Type: Trad, 1000 ft, 7 pitches, Grade IV
FA: unknown
Page Views: 19,737 total · 149/month
Shared By: Brad G on Mar 13, 2008
Admins: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen

You & This Route

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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 Warrior is a very adventurous and unknown classic. It involves every type of crack climbing there is. Giving too much info will ruin the adventure aspect of the route so I'll keep it brief. Follow the huge dihedral on the north side of Cactus flower tower for five pitches, the last two go straight up the face. Rap the route to descend (two ropes required).

I hope you enjoy this seldom-climbed classic!

PS. This is less like Red rocks 5.11 and more like yosemite 5.11


Protection: single rack of cams from .5" to 5". triples of 2" to 3"
city, state
alpinglow   city, state
Rob and Pat Dezonia established this route Aug 4, 2008
Michael Ybarra
on the road
Michael Ybarra   on the road
And giving too little beta makes for a virtually useless page. Oct 28, 2008
Will S
Joshua Tree
Will S   Joshua Tree
Approach description and time? Descent? Bolted anchors? Rap the route? One rope or two? Agree with the above, a sorely lacking description not worth much besides showing off the OPs pictures. Nov 13, 2008
Climbed the route on 3.17.2008. Nothing short of an incredible route, this was my first experience in RR. I agree with Brad about wanting to preserve the adventure aspect, but I'll put up a little info for people to peruse.....

Approach was about 2-2.5 hours. Dicey scrambling was involved, as well as navigating some serious foliage. However, it's easy to see the climb at all times and stay on target. All in all, definately one of the LEAST pleasant approaches I've done.

P1: ~150ft, 5.9. Tons of chimneying. Run-out, but secure. A large red friend will be useful, if memory serves me. A 2 bolt belay resides outside the chimney, at the point where it pinches down to a stemming dihedral.

P2: ~120ft. Technical stemming (5.10a/b?) gives way to a hand crack in the right-facing corner. Take this (with a little more chimneying) all the way to the alcove base of the awesome, obvious fist/hand crack corner. Gear belay with TCUs.

P3: ~100ft (5.10c/d?). Pretty obvious: layback and jam the corner up to a 2 bolt anchor. A pretty physical pitch. You'll need a couple fist pieces and a couple hand pieces.

P4: ~170ft (5.10a). Laybacking up to and around a small roof brings you to easier climbing in a featured handcrack. Follow this up and either move inside the "cave" and climb through (watch rope drag), or stay on the outside for some challenging offwidth climbing. Lacking a large green friend, my partner opted for the cave. Beware the towering mounds of bird guano. Its gross while you're climbing in there, but funny as hell while you're drinking beer later. Pop out of the cave and do some easier offwidth moves to gain a small ledge. Gear belay, hand size.

P5: ~160ft (5.11a) The big lead. A bit of laybacking and jamming takes you to a difficult section where the jams disappear. Using small gear to protect insecure stemming on mostly featureless walls gets you through to a section of tips and tough fingers. Eventually make the transition out right onto the face. Heady climbing on small but decent holds brings you past 2 bolts to the roof. Great holds brings you over the lip to an amazingly exposed 2 bolt belay with a great view of your packs 700' straight down.

P6: ~150ft (5.8+). The climbing never gets very hard, but this pitch has sparse protection. The only bolts on the pitch were about 35ft up off the belay (and oddly were side by side...a separate belay?). Continue more or less straight up for a long and worrying excursion into a vast wonderland of questionable holds, and a thought-provoking lack of gear. Eventually you find a 2 bolt anchor.

P7: ~150ft. Easy climbing via the path of least resistance up and right, then back left, with occasional gear brings you to the top of the climb. A few hundred feet of scrambling, and you can gain the summit of the tower. To get down, rap the route using TWO ropes. Even though some belays were gear on the way up, you will be using some rap anchors on the way down that are on the face, away from the dihedral (hope this makes sense).

I hope, by posting up all this information, I'm not spoiling the adventure aspect of the route for anyone who wants to do it. I guarantee this route is a full-value experience. Enjoy. Nov 20, 2008
Jon O'Brien
Jon O'Brien   Nevada
I think the purpose of this website is information, thanks for posting it. those that desire the adventurous, information-free ascents won't be studying this page. BTW, insulting the first ascentionists of such a proud line is, in fact, out of line. Nov 5, 2009
jon vandub
jon vandub   westminster,co
pat and rob share atleast 5-10 brain cells, and i dare you to tell them that in person!

pat probably wont pay any mind, but rob????? hehe good luck keeping your face intact!!!

any routes these guys put up,are going to be stout for rr. Jan 2, 2010
J. Thompson
denver, co
J. Thompson   denver, co
Very fun and strenous route. The 5.11 is a 1 move wonder. Pitch 2 is 5.10b and R.
josh Apr 18, 2010
leeds, ut
fossana   leeds, ut
We parked at the first Oak Creek parking area outside the loop road as shown by Handren (the one 0.5 mi from the loop road exit). I think it would be faster hiking-wise to use the Oak Creek pullout accessed from the loop road but there's the extra time to drive the loop. Here's an overview photo to demonstrate. From where we parked we found a good network of trails going up the right side of the pink cliffs to Ramen Pride. We made it to the base of the route in under 2 hours.

The route is burly, way harder for me than Cloud Tower, partly b/c the crack size on the 10+ pitch (I'm far better at finger cracks). The 11a pitch wasn't bad. Be prepared for lots of chimneys/groveling. We skipped the last 2 pitches after getting a slighly late start; we didn't want to do the raps in the dark. Apr 2, 2011
Spencer Weiler
Salt Lake city
Spencer Weiler   Salt Lake city
There a different kinds of approaches for the classics of RR. There are long ones(Rainbow Wall), confusing or complicated ones(levitation), strenuous but straightforward ones(Cloud Tower), and then there are approaches where you arrive at the climb so exhausted from such heinous schwaking and mandatory 5th class groveling up chimneys and moss slabs it seems like a 5 pitch extension of the climb itself(Warrior).

Heads up there is a bolted rap anchor climbers left of the initial chimney up over and down the otherside of a big boulder that allows a rappel down the awful 4th class moss you came up on approach. Feb 19, 2013
Nelson Day
Joshua Tree, CA
Nelson Day   Joshua Tree, CA
I used a 0.4 BD C4, a yellow master cam, and a blue master cam at the gear belay above pitch 2. Pitch 4 had a bolted belay to climber's right after the cave, not a gear anchor (required a couple traverse moves to get to the anchor).

The 5.8 top part of Pitch 5 (after you traverse right from the finger crack above the crux) is definitely R rated. A fall would result in serious injury. Definitely had a similar feeling to free soloing. It's not hard technically, it's just a mental exercise in doing one movement at a time, being sure footed, and not looking at how far run out you are.

Bring approximately 14-15 alpine draws, including a double length. Also, bring a set of nuts for the crux .11a pitch.

The approach included about an hour of hiking, a half hour of bush whacking and scrambling in a stream bed, followed by an hour of vertical scrambling with several sections of class 5. We used all of the rappel stations (we found 4) on the descent (we were tired) instead of down climbing. The slings on the rappel stations looked to be in decent shape. Apr 1, 2013
Good route. Good variety of climbing - chimneys, ow, fists, runout face and a delicate gingery crux. 4th pitch is fairly memorable when the birds are home. ;) Last two pitches are very worth doing. The climbing becomes more of a runout face, but is fun and takes you to a spot with a view of Mt. Wilson. Approach took our party of 4 under two hours, but we felt it was not super straight forward. Not as many cairns compared to approaching into watana, that's for sure! Its not as bad as people make it sound, but if you have not done it get an early start! May 2, 2014
Brian Prince
morro bay, ca
Brian Prince   morro bay, ca
Yeah, that 4th pitch was something else. Felt like an intruder waltzin up in there and was kind of traumatic to be honest.. it was wild... besides the mountain of shit. I think they're just in there in the spring time though?

We topped out and walked off which is what I would recommend. One rope, the views and terrain are awesome and it's pretty straightforward... I think we rapped once on the ridge. It's a scrambling route... And then you're home free once you reach the canyon floor. Or you could do that splitter to the top of mt wilson.. Oct 23, 2014
If you feel confident at the grade, I would suggest bringing just one rope and going to the summit. Walk off/down scramble the west ridge - straightforward and scenic. Stout, physical, burly, wide, & aesthetic; a big-boys climb. Used the #4s, 5, and 6 on almost every pitch up to P6.

According to the summit register 0-1 parties/year actually go to the true summit of CFT via The Warrior. Apr 20, 2015
Oakridge, OR
Ball   Oakridge, OR
Just got off this thing and I'm still pulling desert oak leaves out of my various crannies.

The suggested protection of triples of #3s is laughable. You'll need at least four, and could easily use six especially if you have small hands. I made do with the suggested three, back-cleaning, and some large tricams.

The crux pitch (5) has lots of broken holds before the first bolt which is highly disconcerting. Blowing a move before clipping this could easily break a leg. I'd wager at least one of the major holds broke within the last month. 10- big-R (the crux, thankfully, protects well). Oct 29, 2015
Cha Tate
Saint George, UT
Cha Tate   Saint George, UT
Fantastic adventure route and a must do route with quality climbing pitch after pitch. If runout 5.8R slab bothers you beware. That being said, I found the rock solid and did not have concern that holds would break (or maybe most have and its cleaned up now). The rating of the route seems in line with Red Rocks ratings, but only if you have off width skills ;)
I have a very different rack recommendation than what I have read and it will afford you more gear placement on the R pitches and on the crux.
Does anyone know what kind of birds or dragons live in the chambers on pitch four?

My ideal rack:
Purple (0), blue (1), yellow (2) metolius master cam (or blue, green, yellow, gray aliens)
BD 0.5-6 with triple #2 and 4 #3
Set of nuts (I prefer metolius brass and metolius nuts for red rocks).

I brought a big bro and never bothered placing it.

My partner and I finished and rapped the route in a mild spring snowfall. Once you are back at the base of the climb there are three raps to get to the easier terrain. The first rap rings are climbers left of the wall. Walk left 20 feet from the start of the climb until you are facing a large block. An exposed but easy move gets you around to the front of the block where you will see anchors. A single rope repel will land you on a comfortable ledge but the tree anchor/slings are climbers right of where you landed and downhill. A safety line can be clipped into a red rope that will deliver you to the next anchors. Another single rope repel leads to fourth class scrambling, follow the cairns. This should be the way you came up to the route. There is one final rap anchor on the far left while descending with a whistle attached to it. You probably saw the whistle anchor on your way up. A single rope repel safely deposits you to the easier terrain and out.
Don't bother with the parking 1.4 miles from the park exit as recommended in the guide books as it adds a lot of extra miles. Instead, park in the last parking lot in the park (Oak Creek Lot), or if you want to start earlier than the park opens then use the pullout off the road at 0.5miles past the park exit and take the left trail just as you have passed Wilson's Pimple. You'll save a lot of time. Apr 16, 2016
The Blueprint Part Dank
The Blueprint Part Dank   FEMA Region VIII
P3 was not the Indian Creek-style splitter I was expecting, sure, the crack is pretty damn splitter, but the tight flared corner prevents you from actually getting progressive hand jams for upward progress. You can get either a right, or a left hand/fist jam, but your real movement is from arm-bars, knee-bars and chimney technique with the opposite side of your body.... Very strange pitch.

Also, for the pitch one chimney, there's actually quite a bit of gear way back in there, but good luck breathing if you squeeze all that way back in.

If you have a large build, extend your knot way below your harness, I had some fairly painful instances of my knot getting pressed very painfully against a certain sensitive anatomical area May 7, 2016
Ethan Berman  
The most memorable climb I've done in Red Rocks! So sick! It started hailing on me as soon as I left the crack and had to move onto the face. Talk about intense... Apr 6, 2017
Does anyone know if the route can be rappelled with a single 80m rope? Sep 7, 2017
Climbed this a few weeks ago. Take this route seriously. Mostly, I want to relate our harrowing descent. The first rap anchors we found took us by the shoulder of Cactus Flower Tower. Then we hiked the whole damn gully, with no trails and too many prickly bushes to count. The approach was WAY easier (even if a bit scarier) than this backside descent. Unless there's a different rap station into a different part of the gully, I would not recommend descending this way. Oct 30, 2018