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Cowlick Crag
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Cow Lick Co. Crag 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Todd, and Donette Swain, Mike Dimitri
Page Views: 5,326
Submitted By: Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi? on Mar 22, 2007

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Cow Lick Co Crag

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


Once upon a time, the rotten sandstone devil had its loose hold on two, unprotected, power-hiking scrambling girls of Red Rock, until they saw the sign to save themselves. Other people have seen the signs too.

Rock Climbing Photo: Scramblers beware
Scramblers beware

So, after many near death experiences, the girls thought they may be able to live longer as rock climbers, as it would teach them how to be safer hikers. So off they went to Border’s books, and bought "How to Rock Climb” by John Long. They purchased the gear that they needed to get started, and went to the gym to learn how to use a GriGri. No classes, and two brief times in the gym was enough for the ex-prison guard red head who ran a mens pod, and the brunette who grew up in the not-so-nice neighborhoods in LA. Besides, John Long’s book was their new bible.

So off they went to lead a climb, and practice with their new toys. The girls decided to go to Calico Basin, after working day shift, where they had once seen bolts while out hiking on this climb called Cow Lick Co. Crag. The girls discussed, “Well, the guide book says it’s a 5.7, and that seems to be a beginner’s grade, for a sport climb,” so they both decided it would suffice for a first lead. They both looked at each other, and wanted the other to jump on the lead. The feisty red head blurted, “You were the one who talked us into doing this crazy shit, so you can lead it, this is YOUR deal!" The brunette gave a nervous laugh, and said, “Whatever, okay.”

They did all the right things with the knots, rope, and double checking each other, so off the brunette went on lead. A few dance moves up the slab, and she stopped for a second, and said, “That bolt looks a little high.” The red head reassured, “All the climbs are probably like that.” A little bit of continued smearing, and crimping that the brunette had learned from her Red Rock death scrambles, finally got her to the first bolt, and she quickly, and proudly clipped her first bolt outdoors, and ran the rope through. She took a deep breath, relieved, but now seeking reassurance from her red headed partner that she really did have her on belay, and then the brunette climbed on.

The brunette climbed a few feet above the first bolt, and the red head asked, “Are you back clipped?" The brunette didn’t really want to think about it at that point, so without looking she replied, “No,” and climbed on very slowly. “Some of this rock sounds hollow," the brunette said with a shaky voice, as she was clinging to a little under-cling, looking for where she should go next. “Oh, there’s the next bolt, okay,” she had thought to herself, and with a little Elvis in her leg. Well, this is Vegas, baby.

Anyway, the second bolt was soon clipped, and the brunette felt a lot better, until she got up to a little roof. “Now what?” she had thought. By this time she was electively mute from being frightened, but found hope when she had blindly reached up over the bulge, and felt on some hard balls. They were small balls but when she finally had the courage to look at them, she saw that they were solid, and could be very useful to pull up over the annoying bulge, and it was even more encouraging when she had also seen another bolt nearby above her. "Whew, that was fun," the brunette called down after she had pulled the move.

The proud brunette happily scampered up the easy, low angle slab with positive holds that felt similar to the scrambles in Red Rock that they both loved. She was finally smiling again, and was soon at the strange looking cold shut anchor; she clipped into it, and did all the text book things, rapped down with her tuber, and it was on!

The red head found that she didn’t care too much for that kind of rock climbing after Cow Lick Co. Crag, and stuck to her power hiking, and unprotected scrambles, sold her climbing gear on ebay, and eventually moved to the island of Kauai. The brunette climbed on, hooked up with trad mentors, developed a liking for multi-pitch epics in Red Rock, and is still living in Sin City.

The end.

Strange, Cow Lick Co. Crag was my first lead. ; )
PS... I wouldn't recommend it to a new leader.

Have fun!


Climb is #4 in Jason Martin's beta photo.

Rock Climbing Photo: Cowlick Crag
Cowlick Crag


4 Bolts to Cold Shut anchor

Photos of Cow Lick Co. Crag Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting cold
Getting cold
Rock Climbing Photo: Silhouette
Rock Climbing Photo: Shot of some bolts.  First little high
BETA PHOTO: Shot of some bolts. First little high
Rock Climbing Photo: At the anchors
At the anchors
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Newheart leading and Liz Murray belaying.
Mike Newheart leading and Liz Murray belaying.
Rock Climbing Photo: .

Comments on Cow Lick Co. Crag Add Comment
Show which comments
By Adam Stackhouse
Mar 22, 2007

Classic narrative!
By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From: Vegas
Mar 23, 2007

The girls behind the story. Well, I had to make a 5.7, 2 star sport route somewhat interesting.....

The Feisty Red Head
Rock Climbing Photo: Nan-Cat, a hardcore scrambler of Red Rock, and one...
Nan-Cat, a hardcore scrambler of Red Rock, and one of my best friends. I've missed you dearly! Sigh....the trouble we used to get into in those canyons! I remember a lot of, "Oh my god, oh my f*#king god, I'll never do that again, I'll f*#king never do that again!" Only to do it, again, and again, and again........

And The Brunette
Rock Climbing Photo: In my early days of scrambling (late 90's) in the ...
In my early days of scrambling (late 90's) in the canyons of Red Rock. Before I knew anything about "technical rock climbing." I miss those days when I felt so free, and brave, or stupid.

Rock Climbing Photo: My all time favorite Red Rock scrambling partner, ...
My all time favorite Red Rock scrambling partner, Nan-Cat One of the best Red Rock scramblers I've ever met. She married a wonderful man, and moved to Kauai. Thanks for all the fun times in Red Rock!
Rock Climbing Photo: Whew,...I'm cured!  No more fangs or forked tongue...
Whew,...I'm cured!

No more fangs or forked tongue. Thanks Mountain Project!
By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 24, 2007

I hereby nominate this route description and follow-up comment for the first annual Mountain Project "EmPee" awards in the following categories:

  • Most entertaining route description of the year.
  • Funniest photo accompanying a route description (for Gigi's "Woman Possessed" photo)

Keep up the good work, Gigi!
By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From: Vegas
Mar 24, 2007

Thanks, Ron! It's always fun for me to reminisce, especially after working long hours these days; 56-64 hours a week of being locked up. Anyway, I'm glad someone besides me was entertained by it. ; )
By Jim Matt
From: Indianapolis, IN
Mar 27, 2007

I certainly got a chuckle from reading about Gigi grabbing "small but solid balls over an annoying bulge." LOL
By cassondra long
Feb 5, 2009

an accurate description of the route
By Brian in SLC
From: Sandy, Utah
Oct 13, 2009
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R

4 lead bolts in the first 40 or so feet, then...nothing until the anchor.

Seemed like at least 25 feet to the anchor from the last bolt. Sport, or, sporty?

Make sure belayer is payin' attention if you bust a hold and fall enroute to the anchor, or, otherwise, you could deck.

Also, someone should eventually replace the last hanger (homemade) and the cold shuts.

Yeah, it's only 5.4 up there, but...
By Chris Owen
From: Big Bear Lake
Mar 13, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

I can't add to the excellent route beta but a better route than the one to the right IMHO.
By Sean
From: Oak Park, CA
Nov 5, 2013

6 bolts, as of 4 Nov 2013, leading up to an anchor dangling rap chains. Another anchor higher on the flat topside, in-line with the mentioned one.

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