Type: Trad, 590 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: Doug Foust, Andrew Yasso March 2013
Page Views: 5,942 total · 81/month
Shared By: Doug Foust on Mar 24, 2013
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


A suprisingly good route tucked away on Jackrabbit Buttress on the way to the Brownstone wall. Pitch 1 has fun interesting stemming and chimneying through a cool cave system. Pitch 2 has a sustained steep handcrack on good rock. 3 and 4 ease off with fun climbing on good rock.

Bushwack your way into the alcove and scramble up some third class to rope up. We didn't have a middle mark on the rope, so pitch lengths may be off a bit.

P1 - Stem and chimney up some very featured rock, eventually the rock smooths out before the base of a slightly left slanting rib. Continue up the rib into into a cave system. Very fun stemming and chimneying up working slightly left to gain the top of the huge chockstone. Build your anchor at a small T-shaped crack about ankle height on the east wall on top of the chockstone. 5.7+ 110 feet.(lots of variations on this pitch that could go harder or easier)

P2 - Step off the chockstone out and right over the void(spicy) to a couple of face moves to gain a nice, steep hand crack on the right. Jam your way up the crack, watching for an occasional jug on the right wall. Continue up past a white flake on the left side of the crack and belay just above. 5.9 120 feet.

P3 - Continue up the handcrack as the angle eases. We belayed from an awkward varnished alcove but there was a nice ledge 15' above that would have a better stance. 5.7 160 feet.

P4 - Follow the left trending crack until it ends, then angle right. The rock and pro is much better than it looks. 5.4 200 feet.

Unrope and walk off heading towards Brownstone wall.


The route starts in the large gully between Smooth Operator and The Black Pearl. The obvious landmark is the huge chockstone at the top of pitch one.

Descent - Walkoff northwest towards Brownstone Wall.


Single rack to 4", doubles .5 to 2", some may find a #5 useful on the first pitch.
Andrew Yasso
Las Vegas, NV
Andrew Yasso   Las Vegas, NV
Had a great time climbing this thing with Doug. Almost worked out too easy.

Pitch two felt 5.8+/5.9 to me. Hoping not to sandbag people with the rating but also not trying to make ourselves feel good by overrating it. Mar 25, 2013
I really enjoyed leading pitch 1. I may have not followed the route description above: when the rib got harder than I like, I backtracked left into the cave and climbed a fun cave/chimney pitch that was well protected (I had no #5 and didn't miss it, but I used many slings to prevent rope drag). I love climbs like this one that get you thinking in 3D.

We used this climb to approach The Minerva: on p3 of Saddle Up, easily angle left instead of right to get into The Minerva's huge alcove. Apr 22, 2014
Andrew Ishimaru
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Andrew Ishimaru   Colorado Springs, Colorado
Awesome climb! The first pitch is just so cool. I decided to lead directly up the cave instead of along the fin on the right side and I'm glad I did. Do yourself a favor and climb the cave-- it's way fun. Good pro and secure moves all the way up. Nov 30, 2015
Las Vegas, NV
J W   Las Vegas, NV
Really nice route, guys- I really enjoyed the whole thing.

The first pitch was super cool- wide stemming that's well protected into a cool cave and then onto the chockstone.

Second pitch- the start was casual with a bomber #2 that protected the easy step across and then easy gear that protects the spectacular crack above. Really engaging, thoughtful pitch- I thought it was 5.9 for sure. I linked two and three to the alcove belay, it seemed like the logical way, although it was probably 55m or so that way.

Third pitch was good- just up and out on a fun face that looks iffy at first, but ends up being really solid.

This thing would make Armatron a full value day at the grade if used as an approach to that climb. Feb 13, 2016
MikeyHeinz   SLC, UT
Super fun route, thanks for putting this up guys! We never felt like we needed the #5 either.

We linked pitches 2 and 3 with a 70m rope and were able to get to a really nice belay ledge with 5 feet of extra rope, see the picture for the belay ledge. I'd highly recommend this, as it made for an awesome mega-pitch of steep hands to lower angle hands. If you want a lighter rack, doubles 0.4-0.75 would still be comfy, I didn't use my second #1 or #2 on the link up, and still had the #3 for the belay. If you don't want to link the pitches, I think a single rack would suffice, the crack size varies a lot and you can fit in a surprising amount of small nuts and cams if you keep an eye out for the placements.

From here we simul-climbed the last pitch of 5.4 to get to the base of Armatron. We climbed this and Armatron in about 4.5 hours, swapping leads and linking more pitches of Armatron, and hiked back to the base of Saddle Up from the top of Armatron in about 45 minutes. Great day, highly recommend combining with Armatron for a full value day and nearly 1300 feet of quality cracks and face climbing. Rack recommendations for Saddle Up & Armatron would be singles to #4, doubles 0.4-0.75, nuts, and 10 runners. Have the follower take the #0.75-#4 on Armatron. Nov 14, 2016
Ben Townsend  
Great route! We took the rib on the first pitch; another time, I'd likely try the chimney, just to manage rope drag. Second pitch is quite continuous, a bit of 5.9 but mostly just lots and lots of fun, thoughtful climbing -- about 50 meters the way we did it. Third pitch is just plain fun. No sun on the route at all in mid-November. Handren suggests an optional #6 for the first pitch; we took it but never really found a use for it. Nov 14, 2016
Congrats Yasso! Adding it to the list! Jan 10, 2017
Las Vegas, NV
Ashort   Las Vegas, NV
Had a great time linking this one with Armatron. P1 was really fun and engaging, didn't use a #5. We linked P2&3 to the small ledge mentioned below with a 70m rope. P2 was definitely 5.9 with 3 distinct crux sections, felt harder than anything on Armatron. The step off of the chockstone was mellower than I expected, well protected. Great route and I enjoyed it being free of hardware. Jan 2, 2018
Boston, MA
Dennis   Boston, MA
Anyone know if Saddle up would make a good approach to Nightcrawler? TYIA Apr 1, 2018
chris pdx
chris pdx  
Climbed this route 3 times this year. Have done the cave and the rib versions of P1 and definitely recommend the cave. Drag is really tough to mitigate on either. Take a little time and lower to remove or move a piece if needed here.
The combined P2-3 is really long and can take a lot of gear. If you like to place a lot of gear bring double BD .3 through 4 with a full set of nuts and dont forget to save pieces for the anchor BD .75 to 3 work well and some smaller pieces just a little above those.
This route is a great way to the middle and right side of Brownstone, but it would be quite a hike to get over to Black Dagger on the left side. Oct 8, 2018
phylp   Upland
Just did this today - very nice route. I'm surprised with the mentions of rope drag on the first pitch - I didn't notice any (8.8 mm rope). I did the rib version, no tunneling/cave at all until the very last bit behind the giant chockstone. My partner lead pitch 2 and at the base of the white flake, with my height (or lack thereof) and bad back, making those first moves felt daunting to me. I stepped left and face climbed! Whatever works! Oct 8, 2018