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Routes in Afterburner Wall

Eliminator T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13
Type: Trad, 130 ft
FA: Paul Van Betten, Randy Marsh - 1983
Page Views: 639 total, 13/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Oct 20, 2013
Admins: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen

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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


Despite the fact that one must pay the toll of a crappy slog up to this wall, Eliminator delivers some high quality rock climbing. Primarily a finger crack, there are occasional face holds as is typical of Red Rocks "crack climbing". It is a long pitch and has several cruxy sections but also some great rests.

The obvious right-leaning finger crack and best looking line on the cliff.

The belayer may wish to anchor in or tie-off to a tree before getting started. Climb up a low-angle face to the main wall, tie off shrubbery, and delicately fiddle in some overhead RP's. They seem OK, but the rock is the white, sugary sort. Perform a committing stand up move, and then pray the edge of the crack doesn't snap as you pad your feet up a little higher to reach your first solid gear placement. This is immediately followed by a hard crux. After this, expect alternating sections of finger jamming and good rests for about 80'. The last 30' of the route finds the varnish disappearing and the rock turning rather bad, but fortunately the climbing eases and limited pro is still available.

Belay at a fixed stopper anchor in the crack (consider bringing more tat and WD40 for the fixed 'biners).

This is a really great route but I'm going to stick my neck out and say that it is not the best finger crack in Red Rocks. That honor goes to Seduction Line.


2x Blue Alien or equivalent to 0.5 Camalot.
1x 0.5 Camalot to #2 Camalot.
Full set of wires.
Draws & slings.
RP's and possibly a 000 C3 or small Ball Nut for the start.
80m cord (otherwise two ropes to get down).


Josh Janes    
Jon, you've realized a truth about Red Rocks crack climbing: They aren't really crack climbs. I esteem Seduction Line so highly because of the purity of the line, though you're correct, it's tips laybacking more than jamming (though there is a section of locks as I recall - it's just not the crux). Similarly with Eliminator, there are a few stretches of jamming on it, but there are so many irregularities in the crack and face holds that it keeps the climb from feeling like a real crack climb. The crux is certainly not jamming; it's a bouldery and heady affair at the start.

For a climber of your caliber I'd suggest Desert Gold - it's short but as pure of a splitter as you can get. It would be mega classic even at Indian Creek. But if you want to crack climb, you'd be better served making the drive to Flagstaff, Zion, or even Joshua Tree rather than hiking up to Eliminator. Jan 14, 2014
Jon Clark
Philadelphia, PA
Jon Clark   Philadelphia, PA
I couldn't sink any locks through the crux on Seduction Line. It was desperate tips liebacking for me. As a result, I wouldn't call it a finger crack. As an out of towner, I'm not too psyched on the hike to the Afterburner area for a single pitch. But, if it's truly a finger crack I'd be interested. So, does Eliminator actually have locks, say 0.5"-1" (tips to a bit rattly)? Jan 8, 2014
Michael Sokoloff
Spokane, WA
Michael Sokoloff   Spokane, WA
This is the best pitch of crackclimbing that I have done at RR. Would be a 5-star pitch in Yosemite and Indian Creek. Unfortunately, it is isolated and requires a arduous bushwacking slog to access. Still, for the crack seeker it is well worthwhile. Nov 8, 2009