Type: Trad, Alpine, 600 ft, 6 pitches
FA: Kor & Bossier, 1963
Page Views: 7,249 total · 40/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Jul 12, 2004
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

34 Opinions

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Red Wall is one of the two major lines on Chasm View Wall. While it has some quality climbing, it also has a lot of ledgey terrain and, particulary at the top, loose crap. It is probably a good climb if you've done everything else in the area, but I think the Casual Route is a way better climb at the grade (and not too much longer).

Approach: from Chasm Lake, you can clearly identify the long 5.7 ramp of the first pitch and the 10c dihedral/pillar above. Actually, you can pretty much see every pitch. Scramble in from the left up 4th class ledges to the very base of the first pitch - there is a big grassy ledge here. If you stop any sooner, you'll probably end up having to simul-climb some to reach the first belay.

P1. Climb a long, exposed, left-trending ramp (5.7) to a ledge at the base of a nice finger crack in an obvious right-facing dihedral. Depending on your choice of second pitches, belay here at a ring pin, or step left around the corner, walk along a narrow ledge, and belay at below a small roof and perfect hand crack in a second right-facing corner. This is a long pitch.

P2 (Option 1). This is the first option you come to. Take the striking finger crack up the gradually-steepening corner. Belay up and left, 5.10c/d.

P2 (Option 2): Around the corner, take the really nice hand crack for 30 feet, then continue up a strange dihedral/chimney for another 25 feet, 5.8.

P3. This is the rumored "death flake" pitch. Climb up and left off the belay and up into a six-inch crack that is formed by the margins of two huge flakes. Both of these flakes are hollow, but neither felt like they were "about to go." Nevertheless, I kept my pro in the left (and better of the two). Climb these flakes with combinations of jamming and liebacking (all very secure), and then stand up onto the top of the righthand flake: this is perhaps the scariest moment - the flake is approximately 45' high, 8' wide, and 1-2' thick, and only attached at its base. Historically the belay is from slings around the top of this flake and a 1/4" bolt above, but I avoided tying myself to such a massive piece of granite by not clipping the slings and climbing another 15 feet up to a nice stance in a small right-facing corner. Here you can belay off a knifeblade pin, a second 1/4 bolt, and bomber wires. All in all probably, it is 5.9.

P4. Head up the shallow, right-facing corner to the left-hand edge of a very obvious roof, and perform a difficult move stepping right and up under the roof. There is one more difficult sequence involving underclings and a stem out right. The hanging belay off fixed wires at the right end of the roof feels kinda like cheating - you're sorta still in the last throws of the crux section - but what can ya do? This is a short pitch; 5.10-.

P5. Pull the roof, and go up a difficult and continuous right-facing corner. Climb all the way up to a big loose, ledge in the black band at the top of Chasm View Wall, 5.10-.

P6. Traverse right for 100'. Belay almost at the very end of the ledge below a left-facing dihedral with a crack in the upper half. This is 4th class but exposed and loose in one spot.

P7. Climb up the corner to the start of the crack, then traverse right for 35' on positive foot ledges and jugs. Continuing straight up the crack is supposedly 9+, heading right is 5.6ish.


Shane DeMars
Boulder, CO
Shane DeMars   Boulder, CO
Great description of a route I would describe as far from great. Some points though:

I remember the pin at the end of the 4th pitch being a bomber Lost Arrow. In any case there is also another 1/4 in bolt at your feet there - rusted, bent, and with a loose hanger.

The dihedral that the end of the black ledge is Right facing; it's the cleanest looking feature at the end of the ledge. There are fixed pins at about 25' and 30', the second of which you may not see from below as it's above a bulge.

There is a left facing dihedral that one encounters approximately 20' before this one (left) which does go to the top, but does not lead to the 5.6 right leading ledge Josh mentions.

I'd also advise finding the beta on the 4th class descent from the top (marked by a cairn) which is reasonable and leads to your gear much faster than the Camel descent.

SD Jul 14, 2004
As far as alpine rock routes go this is pretty good. Especially if combining with the Diamond in a weekend. By the way, I heard that rockfall a couple of years ago made this a bit harder. Anyone? Jul 14, 2004
Josh Janes

Josh Janes    
Assuming you know where the Camel formation is, the 4th class descent begins about 150m before reaching it, basically at the lowest point in the Longs/Lady Washington saddle. There is a cairn marking it, and to your left as you face the gully is a fairly large buttress. You descend at this point - the hardest part by far is the first 50' or so, requiring some exposed downclimbing. Then just continue down the gully until you can access the very obvious grassy ledge system (between 5 and 25' wide) that crosses all the way back across Chasm View wall. At the end of this ledge you just scramble a ways further (possibly snow crossing) to the access ramps that lead back up to the start of the climbs. Jul 15, 2004
Kat A
Boulder, CO
Kat A   Boulder, CO
Having done both Directissima and Red Wall within a week of each other, I felt that Red Wall is significantly harder than Directissima, even though they are similarly rated. Jul 14, 2008
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Wear a helmet on this route, and belay under large features, as sandbags are known to fall nearby! Jul 14, 2008
Kat A
Boulder, CO
Kat A   Boulder, CO
One of those sandbags fell on me, and it kind of hurt! Jul 16, 2008
Paul Hunnicutt
Boulder, CO
Paul Hunnicutt   Boulder, CO
I actually really enjoyed this route. It would have been much better if 3 things were changed:

1. The Camel descent blows. At least I thought so. I would have much rather have brought shoes and just enjoyed a hike on the hiking trail back to Chasm Lake to our packs...especially as we had nice weather.

2. Belaying off the "Death" Flake isn't so much fun and I thought that you should either belay about 15' below it at a small ledge or run your belay higher as Josh indicated. However, the pins/bolts above the flake aren't any more inspiring than the flake itself.

3. Stopping to belay at the end of the roof really ruined this pitch. Don't get me wrong I still had fun, but it was too easy to take/get beta etc...as I was seconding this pitch. Much better to just clip the nuts...pull the roof and make a belay at a stance a bit higher. Getting off the belay below the roof was clumsy and awkward and totally disrupted what would have been a pretty awesome sequence.

Most would also say that traversing the crumbling loose dark band on the exit pitch also sucks. The loose crap did suck, but the exposure and traverse with that much air below you made up for it.

I also thought the pitch above the roof was no gimmy and I'd rate it 5.10. Technical, thought provoking gear, and long.

There are ledges at the end of P1, P2, and P5 which make for great belay spots while gazing back on Chasm Lake and the Diamond. Jul 23, 2008
erik wellborn
manitou springs
erik wellborn   manitou springs
I have to agree with the above comment regarding Red Wall being harder than Directissma. The two "10a" pitches seemed more technical and devious than anything on Directissma or, for that matter, Casual Route. Lotta fun, though. Aug 23, 2009
I agree with Paul regarding stopping the crux pitch at the wires. You are right in the middle of some really nice movement and then you just stop and hang. Kind of a bummer, but I guess the rope drag around the roof would be intolerable. The "death flake" was about 6-8 inches thick (you can see the slings on it in one of the photos here), felt solid, and provided some interesting climbing.
Regarding the descent, we traversed straight LEFT after the 9+ pitch on some rather exposed ledges with a little bit of low 5th downclimbing. After two ropelenghts you are at the base of the Chasm View rappels and can easily traverse over to the Crack of Delight rappels from there. Don't know if it's faster than the descents described above, but it's an option. Aug 22, 2011
Tom Dickey  
I left my helmet at the top of the route, right where you top out, in a crack. It's taken a big hit from a fall in the Fischer towers, so I don't know how good it still is, but I sure would like it back. If you recover it, please contact me. Thanks! Tom

I thought the route was pretty darn good. great position, reasonable nice rock until the traverse, but hey, it's alpine climbing.... Aug 16, 2012
Mark Hudon
Lives on the road
Mark Hudon   Lives on the road
I certainly don't think the traverse under the roofs is .10a, it seems far more difficult than that. I'd call it easily .10c. Sep 10, 2013
Mark Oveson
Louisville, Colorado
Mark Oveson   Louisville, Colorado
The death flake pitch is great. Best pitch on the climb.

To keep the crux pitch at 10a, you have to traverse under the roof and then climb *down* the ramp for a good 20 feet, make a big step across at a flake, and then climb back up to the belay.

The move around the roof at the start of P5 is hard, and the rest of the pitch is sustained 5.8-5.9. Not a lot of good rest options on this pitch.

A cool adventure climb but be ready for anything. Jul 27, 2014
Lyons, CO
Dankasaurus   Lyons, CO
This climb is old school alpine 5.10. A classic Kor route, with decrepit old bolts and pins here and there.

Missing the 5.7 starting dihedral pitch made this climb a bit more interesting. We ended up left of the normal route all the way up to the base of the "death flake" pitch. The climbing mostly 5.8/5.9 or a bit harder. A fun chimney, some mild offwidthing, clean rock...so, no big deal if you miss the obvious corner start like the morons we are. Jul 20, 2015
Boulder, CO
tooTALLtim   Boulder, CO
Fun, burly climbing! Definitely old-school rating.

Rack: felt pretty good having doubles from 0.4-2 Camalots, plus nuts and tricams.

The pitch leading up to the roof is fantastic! Belayed at the left corner of the roof for a hanging belay, but it made for a great pitch and a good belay for the short roof pitch. The pitch after the roof is also tricky and devious, glad I had experience from Lumpy on flared cracks :P

Get on this, it's adventurous and fun! Jul 19, 2016
Tim Hare
Tim Hare   Boulder
Climbed R.W. this past Thursday, the 24th and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the route. Reading the overview here we expected to be on an awkward and forgettable choss pile. Maybe folks are just trying to keep crowds away? I thought this route was stellar - varied, sustained and solid 5.10 climbing. The crux provides a wild and improbable sequence, and the pitches below have some of the more splitter 5.8-5.9 cracks in the chasm. Anyway, just wanted to encourage anyone that may be deterred by the overview to go do this route - it's rad, and you won't find anyone else on it. Aug 27, 2017