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Tuna and Chips Wall
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Albacore Man T,S 
Chips Ahoy T 
Chips and Salsa T 
Dolphin Safe T,S 
Fishbreath T 
Minnow, The TR 
Sierra Club Tower TR 
Tuna and Chips T 
Tuna Cookies T 
Waterstreak T,TR 

Chips and Salsa 

YDS: 5.3 French: 3+ Ewbanks: 10 UIAA: III ZA: 9 British: VD 3a

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 250'
Original:  YDS: 5.3 French: 3+ Ewbanks: 10 UIAA: III ZA: 9 British: VD 3a [details]
FA: ?
Page Views: 5,275
Submitted By: Jim McGuire on Jun 19, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (79)
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BETA PHOTO: View from the parking Lot

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


What can I say? At 5.3 most will think this trivial and in fact it is well suited for a solo, date climb or neophyte first lead. But as 5.3 routes go, it really is a pretty nice climb.

Locate the prominent cleft that that bisects the Tuna and Chips Wall. Tuna & Chips goes up the left side of the wall and Tuna Cookies the right. Chips and Salsa starts behind a large block at the bottom of the cleft at a low angle crack. Waterstreak goes up the obvious polished feature to the right. Face climb up the nicely featured rock along the crack to a belay where it opens into a wide chimney. There is a bolt and drilled angle for an anchor, as Waterstreak joins here as well. Wander up easier - and certainly less exposed - climbing in the chimney to the top. This is mostly scrambling and not much actual chimney technique is necessary. Descend to the climbers right and down a gully.


Standard desert rack with emphasis on small pieces.

Photos of Chips and Salsa Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Ron Graham leading first pitch of Chips and Salsa....
Ron Graham leading first pitch of Chips and Salsa....
Rock Climbing Photo: Keenan at the chains of the first pitch.
BETA PHOTO: Keenan at the chains of the first pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up the route with the polished groove of W...
Looking up the route with the polished groove of W...

Comments on Chips and Salsa Add Comment
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By cammyjams
From: Las Vegas, NV
Sep 2, 2008

This is the place to take beginners.
I added some chains to the top of the second pitch. This is a great beginners area because you can lead 5.3 to get to the P1 bolts which then can TR some harder stuff underneath.
Or you can do the second pitch (5.3, or 5.7 if you trend right; a great line to give newbies some air) Then rap the Aruba Wall gully with a single 60m rope and downclimb an easy chimney or stay climbers left below the pine tree and simply walk down the slab, more air for newbies. At the top of P2 is a great lunch spot/parking lot to let your beginners get totally hooked on RR.
By liveit P
From: Mammoth Lakes, Ca
Apr 30, 2010

Fun, easy climb that is great for beginners, I never saw the chains or bolts on the second pitch?
By Tom Lausch
From: Madison WI
Nov 28, 2012
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a

Some wide gear 5,6 would have better protected the chimmney on pitch 2. If you slipped your looking at hitting the cave floor. But more heady than difficult.
By micah richard
From: Litchfield, Connecticut
Apr 10, 2014

Did the first pitch to hang toprope for 5.10 on right. fun for 5.3, watch rock quality, very soft on places.
By alextasco
Jan 2, 2017
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

You can also set a gear belay in the cave, it makes for a more comfortable stance.

Communication sucks from the top of the second pitch plan accordingly ahead of time.

Descent: scramble up toward the upper cliffs then head right through a rock fall until you see a big boulder overlooking the canyon below you, it had some graffiti on it facing up hill when I was there. The descent gulley is to the left of this and goes down then continues right. Not a hike by any means but still pretty trivial.

Also I wouldn't take a beginner up the second pitch, my fiancé who has followed upwards of 5.7 on sport but never any trad, had a very difficult time on the second pitch. The chimney plus a lot of low angle slab is easy but unless you are used to that it can go right to your head.
By T Bloodstone
From: Minneapolis, MN
Oct 14, 2017

If you're learning to lead, Chips and Salsa is not a good route for it because P2 is pretty runout and you have to be creative at the top to build an anchor. Also it's got a short chimney you have to overcome. Crooked Crack, 5.6, 150 feet long, at Willow Spring is a better route to learn trad leading on and it is way easier than Chilps and Salsa despite the rating. Crooked Crack also has a bolt anchor at the top.

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