Type: Trad, 600 ft, 4 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 146 total · 91/month
Shared By: kenr on Jun 5, 2019
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

Description

This route has the most "narrow exposed arete" climbing of the SW + South ridges of Calico Peak. If takes the middle of the three ridges. Incomplete as of June 2019 -- only three pitches with bolt anchors so far. In those known three pitches most of the difficulty is low-5th class or easier -- only one short sequence at around 5.5 know so far (not very far off the ground and perhaps with known Trad protection).

Likely there are additional low-5th-class pitches above: Problem is that exploration of the top section indicates that it's slopy with weak rock. So when exploring higher up, need to be thinking about how to _escape_ to one side of the other.

context: There are three South ridges for Calico Peak [see Photo]. The most prominent from the Red Rock Scenic Loop road is the left (W) one [see the route SouthWest Ridge], which goes up directly to the south ViewCap (N36.1585 W115.4380) - (which is not the highest summit) - and it requires more difficult climbing to get onto it near its bottom. The right (E) one [see the route Stone Sweet Ridge] aims more at the two highest summits of Calico Peak, but has some ups and downs along the way. There is also a ridge in between those two with some rather interesting climbing / scrambling, but so far not known a way to get up or off it near its top. This route is for the middle ridge.

equipment: Tight-fitting technical rock-climbing shoes are not needed, because very few moves depend on stepping on small edges. But many moves stepping on slopy footholds, so a sticky-rubber rock-climbing style sole on a well-designed climbing-oriented approach shoe is valuable.

So far in 2019 the only hardware installed is two-bolt belay anchors roughly every 80-120 feet. So the Leader is expected to be capable of climbing solo mostly unprotected, using the anchors to belay the Followers. So far the anchors are designed only for belay, not rappel.

60-meter rope will easily work to belay Followers from one anchor to the next, but likely a shorter rope will also be sufficient.

Using Trad gear to "fill in" the long runout sections is mostly unknown. Many climbers with lots of outdoor experience are well-capable of solo-ing this route in approach shoes (except for the risk of a hold breaking).

Hiking poles (collapsable) useful for approach and descent.

Effort: to the south ViewCap +935 ft uphill over 0.6 mile. Additional +130 ft uphill on return to Parking.

First Ascent? As other climbers do work to add more pitches or intermediate protection hardware, of course they will get credit under FA -- especially if they also send or publish careful descriptions of the composition and size of hardware they install or Trad protection gear they place.

warning: Many loose rocks and weak breakable hand- and foot-holds on and around this route - (even when the rock is plenty dry). The rock becomes especially weak for a couple of days after significant rain or snow, so holds are even more likely to break off.

Location

The middle one of the three SW + S ridges going up to the Calico South Viewcap - GPS latitude longitude approx (N36.1585 W115.4380).

Base of ridge is around (N36.1572 W115.4371).

Photos to be added soon.

parking: 2nd Pull-Out parking (GPS latitude longitude approx N36.1518 W115.4374) on the Red Rock Scenic Loop road is small for the amount of climbers and hikers. Spot the three SW + S ridges of Calico, and especially note the middle one for Red Slippers.

approach: Starting 2PO, hike about 300 ft N on trail descending, then at junction sharp Right down 130 ft E into wash. Next about 500 ft N without obvious trail, a bit above left (W) side from the wash.
. . . Variation: in very dry conditions instead of flirting with that hill, can just go 300 ft close along left side of wash, then NNE 250ft downward into center of wash (N36.1549 W115.4365).

Then in the midst of an uphill around the left side of a hill, at (N36.1549 W115.4371) turn sharp Right (E) and traverse 120 ft around right side of hill, and down into the bottom of the wash (N36.1551 W115.4367).
Next bear Left (NW) off the main track up rough about 150 ft into the bottom of a rocky gully, which is the normal approach to the Stone Wall sport crag.

. . . Variation: If want to get familiar with the easier descent route, skip Pitch 1 and instead follow the main track N along the wash about 325 feet to pass under the white chalk marks of the Sweet Pain sport crag (N36.15597 W115.43663), then another 330 ft hike/scramble up N, and about 65 ft Left (W) to join the Red Slippers route at the bottom of Pitch 2 - [see Photo]

Route

pitch 1 (3rd class): Thoughtful scrambling up the Stone Wall gully - (some of the most interesting gully scrambling anywhere). About 160 ft N to reach the white chalks mark of the Stone Wall sport crag (N36.1560 W115.4370), then another 180 ft with some zig-zagging to find a way thru the steep upper end.
Emerge from the Stone Wall gully into open talus around (N36.1569 W115.4369). Next up N about 150 ft toward the base of the Right-hand ridge (Stone Sweet). But well before reaching that, turn Left (W) and traverse about 65 ft to the steep base of the Middle ridge, around (N36.1572 W115.4371). Find a small flat section below a small easy slab below steeper dark varnish rock on right half of the steep bottom of ridge.
- - > see Photo

pitch 2 (5.5): Up the short easy slab then somehow get onto the dark varnish face (crux, perhaps protect with BD #9 stopper?). Soon traverse right about twenty feet to reach the arete which is the right edge of the ridge bottom face. Up the arete (low-5th class) to two-bolt anchor (90-130 ft).

pitch 3 (3rd-4th class): Up the slab to two-bolt anchor on platform (N36.1573 W115.43715) under steep rock -- great situation with morning shade and big view (90-130 ft).

. . . Note that P1 + P2 could be combined with a 60-meter rope.

. . . Some climbers might feel just reaching here for a snack is sufficient reward for the day.

. . . Escape: Top of P2 is at the same level as the bottom of P1 of the route Stone Sweet Ridge. Easy scramble traverse to join that route or to descend the normal Middle Pass hike/scramble route down past the Sweep Pain sport crag.

pitch 4a (low-5th class): Get up onto face on right side of steep rock. Immediately traverse horizontal right to arete which forms the right edge of the face. Up the arete to two-bolt anchor (less than 100 ft).

. . . Protection for Follower? Would really be better if had some intermediate protection to prevent the Follower from swinging left across the face in case of a fall while on the arete. Also for the Leader in case a rock breaks on the arete.

. . . Escape : Possible rappel off R side of ridge from this top two-bolt anchor (but must sacrifice gear for that, since anchor as of 2019 is set only for belay, not rappel).

pitch 4b (3rd-4th class): Up non-steep ridge into gentle sheltered corner (N36.1576 W115.4372). Anchor with rope about rock and/or gear into obvious corner crack (even a carabiner or knot might hold in that crack).
- - > see Photo

. . . note: The single bolt on L face of corner which might be used to supplement other anchors in this corner -- or to protect the Follower from getting pulled off the ledge if Leader were to fall on the next (unknown) pitch. But as of 2019 although that bolt looks solid, it will rotate in its hole of turned with a wrench -- so needs to be replaced long-term.

. . . Escape: Tricky short 3rd-4th class down-climb into thorny bushes to reach easier scramble down gully between this ridge and the Stone Sweet Ridge. Leader could below (or lower?) followers from P3b anchor, then down-climb solo. (If a rappel is preferred, better from top of Pitch 4a).

Protection

Each anchor is two bolts with hangers, but so far in 2019 no connecting chain or rappel rings or quick-links.

So far in 2019, No intermediate bolts for protecting the Leader or directionals for protecting Followers against side-swing.

. . . All hardware is 304 Stainless Steel.
. . . The bolts of the lower P3 + P4 + P5 belay anchors are 4 x 0.375 inch Powers five-piece sleeve bolts.

Using Trad gear to "fill in" the long runout sections is mostly unknown.

Photos

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