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Routes in Mescalito

Bed of Nails T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
Black Widow Hollow T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Bloodline T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
C11H17NO3 T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Cat in the Hat T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Cat in the Phat T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Centerfold T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Chasing Shadows T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Cookie Monster T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Crunchy Cat T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c PG13
Dark Shadows T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Dark Shadows (Full) T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Deep Space T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Edge Dressing T,S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Excellent Adventure T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R
Extra Credit T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Heart of Darkness T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13
Left of Disco T,S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
Mescalito - Original Route T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Mescalito - South Face T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Negro Blanco T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Next Century, The T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
OB Button T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
OB Fist T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Parental Guidance T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
Pauligk Pillar T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Pauline's Pentacle T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Peyote Power T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Pine Nuts T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Rabbit's Arete T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Risky Business T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Sandstone Sandwich T,S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Short Circuit T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Slot Machine T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Splitting Hares T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
This Ain't No Disco T,S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
Too Many Tantrums T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Unknown (Thing 1) T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Walker Spur, The T 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Wasp, The T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Welcome to Red Rocks T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
When A Stranger Calls T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Y2K T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Type: Trad, 7 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 4,035 total, 33/month
Shared By: meo on Nov 18, 2007
Admins: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen

You & This Route

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RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Details


Walk about 100 yards past Dark Shadows. Look for a nice terrace about 30' off the ground (a good landmark is a large, dark roof that is 50' above the terrace and 80' above the wash). Scramble up to this terrace to begin.

P1 (150', 5.7): Climb a grey slab under the large, dark roof. Move right using two grooves (tricky pro) and pass the roof on the right. There is an optional bolted belay here on a compact ledge just left of an obvious, large scrub oak. From this belay, move left to a varnished, right-facing corner and follow this as it turns into a hueco-lined weakness which can be climbed to a bolted anchor at the lower left end of an expansive white slab.

P2 (205', 5.9): From this belay DO NOT head directly up to a bolted anchor visible overhead; instead, traverse way right across the open slabs via ledges and low angle rock. You're aiming for a left-facing corner/flake with a thin crack. This is quite far to the right and above you, but clearly visible from the belay. Once there, climb this crack to a bolted anchor which is NOT visible from the previous belay. This is a long, rope-stretching pitch!

P3 (200', 5.9): Climb a steep featured flake above the belay and continue up a series of ledges to the base of the steep, black wall above. Wander up the right side of this face, ignoring a bolted anchor you may see off to the left about halfway up the face (though you can optionally belay here) and continue up the face above as the angle eases off. Keep climbing to another anchor. This is another long pitch.

P4 (90', 5.7): Step left from the belay and climb a seam up a wide open face, passing a bolt that protects a cruxy slab move, to reach a bolted anchor on a good ledge with a small tree.

P5 (90', 5.7): Climb the varnished cleft/chimney system passing an intermediate anchor and then up the face right of the chimney system to a bolted anchor.

P6 (90', 5.7): Step left and continue up the cleft/chimney, moving left at the top to an anchor on a sloping stance.

(Note: For expediency, one can easily link pitches 4 & 5, or pitches 5 & 6.)

P7 (130', 5.9): From the belay work up and left towards a smooth gully that is capped by a massive roof. Climb the wall right of the gully passing two or three bolts and on to an anchor at the top of the wall.

Rap the route with two ropes. If you employ some shenanigans on the top rappel and hit all anchors on the way down including the off-route anchors mentioned in the description on P2 & P3, you can rap with a single 70.


Pine Creek Canyon 100 ft. right of Dark Shadows. Begin on a large ledge.


Standard rack to a # 3 Camelot. Placed many wired nuts. Bring many runners for long pitches.
Earl, the extra bolts were put in during a rescue a few years ago. It was quite the spectacle, with 13 SAR and a helicopter. Apr 4, 2017
Arin Earl  
There are 5 bolts at the top of pitch one. One set has been there a while and has chains and rusty washers. Then there is a new bolt about 2 feet to the right of that and then another two bolts about two feet right of that. What the heck?

Preferred belaying from the chained anchor for pitch 3. Oct 7, 2016
P2 - I followed Tom Fralich's advice "Skip these bolts and climb ... to a very comfortable ledge". In retrospect, that was a mistake. P3 starts with a substantial leftward traverse, so a leader fall on P3 would have pulled the belayer sideways. It turns out that scenario has been studied, and the results were not good. Belaying from the bolted anchor would have been safer. Sep 16, 2016
We climbed this route in early May 2015 using the described alternate
belays, but only climbed through pitch 3 due to time constraints. The day was hot, but this route was in the shade.

A few notes:
The ledge/scoop belay station for pitch 1B seemed to be closer to 30 feet above the pitch 1 chains rather than the 15 feet described. There was a ledge at 15 feet, but I would not describe it as a scoop, and being an extra 15 feet lower would have caused problems on pitch 2.

After climbing from the pitch 1B scoop to the alternate pitch 2 belay ledge, we had only 2 meters remaining of a 70-meter rope. Using a 60-meter rope would have required stopping at the P2 chains or simulclimbing.

The chains at the top of pitch 3 are hard to see from below until you are about 10 feet away. May 7, 2015
Katya gh
Katya gh  
The above pitch breakdown is spot on! Bring 2 60m, long slings to extend and reduce rope drag, follow the pitch breakdown above and you will have a very pleasant day esp if it is hot out there.This is a very soft 9 but the pro can be spacey on the crux pitch. Mar 30, 2015
Thanks for all of the previous comments-- I "guided" this route during an AMGA advanced rock guide course, and it was a fantastic route. To manage the terrain, I broke the first pitch into two per the above comments (using the first set of bolts at the top of pitch 1a, and passed the TWO side by side anchor stations for a belay on pitch 1b). The gear anchor and stance were stellar, and made getting to the next bolted anchor a little less of a rope stretcher.

On the final pitch (pitch 6), I placed about 3 pieces of good gear in the first 75 feet, and then moved smoothly through to find the bolts above-- but only found TWO bolts in the next 75' to the anchor, not three bolts as written in the Handren guide. Heady if 5.9 face climbing is your limit, but if you like single pad crimps, good feet, and fun, balancey face climbing, the last pitch is stellar to a bolted anchor.

We did the Dark Shadows descent instead of rapping the route, but the rap back down is very straightforward with 2 ropes. Oct 14, 2014
Brandt Allen
Joshua Tree, Cal
Brandt Allen   Joshua Tree, Cal
Tom - Thank you! Two years later, mystery solved! We obviously stayed too far right on pitch five.
The suggestions on changing belay locations sound good. It would also help make pitch two less of a rope stretcher. May 16, 2011
Tom Fralich
Fort Collins, CO
Tom Fralich   Fort Collins, CO
This route is very good and certainly worthy of more attention. The description for pitch 5 is confusing and we also screwed up and missed the bolt on this pitch. I scoped it out on rappel and the description should read:

"P4 ends at a bolted anchor just right of a chimney. Climb out right from the belay to avoid some steeper rock, but then slant up left, aiming for the crack/groove that is the continuation of the chimney. A bolt is found just before re-entering the crack system."

Also, the bolted stations are placed to allow full-length rappels, but more comfortable belays can be arranged on ledges. Here's my recommendation.

P1a (90 ft): Climb seams to the right side of a roof and belay at a bolted anchor on a nice ledge.

P1b (120 ft): Move left to a R-facing corner and then climb right slanting cracks to a bolted anchor. Pass this anchor and climb 15 ft more to a ledge/scoop and belay from gear.

P2 (190 ft): Move to the right side of the ledge/scoop and climb a short R-facing flake to a thin crack that leads up a slab. Move slightly right to an obvious L-facing flake and follow this to bolts on the left. Skip these bolts and climb the steep face directly right of the anchors for 15 ft, then up a low angle corner that slants up right to a very comfortable ledge.

P3 (180 ft): Traverse back left from the nice belay ledge and start up the steep varnished face of the crux pitch. Follow the path of least resistance, moving L and R as needed and reach a bolted anchor when the angle eases.

P4 (170 ft): Climb straight up the face, passing a bolt that protects a cruxy slab move, to reach a bolted anchor just right of a chimney.

P5 (150 ft): See description/clarification above. May 15, 2011
Doug Foust
Henderson, Nevada
Doug Foust   Henderson, Nevada
Came up a litte short on pitch 2 using a 60 meter, had to simul climb. Oct 10, 2010
Brandt Allen
Joshua Tree, Cal
Brandt Allen   Joshua Tree, Cal
There's a lot of good climbing on this route; Pitches 2 and 3 are outstanding. A 70 meter rope is not necessary. Pitch 2 uses all of a 60 meter and pitch 3 all but about 5 ft. All the other pitches are shorter. Careful pro placements and long slings will allow a 60 meter rope to make it and will also help minimize rope drag. Pro on pitch 3 was adequate at the crux, a short steep section fairly rated at 5.9. The first four pitches have bolted anchors.

A question for those who have climbed the fifth pitch - The guide book says: Face climb right, past a bolt, to a trough/crack which is followed past a roof to an anchor at the base of a rounded white rib. We went out right from the belay at the top of pitch 4 but never saw a bolt, or a trough/crack. There was a crack through a roof (more of a bulge), but no rounded white rib and no anchor to be found.

The rest of the route description (Handren Guide) was right on. Can anyone help us solve this mystery? Apr 20, 2009
marc rosenthal
Canyon Lake, TX
marc rosenthal   Canyon Lake, TX
I would disagree with the 5.9 rating. Although pitches are long, there is adequate pro and hardest moves on the climb are 5.8, unless you are off route. Traversing right from the top of pitch 1 there is an easy ledge system that angles right. Follow this straight up to the top of pitch 2. If you don't go far enough to the right, the moves are closer to 5.9-5.10. Pitch 3 is the money pitch. The route supposedly goes on for two or more pitches per the FA leader.

It is possible to do another pitch or two going left from the top of pitch 3, but there are no bolted stations above.

Beware on the descent; ropes seem to catch on this route. Suggested tie off for two ropes EDK, which allows the knot to ride up. Nov 19, 2007