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Mescalito
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Bed of Nails T 
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Bloodline T 
C11H17NO3 T 
Cat in the Hat T 
Cat in the Phat T 
Centerfold T 
Chasing Shadows T 
Cookie Monster T 
Crunchy Cat T 
Dark Shadows T 
Dark Shadows (Full) T 
Deep Space T 
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Excellent Adventure T 
Extra Credit T 
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Mescalito - Original Route T 
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Risky Business T 
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Splitting Hares T 
This Ain't No Disco T,S 
Too Many Tantrums T 
Unknown (Thing 1) T 
Walker Spur, The T 
Wasp, The T 
Welcome to Red Rocks T 
When A Stranger Calls T 
Y2K T 

Dark Shadows (Full) 

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

   
Type:  Trad, 10 pitches, 1000'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: 
Page Views: 6,768
Submitted By: J tot on Oct 20, 2014

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new bolt & old school

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

Description 

Climb the first 4 pitches of the normal "Dark Shadows" build your last belay at the furthest right of the three anchors.

P5) Clip a bolt and head up. Pull an easy roof/bulge and follow the crack up and left. Some squeeze chimney (or face climbing) will put you on a small detached tower with two rusty old bolts. Recommend a gear anchor in cracks/huecos at the back (wide hand size pieces for anchor).

P6) Path of least resistance up the chimney behind the tower. After passing a short roof on its right (~50' from belay) head up and left eventually finding one new and one old bolt on low angle face to belay off of. (can be backed up with thin gear).

P7) follow the crack up and slightly right, placing thin gear. Build a belay on the varnished bench 20'-30' below an obvious roof. Gear takes big nuts and ~1" size cams (or that was just what I had).

P8/9) Climb off the ledge and pass the roof on its right. Head up and easy flaring hand crack and hit a series of bushy ledges. (potentially belay here with a 60M). Launch off of these ledges up some steep (for the grade) cracks for another 30'-40' and belay on a comfy varnished ledge with a two bolt anchors. ONLY ONE HAS A HANGER (Oct. 2014)!

P9/10) Climb the right facing dihedral and when it rounds off to the left, go straight up the varnished face and into the cracked roof above. Massive jugs make pulling this roof consistent for the grade. Cruise up low angle flaring hand crack for many more feet to find yourself at a well cairned massive ledge. Easiest belay is off one of the big trees. Might be tight with a 60M.

Location 

Start the normal first four pitches of Dark Shadows and keep going.

Finish on a big ledge. With cairns. To get down you still have several hundred feet of easy 5th free soloing or adventurous/wandering/easy leading to the summit. Head a little up and a bit left to a left facing dihedral hand crack with a cairn (Oct. 2014) to start the last ascent to the summit.

From the summit, follow the ridgeline then cairns northwest until they take you to a descent gully. This led us to a three rappel gully (with a 70M) the last rappel was into a tree with a few inches of rope left. Followed by 15' of downclimbing the tree. I can't recommend this, however maybe another gully for a single 60M exists. This puts you in the wash upstream from the base of the climb. Hike it back to your packs.

Protection 

Possible on a single rack with runout and a strong leader. Otherwise bring a double to 2" or 3".


Photos of Dark Shadows (Full) Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Great shot of the varnished iron rock on this rout...
Great shot of the varnished iron rock on this rout...
Rock Climbing Photo: Alex, p6
Alex, p6
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 9 climbs twin cracks and then heads rightwar...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 9 climbs twin cracks and then heads rightwar...
Rock Climbing Photo: p1 & 2
p1 & 2
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 7 climbs cracks to a ledge below the roof.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 7 climbs cracks to a ledge below the roof.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 10 roof.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 10 roof.
Rock Climbing Photo: Above pitch 10, follow broken rock for a couple of...
BETA PHOTO: Above pitch 10, follow broken rock for a couple of...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 6 climbs huecos on the right side past the m...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 6 climbs huecos on the right side past the m...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 10: a crack leads to a roof. This is the cru...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 10: a crack leads to a roof. This is the cru...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 8 passes the roof on the right side.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 8 passes the roof on the right side.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 6 ends on the face after the leftward traver...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 6 ends on the face after the leftward traver...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 6 traverses left from the piton anchor. Note...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 6 traverses left from the piton anchor. Note...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 5 roof above above a bolt.   This is the fir...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 5 roof above above a bolt. This is the fir...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 5. The left leaning crack above the roof.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 5. The left leaning crack above the roof.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 5 ends above the pillar on the left.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 5 ends above the pillar on the left.
Rock Climbing Photo: Alex, p3
Alex, p3
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike, p3
Mike, p3
Rock Climbing Photo: p4
p4
Rock Climbing Photo: Stinky and I on dark shadows.
Stinky and I on dark shadows.
Rock Climbing Photo: A satellite view of the descent according to Handr...
BETA PHOTO: A satellite view of the descent according to Handr...

Comments on Dark Shadows (Full) Add Comment
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By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Oct 20, 2014

There are several descent options off Mescalito- two that I know of off the north side, one off the south. The north side options are either double 60m rappels (or what you did with a 70m) or a walk-off with no rappels (tricky, but doable- aim for the second fork high in the drainage- you come down about 150' up the left hand side of the fork).

The south side is pretty well cairned as I understand it- Branch Whitney and crew use it for their hikes, so it may be doable with no rope or a single rope, but I have not done it so i can't comment on it.
By Ksween
From: Wakefield, RI
Dec 22, 2014

John, can you also reverse cat in the hat from here?
By Hans
From: Squamish, BC
Mar 16, 2015

Some beta on the descent.

From the summit of the Mescalito we followed a heavily cairned path southwest as per the description on SummitPost. This was extremely easy to follow, and led to a gully that brought us down to the south fork of Pine Canyon, perhaps 200-300 metres up the canyon from the start of Cat in the Hat.

Two rappels were necessary (about 10 metres and 22 metres respectively) from chain anchors near the bottom of the gully. Prior to this there were some very short sections of 4th or low 5th class down-climbing. One of these sections seemed tricky enough that we made a short rappel off of a small tree.

I don't know anything about the other descent options but this seemed like a really good way to go.
By Doug Hemken
Administrator
Apr 13, 2015

Better than I was expecting!
By Countzen
From: Santa Monica, CA
Apr 20, 2015

I hate getting lost on the approach and wasting time... and I did. So here's something to save you time.

GPS!

wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id...
By WookieStick69
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 1, 2015
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Excellent route. Definitely worth doing the entire climb if you're looking to hit Dark Shadows anyway. Besides, this is one of the rare climbs in RR that allows you to top something out, giving it a little more of that alpine feel.

Some quick beta that I have yet to see mentioned: you've actually got another 200-300 feet of climbing when you get to the top of pitch 10. None of it is hard, but we roped up and placed a couple pieces of gear here and there. Added another hour or so to the climb. Just be prepared to have to do this.

We left nothing at the base and descended via the southwest gully on Mescalito. I'd recommend this route as we ended up beating a couple parties that were in front of us and went down the north side. Very well cairned at the top/getting you to the gully. We made 5 rappels plus a bunch of down-climbing to get to the bottom. Rappels are generally good, but there is some potential for rope drama, so good idea to carry some extra webbing or chord up this route.

Car to car it took us 12 hours, but had two parties in front that we ended up waiting on. 10 hours is a good round trip estimate for an unencumbered party of two.
By Griffin Costello
From: San Francisco
Nov 28, 2015
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

gets cold in the shadows. did the first four pitches and had a blast!!!
By rgold
From: Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 14, 2016

I hate getting lost on the approach and wasting time... and I did. So here's something to save you time.

GPS!

wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id...


That track, as displayed, is way off. It crosses the flanks of Bridge Mountain half-way up the walls and ends up on some summit on the South Flank of Bridge Mountain.
By Andy.C
Feb 29, 2016

Climbed this on Feb 28, 2015. I highly recommend topping out on Mescalito and doing all 10 pitches - the rock quality is much better than we had thought and the route-finding was much easier than expected. For a 5.7 / 5.8 multipitch, I think it beats out many of the more popular and crowded moderate-grade routes in the canyon, if only because we were the only ones on it!

Thank you John Hegyes for the beta photos - those were super useful on this climb. Also, do not let that photo of one bolt and nut scare you -- it is in front of a huge ledge and not a hanging belay.

After topping out of pitch 10, I agree with the other reviewer that it took about an hour more to rope up and climb the final 200 ft or so of "5th class scrambling" to get to the top of mescalito. There's a lot of choss, loose dirt, and bushes that you have to manage around and it's not straightforward. We placed gear and roped up. There is a beta photo on summitpost that was super helpful.

I would budget 1:15 to 1:30 hours of sunlight after topping out to find the descent. We headed west and across the southern edge of the Mescalito "saddle" (Handren guidebook) before going another 50-100 feet and dropping into a gully to scramble down. Once you find that gully, you're fine (and don't need sunlight), but finding that gully in the dark would be near impossible imo. This descent required only one rappel (1x60m should be fine) at the very end of the gully before merging into the wash. There were shiny rap rings as of Feb 2016. The entire descent path was marked with cairns and took us roughly 3 hours from the top of Mescalito back to the parking lot.

Also, for faster climbers, I would recommend rapping down two pitches from the top of pitch 4 and doing Chasing Shadows. It adds 2 pitches of very solid face climbing to the whole route.

We only rapped down one pitch and did the 2nd pitch of Chasing Shadows. Wish we had time to do the first pitch.

Car to car was 13.5 hours.