Type: Trad, 1500 ft, 14 pitches, Grade IV
FA: John Rosholt, Bob Conz (Texas Hold’Em), Jorge Urioste, Joanne Urioste, Joe Herbst (Texas Tower Connection and Epinephrine)
Page Views: 4,517 total · 49/month
Shared By: Tim Wolfe on May 25, 2011
Admins: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen

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


For those looking for another long route of moderate difficulty in Red Rock, this combination of three routes offers a nice alternative to the more popular trade routes in Black Velvet Canyon. I added an unofficial “name” to this combination – Three of a kind – (in the same genre of "Texas Hold’Em") just to distinguish it from the multiple other linkups in the area and to provide a forum for putting it on this web site so others can do this great route. (Based on other comments I changed it to what sounds like the original name - Texanephrine.) It combines the easiest pitches of Texas Hold Em with the classic upper open book pitches of Epinephrine and has a few fun pitches in the middle to link them together. It can be done in about the same time as it takes to do Epinephrine, but has a much harder crux pitch that anyone who loves 5.10 crack climbing in Red Rock canyon should aspire to climb just for that pitch alone.

Pitch description:

Pitch 1 – 5.8 120 feet: Start 100 feet to the right of Epinephrine and 40 feet to the left of the giant corner system. Climb some broken ledges up to a bush passing the bush on the right and climbing a short left facing dihedral until you can step right onto holds on the face. Climb up and right past a creaky flake into the giant left facing corner system. Climb this to a small roof with twin cracks (crack in the corner and crack on the face to the right). Turn the roof, climb a short distance further then traverse left to a chain belay.
Pitch 2 – 5.8 120 feet: Step up onto the face and climb the easiest features (left a bit, then back right a bit) putting gear in pods as needed until you are back at the corner system. Climb the corner along beautiful varnished rock until you encounter a black bolt on the overhanging face up on the right wall. Clip the bolt, step back down and climb directly right for about 30 feet then up towards the brush to a ledge where you step left to the chains,
Pitch 3 – 5.7 120 feet: Move right to the dirty corner, climb it into the brush and continue up a short distance to a ledge. Traverse a long distance along this ledge until in ends below a crack system in a corner. Establish a belay here.
Pitch 4 – 5.8 160 feet: Climb up the crack directly above eventually working your way left and upwards through a fat section then straight up a short lie back and finally up left to a set of anchors directly below the obvious steep left leaning crack above.
Pitch 5 – 5.10d 160 feet: A fantastic pitch combining burly fist jams, delicate face and thin fingers. Climb the left angling crack above until it becomes thin face climbing past 3 bolts. At the Third bolt continue over the roof into the thin finger crack and climb it until it ends on the ledge and anchors just below the top of Texas Tower.
Pitch 6 – 5.9 90 feet: Climb directly up the right hand of two crack seams for 35-40 feet then step left easily into the other crack and climb it to a belay.
Pitch 7 – 5.9+ 120 feet (combines 2 of Texas tower connection pitches to avoid a belay with old bolts): Traverse down and left to a ledge at the base of a corner. Climb the corner a short distance to an ancient bolt. Back up the bolt with gear in the crack. Traverse left further past another ancient bolt into a corner with an old belay. Put an extra long sling on this belay to reduce rope drag and climb straight up the corner past about 7 old bolts until you can step right onto a ledge with a belay (that has a newer bolt).
Pitch 8 – 5.7 80 feet: climb up the arete to the short chimney area. Step up and left around the roof to the right side of the Elephants trunk. Climb this to the great ledge and belay on top.

All the remaining pitches are well described in many guides that discuss Epinephrine

Pitch 9 – 5.9 80 feet: Climb from the top of the Elephants trunk up a face with 2 bolts and think cracks up to a ledge (this pitch can easily be linked with the prior pitch).
Pitch 10 – 5.9 120 feet: Climb the steep corner past 5 bolts to a small ledge
Pitch 11 – 5.7 160 feet: Climb the long corner to a flared pod pseudo ledge with two rap anchors. (As of 2011 this was the last remaining rappel anchor. The next set of anchors has been removed from the top of the next pitch. If you continue past this point there are no further fixed belays and you will need to walk off from the summit).
Pitch 12 – 5.9 140 feet: Climb up the face to the right edge of some roofs. Climb the roofs to an alcove where the bolts no longer exist. Traverse left then climb to an area where you can place a safe belay.
Pitch 13 – 5.7 150 feet: Climb up until you reach the ramp and put in a belay
Pitches 14 and up: 4th class for a long ways up the ramp to the right of a large bulging roof then far right across ledge systems and a steep exposed area until you arrive at a tree on the ridge of Black Velvet peak.


Approach – Park in the Black Velvet parking area, hike up all the way to the black velvet wall right below Fiddler on the roof, Sour Mash, etc. Descend the ramp to the stream above the waterfall and turn up canyon. Hike a short distance (50-100 meters) past the bolts at the start of Epinephrine until you are below the large left facing corner that rises hundred of feet above you. Start 40 feet left of that corner below the small tree/bush on the first pitch of Texas Hold em.
Descent – Either rappel from the top of pitch 11 down the Epinephrine rappel anchors or climb out to the top and traverse back South East a considerable distance (you actually cross 4 distinct summit like structures on the long ridge traverse before finally getting to the descent gully). Once you have traversed along the ridge until directly South of Whiskey peak, drop down along the well worn trail in a gully that goes towards the parking area. Eventually you will cross back to the left towards Whiskey peak and finally down the Whiskey peak descent gully to the main trail back to the cars.


Protection: A single set of camming devices to size 3 inches and a set of wires will be sufficient for everything except the 5.10d pitch. The 5.10d pitch requires a 3.5 to 4 inch cam at the start two sets of cams from about 0.4 camelot size to 3 camelot size plus a few microcams and wires.


Darren in Vegas
Las Vegas, NV
Darren in Vegas   Las Vegas, NV
I thought this was an excellent link up of some really nice pitches. The first half of the route is where the difficulty lies so it takes some time. However, once you reach the top of the Elephant's Trunk, you can make it to the top in a surprisingly short amount of time. The only extra beta I would add is that once you are at the top of the trunk, you can link the next two pitches with a 60m. In addition, I would also say that the 1500 feet listed as the route height is a bit misleading. The technical difficulties stop at 1500 feet, but you still have quite a bit of 3rd-4th class terrain to cover (about 400-500 feet). Apr 23, 2012
Amos Whiting
Basalt, Colorado
Amos Whiting   Basalt, Colorado
We climbed this last week thinking we would see nobody else on it. Sure enough a party of two followed us up. The lower part of Texas Hold em climbs pretty well. The route finding is a bit challenging on the first and second pitch but straightforward after that. There is a sub belay in the middle of the fourth pitch which we stopped at with three bolts. We do not recommend stopping here as there is a loose flake which appears to have shifted on it's own, hanging above the belay. Better to link to the base of the 10d pitch 5. Not lots of fist jams on pitch5, enjoyable varied climbing with a little bit of everything. When doing the Texas tower connection on pitch 7 best to skip the lower anchors as they are 1/4 inch bolts. This was the most sporty pitch of the route and felt more like 5.10b. There are lots of one quarter inch bolts on this pitch but there is also opportunity for natural pro. Be sure to bring plenty of draws for the bolts and pro, we had 14 draws/ runners and it was barely enough. Also, take the pro when you can get it and maybe even add a screamer or two to your rack, as one must climb over the old bolts. This felt like a easier version of the spicy pitches on Risky Business. A bit run out at times but clean Falls. Getting to Epi after that was straight forward. Oct 9, 2014
John Groh  
This was a nice alternative to the start of Epinepherine on a day when there was a train of gumbies being slow on the chimney pitches. If you climb at a reasonable pace, you can pass everyone doing the Epinepherine chimney pitches and be the first party on the upper pitches. Mar 27, 2015
Boulder, CO
butlerbt   Boulder, CO
This climb is actually quite good. the 10d pitch is great. Amos's beta above is useful and mostly accurate. The only drawback of this route is the connection pitches get covered in bird poop. And actually its kind of fun to climb a route in red rocks that doesn't just follow the happy chalk highway.

Yes, the bolts are total garbage on the 2nd traverse portion, but with patience and tenacity there is gear that keeps everything within reason. The bolted portion that goes straight up has plenty of gear so one could simply choose to not use the bolts. Enjoy:) Oct 26, 2016