the route, and all the belays, were in the shade. I used a #4, #5 cam, and a #3 big bro, several times. I wished I had brought a # 4 big bro.
BEWARE, Large, loose blocks at the start of the 5.6 chimney,
p4, in the DeAngelo guidebook.
I would have trundled them myself but, I heard several other climbers in the area. Turns out, they were on Honeycomb Chimney. Jul 4, 2009
Las Vegas
sqwirll   Las Vegas
That 5.9 pitch is a must do. I almost whipped off of it when a foot broke off and I was left swinging on a hand jam. Good times. Nov 1, 2009
Doug Foust
Henderson, Nevada
Doug Foust   Henderson, Nevada
The chockstone on the first pitch wasn't as bad as it looked, just relax and go with it. The 5.9 handcrack was awesome! I really enjoyed the route, but the loose stuff at the top of the first two rappels wasn't fun. Nov 1, 2009
This is the most HILARIOUS route I've done. Watching your partners squeeze through impossibly tight hole after impossibly tight hole is priceless. I highly recommend that everyone gather up all who are willing and do this route!

The following is how I recommend doing this route to get the most hilarious bang for your buck:

Scramble up to the back of the chimney to reduce rope drag. Looking up, to climber's right is the tight squeeze chimney which is the original 1st pitch. To the left there are two holes around the chock stones. The hole farther to the left and farther outside the chimney is bigger and has light shining through it. The hole to the right and deeper in the chimney is smaller and is completely dark. This dark hole is what you want.

Pitch 1: Climb up the right side of the chimney for 10 feet, then traverse left to reach the dark hole. Move up into the hole a few feet, then look to your left to see its exit. Squeeze/contort through this hole and you will pop out directly above the other larger hole and be able to see your partners below. Belay here off of slung chock stones.

Pitch 2: Move belay up on top of boulders to base of obvious offwidth in a right facing corner. Head up this offwidth (easier than it looks, lots of good face holds) and belay at one of the nice belay ledges above it.

Pitch 3: Follow crack on the left to a chimney above. Stay right of a large tongue of rock in the chimney. Jam, stem, and chimney until it is possible to walk deep into the chimney, and squeeze up and out of a hole onto a nice belay ledge. Belay takes 2"-4".

Pitch 4: Head up the offwidth on the right side of the belay ledge. The start is hard, but it eases off within 10 feet. Continue up the offwidth until it turns into a huge chimney that you can stem to the back of. From here, stem/chimney/faceclimb up and squeeze out a hole on the left side of the chimney into a cave. Crawl out of the cave and belay on a nice belay ledge. Belay takes 2"-4".

Pitch 5: Jam and face climb up crack on the left side of the belay ledge. Climb up to a chimney, then walk into the chimney into a huge cave. Belay here using .3"-3"

Pitch 6: In the back left of the cave, jam up a crack that eventually widens to an offwidth. Continue to jam and stem up until almost to the ceiling, then look behind you for a small hole and squeeze through this into a nice cave with exits to the north and east. Head for the east exit (climber's left) and belay there. Belay takes .75"-3"

Pitch 7: Exit out of the cave and onto the face. Slab climb up the route of least resistance to the top. Belay at a horizontal crack .4"-1".


From the top head to the second pine tree to the south west. From here carefully do a single rope rap down a lose gully.

Scramble down to hiker's right to a large pine tree and do a single rope rap to a large bushy ledge.

Traverse to hiker's left above slabs to a large vegetated ledge. From here do a short single rope rap off of a small tree and slung boulders to a ledge with a large slung boulder and two nuts fixed in a crack.

Do another single rope rap here to another large vegetated ledge.

From here scramble down to a small tree and do a single rope rap to yet another large vegetated ledge.

Scramble down the ledge to another small tree, and do a single rope rap here. This rap will bring you to one of two last rappel stations. The first of which has a small bush, a fixed nut, and some horrible looking slings that NEED backup. The second possible rap station is in much better condition and is a slung large chock stone of sorts. However, to get to the better rap station it is slightly more than 100 feet.

I suggest tying single overhand knots in the ends of your ropes and going for the second rap station. From here it is another single rope rap to the ground. Allow at least two hours in daylight for the decent. Apr 26, 2011
The belay spots as marked in the Handren guide don't match up to the description. We went left istead of taking the first tunnel, belayed at @100' on top of the chockstone. This has fair pro, is semi-crunchy, and a good option for us barrel-chested folks. From the top of the chockstone a low 5.8 physical crux protected by 4+5 camalots led to easier face (protected with blue bigbro), ledgy scrambling interspersed with jams, up to a steepish looking chimney right of a prominent tongue/roof that features some of the best rock and pro on the route. The finishing squeeze was mellow, not tough for bigger folks. I topped out this long (210') second pitch to a nice ledge with 1-3" gear. The 3rd pitch was the start of the more rotten, runout, intense stuff. Used 2 bros (green+blue) and all the big cams on the pitch. Still runout, still spooky considering the hollowness that's mandatory to get up the pitch. Belay took 2 hand-size hexes and the #5 cam. Spooky rock continues on P4 but easier and more fun climbing; good jams and pro the whole way. The belay cave took any size cams and was impressive and spacious. P5 was the psychological crux-numerous bad-looking options presented themselves, from the chalk it looked like a lot of scratching around was done before the last party committed+went for it. Head up the interesting crack in the corner you're belaying out of, place a six high (possible #4 6' higher for the paranoid and/or cautious), then step back down and head out a bottomless flare that aims east and has pretty wild moves. The climbing doesn't relent entirely til the belay, the most consistent 5.8 on the route. Last pitch runs out the rope on low 5th class up to a big flat ledge in sight of a tree that marks the descent gully. Use of a few pieces will keep the rope running smoothly, otherwise snag potential might waste some time.

Descent beta: one 70 works perfectly on the raps, the first tree you see with slings at head height is an easy no-hands walkdown, head towards the Magic Triangle, don't bother with the rappel. The next tree is at the top of the Triangle gully proper, and is pretty short-50' or so off of small trees linked with a lot of cord and extended pretty far towards the lip. There's an interesting looking hole in the ledge not far down this rap-don't use this unless you brought 2 ropes. With a single, touch down beside the hole and walk climber's right to a slung boulder/nut anchor. A full rope rap puts you 25' above another tree, a solid scrub oak. I replaced the bleached slings on this one with a new dyneema. Another full length single rap leads to scrambling down the easternmost side of the gully to the final rap tree. On this rap, even with a 70, you'll come up 8 feet short. Aim slightly right to an easy varnished corner that is fine to downclimb at 5.3 or so. This lands you 20' from the base of Small Purchase and a 2 minute walk to your packs.

This climb is more physical and draining than you'd expect from the grade and length; I strongly suggest the late exit pass even with an early start. This thing kind of feels like Tunnel Vision's mean-ass grandaddy, and with the possibility of snags being strong on the raps, the runouts requiring care and sure movement, and the choss factor, it's definitely pretty challenging for the grade. We brought too much gear but I'd suggest small-med wires only, two-three large hexes to free up cams for the leads, single rack from .3-6, with doubles from .4-3, and either purple-blue bigbros or another set of #4-6 cams. A bunch or cord to back up and/or replace the worst slings on the descent would be wise. Not wearing a helmet on a loose, wide physical route like this would be really, really dumb. Additionally, the physical, wide nature of the climb means that carrying even a very small pack on the route or a pair of approach shoes on the harness will significantly interfere with your climbing. We each took a nalgene clipped to the harness and that was trouble enough for us. Nov 2, 2011
A Herbst Masterpiece to be sure; this is among the most interesting and unique climbs in all of Red Rocks. Make no mistake, however, the crux pitch is burly; especially for moderate trad adventure climbers such as ourselves: You are faced with a choice between tough unprotected offwidth squirming or a beautifully varnished steep, sustained, and difficult handcrack. Attempting to place our #6 Camalot in the offwidth was basically laughable....maybe the largest Big-Bro would work(?) Also, please note the last double rope rappel on the descent comes up short by about 50 feet. We veered to skiers right and found a slung shrub equalized with a creaky nut and tried not to fully weight the rope for this last short rap to the ground. All in all a beautiful and memorable adventure climb...not to be missed! Apr 7, 2012
Dan Birman
Berlin, DE
Dan Birman   Berlin, DE
For a full caving experience, do the caving descent. After topping out drop into the chimney between you and the obvious pine tree following some cairns. Go to the back and chimney down, walk out 50 feet and chimney under another chockstone. Hug the right wall and head north towards another obvious pine tree with rap slings. Ignore the slings and chimney down to the bushy ledge, cross the slabs (west) to a bolted rappel. Be careful to rappel behind the chockstone for full value. After this, unfortunately, we were unable to locate any more chimneys. Mar 12, 2014
Climbed this last week and did the left corner variation to start and avoid the first chimney per a recommendation- went at about 5.8 on fun, steep huecos. Rock quality is a wee bit suspect but just be gentle and check holds.

The hand-fist crack variation was super fun, steep jugs and crack moves, recommended!

The pitch lengths that I climbed definitely didn't line up with Handren's book, but just have your belayer keep you updated on the length of rope out and you'll find good spots to belay every 100-150 feet. Oct 14, 2014
Tim Wolfe
Salt Lake City, UT
Tim Wolfe   Salt Lake City, UT  
Crazy route. Totally worth doing for the unique climbing. Be sure you can strip everything off your body to make the squeeze moves on pitch 1 and on the cave pitch. To me the best pitch was the "5.9" hand crack. Just climb the overhanging corner straight above the belay (not to the right towards the off width) - it has great holds, good stemming and bomber gear. Continue straight up for a full 70 meters of great varied sized crack climbing to the belay in the cave (just as you run out of rope). Careful gear use will get you all the way there to a great belay. The cave pitch is crazy too - with an unseen exit out a window on the wall behind the climber just as they hit the top of the cave crack. You do not need any big gear on the entire route as it is either small gear or too big to protect- a single rack, double 2 inch and 3 inch with a single #4 camalot - worked fine.

BTW - we recovered a size 10.5 shoe - 5.10 guide tennie. If someone lost it and wants it back let me know. Nov 22, 2014
Rico Tan  
Amazing route !!! I thought this route is 10 times better than Tunnel Vision , can't believe this is not an ultra classic. Every pitch is unique and sustained for the grade . The first pitch rabbit hole is so tight I thought I was gonna get stuck but my partner who is way "less skinnier" than I also made through it. The cave pitch is so wild !! The last pitch doesn't have to be class 4 if you go through the triangle smooth tunnel and do some fun stemming like we did. Highly recommend this route. Wear long sleeve if you don't want the forearms to get too scratched up. I had double 0.5-#4 and a #5, double the nuts and TCU, and X4 01.-0.4,lots of slings and double length for reducing rope drag. Seems like a lot of gear and at times interfere with the off width climbing , but they all come in handy when building anchors and makes the run outs a little less scary. Apr 2, 2015
Mary Lane
Mary Lane   Nevada
I have done this route twice this winter and have some comments.

P1: We have done this by starting both to the left and to the right. The right side adds about 8 ft of squeeze chimneying and it is tight. I am a 5'8" female and with a fleece on I move through pretty snug. It is impossible to tunnel through w/ a day pack on so consider dangling it from your PAS or having the leader lower a section of rope through the holes at the belay and pull it up. All that being said- this is my favorite part of the route. The initial moves into the hole seem improbable but just go for it. Protects with a #1 & #2. The left start requires a tricky traverse left before diving into the mess of chockstones. You will still have to go through a smaller section of chimneying but your rope drag will be heinous.

P3: The 2nd go around we did the variation. Let me just say, for all those Indian Creek addicts, I would NOT call this pitch a "beautiful hand crack", not even by Red Rock standards. The start is a bit cruxy and has a bouldery feel but ends on jugs. The mid-section is steeper than the rest of the route and the crack just has a weird feel. It is kind of an offset shallow corner. That being said this is still a really cool pitch and a great way to skip more OW and there ARE handjams to be had. Doing the variation led us up and past the P3 belay ledge and straight into the P4 cave belay. Only had 10ft of rope left on our 70m.

Descent Info: The descent kinda screwed us up our first go around as there are several descent variations. We found that the best descent information came from the picture posted by Larry DeAngelo and the Descent beta from Benjamin Smith. I recommend scouting out the descent from the Pine Creek trail before you start ascending to the base of the route. Follow Smiths directions for the first 2 rappels then follow the slabby ledge to skiers left and the ONLY discrepancy is that where the next 4 rappels start there are now 2 bolts for anchors whereas Smith says to look for a "small tree and slung boulders." We rapped through the hole subsequently bypassing the chockstone/nut belay situation. Also- at least 2 of our rappels would not have worked with just a 60m so not sure what people were saying there. If you only have a 60m you WILL have to do some downclimbing.

I LOVE this route. Its a grunt and I'm still sore from chimneying but it is definitely classic. Apr 7, 2015
Santa Rosa, CA
Royal   Santa Rosa, CA
If you like caving and tunneling on routes, this is the one for you. It's a real hoot. The approach trail leaves something to be desired, but the route is really great. The 'handcrack' variation is indeed 5.9, but it's a stretch to call it a handcrack. It may follow a crack, but hand jams are rare and it's a fairly awkward pitch. It is readily protectable however. Towing anything bulky on the first pitch is recommended. Don't bring a pack. Big cams won't do you much good, I'd leave them home. Descent wise there is a walk off - it is possible to walk up and over the summit of Magic Mountain and descend via the Olive Oil gully with out ever rappelling. This takes as long or probably longer than the standard rappels and requires some easy 5th class / hard 4th. The route is fairly obvious but has no cairns till the very end. Oct 3, 2015
Mike S  
A double set to #3 Camalots and a single #4 was just about perfect for me on this route. Only the largest of cams or bros would protect many of the squeeze chimney sections. These feel quite secure and have the added benefit of many face holds. Nov 4, 2015
Flava Flav
Seattle, WA
Flava Flav   Seattle, WA
After a dozen people asking me if I had done this, I finally did it. OW variation was nice and bold feeling with my #6 at the bottom. Another #6 or Bro would have made it reasonable. It pinches off and I placed and moved a #5 up a few times. A single rack to 7" with a few extra hand pieces made the day relaxed. Chockstone went fine for me, but I live for chimneys. Apr 7, 2016
North Las Vegas
Rprops   North Las Vegas
Worst climb of my life. Lost no gear, got no ropes stuck. Found the raps just fine. Worst climb ever. Four star route. Sep 1, 2016
Bill Lawry
New Mexico
  5.8 PG13
Bill Lawry   New Mexico
  5.8 PG13
P1: Do the squeeze chimney on the right side beneath the chock stone as follows (edit to add: we tried this - seems to work ok although some potential for pack to get stuck during hauling up outside the route) ...

1) On lead, take only a half dozen cams: 0.75" to 3". Save a couple 3" pieces for the belay just above the chockstone. Put ALL/ONLY that gear with slings on your left gear loop and leave EVERYTHING else behind including any helmet, wallet, etc.. Go left side in.

2) Once above the chock stone, find an independent outward opening and lower your rope to haul everything else up that you'll want on the rest of the route.

Mebs that makes it easier for us ... cough, cough ... buxom men and barrel-chested women. ;-)

Re: the 5.8 OW pitch (#3?) and having led it with two ~7" pieces, I do think having four such big pieces would be helpful. And that is in addition to occasionally reaching deep inside to place smaller pieces that would otherwise be large pieces on a standard rack (i.e., 4 or 5"). Oct 16, 2016
David Bruneau
St. John
  5.7 R
David Bruneau   St. John  
  5.7 R
Similar to Tunnel Vision but more enjoyable. A little more loose as well but nothing dangerously so. Besides the ungradable squeeze-trauma on P1 it felt easier than 5.8 OW or Chimney. After trying twice unsuccesfully, I removed a couple layers of clothing and untied from the rope and fit through with some exhaling...

The long right-side crack on P3 is very well featured and turns into a widening chimney after 40 feet, I don't see how one could fall out after that point. Pro is good for the first 40 feet with cams to #5 and smaller pro in adjacent cracks. 90 feet up the pitch you can go deep into the chimney to a varnished finger crack that takes excellent pro.

The cave pitch was the best, we went the recommended way here and what seemed to be the most obvious line. It was quite easy after the first couple moves. Just go up the awesome varnished corner crack on the back wall then trend right to another varnished crack where you will then see a window up and left to crawl through.

We rapped the Magic Triangle gully, indicated by 4 arrows in the Handren guide. It went with a single 68m rope but I hit the knots on most rappels, including the last, most exposed rap. I don't think it would go with a single 60m rope, unless I missed an intermediate station. Dec 3, 2016
M Bageant
Los Angeles, CA
M Bageant   Los Angeles, CA
Holy crap this route was amazing! It felt like the McDonald's PlayPen of rock climbing to me. I cackled in glee and delight as we squirmed through holes and found improbable tunnels in the ceiling of caves. The 5.9 hand crack variation felt like it was transplanted off another climb, awesome pitch but airy and continuous instead of burly and puzzling.

For the 5.9 variation, a single rack with to 4 doubles in 0.4 to 1 or 2 would serve you well. The 5.9 crack also takes nuts surprisingly well.

Be *very* careful about loose rock on the last 4th class stuff. I almost pitched myself and a completely detached bench-sized shelf of chickenheads into space.

This is one of my favorite climbs of all time but one of my least favorite descents--not in the least because I mucked it up. But because I want to share the joy of this route, here is what I can find about the descent, so when you're looking at the Mountain Project app in the dark you can thank me.

Option 1 (not preferred): This is the descent that Benjamin Smith and Cunning Linguist describe, updated to the way I found it in March 2017. Not preferred because you rap a loose gully, a lot of this tat is looking a little aged, and because you can't quite make all the raps without a long 70m rope.
  • When you top out, you'll walk "into the cliff" past the summit and locate a big pine tree with some cord on it. Rap North down the *loose* gully to a big ledge where you can unrope.
  • Walk down and skier's right to an easy scramble down to another sizable pine tree with slings. Rap to the East to land on this huge, exposed, 4th class ledge.
  • Pull your rope and walk to the skier's left to the bushy area. Where there is a big cairn right on the edge there are two bolts on the ground, with some tat. Rap straight down to a smaller ledge with two nuts and some slung boulders. Don't go down the chockstone hole if you have a single.
  • Rap straight down again, a long rap, to another big two-tier ledge. On the bottom tier you'll find a small sturdy oak slung.
  • Rap straight down again to another sizeable vegetated ledge. If you look down East (skier's right) of this ledge you'll see a tunnel of bushes. Straight down North is a blank face that you don't want to rap with a single.
  • Either scramble or rap East down the bushy tunnel for a pretty long ways. It's pretty slippery but doable. We rapped (left a green sling on a sturdy pine tree on the East side of the ledge) and the rope didn't get stuck on anything. You'll come to another small but sturdy tree backed up with some stuff.
  • From this tree, with a 70m rope, you will be only a few feet off the ground, and you may have to unrope and downclimb. (My Sterling 70m rope put us about 3' off the ground.) The ground slopes up to climber's left and there are some alcoves you could easily downclimb. I don't know where the intermediate rap would be with a 60m.
  • Hike right following the base of the rock until you find the trail down.

Option 2: I did not get to try this option, but this beta is firsthand from someone who has done it twice and claims that this way is the best way.
  • From the top of the feature, scramble down and climber's right with a little bit of downclimbing. Work down to a ledge with a pine tree with slings.
  • Rap WEST (deeper into the canyon); this rap supposedly looks "improbable." You go over a bulge/slab thing and come to a ledge. You unrope and hike down a trail a bit until you find the next rap.
  • It is then 3 more single-rope raps interspersed with scrambling down a gully to the ground.

Derek Doucet had this to say on the forums:
As I recall, from the top of the last 5th class pitch, exit the cave climber's left and scramble up and slightly right for a couple of minutes up the obvious path of least resistance. This deposits you on a large ledge with a big pine with obvious rap slings above a troublingly loose gully. Don't use this rap. Instead, turn sharp right and scramble down 3rd / 4th in another small gully. At one point this requires tunneling under a chockstone. After about 75', this deposits you on a second large ledge. Turn skiers' right and spot another large pine with rap slings positioned high on the trunk. Rap from here down to a scruffy ledge and traverse skiers' left into a large sandstone bowl. Look for a cairn on the far side of the bowl. It marks the location of a bolted rap anchor driven straight down into the slab at the lip of the bowl. . Rap from here down a huge chimney, landing on another brushy ledge. The next rap is from an obvious medium sized tree (an oak as I recall). This deposits you on yet another brushy ledge. Scramble perhaps 30' down and skiers' left to a bolted anchor. From here, a 195' rap reaches the ground. Turn skiers' right and walk ~ 5 minutes to the base of the route. We found this descent to be straightforward and efficient with good pulls. There was a section or two of loose rock as well, but nothing an attentive party need worry about.

And the good folks who write chossclimbers.com have a good photo of the gully and the raps at the bottom of this page. Apr 10, 2017
Sean Cooney
Sean Cooney  
Did this 12/10/17 with near perfect conditions - a touch cold but clear skies and no wind. This climb easily made my top 5 Red Rocks climbs because it is varied, interesting, and has some very cool features. I did leave my sunglasses in the cave, so if anyone climbs this and finds them, shoot me a message!!

8/30/18 Edit: Did it again today using the alternate start. The 5.8 corner is a bit funky and stout for the grade. Did it in four pitches with an 80 meter rope. P1: Ground to the top of the chimney (80m); P2: Top of chimney to cave (70m+); P3: Cave pitch; P4: Upper cave to top. On P1, rope drag can be avoided if you don't place gear through the 4th class middle section.

A couple of additional bits of beta:

My climbing partner, who is quite buxom (DD) simply could not fit through the squeeze on pitch 1 because her bust got in the way. I had to lower the rope through the gap in the chockstone and belay her up that way. That was fairly easy to follow, but the holds are fragile and she broke one on the way up.

The 5.9 hand crack I would rate at 5.9+/10a because it is steep, sustained, and has a couple distinct cruxy sections. It also has very little in the way of good stances to place gear, adding to the enduro-factor. As a point of comparison, it is way harder than the 5.9 second pitch on Dream of Wild Turkeys.

Followed the route description descent beta w/ Mary Lane's additional beta and we got down without getting lost. My only comment is on the first rap: The first one down *needs* to take shelter from falling rock. I told my my partner to hide behind a big boulder and seconds later our third dislodged a grapefruit sized rock that flew right where she had been standing.

All-in-all, this climb is physical, demands a variety of skills, but is far more interesting than the standard Red Rocks classics. Dec 11, 2017
James Elric
James Elric   rockville
If you go right into the chimney squeeze i found it to be quite gnarly. Im 5-8 , 155 pounds...ill jump out to on a high exposure face climb over that crack anyday....but it was dope. I highly reccomend if u can fit.

Overall a great route. Was 100 and sunny today but felt like high 60s in those awesome caves and cracks. Even on the rappel we never had direct sun for more than a hot second

Quite the litany of fascinating features. Bit physical for chimney noobs like me but no fingrr pump.

70m for sure. Did it 5 pitches and the raps would have been tedious on a 60 Aug 31, 2018
I'm 5'10" 175 lbs. and the 1st pitch squeeze chimney was awful. I should have paid more attention to the warnings and went around. I don't see how anyone bigger than me could possibly fit. The upper pitches are awesome so it was still totally worth it. Did half the decent in the dark with a single 60m which I don't recommend. Though rapping through a tunnel by headlamp was pretty cool. I should have got an earlier start. Single #5 cam was useful. 5.8 upper squeeze chimney isn't too bad if you don't mind placing gear in thin flakes. Nov 21, 2018
We were able to rappel down Chocolate Flakes with no problem using our 80m rope. I believe a single 70m rope would work as well with no shenanigans. After the second tree rappel from the summit, scramble skier's R, directly along the cliff face, past some bushes for ~20'. You'll find a bolted rap station on the NE facing wall about 5' below the ledge. This is the top of Chocolate Flakes. All bolted anchors will get you down to the ground. Nov 22, 2018