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Physical Graffiti 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 290'
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: Martinet, Grandstaff, Gordon '73
Page Views: 37,301
Submitted By: Peter Gram on Feb 17, 2004

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BETA PHOTO: The start of the walk off to climbers' left. It's ...

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


Physical Graffiti is an excellent crack climb for the beginning leader. Start near the left side of the Riding Hood Wall at the steep crack with big jugs around it.

P1) Climb up for most of a rope length, passing a small roof, to an anchor. (5.6)

P2) Get into the crack to the right (small gear), and jam it to the top of the formation. (5.6)

Descent: Scramble left, then down the third class gully. Alternatively, rap off the west face, then downclimb the gully (tricky).


Standard Rack

Photos of Physical Graffiti Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Working the 2nd pitch of Physical grafitti
Working the 2nd pitch of Physical grafitti
Rock Climbing Photo: Just in time to catch a great sunset over the scen...
Just in time to catch a great sunset over the scen...
Rock Climbing Photo: Riding Hood Wall
BETA PHOTO: Riding Hood Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Gigi tops out on Physical Graffiti. Sept. 2015.
Gigi tops out on Physical Graffiti. Sept. 2015.
Rock Climbing Photo: You can rap from the first anchor on a 60m rope wi...
BETA PHOTO: You can rap from the first anchor on a 60m rope wi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Not many route-finding problems here; but yellow a...
BETA PHOTO: Not many route-finding problems here; but yellow a...
Rock Climbing Photo: Joanne Urioste on P1
BETA PHOTO: Joanne Urioste on P1
Rock Climbing Photo: 2nd pitch of Physical Graffitti,   Always a fun cl...
2nd pitch of Physical Graffitti, Always a fun cl...
Rock Climbing Photo: Red Riding Hood Wall and Physical Graffiti
BETA PHOTO: Red Riding Hood Wall and Physical Graffiti
Rock Climbing Photo: P2 from just right of the P1 chains
BETA PHOTO: P2 from just right of the P1 chains
Rock Climbing Photo: Riding Hood Wall. You can see a climber at the bel...
Riding Hood Wall. You can see a climber at the bel...
Rock Climbing Photo: starting up the trough on the second pitch
starting up the trough on the second pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Two unknown (but loud) climbers at the belay ledge...
BETA PHOTO: Two unknown (but loud) climbers at the belay ledge...
Rock Climbing Photo: Melissa on p2
Melissa on p2
Rock Climbing Photo: Riding Hood Wall from the approach
Riding Hood Wall from the approach
Rock Climbing Photo: Bonnie Kelso and Ron Graham at top of first pitch....
Bonnie Kelso and Ron Graham at top of first pitch....
Rock Climbing Photo: Riding Hood Wall - Climber at the top of the secon...
Riding Hood Wall - Climber at the top of the secon...
Rock Climbing Photo: Me in red leading pitch 2 of Physical Graffiti whi...
Me in red leading pitch 2 of Physical Graffiti whi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Me at the first bolted belay station of Physical G...
Me at the first bolted belay station of Physical G...
Rock Climbing Photo: Start of the first pitch of Physical Graffiti Phot...
BETA PHOTO: Start of the first pitch of Physical Graffiti Phot...
Rock Climbing Photo: Physical Graffiti. Nice start -- the first 20 feet...
Physical Graffiti. Nice start -- the first 20 feet...
Rock Climbing Photo: Start by the two trees/shrubs located at the botto...
BETA PHOTO: Start by the two trees/shrubs located at the botto...
Rock Climbing Photo: Fun crack. New to trad and agree with all the abov...
Fun crack. New to trad and agree with all the abov...
Rock Climbing Photo: Derek starting the first pitch of Physical Graffit...
Derek starting the first pitch of Physical Graffit...

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 May 1, 2017
By Scott Conner
From: Lyons, CO
Feb 19, 2004
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I think the first pitch is a great beginner lead but the second pitch is hard for the grade, insecure and weird...
By Richard S. Adler
Apr 9, 2004
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

..........damn, Physical Graffiti is one of my favorite obscure routes at Red Rocks. While the masses are conga lined up on some of the acknowledged classics. This nice line is typically san humanity. Scott is correct, in my opinion, about the first pitch. But The second pitch is terrific. A beautiful hand and finger crack that eats gear. We found the walk off strait forward, albeit tricky. No rappel's needed!

By 10b4me
Jun 29, 2005

You can actually desend climber's left and aviod a rap. Mainly class 2 with a little class 3 to keep things honest!
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jun 29, 2005
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

You can descend right or left off of Physical Graffitti, neither descent requires a rappel. If you go right, when you reach the rappel station, just head off left (away from the main wall), traversing about 20' total. From here, you drop back right and end up at the base of the wall. There may be one or two 4th class moves, but nothing serious.
By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From: Vegas
Jul 11, 2005
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I prefer the descent to the climbers left, as I've done both right and left. The right's "rap part" was O.K. but the downclimbing was sketchier and it seemed to have taken longer to get back to the base, in comparison to the left.I'd like to give the first pitch a one star(a bit boring and wandery), but in my opinion, the second pitch deserves two stars, mainly because it's such a nice clean crack that takes gear well. Anyway, a nice climb to do if you want and/or need a "quickie," (multi-pitch, that is).
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jul 29, 2005
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

It should also be noted that the second pitch is a long one (almost a full 60m), and if you are a beginning leader take note- unless you have about three full sets of cams with you, you are most likely going to have to climb above your gear in a few spots.

I think the first time you do the second pitch, it can seem a bit contrived and awkward at the grade, but once you've done it, it seems much easier upon a repeat ascent...
By harmonydoc
Mar 27, 2006
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Climbed this last weekend, I thought the whole thing was great! I'm a pretty new leader, took me some thought to figure out the start of the pitch 2 crack, but once I got in the swing of it things felt quite reasonable and secure. My 2 followers both thought pitch 2 was harder than pitch 1. We descended down the gully off climbers right, didn't rap, there were one or two sections that required a few technical moves, but nothing horribly intimidating. Took a while though, since we had to move carefully not to dislodge the loose debris in the gully.
By Matt McMurray
From: Castle Rock, CO
Nov 13, 2006
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I climbed this a few weeks ago for the first time. I would strongly advise walking-off to the climber's left. I went right, and thought that the down climb through the chimneys were more difficult and exposed in spots than the whole climb... okay maybe that's a bit exaggerated, but it gets the point across. I spoke with the group ahead of us and they did the descent in about 10 minutes (to the left), whereas it took our group more like 15-20 (to the right).

A very fun route... =)
By Mike McGlynn
From: Henderson, NV.
Nov 26, 2006

IHO the best way to get off of P.G. is to first go right past the rap anchors, go up the ramp about 15', go through the slot to the left, come out on the other side and then descend as normal to the left. By descending this way, you avoid the - somewhat - scary exposure of immediately going left from the top of the climb. Getting to the slot through the rock is very easy - and much less intimidating - than taking the immediate left, especially for beginning climbers that you may be taking on their first multipitch route. I'm not sure why anybody would descend right, it is much more of a pain in the neck, and dangerous to boot.
By OKClimber
From: Folsom
Nov 5, 2007
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Just a note on the length of the first pitch - most guide books call for a 'long' first pitch, while it is actually about 95' to the anchors. I found this out once when I had to rap from the anchors with a single 60m after my partner refused to ascent the lower section due to nerves. I luckily found out I could reach the ground with a little room to spare with a single 60.
By Jay Holland
From: Heath , Texas
May 10, 2009

Climbed this yesterday. We got an early start so the heat was not so bad. By the time we got to the bottom 10:00 am it was getting warm. Two groups waiting to climb the route at that time. The route is an excellent lead for beginners or good practice. First pitch I thought was much easier than the second. The second starts off tricky but the holds are all very positive. The whole climb is very sustained at the grade. The descent to the right was easy to find , but make sure you rap down to the first gully and leave your rope up and drop down to the next level as well. 60m makes it fine. The down climbing was a little tricky through the gully. This is an excellent get out and get in a morning climb route though!
By cassondra long
Sep 2, 2009

During the summer months, this route goes into shade after 2pm. It is a nice place to climb on a summer afternoon. Also, it gets morning sun in the winter. It was beautiful last January.
By cassondra long
Nov 28, 2009

There is now a bolted belay anchor at the top of P2 positioned somewhat below the crack where one would customarily build a gear anchor. This should speed up the conga line a bit.
By Top Rope Hero
From: Was Estes Park, now homeless
Apr 1, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Fun. But not all THAT fun. Most of the magic looks like it would be over in 60 feet.

For spice, try either of the direct, 5.9+ roof starts, 40 ft to the right, called "Over the Hill blahblahbalh..." Yummmm!
By JeanGClimbs
From: Reading, VT
May 6, 2010

Climbed this twice last week (different partners) and thought it was a stellar climb for the grade. If you find the 2nd pitch either difficult or unpleasant, you are probably getting sucked into the crack. If you stem the entire pitch you will find it fantastic, fun and quite easy! I agree that a leader who climbs 5.6 or 5.7 as their limit might be a little intimidated.

Indeed there is a fixed anchor at the top of pitch 2 now (not required to build a belay unless it is crowded). My partner and I tried rapping the route since there was no one else there. The wind was up but we were able to pull and retrieve our ropes successfully. Double rope rap from the top to midway anchor (lots of places for your rope to get eaten) and a single rope rap to the ground.
By Ron Graham
Jun 13, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I agree with the last commenter. You won't likely find leading the second pitch to be awkward if you stem the first part, get into the crack in the middle when the stemming holds thin out but there are great hand and foot jams, and then climb the face just left of the crack near the top of the pitch.

To get onto the line of the second pitch, you need to do an easy traverse about 8 feet or so to the right from the ledge at which the first pitch anchor is located. There is a horizontal crack a little bit above head level in between the first pitch anchor and the vertical crack constituting the line of the second pitch. This horizontal crack is just deep enough to take a BD#3 cam. Placing and clipping into this will keep you from falling on the anchor and penduluming far if you slip before placing gear in the vertical crack. After placing a piece in the vertical crack, you can easily back clean the #3 cam so you won't have rope drag issues later on.

In my opinion, the crux of the climb is the beginning of the first pitch. There is some great pro right away but a few awkward moves until the angle backs off. The rest of the route is smooth sailing with tons of holds and pro.
By Rich F.
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Mar 24, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Fun route, worth climbing. Anchors look good on both pitches. Best part of the climb was the first 30 feet, and then doing a layback on the top half of the crack on the 2nd pitch. Two ropes required to rappel the route since the 2nd pitch is so long.
By Larry DeAngelo
From: Las Vegas, NV
Mar 25, 2011

Rich, two ropes are unnecessary. Most people will walk off left or rap to the gully on the right with a single rope.
By cammyjams
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jun 7, 2011
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

As of 6/6/11 the anchors at the top of pitch two have been removed and filled. I found this odd as the rap chains 50' up around to the right were not maintained and still have scary cold shuts on one side. Why go to all of the work removing/filling bolts and leave manky rap rigs up there? Anyway, belaying safely at the top of pitch two now means building a SERENE Trad anchor under a huge block at the top of the climb. You will need every inch of a 60m rope to accomplish this, and a couple of large pieces too. FYI, C.
By Nelson Day
From: Joshua Tree, CA
Sep 19, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Climbed this yesterday. I agree that the second pitch does take quite a bit of gear. If you are a new leader, probably doubles and maybe triples in the 1" range is not a bad idea. There are a couple vertical crack hand and foot jam moves you will need to do, which seemed a little sandbagged at the 5.6 level. The first pitch was very enjoyable, and the rock formations in the area are beautiful.

Save a .75 camalot and a #3 camalot for the gear anchor at the top under a prominent formation.
By Alex Rogers
From: Sydney, Australia
Sep 19, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I led the 1st pitch, my partner the 2nd, and I definitely felt pitch 1 was easier - pitch 2 probably 5.7. Very well protected, lovely rock, great position - a really great fun climb. We rapped on one rope into the gully to the right, easy down-climbing thereafter, no issues at all.
By William Nelson
From: Cave Creek, AZ
Feb 20, 2012
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Awesomeness. First pitch was easy 5.5. starts out pretty vertical but with huge jugs and great pro. Second pitch is spicy for 5.6. Great protection, awesome stemming moves sometimes requiring just palming dishes with your hands. Second pitch took almost entire 60 m rope length. Can use two bolted anchors at top of pitch (angle slightly left on headwall) which also is used for relatively new multi pitch 5.9 sport route around the corner to the left of start of PG. Badass leaders will runout second pitch and hardly need to protect. The rest of us want to sew it up. On second pitch, I used all cams. 1x.3,1x.4,2x.5,2x.75, 3x 1, 2x2, and a 1x 3 BD C4s. 12 cams in 200 feet may feel like runout for first time leader, but just protect the few bulges and spicier moves instead of sewing it up every 10 feet. Walk off climbers left down gully is easy if you don't want to rap.
By zachw
Mar 31, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

First pitch is a gem for beginning leaders. So many bomber nut placements! The second pitch, though, is a bit more awkward. If teaming up with an experienced leader, the beginner should probably lead P1 and then clean P2 to see how its done on an easy but funky RR crack.

Bolted anchor at first belay. Build your own anchor at the top in the obvious cave. Make sure to bring a camera for the ubiquitous vegas pic at the top.

Also consider the bolted 5.9 to the left (4 pitches?)
By Jared R
Sep 23, 2012

I think that the first pitch was great and easy. The second pitch was much, much harder, in my opinion than the first pitch. It felt sustained and harder than the 5.6 rating. It was a good route though. Definitely worth doing.

The descent was not good. Next time I would just rap the route to the left, Big Bad Wolf in 4 raps with a 60M rope.
From: Mesa AZ
Sep 26, 2012

We did the Over the Hill to Grandmothers House start - Great initial moves with nice 5.9 face moves through the top section - Adds a bit of spice to a 5.6 climb - Plus the 2nd pitch is a stout 5.6 lead for new leaders so overall a great climb.
By BarryO
Nov 2, 2012

Great climb and loads of fun!!! Left hand and foot jams all along the way. There are NO ANCHORS on the top of the 2nd pitch but there is a great crack to use for anchors which allows you to get in to a great seated position. Make sure to save some gear for the anchor station (small to medium cams). The rappel into the canyon to the right was fun although you don't have to and you can cross over 2 fins to get to an easy 2nd class down climb. Someone has even cairned the route although it may have been for scrambling as I have extensively scrambled in the area and someone may have decided to set it up for hiking groups. A must do climb in Red Rock and I suggest listening to the album on the drive up and back - Zeppelin rules!!!
By dnoB ekiM
Nov 3, 2012
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Barry0, While there are no anchors atop PG's 2nd pitch, a 70 meter should allow you to continue up and left to the top anchors of BBWolf and belay from those anchors, if you wish. This is a fabulous route.! EZ, fun and protection opportunities the entire way. Over the hill to GMs house 5.9 (to the right) is a Great!!! alternative first pitch!
By Mike Hill
Nov 20, 2012
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Great 2 pitch route. I think both pitches are about the same difficulty but different styles. The first pitch is a little overhung early on but then eases up. The second pitch is a lot of stemming and long. Go up left at the end if you want to belay from the top of BBW if nobody is over there with a 70M rope then walk off left. Nice easy approach to the climb. We only had a half day so we were able to do this climb before we caught our plane later afternoon. The second pitch eats gear if you are not running it out a little. Double rack mid gear .75-3 if you don't want to run it out a bit. Lots of nut placements too. No trouble finding gear placements anywhere on the route.

We also rapped BBW with two 60M ropes but I don't recommend this as we caused too much rock fall by doing this.
By Hiro Kurotsuchi
From: Colorado
Nov 25, 2012

P2 is definitely harder to lead than P1. Read the other comments about getting off the top - we walked climber's right to the anchor, rapped into the gully. Walking down the gully was real though, technical walk offs are not my favorite at all. Getting to the ground required some (unprotected) chimney work.
By Tom Lausch
From: Madison WI
Nov 28, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

First pitch is an easy lead. The second pitch is amazing. An easy hand crack that swalows gear the whole time. Also plenty of good stances for putting on pro. Watch out thouhg, a 60M rope will just barely get the job done. The rap off to the right with double ropes and easy downclimbing provided to be no problem at all. A must do route
By wankel7
From: Indiana
Apr 8, 2013

Super fun climb with pitch two being the best! We did the walk off to the left following cairns marking the way. From the belay walk left and up skirting the rock that forms the belay. Once you get to the top of the gully you can walk about 30 seconds towards RR park and you can get a super awesome view of the whole park :)

Anyways the left hand gully was super easy and not sketchy at all.

You could also rap down If nobody is on it. However, you can't see that from the top of the raps so it is best to just take the gully.
By Emmanuel B
Dec 2, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I climbed this route last week with my wife and that was awesome. Loved it!
I agree with several commenters that the first pitch feels pretty easy and the second one harder. Despite having read the comments here before going on the route, I got caught off guard by those hand and foot jams. Not that hard after all but it added some spice!
Since the second pitch is long, I was worried I was going to run out of gear so I ended up running it out quite a bit, which had no consequences in the end.
As for the gear anchor at the top, I used a crack on the right of the ledge with a BD #.75 cam and 2 medium size nuts. Felt really solid.
Also, my wife and I couldn't hear each other when I got to the top of the 2nd pitch. Thankfully there was a party on Big Bad Wolf and they helped us communicate. Not sure if the wind was strong or if it was something else but without them, that could have been a problem.
By latestarter
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Dec 18, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Did this last Friday and it was a fantastic climb. One of my partners led the first pitch, and I led the second. Parts of the crack felt a little awkward, and to bypass some of the trickier sections, I ended up going out to the left onto the juggy, 5.easy (but unprotectable) face for a short way, before returning to the crack. This was a looong pitch on a 60-meter rope, and communication with my second from the belay stance was difficult.

Re: the rappel+walk-off descent, I see a lot of people got sucked into the chimney after doing the rappel. We almost did the same, but we were lucky enough to notice a series of cairns which led us through a series of class 2 ledges to the *left* of the chimney (descender's left), and this felt very comfortable and secure pretty much the whole way down. Compared to the other walk-off, which we later did after climbing Big Bad Wolf, the rappel/walk-off for Physical Graffiti felt much more secure, as the BBW walk-off involved descending through a steep, slippery chute full of loose rocks.
By susan peplow
From: Joshua Tree
Mar 14, 2014

Seems popularity is growing especially with it's pseudo-new soon to be uber classic neighboring route. Luckily you can see the scores of people at the base from the wash below and decide your own fate before hiking up. My partner and I fired the first pitch while waiting for Big Bad Wolf . Lots of holds and obvious gear placements for the budding leader. Fun enough although I think the money pitch is the second. Perhaps on another visit link up Over the hill to grandmother's house then top out on PG.
By Fan Zhang
From: Washington, DC
Apr 7, 2014

Climbed on AM of 4/6/14 with JH. Windy and cold, but got sunburned. P1 is easy except for first 15'. P2 felt more secure after learning a little about crack climbing since last time I led it, but it still felt exposed at times and was super fun. And yes, a little stiff for 5.6. Almost all of the hand jams were with the left hand on P2 (at least for me), so I quickly ran out of gear on my right side and wished I had racked more gear on the right side.

Another vote for descending via the gully to climbers' LEFT. We followed the cairns at the top and found the descent very straightforward and fast (10-15 minutes). No 5th class moves and no raps needed.
By Jake Douglas
Oct 12, 2014

None of the climbing was as steep as it appeared to me in photos here, except the very beginning which was steep jugs for about 25 feet. The fact that the crack is in a shallow gully also helps lessen the feeling of exposure.

The first 50-60 feet of P2 are the hardest climbing, awkward at times. I had to build an anchor after this and split the pitch because I was burning through gear. My experience was that it took almost all #1 and larger, and by the time I could place smaller pieces the climbing had eased off to very easy low angle. I think I arrived at the chains with 5 small cams that I had not been able to put to much use. Go heavy on #1, #2 and #3. There are places on each pitch to place a #4 too, if you feel like carrying it.

Walking off left is totally the way to go. As you depart the chains it is somewhat exposed (although easy) and beginners may want a quick belay, but after that it is cairned, unexposed and easy. Much faster/safer than rappelling.

Very fun climbing and a good challenge for new leaders around 5.6-5.7. P2 is harder and more sustained than other 5.6 I have climbed and I am glad I had done a few 5.7s before this.
By s.price
From: PS,CO
Oct 23, 2014

I did my second ascent of this route yesterday. Twenty seven years after my first. Just as much fun. And I used cams instead of hexes and stoppers.
The four of us had the place to ourselves. First trip to Red Rocks for the couple who joined us Great line, sweet times.
By Barrett Stetson
Oct 24, 2014

Nice climb, maybe a little harder than some other 5.6 pitches we did on other climbs this week. P1 - great holds, but steep start, good gear. P2 - Not a jug fest, expect to do some jamming, but jams were really good, and gear good. Slung some cams long to try to avoid them walking deep. Wasn't sure if I was looking for bolted or gear anchor, ended up at some bolted anchor that I now think was part of a sport route. Tried going "up and right" to find descent into gully and of course didn't find it. Wasn't sure about cairns going left so we went all the way back down and finally found rap rings around right behind boulder. Descent kind of sucked, might have missed something. At one point it looked like a 20+ ft down climb and decided we were going to build a rap only to see someone already made one on a 4" tree that looked decent. Got us through that section and rest was ok.
By Will Carney
From: Tallulah Falls, GA
Nov 13, 2014
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

1st pitch-Perfect for new leaders. Short, TONS of placements. Cams, nuts, hexes, everything finds a home...and a bolted anchor on a HUGE ledge so you don't have to worry about a newbie building a three point.
2nd pitch-Talk about a perfect practice crack! If you're new to crack climbing this one is perfect for learning the basics because there are plenty of face holds on either side of the crack should you get shut down by the crack at any point. And yes, it's 180' to the anchor so save some gear. Have fun!!
By First Track Jack
From: Colorado
Nov 20, 2014
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

One of my favorite routes at Red Rock except for the masses. Try to go early or during the week.

Well Protected all the way and great features. Great 5.6 crack climbing. The was a cairn near the rap chains that you cannot miss; There was a second rap in the Gully that is not needed and is unsafe, it had an old Aluminum rap ring circa 1990 and back it up with a binder if you must.. But the slab right of rappel or chimney left of rappel is easily down climbed. Somebody should hack this rappel.. I would have if someone wasn't on it..

Please do not rap off of small trees, especially when not needed.

Please do not leave all your stuff at the base of any climb, especially a three star route. It is not yours and other people will certainly be behind you. Stash your stuff neatly in a tree or rock and do not "yard sale" your stuff or hang your rack up at the first move of a three star route.
By Arlene Ruda
Feb 22, 2015

Climbed 2/19/14 Excellent beginner trad lead & multipitch.

First pitch is 90ft easy and well protected to bolted anchor.

Second pitch is longer and a little bit harder, but well protected. Sustained hand crack with features, super secure & a good beginner lead if you know a bit of crack technique - just jam, lock in, and it's cruiser the whole way up. Towards the top it gets a little run out, but the grade eases.

I built an anchor in the cave, I realized once my second came up that there is a bolted anchor at the top of the 2nd pitch! It's about 10-15 ft up to the left of the little cave. From this fixed anchor it was easy to continue to scramble up to the left and then walk off/down climb back to the base.
By Andrew Yasso
From: Las Vegas, NV
Feb 22, 2015

Do not be confused by Arlena's comments above. There is NOT a bolted anchor at the top of the second pitch of Physical Graffiti. Even with a 70m rope, you would be hard pressed to reach this set of anchors from the top of P1 on Physical Graffiti. The bolts Arlena found, are for the last pitch of big bad wolf.

That being said, I think how she managed the terrain was exactly correct. Build a belay at the top of PG, and then move said belay over to the top of BBW and walk off. Do not attempt to stretch it from the top of P1, as you won't make it.
By J-Wright
Mar 2, 2015

I climbed this over the weekend with Katie. Super fun route, mellow the whole way up.

In correction to the previous comment, you can easily reach the last set of anchor bolts [the 4th on BBW] from the 1st pitch anchors for this route with a 60 or a 70m rope. I was able to tag those quickly and even extend the belay on a munter down over the crack and see Katie climb. No rope issues at all. Unfortunately, it is 3 raps from there with a 70 [though only 2 from the 3rd pitch anchors, an easy downclimb]
By Manderson198
Mar 19, 2015
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Climbed with Eric after Birdland. A fun climb, although the second pitch is a bit funky at first. It's a good idea to protect the belay on the second pitch, as getting into the rack is a bit awkward. Or so it seemed... The descent is simple and fast. Go to climber's right, rap off, and down the gulley.
By AdamGould
Mar 27, 2015

This was my first lead on trad. I agree with everyone else about the first pitch being the best part of the route. The second pitch is a little awkward but there are plenty of places for gear. I used just about the entire rope on this route and sewed up the crack. Luckily I had enough gear to build an anchor with. That's one thing I really wasn't thinking about as I was climbing, how am I going to build the anchor if I don't have any gear left. Theres a solid boulder and little cave at the top to build a nice three point anchor. I used a .75 and two nuts. Happy climbing!
By Kevin Heckeler
From: Upstate New York
May 17, 2015

This isn't a crack climb, it's just there for gear. It's a corner with superb stemming moves for nearly the entire second pitch. Fantastic and sustained route for the grade on P2, then territory for the top third.

If you're jamming more than an occasional hand on this route you're doing it wrong (for 5.6).

You will want a lot of gear for P2. Had doubles .5 - #2 C4 and used nearly all the rack and that was with running out the easier sections. If no one's climbing Big Bad Wolf you can angle up left across easy slabby terrain to the chains when the crack on P2 starts to fade, and use them to rap the route with a single 60m.
By Sven Petersen
From: Henderson, NV
Jun 16, 2015

Did this climb on 6.13.15. Great climb. Felt the rating was spot on. Had doubles of .5-4 & (1) 4 BD C4. Ate everything I had on the second pitch and the second anchor (no fixed anchors). 60m rope would be long enough to anchor in the cave above but I opted for some crack features a little lower. Great climb. Warning. There is a large loose boulder about 25' from the top of the 1st pitch. Its a large stone you'd like to stand on but beware it rocks a bit and may come off and down on anyone at the base. Great climb for beginning trad climbers. Opted for the left decent and had no problems.
By Klimbien
From: St.George Orem Denver Vegas
Oct 25, 2015

As the commenter above noted... as of today, 10/24/15 the large loose stone is still in the same spot, very wobbly and lots of dangerous potential. watch for it.
By Drew Charness
Dec 22, 2015

A 70 m will get you to a bolted anchor on top of pitch two. It's a full 70m pitch. The last 20-30 ft is 5th class. Then you can rappel BBW. Three raps. The first rap is short , you can see the to chains. Then a longer rap puts you on the 2 pitch of BBW. From there a 70 will get you on in the gulley just climbers left of the base of BBW. You will have to down climb a few moves with a 60. It's straight forward. I hiked up the walk off on climbers right and it can be confusing to people unfamiliar with the area.

The party a above us walked off and we caught them.
By Henry Peterson
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jan 10, 2016

Great lead for a relatively new leader (less than 10 trad leads). A #1 and .4 cam walked back on my followers and are there for a skilled retriever! Note there was an anchor at the end of the first pitch. For the second pitch, I climbed up to the anchors at the end of the fourth pitch of BBW with a 70 meter rope. The rope between our 2nd and 3rd climber was only 60 meters, but it just worked. To speed up the rappels down BBW and avoid the rope being caught, I had the third climber go to the anchors at the end of the 3rd pitch.
By Derek Field
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 2, 2016
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

This is a sensational climb for a new trad leader. First pitch is juggy 5.5, second pitch is an endless 5.6 hand crack that will feel a grade or two harder if unfamiliar with jamming technique. Stemming eases the way. Recommended to continue scrambling up to the top of the formation for the view over the Scenic Loop area. Can descend loose gullies on either side of the route back to base.
By Bryan Hall
From: Portland, Oregon
Mar 16, 2016

Climbed the roof variation as the first pitch. Fun. The second pitch anchors are easily reached with my 60m rope. Probably 190' or so? We rappelled the route with a single rope, full length single strand rappel and then asked a bystander to untie and drop our rope after we were back to the p1 anchor. P1 is easily rappelled with a single rope from there. I would never walk off.
By david7896
Mar 26, 2016
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

First pitch was easy and fun! Second was a little tuff maybe more 5.7. In 2014 when i climbed it there where no anchors on the top of the second but with a 70m rope i was able to reach the anchors for Big Bad Wolf.
By Doug Foust
From: Henderson, Nevada
Sep 30, 2016

There was nobody around the Riding Hood Wall yesterday afternoon, so I trundled the detached block on the first pitch. I was a little nervous about it, didn't want to damage the route at all. It came off pretty clean, left a couple scars to the left of the crack.

I was really surprised how little force it took to pull it off, I think the edge of the ledge it was on was eroding so it was only a matter of time.


By Steve.B
From: Las Vegas, NV
Oct 13, 2016
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

P1 is awesome for the grade. P2 pulling into and the first ~50FT of the crack felt little more 5.7 but probably dependent on your crack skills as you are pretty much forced to use the crack. As could be imagined try not to plan on rapping the route during the season especially weekends. Walk off/gully to climber's left isn't that bad, never been right, just bring your shoes with, flops not recommended.
By Julius Elinson
Oct 15, 2016

Great climb! P2 definitely works your crack skills. Handren way over estimates the length of P1. We didn't even reach half way of our 70m. We had a little trouble finding the rap anchors into the gully on climber's right. They are tucked behind a big block on the right at the top.
By Ali Beach
From: Estes Park, Colorado
Nov 20, 2016

Waited in line for this route but it was well worth it.

First pitch was straight forward and blocky.

Second pitch was a bit stiffer but great; look for the big bad wolf anchor to the left at the top. In between the two routes is a line of about 3 bolts. Continue up and left to the anchor up high (bolted) and the walk off to the left is right around the corner. No one was on BBW so we used the anchor.. not sure if there is another above P2 for PG?

Some climbers ahead of us knocked down a huge boulder on the down climb in the gully. Please be careful! This area is very popular and full of people.

Also, ringtails were all over the base of the crag looking for snacks. Bags seemed safe on the ground but I wouldn't leave food in outside pockets.
By Mitch Guichon
Mar 1, 2017

Great route, fun crack moves that you don't find too much of in RR. Got there 7am on a weekday and was the first group up the route.

5.6 for the second pitch felt a bit stiff (sandbagged anyone?)... definitely 50ft of some 5.7 ish crack climbing. Although the crack eats gear, I would not recommend this as an introductory lead especially if you have no experience crack climbing. You need to be able to jam effectively to climb this route. The first pitch however would be a nice intro lead for someone learning.

As far as gear goes, would bring doubles of 0.75"-1.25" pro for the lower bit of P2. Definitely bring the nuts, lots of good placements throughout and I was glad I brought the TriCams.

You can reach the anchor of BBW with a 60m rope, so no need to save gear for the anchor at the top. Walk off climber's left and follow the cairns up a little then take the gully down, no need to rap the route
By Rika J.
From: Albuquerque, NM
Mar 13, 2017

This is route is pure fun!! If you have decent crack technique, P2 will feel just as easy as P1. Both pitches protect really well. You may want doubles of hand sizes if you want to sew it up.
By A Johnson
From: Paso Robles
Mar 28, 2017

I agree that the route is awesome. P2 is smooth sailing if you have a little jamming technique. We brought up a rack and a half of cams some tricams and a set of nuts. I set a couple nuts just to justify having hauled them up but you don't need them. Same goes for the tricams. I climb conservatively and felt very secure with just using the cams. Don't stress about saving anything for the anchors since they're bolted. I also used at least 5 slings to extend both pitches. You'll experience a lot of rope drag without them.
By Aaron Glasenapp
From: Denver, CO
Mar 29, 2017

Simul-climbing this route is a blast! 300 feet of uninterrupted fun! If you and your partner are both solid on 5.6, you can place gear every 15-30 feet and feel pretty comfortable with a single rack to #3 camelot. doubles .5 - 2, and some nuts for good measure. We simul-climbed 100 ft apart with a twin rope folded in half, so no extra rope to manage. (Thanks to the stranger who suggested folding the rope in half, it worked great!)
By Joe Antol
Apr 17, 2017

There are two -- maybe more -- fat, aggressive, fearless and very intelligent squirrels that find and eat any food left in packs at the base of the climb. One happy critter ruined the zipper on my pack and made off with a bag of trail mix. Best to secure anything that has or smells like food a few feet off the ground or bring a dog to guard the goods.
Rock Climbing Photo: Squirrel on Physical Graffiti
Squirrel on Physical Graffiti
By David
May 1, 2017

The bolted anchor at the top of P2 is shared with BBW. Just reached with a 60m rope. It seems a little far up and to the left of where you would expect the anchor to be, and we were uncertain if we were using the right anchor, but confirmed that's the one you're supposed to use, and the only anchor up there.

We descended right with one rappel into a gully. I wouldn't recommend this way as there's a lot of loose rock you may kick down. If you do descend this way, traverse left for ~15m after the rappel, as heading straight down led into some scary looking down climbing. I would probably try the walkoff left descent option if I did it again.

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