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

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 700'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Michael King, John Liles, Larry DeAngelo
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 10,409
Submitted By: Larry DeAngelo on Apr 7, 2008

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BETA PHOTO: The line of Dodgeball.

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


This is a surprisingly good route that goes up a subtle line on the buttress to the left of Kick in the Balls. Because it starts at the base of the buttress, it is longer: about six pitches. The key feature is an aesthetic, left-facing, curvy corner with an alarmingly perched block halfway up.

Start at an easy slab directly below this corner, and climb to a good ledge with a large bush on it. You could probably bypass this pitch with scrambling around to the left, but the climbing here provides a pleasant warmup. Pitch 2 goes up the clean corner above. Use care when passing the perched block. We were all too timid to touch it, so it might be more secure than it looks; however, the costs of being wrong about this are likely to be extreme. Above the block, continue up the corner on perfect hand jams, and belay at a semi-hanging stance when the crack ends (small, finger-size cams). Pitch 3 continues up the improbable face with surprisingly adequate protection in intermittent cracks (more finger-size cams and wires).

Pitch 4 follows easier cracks to a smooth, flared chimney. An odd exit move to the right allows you to avoid the ominous convergence at the top of the chimney. Continue up the water-polished rock to a belay alcove just right of a not-quite-thriving bush. The next pitch starts by climbing back into the crack and going up the smooth, left-arching chimney above the bush. When the arch ends, climb the long, right-facing dihedral, which begins as a hand crack but soon widens to offwidth size. If you have wisely retained a large cam, this upper crack can even be protected. The sixth pitch starts with a few fifth-class moves, but the climbing quickly becomes easier as the angle leans back and the rock becomes more broken. Another hundred or two feet of fourth class take you to the top of the buttress. This is also the spot where Kick in the Balls tops out.

Descent: The obvious descent is to rappel into the gully immediately west of the buttress. Two or three rappels (they can be done with one 60-meter rope) bring you to easy ground. This is a gully you will have visited as part of the approach if you have climbed Kick in the Balls. Scramble down for 50 or so yards until you can exit to skier's left (west), and downclimb easy rock to the notch at the top of the Lotta Balls Wall. Be aware that the last moves to the notch are a traverse straight west on frictiony ledges and NOT down the steep dropoff.

I vaguely recall having descended to the east from the top of buttress, but my mostly suppressed memories seem to center on a frighteningly loose chimney that I have minimal interest in re-engaging. If you go that way, it becomes more civilized once you reach the wide slabby area. This is descended with some downclimbing and a rappel or two.


Standard rack to number 4 (or bigger cam); extra cams in the finger sizes.

Photos of Dodgeball Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Larry smoothly leading way up on the delicate face...
Larry smoothly leading way up on the delicate face...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 3.   Creative protection.
Pitch 3. Creative protection.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down on Pitch 3.
Looking down on Pitch 3.
Rock Climbing Photo: Good picture of the "Block" which is per...
Good picture of the "Block" which is per...
Rock Climbing Photo: Michael heads up the P2 corner toward the "de...
Michael heads up the P2 corner toward the "de...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at Pitch 3. The gear gets better the hi...
Looking up at Pitch 3. The gear gets better the hi...
Rock Climbing Photo: looking toward Mt Wilson
looking toward Mt Wilson
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down at p2.  We built our hanging belay lo...
Looking down at p2. We built our hanging belay lo...
Rock Climbing Photo: The layback section of pitch schweet it ...
BETA PHOTO: The layback section of pitch schweet it ...
Rock Climbing Photo: The first good stance, leading up the second secti...
The first good stance, leading up the second secti...
Rock Climbing Photo: On the very unique summit of Dodgeball- a 90 degre...
On the very unique summit of Dodgeball- a 90 degre...
Rock Climbing Photo: Back at our packs after the very long, involved de...
Back at our packs after the very long, involved de...
Rock Climbing Photo: Top of P3, P4 goes up & right
Top of P3, P4 goes up & right
Rock Climbing Photo: "Watch me here!"  Two parties in one day...
"Watch me here!" Two parties in one day...
Rock Climbing Photo: The memorable p3, a 4 star pitch!
The memorable p3, a 4 star pitch!
Rock Climbing Photo: looking up at the upper section of pitch 2.
looking up at the upper section of pitch 2.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down pitch 2 layback.
Looking down pitch 2 layback.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at Pitch 4.
Looking up at Pitch 4.
Rock Climbing Photo: P4
Rock Climbing Photo: John on P2
John on P2
Rock Climbing Photo: Jersey Girl on crux pitch.
Jersey Girl on crux pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: P3
Rock Climbing Photo: John taking the nice left ramp to begin P1
John taking the nice left ramp to begin P1
Rock Climbing Photo: another view of Mt Wilson
another view of Mt Wilson

Show All 27 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 3, 2017
By saxfiend
From: Decatur, GA
Apr 7, 2008
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

What a great experience being on the FA! Watching Larry lead the crux P3 was inspiring. P2 is particularly aesthetic and fun climbing, nice lead by Michael on that pitch. Lots of fun from start to finish!
By Craig Martin
From: Park City
Oct 16, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Climbed this route the other day before the big rain. We really enjoyed the route, easily as good as most of the routes on the Lotta Balls wall, IMO.

The descent was a little confusing. The 1st rappel off of Kick in the Balls (3 fixed nuts) is short and traverses to climbers right to a small tree that is easy to miss. The exposed scrambling to get to Lotta Balls descent was also pretty exciting.
By Doug Hemken
From: Madison, WI
Apr 2, 2013

Great route! Pitches 2 & 3 are stunning, and the rest was very nice as well!

We pulled down (but not out) on the block.
By Sean
From: Oak Park, CA
May 7, 2013

excellent route, with many stretches of amazing climbing and exposure.

we skipped the intended P1 belay on the bushy ledge at the base of the first dihedral. that ledge looked overgrown. instead continued halfway up that first dihedral to belay in a notch just below the perched block, to fully enjoy looking up at that perched dodgeball, for a ~200 ft first pitch. our P2 went up past the perched block, onto the long stretch of splitter hands, then up the improbable face, setting P2 anchor at the start of a flaring crack. had enough rope and could've gone higher, but didn't initially see (or think of) the wild and exposed step across left onto a protruding arete pillar that could've led up to a more comfortable ledge. our P3 followed the mentioned exposed step across left, which led higher to a blocky ledge with another exposed highstep across back right. did not climb back into the left-veering lichen-covered wide crack, but instead did another exposed step across left yet again (what's another after two wild steps across already), onto juggy arete and up, belaying at a convenient horizontal, for a ~210 ft third pitch. our P4 went up the long stretch of traveled but still lichen-covered face above. good holds, but abundant lichen. stretched our 70 for a 215 ft pitch to reach the finish of the Dodgeball route, onto a huge reddish blocky ledge. stepped to climber's right past a giant cubic boulder and went up the finish of adjacent Kick In The Balls that led ~125 ft up to the top of the buttress, for our finishing P5, to find a rap tree hidden just behind and below the summit, which looked down the wide descent gully to the west. easy downclimb to get to that rap tree.

that 1st rap off of the formation summit is a 100 ft [typo corrected thanks to thedogfather's catch below] drop down the right side of the gully (skier's right), leading to the next rap tree anchor with a long rectangular block sitting on the narrow ledge next to the tree. another nearby tree anchor (which we didn't use) could be seen a little below and more toward the middle of the gully; not sure if reachable by our 70; possibly there just for a short rap to get more toward the center of the gully. our 2nd rap from the tree anchor with the long loose-sitting rectangular block took us ~150 ft down and across to another rap tree on the other side of the gully (skier's left). after our 3rd rap from that (~160 ft), we scrambled down a faint trail that switchbacked first to the right side (skier's right) of the gully and then back to skier's left, then hugging that left side down to a scoot-n-downclimb of a squeeze chimney section, down to the somewhat exposed traverse to skier's left around a ledgy bulge to arrive at the first rap tree for the Lotta Balls descent. btw, if familiar with the Lotta Balls topout, that wide shoulder terrace with stacked boulder blocks could be seen along the upper pitches and along the raps down
By Tom Fralich
From: Fort Collins, CO
Mar 28, 2014

This route has some great climbing, especially on pitches 2-4. I thought the face on pitch 3 was pretty bold. There's gear right off the belay and some more when it starts getting thin, but after a decent runout.
By Larry Graham
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 18, 2014

We climbed this route on Apr 16, 2014. Here are a few comments that we think potential climbers might want to consider.

The first pitch is an easy but good warm-up for what is to follow. The second and third pitches (as we did them) were superb. I was leading and stopped where the hand crack/layback flake ended. There was a decent stance although it was a bit hanging as well. This would be 15 feet or so below where the description above has it. Then the third pitch is all in one character: wall with small cracks and creative pro possibilities. The second pitch is all of one type too: dihedral cracks, stemming lay backing or straight in jamming. I ended the third pitch (about 175 feet) by stepping easily to left onto a pillar of whitish rock and finished up that about 30 feet to a perfect belay alcove. I can't imagine belaying anywhere else. It was perfect. From there is the short move or two right as shown on the topo picture.

The upper pitches were much as described: up to the right of a bush, then up the curving crack, and up an exit pitch to easy ground. This is still well below the real summit of the formation. There was a fair size cairn at the final belay and from there it was an easy stroll straight west to the new rap anchor atop Kick in the Balls. We had two 60 m ropes and just had enough to get to scramble down territory in one long rap. We didn't see any intermediate rap stations.

For sure, these upper pitches were 1 star at best while the 2nd and 3rd were 4 or 5 stars. If some way were set up to rap just these pitches this would become a classic, possibly rivaling Lotta Balls for a stellar moderate climb.
By Larry DeAngelo
From: Las Vegas, NV
Apr 18, 2014

A note on the rating. . . Some people have said this was harder than 5.7. I recently climbed it again and can offer the observation that this difference might be height-dependent. At a point or two I found myself stretching for hold and glad I had the reach. Anyway, if you're not tall, the 5.8 rating may be more appropriate.
By thedogfather Dower
From: Las Vegas, NV
Nov 14, 2014

To get to the start, go up as if you are going to Lotta Balls and continue up the normal down climb for that route (after the rappels). There is an obvious escape left at a big ledge and a cairn where you can access the start.

Pitch 2 - if I do it again I will have 3 #2 cams (I only had 1).
Pitch 5 - a #4 is too small for most of the wide crack. I would bring at least a #5 if you want to protect and don't use your #3 on the belay.

Descent: As mentioned in a previous comment (that I missed and went way too high), stop at the cairn at the top of the last pitch and go climbers right to the rap anchors. We only had a 70 so were scared off by the previous comment about having two 60's and didn't see an intermediate rap. So, we climbed up to a tree and rapped down to another tree with slings that almost certainly would have been easy to reach from the rap anchors. We did 3 raps to the traverse over to Lotta Balls descent. fyi: the final 20 feet to the rap tree is super sketchy and we actually roped up for it. Call us wimps but the result of a slip on the slopey feet with no positive hand holds would be disastrous.

Two comments above were what threw us off "That 1st rap is a 200 ft drop down the right side of the gully" I assume he meant 100 feet. Then the comment about using double 60's and not seeing any intermediate rap points also worried us. There were multiple options of trees with webbing and we were using a single 70meter rope.
Pitch 2 and 3 were worth the trip but I would say the rating is a bit sandbagged and would not recommend to a 5.8 leader.
By Ben Townsend
Nov 14, 2014

Loved the climb, hated the brushy descent gully (our rope hung up twice). Thought the 5.7 rating was right on the mark.
By G. Vesp
From: Las Vegas, Nevada
Mar 6, 2015
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Did this route today for the first time. Found it interesting and thought pitches 2 and 3 really made the route.

I consider myself a 5.6 - 5.7 trade leader and led the entire route, but found it at times to be at the top end of my comfort limit. I give the route 5.8 and definitely feel that there were sections of 5.8 on both pitches 2 and 3.

With that said, I felt that the gear was good through the crux sections, but not always obvious, particularly on some of the slab section of Pitch 3.

On the upper pitches the rock was pretty sandy and somewhat brittle. We actually had some rock break off on the upper pitch,but we did have rain two days earlier and the rock still seemed moist.

Reference the "block" on pitch 2, IMHO it looked and felt solid. If it came down, it could definitely create a severe outcome, but it looked to me that someone would need to work to get it off its perch. In short, I would not avoid the climb for fear of the block. Again, that is just my opinion.

The descent I found to be no fun at all. Tons of bush whacking and pulling ropes through trees and bushes. We also roped up for the short traverse that lead to the first rap on Lotta Balls. Although the moves across are straight forward, a slip would not end well.

Overall fun climb!!.......exhausting descent! We used a single 70 meter rope and made all the rappells with no issue.
By Steve123
Mar 14, 2016

I can confirm that the ledge at the top of pitch 1 is accessible by hiking.
We bailed after climbing pitch 1 because of bad weather, and we were able to easily hike down from the left side of this ledge.
By enkoopa
Mar 16, 2016
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

We bailed somewhere up the layback section, when it narrows down to nothing. We weren't sure what to do, the route looked like it disappeared and thinned out into something that wasn't protect-able. Feeling already at our limit on the "5.7" layback we figured best to bail while there was gear as it was getting a bit late for what lay ahead and what we read was an "adventurous" decent.
By grabski
From: N California
Nov 29, 2016
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

P2 and P3 are good fun. I agree that P3 is bold in places. The pro is there, but there are times when you're making 5.8 moves with a marginal piece below your feet. The top of P4 and most of P5 had a lot of lichen and loose pieces, so keep your wits about.

Additional small wires, and additional finger to small-hands pieces would be beneficial. A #5 is useful on P5, but it's not necessary if you're comfortable on 5.6 low-angle wide crack. One 70m is fine for the raps.
By Leslie McG
Mar 25, 2017
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

This is quite an adventure climb and. Pitch 2 and 3 are sustained climbing and are IMHO sandbagged at 5.7 and 5.8 respectively. Pitch 2 is burly and thoughtful while pitch 3 is spicy crispy friction climbing. We bailed climber's right after getting to a lichen covered chossy "5.5" wall that looked unappealing to climb. The lotta balls descent gully is easy to spot skier's left: it's a rounded ledge with a large pile of flat rocks on it with a pine tree 100 feet or so above it. That tree marks the first rappel of the lotta balls gully.
By Floridaputz
From: Oakland Park, Florida
Mar 29, 2017

I got to climb this with a friend from Vegas, and was thrilled by this climb. The first Pitch is not much, but P2 is stellar. I would go so far as to say that this is the best layback pitch for the grade I have done in RR. From the chockstone, the next 50-60 feet are perfect laybacking. However you will need to build a belay somewhere along this. Who would think the next pitch is every bit as good. What a pitch. Perfect Red Rock face climbing at about 5.8+, but thin and crispy as Jersey Girl said. She is little but a foot broke on her (no fall) P4 is OK but the quality of the route goes down hill. I think if it gets climbed and cleans up a bit that part will be good someday. I guess this is a Larry D route and it reminded me of Hot Flash where the last pitches are not that great but bring you to the top of the tower. Same here, the finishing spot would be great. You can bail into the descent from top of P 4 and connect with the lotta balls raps.
By DavidTighe
From: Cleveland, Ohio
Apr 3, 2017

Pitch 2 was my favorite. The cruck layback/handcrack comes at the very and and takes c4 #2. If you're a noob like me you'll want to bring at least three #2 sized pieces and save two for the crux. I ended up with none, got sketched and whipped after hesitating too long on crappy feet. I don't recommend that :)

Pitch 3 was fun but pretty bold for a new 5.8 leader. The gear is spaced, not very obvious, and sometimes marginal. Though not very difficult the climbing is insecure. Really nice rock though, and a cool belay on top of a block.

The chimney starting pitch four has a couple grunty moves without great protection. After the traverse it's easy.

Everything else on the climb is easy and not very remarkable. Watch for loose and friable rock. I busted at least two holds.

As for the descent, we roped up for the traverse to the Lotta Balls rap tree as well. It's easy terrain but pretty sandy and exposed.

Overall it was a great adventure.

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