Type: Trad, 190 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Joe Herbst, 1977
Page Views: 3,707 total · 25/month
Shared By: Jason D. Martin on Dec 12, 2006
Admins: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen

You & This Route

15 Opinions

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Access Issue: Red Rock RAIN AND WET ROCK: The sandstone is fragile and is very easily damaged when wet. Details


The Schwa is one of the few members of Red Rock Canyon's exclusive splitter crack club. This club includes the likes of The Fox, Atman, Yin Yang, Red Zinger, and Chrysler Crack amongst a few others.

The Schwa itself feels a lot like The Fox. The second pitch of the route starts with hands and just gets bigger as you go.

The best way to climb this route is to break it into two pitches. There are a few ways to approach the main crack. The left side is somewhat difficult, whereas the right side is somewhat brushy. The best way up is up to you.

The second pitch is the main event. Climb up the central crack as it goes from tight jams to hand-stacks. There is a diving board ledge in the middle of the second pitch where you can shake-out and relax before committing to the forty-foot off-width you'll climb to obtain the top.

Two sixty-meter ropes will get you to the ground.


This is the central feature of the Schwa Area. Look for the diving board to the left of a widening crack.


A normal Red Rock rack with at least two #3s and two #4s.
Fun climbing with you out there, let's get after it again sometime! Dec 28, 2006
Las Vegas, NV
J W   Las Vegas, NV
additional beta:

1) The direct start and the second pitch can be linked with a 70m rope- especially considering the rack for the first pitch is completely different.

2) The first pitch feels like a bit of a sandbag at .10d, tricky sequence along with stout moves make it feel more like .11 something.

linking them together doesnt increase the grade, as there are several great rests including two ledges to shake out and recuperate. Oct 4, 2007
Brandontru   Nevada
Didn't get to lead it. Though still the best fists Ever encountered in red rock. It just gets better and better. Mar 12, 2010
Jon O'Brien
Jon O'Brien   Nevada
"feels a lot like the fox" ?! guess i'll have to try it myself! LOL... a fist crack that feels like a varying sized, right-facing corner sounds counter-intuitive,
you think it is as BURLY as the fox? Oct 18, 2010
Las Vegas, NV
J W   Las Vegas, NV
jon- the Schwa is probably less physical than the fox from the beginning of the second pitch to the ledge rest, but the upper offwidth is WAY burlier than whats on the fox. Its straight in #6 camalot at the crux and is pretty physical before and after as well. I'd call the Fox 10c, this is 10d, its probably .11b if you do the direct start and link the whole thing into one big 70m pitch. Oct 21, 2010
I second that the 5.10d direct start is sandbagged... Great climb second pitch is awesome Jun 7, 2011
Matt Kuehl
Las Vegas
Matt Kuehl   Las Vegas
I did the original 5.7 pitch leading into the splitter and thought the climbing was varied and better than it looks. We saw several big chuckwalla's in the cracks too. The traverse left to the base of the splitter is airy, fun and worth it.

The second pitch is excellent and a must do for those looking for splitters. Bonus points if you bat hang off the diving board!

I wouldn't bother bringing anything larger than a #5 camalot and the old #3.5 camalots are great for the off-fists part. You can get back to the ground with two single raps on a 70m and I added another nut and some cord to the top anchor. Mar 13, 2012
Weston L
Thin hands at bottom of P2 are crux (.5 and .75 camalots) - cruisy tight fists up higher, and good fists in the flare up higher...like 2 moves that you could offwidth if so desired, but really just a fist crack. 5.9 fists with 10d thin hands.

Leave the big gear at home and just bring as many #4's as you can. I only placed the big stuff I brought because I didn't have enough 4's (only had 2...walked 'em after the plank, yarrrr)...the "straight in #6" is barely that. #4's in the back...

Absolutely stellar line! Might need to get a rogue hoe and build a proper trail up to this thing. Jul 25, 2013
I know some rogue hoes who post here on the REG, son. They fear the wide, whereas others saddle up and ride... Jul 25, 2013
Josh Janes    
From the anchor one could do a double-rope rap all the way to the ground. Alternatively, with a single 60m rope, rap to the Diving Board and then easily scramble to the anchor atop the route Beautiful Bastard. From here, rappel two more times to the ground.

The direct start involves some 5.10- climbing up hollow rock above dubious pro. The actual crux (mid-5.11) is challenging but well protected provided one has one or two pieces in the blue Metolius or red C3 size. That's the sweet spot: 0.3 Camalots are a touch too big and blue Aliens a touch too small. Apr 22, 2016