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Cat Scratch Fever 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 700', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Joanne & George Urioste, John Rosholt
Page Views: 4,213
Submitted By: Larry DeAngelo on Feb 8, 2006

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BETA PHOTO: Cat Scratch Fever on the Brownstone Wall. The sha...

RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>


The broad reddish face to the right of Black Dagger is split by an obvious crack. Climb up and right to the right side of a prominent overhang. The second pitch starts by the far right edge of the roof at a crack. Climb up until an easy traverse left leads to the main crack system. Follow this for a few pitches to slabs at the top of the wall. The upper overhangs pose no serious difficulties. Descend by walking south (left) and scrambing down through the Gunsight Notch.

Routefinding note: on the second pitch there is a bolt some distance above the roof. It is probably easier to skip this bolt and make the leftward traverse a bit lower on good face holds.


Standard rack.

Photos of Cat Scratch Fever Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Cat Scratch Fever pitch 1
BETA PHOTO: Cat Scratch Fever pitch 1
Rock Climbing Photo: The upper overhangs on Cat Scratch Fever.
The upper overhangs on Cat Scratch Fever.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down the pleasant crack on pitch 2 of Cat ...
Looking down the pleasant crack on pitch 2 of Cat ...

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By Greg Barnes
Apr 10, 2006

Anthony Anagnostou and I replaced the first pitch anchor on 3/24/06. The new bolts are both stainless 5-pieces, one 1/2" x 2.75" and one 3/8" x 2.25". We didn't replace the bolt on pitch 2, since one friend had done the route and not even seen it, and Larry said the bolt was off-route as far as the easiest line. Greg
By Anthony Anagnostou
From: nyc
Apr 18, 2006

Climbed CSF today. The first pitch is nifty, although a little serious feeling through the crux. The second pitch is great. The Urioste guide says to belay at 150', but there is a plush horizontal with a great stance at around 175'. Don't stop early!

I never saw the bolt on p2.

For some reason (i didnt do my online research and we mindlessly and likely incorrectly followed the red book beta..) we thought we had to traverse right on the easier slabby climbing under the upper headwall, and ended up with a belay anchor under an improbable-looking crack that looked burly. so we tried even further right.. (we didn't look at the route from the ground).

Anyways, on the right side of the headwall is a 4th (?) class gully with a varnished chimney entrance. And the 'route' that steps left onto the face/crack there is an unimpressive 5.6ish thing that i wish i hadn't done.

The route eats nuts. I'd bring a single set of cams and a double set of nuts and tons of runners. I appreciated the #4 C4 at the beginning of p2, (old #3.5 camalot would be fine too).
By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From: Vegas
Apr 18, 2006

Thanks for the beta Anthony. C.S.F. is on my to do list.
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Apr 7, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This route is easily done in 4 pitches, with a final 100' scramble to the summit.

Pitch 1: Climb to the bolts (thanks Greg!)

Pitch 2: Climb to the good horizontal ledge cutting through the wall (180')

Pitch 3: Climb to just below the big roof. 180'

Pitch 4: Climb to the top. 180'

This is the best way, i think, as it utilizes all of the best stances- i wouldnt have wanted to belay at the two we skipped- in fact, they didnt even seem like obvious belay stances!

Good route, though- not as much fun as Black Dagger, but pretty cruiser and if you're fast you could do this and Black Dagger pretty easily...
By Tom Fralich
From: Fort Collins, CO
Apr 12, 2011

Nice climb up a continuous feature, and certainly easier than Black Dagger. Only downside is that you have to do the Gunsight descent, which always seems to have snow when I do it.
By Sherri Lewis
From: Sequim, WA
Apr 18, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Amazing that the Handren guidebook let this route go without putting at least one star beside it! It is a gem. We found every pitch enjoyable and interesting and good rock.

We roped up to get to the base of the crack system.

The crux of the 5.7 pitch(P1) can feel a bit heady for the grade but it's all there with good pro; same goes for the crux pitch(P2).

The Handren guide is a little confusing about splitting P3 and P4. It makes the most sense to combine the 50' of "4th class scramble"(which felt more like easy 5th class to us) of P4 with P3. In other words, just aim to belay below the 5.6 roof which is the start of P5. Also after P5, most parties will want to stay roped for the last 100ft to the summit.

We did this climb on a partly sunny, windy day(southwest wind, 30mph gusts) and were quite comfortable. Its aspect protected us from the worst of the wind, warmed us with a little sun, and doing the Gunsight descent meant no nasty rope-eating rappels.
By Ben Townsend
Apr 17, 2016

High quality climb, airy and exposed. The second pitch crux stays steep for longer than you might expect from a typical 5.8, but once you get to the left crack it is pure fun all the way to the nice belay ledge.

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