Type: Trad, 550 ft, 3 pitches, Grade II
FA: John Long, Lynn Hill, Richard Harrison 1981
Page Views: 7,724 total · 47/month
Shared By: J. Thompson on Oct 4, 2005
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 route is as close to climbing in Yosemite as you can get in Red Rock.The climb is located on the east face of the Mescalito. Hike in as if you are going to Cat in the Hat, shortly before you turn the corner of the SE buttress head up hill on a climbers trail. Pick your way thru the terrance above by going up it's right side. You'll head back left(south) across the top of the terrace, the start of the climb is a flat area of dirt and rocks in between some bush's, it is very obvious. You will be below an obvious, hanging, flared chimney that is orange/white in color, this feature is located on the second pitch.

Pitch #1- Head up the plated face aiming for the left side and a bulge leading to an obvious thin crack. Surmount the bulge(on the left) at 5.10a R. It is very important to locate good gear under the bulge...and you will still be looking at a slab/ledge fall if you blow the moves (but they are solid). Once on top of the bulge you will be at a very good stance. There is a fixed piton in the crack above. Ascend the finger crack (5.10c) to a small, good stance directly below the chimney and the bolt on pitch 2. There are 2 stances here and you want to be on the lower of the 2. You'll need several 1" piece to belay here. The crux moves aren't as obvious as they sound...look around. (5.10c, R-110').

Pitch #2- Start up the chimney and clip the bad bolt(there is very good gear available to back it up). After clipping the bolt traverse left onto the obvious varnished face. DO NOT CLIMB THE CHIMNEY! Climb up the face at 5.9, there is at least 1 good gear placement on the face but it is not super obvious. At the top of the chimney there is a roof and there will be an obvious place to step across the chimney to the crack on the right side of the roof. Follow this perfect finger/hand/fist crack for another 100'. When the crack becomes a bomb bay chimney look up and left for an obvious stance on the outside wall. There is a very good bolt here with a brown hanger, this and a very good nut are the belay. Warning!! There are a couple of inobvious, loose blocks at this stance, watch what you are kicking! (5.9, 150').

Pitch #3- Continue up by face climbing either side of the chimney until it pinches back down(which is not very far)then follow the crack system up and left as the angle ease's off and the climbing turns back into Red rocks style. There are several option for belaying/descending from here. If you'd like to climb the last pitch of cat in the hat you'll want to watch for a "cavey" area directly below the obvious crux pitch of CITH. There are sling's around a boulder on a ledge, it's about 200' between the pitch 2 belay and this spot. Then continue on CITH and descend as for the same. If you want to skip the last pitch of CITH you can easily traverse in to the "pancake" belay and start rapping. This is about 210' from the pitch 2 belay and will require some simul climbing. A third option exists, however I have not done it. Apparently you can head up and right to the obvious tree in the rock. From this tree you can rap onto the route "Pine Nuts" and then use the anchors on this route to rappel the east face landing you back very near your pack. This option is less then 200' from the pitch 2 belay. Regardless which option you choose pitch 3 is about 5.5. This route is truly amazing.


A standard Rack, to a #3 Camalot will suffice. However you should also bring a couple of extra 1" pieces as you need them at the Belay on the top of pitch 1. There is a bad bolt at the start of pitch 2 and a brand new bolt at the belay on top of pitch 2. If you want to really sewn it up bring a double set of cams from a green Alien thru #3 Camalot.
J. Thompson
denver, co
J. Thompson   denver, co
The R rating for pitch 1 is no longer an issue....that's all I'm going to say...and I was NOT involved.

Also I've heard that the bad bolt on Pitch 2 has been replaced..again I was NOT involved.

This is a VERY classic route...now that the R rating is no longer it will become a must do. Apr 14, 2007
Las Vegas, NV
  5.10b/c PG13
J W   Las Vegas, NV
  5.10b/c PG13
Spectacular climbing- really amazing climb. Definitely has a Yosemite feel to it, along with the rating! May 6, 2007
Josh Audrey
Josh Audrey   LAS VEGAS
first two pitches are bad ass. little hint to send easier, don't climb in 100 degree heat! Jun 2, 2007
Carrie B.
Las Vegas, NV
Carrie B.   Las Vegas, NV
FYI! At the top of pitch 2 when you find the new belay bolt, there is also a rap anchor 20 feet directly right of the belay station if you choose to rappel instead of finishing the route. Once again, rappelling from this station requires 2 double rope rappels and brings you back to the base of the Walker Spur. Have fun! Nov 11, 2007
It was one beautiful route!
I found the bolt on the first pitch very smart. Without it could be a disaster to a leader fall. Also it enables one to do the harder more exposed move on the left side instead of the 5.8 version described in the Handring guide.
Awesome positions and good crack climbing. We rapped off the anchors 20 feet right of the belay ledge on top of 2nd pitch. The third pitch looked short and uninteresting. Mar 15, 2008
Boulder, CO
claytown   Boulder, CO
Bolt added to the bulge on P1 eliminates the r. Two bolt anchor at the end of pitch 1 eliminates the need for a gear anchor. You can also traverse right at the P2 anchor and do two double rope raps off of bolt anchors to get back to the ground. Mar 19, 2008
Low bolt makes sense, but I'm still skipping it when I go back to lead. Respect to the boys who put it up, too bad history's being blurred, if not rewritten. Climbing above the gear's becoming a lost art around here...On a positive note, the second pitch is MONEY. Enjoy. Found plentiful gear 8 ft from the belay. Would call the first pitch a "soft" R if you skip the bolt. Not really staring death in the eye on this one, if you catch me drift. Mar 19, 2008
J. Thompson
denver, co
J. Thompson   denver, co
So Obviously there have been some changes to the route since I first posted the description.

There is now a bolt protecting the low crux, which will allow more people to enjoy the RR classic.
There is also now a bolted belay on top of the 1st pitch. This one I don't really agree with since it was no big deal to build a good anchor before. But it's there now so no need to carry extra 1" gear for that anchor.

Glad to see some folks are enjoying this route as much as I did.

josh Mar 23, 2008
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
  5.10b PG13
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
  5.10b PG13
Engaging and fun climb. We did the first two pitches and rapped Pine Nuts.

P1 (10b) - Not a whole lot of good gear until the bolt, but the climbing is easy. There is OK gear available prior to clipping the bolt, which is good as it is a reachy clip. The crux is right at the pin (10' past the bolt)... which doesn't inspire alot of confidence - particularly with the ledge fall potential. Someone taller than I could place a nut above the pin, but I couldn't reach it! Off the ledge the climbing is tricky with slick feet. Be solid at the grade. After the crux, a really fun finger crack leads to the anchor.

P2 (5.9) - The climbing off the belay is somewhat spicy. You can get some pretty good gear about 5-6 feet off the belay, and then not a whole lot until near the roof. The step across is cool! Plenty of good gear and fun crack climbing (often with jugs) to the one-bolt and wired nut anchor.

You can't see the Pine Nuts rap anchor from the P2 belay, but it is at exactly the same level and about 20' right. Two raps (first one is > 35m) down.

Gear : nuts, including small, and a double set of cams from small to #3 camalot.

I think this route definitely warrants a PG13. A fall from the crux at P1 would hurt (ledge fall) and the climbing is tricky. P2, although easier, is somewhat spicy off the anchor. The climb is very reasonable and highly recommended for someone comfortable at the grade, but I wouldn't recommend it to a budding 10b leader. Oct 15, 2009
Tim Wolfe
Salt Lake City, UT
Tim Wolfe   Salt Lake City, UT  
Sweet climbing. We found good gear on pitch 2 - small cam then slotted wires or RPs all the way up to the roof. Don't miss this one - it is a wonderful trad route. Jan 29, 2012
Kevin Dahlstrom
Boulder, CO
Kevin Dahlstrom   Boulder, CO
Fantastic route with varied, thought-provoking climbing. I'm surprised it doesn't get climbed more. The "new" bolt on P1 turns 5.8 R into well protected 5.10a (the bolt is to the left of the 5.8R variation). P2 is wild and exposed. The crux is right off the belay - then it's a few moves of 5.easy to bomber pro. The 4rd pitch looked ho-hum so we rapped using the anchor to the right of the P2 belay. Apr 13, 2013
Laine Christman
Reno, NV
Laine Christman   Reno, NV
Unless you are tall, good luck slotting a nut to back up the pin on p1. Maybe a micro cam could be placed in there? Not sure how 5.8R can transform into well protected 5.10 as per last comment. Seemed 5.easy R to a bolted 5.10a move. Also, P2 felt consistent, balancey 5.9 climbing up to the roof IMO so be heads up. Mar 20, 2014
Patrick Mulligan
Reno, NV
  5.10b/c R
Patrick Mulligan   Reno, NV
  5.10b/c R
Laine, the original description in the guidebook had the route going up far right from where the bolt utilizing an easier face.

I personally thought the moves over the bulge at the bolt were harder than the moves getting into the finger crack. I also wasn't crazy about the gear above the bolts till the roof on the second pitch. I found myself wanting an offset Green/Yellow Alien or Totem Basic for the pod that provides the only real gear till the roof on the second pitch. That would have looked far better than the grey C4 that I used there. Based on earlier comments, I expected to find one or more obvious placements before the roof but didn't find anything other than one mental #3 offset nut that I doubt would have held body weight. Mar 27, 2014
Greg Gavin
  5.10b R
Greg Gavin   SLC, UT
  5.10b R
Doubles to .4 camalot for pitch 1. Doubles to #3 for pitch 2.

Pitch 1 currently has a fixed nut just above the pin which can be clipped from the same stance of the pin. Normally I try to clean all gear possible, but my follower is short and was unable to reach the placement after the crux. I assume the fixed nut won't last very long as a result. An orange metolius or red alien protects the runout on pitch 2 nicely.

Finishing the climb up Cat in the Hat makes for a nice day, and adds two mellow pitches after the first two. Total pitch count to the top is 4 (p1 - 35m, p2 - 40m, p3 - 30m, p4 - 65m), and you can rap CITH with 1 rope. A few raps are a full 35m so be sure to tie knots. Other than that it's pretty chill, and all rope pulls are easy.

Really good route that breaks off from the standard sheep climbs of RR. Nov 30, 2015
  5.10b/c PG13
MikeyHeinz   SLC, UT
  5.10b/c PG13
What an awesome climb, definitely a classic and very fun climbing, one of the best leads I've ever done. Greg's rack recommendation above is spot on.

The gear up to the bolt on pitch 1 was marginal, but easy climbing. The fixed nut above the pin at the crux on pitch 1 is still there, seems very stuck but didn't try to get it out. You gotta punch it through the crux until you get some good feet to place gear, a fall here would mean hitting the ledge so I'd say PG13 as well. The start of pitch 2 is PG13 too, I got a nut in some questionable rock, and that bolt above the anchor probably wouldn't hold a fall. Good gear isn't available until the roof.

I wouldn't recommend doing pitch 3 if it's a weekend, as CITH is usually crowded and slow. We made this mistake and found parties waiting to climb the last pitch of CITH, and rapping from the top of pitch 3 to get to the CITH rappel's is a bit of a hassle. We also tried to go higher and right, up to the large flat boulder just below the large black left facing corner, right of the top pitch of CITH. I thought we could rap off this with 2 ropes to get to the second belay station of Pine Nuts, but there were no chains at the top. There are 2 bolts, but we didn't want to leave gear to setup a rappel. Even if there were chains to rap off of, pulling the rope would almost certainly get your rope stuck due to a constriction in the rock below the bolts. Save some time and frustration, and do the rappel at the top of pitch 2, supposedly 20 feet right of the belay, if you're just looking to do this route and get back down. Nov 14, 2016
Jan Tarculas
Riverside, Ca
Jan Tarculas   Riverside, Ca
Fixed nut above fixed pin still there (as of 3-13-18) I couldn't reach/clipped fix nut (im 5'6) so still a little heady climbing crux with ledge fall potential. A must do route

Rappel Beta:
I followed pitch 2 but did not reach anchor with brown bolt where my partner was, instead I did traverse right about 20 feet to chain anchors. Everyone recommends two ropes or a tag line. We initially rappelled the with a 70M and tag line and realized a 70M would be very very close to reaching the anchors. Long story short we ended up TRing the route with both of us tied into 70M with lots of stretch. I would suggest leaving tag line at home and just using a 70M BUT be very careful AND use the biner block method with cordalette extension.

Rig the rappel using a 70M but extend the rappel side by about 10-15ft. Do a biner block, do a single rope rappel. Tie short end of the rope (the pull side) with your cordalette to extend it. This will give you enough reach to use that side as the pull cord when you're at the anchor. Next rappel to ground easily reaches with 70 meter, probably even a 60M rope. Mar 22, 2018
Andy Hansen
Longmont, CO
  5.10b/c PG13
Andy Hansen   Longmont, CO
  5.10b/c PG13
Out of curiosity, has anyone done the actual Walker Spur to compare to this one? I bet this one is harder... ;) Apr 8, 2019