Type: Trad, 400 ft, 3 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 264 total · 16/month
Shared By: Ben Townsend on Nov 7, 2017
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


Rated 5.4 in the Handren guide (really, Jerry?), this route is actually fairly adventurous. Some loose rock, typical of less-travelled Red Rocks climbs, and quite a bit of brush to wade through.

P. 1: Follow the obvious long crack system, starting on the left margin of the low-angle apron and passing a square-cut “sentry box” feature to reach the headwall. We belayed at a good stance below the headwall, though Handren suggests doing the whole thing as one 210’ pitch. 5.7, 140’

P. 2: Follow the crack up the headwall to a great ledge. 5.4, 70’

P. 3: Scramble left and up to another ledge at the base of the obvious left-leaning crack. Figure out a belay stance that involves the least amount of brush.

P. 4: Up the crack to a big sloping ledge with cairns. 5.6,150’


This is the leftmost climb in the Black Arch amphitheater. It’s a long crack system beginning on a low-angle varnished slab. Most of the climb is visible from Route 159, in the vicinity of the old Oak Creek trailhead. It gets lots of sun, especially early in the day.

Follow Oak Creek Canyon until almost past the amphitheater, and find an inobvious trail on the right that leads up and across below some overhangs. Once you find it, this trail is pretty straightforward until you’re close to the start of the climb, at which point about 100 yards of grim bushwhacking through scrub oak leads to the roping-up point.

Descent: After emerging at the cairns on the big sloping ledge, go up a level to join the regular Black Orpheus descent. Following the cairns down puts you on what Handren describes (page 146 of the second edition) as “Fourth and easy Fifth class approach. Fast, but tricky route finding.” We did this descent and found it pretty nervy.


Standard rack, extra thin cams. No fixed gear.


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