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Redneck Hero

5.12a, Sport, 70 ft,  Avg: 3.8 from 113 votes
FA: Harold Greib & Wolfgang Schweiger, 7/87
Colorado > Lyons > St Vrain Canyons > N Fork of the S… > Longmont Reserv… > River Wall II
Access Issue: No longer closed! Details


Classic pumpy sport route climbs directly out of the drink. Reach the Escape from Alcatraz pedastal via rock hopping across river, or access the right side of wall and boulder again left. Climbing directly left from the pedestal, clip traversing bolt with runner or double runner (or unclip later). Now, climb the past the corner and up into the thuggish face. The crux comes near the top after the pump is well settled into the forearms. Great moves, rock and fun!


Seven or eight bolts to two bolt anchor from the bolt anchor on the pedastal below Escape From Alcatraz. It is listed as 'R' in guide, but perhaps bolt was added, for there were no sizable run-outs as of late.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Bob Horan on Red Neck Hero.
[Hide Photo] Bob Horan on Red Neck Hero.
Exiting the crux.
[Hide Photo] Exiting the crux.
Fun fun fun.
[Hide Photo] Fun fun fun.
Through the crux.
[Hide Photo] Through the crux.
The view when approaching. DAM!
[Hide Photo] The view when approaching. DAM!
The opening 1/3 of Redneck Hero.
[Hide Photo] The opening 1/3 of Redneck Hero.
Yager starting the FPA (First Pantless Ascent).
[Hide Photo] Yager starting the FPA (First Pantless Ascent).
The route from the base.
[Hide Photo] The route from the base.
Best 12a on the Front Range?
[Hide Photo] Best 12a on the Front Range?
Andrew Tower starting up the 12a jug haul Redneck Hero.
[Hide Photo] Andrew Tower starting up the 12a jug haul Redneck Hero.
The new first bolt.
[Hide Photo] The new first bolt.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] This is definitely a pumpy route. I agree that it did not seem runout! Apr 4, 2002
[Hide Comment] There definitely was a runout (for those struggling with 12a) around mid height (perhaps between 3rd and 4th bolts?) on the route some years ago. Apr 4, 2002
Ted Lanzano
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] There is a good spot after the 4th clip for a red Alien, which makes is it a little less runout. Definitely a great route. Oct 1, 2003
[Hide Comment] Yeah, it's a little less protected than a lot of sport climbs, but definitely don't let that bother you at all. This line has the most clean fall possible, and there's no ground fall potential (or ground...). I don't think most people would bother with the Alien placement, either.

Superlative route, worth the effort to get there. Oct 20, 2004
[Hide Comment] Excellent route. Agree with the comment about "for people struggling with 12a, it's a little runout". Probably none of the moves on it are 12a but endurance is a huge factor. The main runout for me is above bolt 5, although as Ted says the red alien does take the edge off of clipping bolt [5]. Seems like if you blow clipping bolt 6, you could fall 25' (I fell 20' from a little below the clipping hold), but as people note it's as clean as falls get and the bolts are where they should be. A couple of notes - down at the bottom before bolt 1 be careful about jug-hauling on the easy overhanging terrain, some of those big holds are hollow and would come off right in your face. The climbing is easy enough that it's possible to avoid pulling hard on them. Similarly up high (just below the last bolt below the anchors) there is at least one big hold out right that is not too solid. There appears to be a sporadic history of bolt replacement on this climb. Some of the bolts have been upgraded (most significantly the crux bolt 5 and bolt 4) while others (bolt 6 and one of the bolts lower down on the route, maybe bolt 2?) are less than confidence inspiring. Probably the re-equiping of this route should just be finished, but if nothing else it would be nice to replace bolt 6 since if it pulled you'd be going for a 50 footer. Jul 25, 2005
Ben Randolph
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] In my opinion, this is hands down the best 12a on the Front Range. It is super sustained and really, really pumpy. Stellar. Nov 6, 2006
[Hide Comment] Great route. One of the better routes I have been on lately. Holds are all really good but allow for the pump. Some of the bolt hangers are loose. Last bolt hanger in particular. River is running high which contributes to the excitement. Well worth it. May 25, 2007
Jamie gatchalian
denver, co
[Hide Comment] Such an amazing route, def the best of the grade I've been on in the Front Range.

Just curious what it is like to belay a fall on this rig...everyone I have gone up there with has flashed or onsighted it, so I have never had to worry about it. Seems like it could be harsh when you're anchored in. Anyone have any stories to share? Nov 23, 2009
jeremy long
[Hide Comment] WOW! Beautiful, fun route. That 2nd crux at the very top is pumpy. May 19, 2011
Phil Lauffen
Innsbruck, AT
[Hide Comment] In regards to catching a fall, it ain't so bad. You just get yanked a little. I would recommend a grigri if you are worried about it. Oct 21, 2012
Adam Sanders
Erie, CO
[Hide Comment] There were draws left on this for at least a few days recently. This is really not the best place to leave gear hanging, as there is about 200 times the nature walker/fisherman traffic as there are climbers. I have no problem with leaving draws up your proj for a bit, but it's best to use discretion. Maybe the folks that left them up didn't realize just how popular the road/trails are for walking, etc. Let's all make sure this place never has any access issues. It's a real gem. Have fun out there! Dec 1, 2012
Adam Sanders
Erie, CO
[Hide Comment] I went back out there today, and those same draws were still up (over 2 weeks now). No hard feelings, but as I mentioned before, this wall is admired by WAY more walkers, etc. than climbers. I clipped all the draws together and tucked them on the sheltered ledge right above the anchors. They are near impossible to see from the road but pretty obvious to a topping out climber. Everyone who does not own them - please leave them be until the owner has a chance to pick them up, just like you would if they were on the route. Cheers! Dec 15, 2012
Mr. Stevens
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] Not sure if it was because of the floods or just the season, but as of this September 2015, there is no water even close to the bottom of the climb. It's a huge, open, dry area, and you can start the route right from the ground and avoid the traverse from the pedestal. This was my first time at the crag, so I'm not sure if that's how it is every fall. Regardless, it was a really pleasant place to hang out. Great shade until about 10:30 this time of year. After that, it'll bake in the sun for a while. Seems like it gets good late afternoon shade.

There is a mini-crux at the 5th bolt, and then I thought the full crux was going from the last bolt to the chains. Somewhat runout between bolts 5-6 but nothing to be scared of as the falls are super clean. Sep 12, 2015
Curt MacNeill
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] Fun route. Apparently some jugs broke recently making for some cruxy climbing up high. 12b in my book. Be careful resting on jugs that are close to exploding in your face. I came across some wobblers that are sure to come off soon. Three stars for the position although the rock quality keeps it from being a classic.... Dec 4, 2015
Mitchell Hodge
Lyons / Fort Collins CO
[Hide Comment] There are 3 or 4 rock chips in the lower 1/3 that are jiggly wiggly and some sizeable rock scars up above. Lowered in to check the moves, and everything seemed to flow pretty nicely. The warnings from 2005 stand true, if it looks and feels like it might explode in your face...don't yard on it. Climb softly, and it is still a gem. Jan 3, 2016
Nederland, CO
[Hide Comment] Not even close to 5.12 but a stellar route nonetheless! Mostly 5.10 climbing with a few 5.11 moves towards the top. The water is really low right now, dry beach under the route. Nov 1, 2016
[Hide Comment] WARNING: the FIRST BOLT is OUT. I climbed here the other day, 8/30/2017, and after leading the route, my partner began pulling the rope through to TR it, and the first bolt just popped out. The hanger and bolt came out very clean. Threads were fine...we didn't attempt to re-install. Sep 2, 2017
[Hide Comment] Alan - we were just at Redneck Hero today. From your post, I had assumed that the nut had come off the bolt along with the hanger. It appears, however, that the bolt sheared - no stud sticking out or hole where a bolt pulled out. Is this the case? Typically, this only occurs when bolts are overtorqued. If this is the case, all of the bolts should be considered suspect. On a related note, sooo many of the holds on this route are loose. A detailed glue job (bottom to top) is in order. Any takers? For others reading - the bolts appear to be Rawl 5 piece (3/8"). If only the bolt (not the sleeve or expansion plug) pulled out, I saw no hole but...only inspected from the ground (we stickclipped the 2nd bolt). Sep 10, 2017
Jason Giblin
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] One of the best, if not the best 5.12a in the Front Range. Easier climbing for the first half builds up the pump to 2 cruxy maneuvers, including a deadpoint near the top. I didn't feel any loose rocks when I was on it. Oct 8, 2017
Chris Kalman
[Hide Comment] October 2017- still missing first bolt. So, the current first bolt is about 25-30 feet high. Mostly 5.10 but one 5.11- move to get there. There is a possible cam placement, somewhere between .3-.5 or so, before the first bolt... but not positive it would catch a fall. The placement is good, but the rock is questionable.

It also kind of looks like somebody had done a retrofitting job, since the first hole (described above) has been intentionally patches, and the other bolts look newish. One of them was placed in rock that looked pretty questionable to me, and another was placed with the hanger hung horizontally... seemed strange to me. Not sure if these are the originals or not, but they seemed new.

Anyway, if you can get to the first bolt, it's safe. Don't let all these comments scare ya. Oct 22, 2017
Ryan Gajewski
Longmont, Co.
[Hide Comment] Does anyone know the story on the perma-draws that are now up on this route? What are everyone's thoughts on them being up, as this is a very visible route form the hiking path. Dec 6, 2018
WNC/Broomfield, CO
[Hide Comment] Seems like a bad idea to me. Dec 6, 2018
jason seaver
Estes Park, CO
[Hide Comment] The perma-draws were installed by some kind folks (can't remember their names) on 9-1-2018. We happened to be out there the same day. Prior to that day, for many months (years?), there were non-perma-draws swinging from the bolts.

I have a few thoughts on this topic:

1) RNH is a VERY popular route for good reasons. Perma-draws are much safer than nylon-slinged draws hung there by who-knows-who, who-knows-when.
2) The "hiking path" is actually a road with cars and trucks on it. The perma-draws' impact seems relatively low.
3) There have been draws left in place on Big Big Monkey Man, Brother From Another Planet, and New Horizons for long periods of time (including now) that have not seemed to agitate anyone.
4) The real problem with RNH is that the 5th bolt needs to be replaced. We discovered this on October 25th and have not yet made it back to replace it. It pulls away from the wail at least 3/4". It still holds falls, but I would be wary of it.

That's my 2 cents. Stoked on the perma-draws. Thank you to the installers. Dec 6, 2018
Denver Colorad
[Hide Comment] All the skeptical bolts on this climb have been replaced with glue-ins that I donated. The Fixe draws are nice, but it would be good if somebody painted them. If not, I’ll get around to it next season. There’s no reason for permadraws not to be painted on any route.

Also, I don’t see a problem here, but 12a is not a grade for fixed draws, and I hope this does not become a thing elsewhere. Dec 19, 2018
jason seaver
Estes Park, CO
[Hide Comment] Thanks for updating the bolts, ANGUS!

So, in your not-so-humble-opinion, at what grade do perma-draws become "ok"? Feb 28, 2019
Ryan Gajewski
Longmont, Co.
[Hide Comment] Agreed on the big thank you, Angus, for replacing the bolts.

Jason, good points as well, and yeah those draws on Monkey Man, Brother, etc. all should probably get cleaned up, as they have been there for a while. Most people don't seem to mind the draws, which was the larger question, so as long as we all are OK with it, then no harm, no foul.

That being said, I would be hesitant about diving down the rabbit hole of "if this was Rifle" because ... well let's be honest, the St. Vrain isn't (just poking fun at you, Darren)! Mar 11, 2019