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Power Failure 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, Sport, 3 pitches, 450', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: The Uriostes and friends
Page Views: 6,909
Submitted By: phil broscovak on Feb 19, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (67)
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BETA PHOTO: Cloud Tower reaching the skyline on the right, Gin...

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


Power Failure is a fabulous 3 pitch route the ascends to the right of the prominent water streak visible in the photo. The route starts up hill from Ginger Cracks and just down hill from the water streaks. The route ends in the huge horse shoe basin. Three double rope raps gets you back to the start (this is also the rap line for Ginger Cracks).The raps angle to the right so knot your ends and keep a eye open for anchors. Pitch 1: (130' 5.8) 30' to a bushy ledge then left and up past bolts to belay on the right. Pitch 2: (160' 5.10) climb thin crack to a left facing dihederal. Pitch 3: (160' 5.10) left and up black face to the left of the left facing dihederal. This route is another Urioste classic, enjoy

Descent; Three angling raps take you back to where you started from.
Be aware and cautious of teams descending the basin above. The horseshoe bowl above the route is a feeding chute for all things loose. Typically teams descending Ginger Cracks rap into that basin and scramble down to the first rap (last anchor) of Power Failure. It is just too easy to knock rocks off and straight down the Power Failure climb.


A small trad rack will be appreciated even though there are pro bolts to clip and follow. All anchors are 2 bolt rap anchors.

Photos of Power Failure Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Ascending the shallow groove on pitch 2. November ...
Ascending the shallow groove on pitch 2. November ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Finishing up the first pitch on cool patina. Novem...
Finishing up the first pitch on cool patina. Novem...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cool route, thin second pitch.
Cool route, thin second pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Rapping the second pitch of Power Failure on the d...
Rapping the second pitch of Power Failure on the d...

Comments on Power Failure Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 28, 2017
By Drederek
May 6, 2004
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Climbed this route 5/03/04. Bring plenty of small pieces (to 2") for pitch 3 as it is sustained. What an awesome way to end our day!
By 10b4me
Oct 15, 2004
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

For pictures, trip report and other beta about this route, check out our web site at
By Anthony Anagnostou
From: nyc
Apr 12, 2005

there are bolts on this puppy, but not enough to make it friendly in a black velvet kind of way. bring lots of slings and consider a #4 for the top. its a teeny bit runout on easier (5.8ish?) friction, but when the water is really running it can be wet/slimy. the big cam looked like it would be the only pro up there.
By john doe
Nov 21, 2005
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

super fun route. although the new guidebook is a little off. anyone know what route is off to the right? its a super thin left facing dihedral that angles up and right in to a belay a station then continues up to an offwidth to another rap station? both pitches are pretty short. first one was kind of challenging.
By 10b4me
Nov 21, 2005
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Great route, but definitely soft for the grade. The climbing is just plain fun! Also recommend the dihedral to the right, it's not in the book but probably in the 5.10 range.
By Anthony Anagnostou
From: nyc
Sep 9, 2007

re: john doe's neighbor route question: that route sounds like 'all you can eat'. i think its in the new guidebook. the first two pitches are fun, if you can stand the hard start (one move wonder- protects with tiny nuts or ballnuts above a bolt), and the second pitch is absolutely classic. splitter lieback to widening crack and eventually to a station. from there it follows a wandering bolt line through untraveled (ugly) rock and tops out on the buttress.
By Jeremy Steck
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 5, 2009

Does anyone know if a variation exists on pitch 1 that continues up the crack where the bolts head right? I tried this, and led it to the point where the crack thins out, 5.10+? I was aiming for the bolted rap station about 30 feet higher and to the left in the water groove but could not find a way to link it on the face and had to down climb. Looks like a great line if a bolt or two was added on the run out face portion.
By Alasdair
Mar 31, 2010

I removed a bolt from the second anchor yesterday with my nut tool. There are still two good bolts there and a nice clean 3/8inch hole where the other bolt was.
By Cunning Linguist
Oct 25, 2011

Ghet-to! Wow, those are the good bolts, I bet!

Edit to add:went up specifically to do this one, turns out it's a pretty sweet climb. Pitch one is meh, pitch 2 is the business and a solid bit of climbing, I had double cams and placed pretty much everything I had, crux was thin and engaging. Pitch 3 looked like nothing special but turned out to be very fun.

For my money, this is a better climb with better hardware than Unimpeachable. Worth doing. Hardware was functional although there were some spinners as with some of the other heavily bolted routes in this area. If bolting in Red Rock, please use good bolts, the ASCA has enough to do trying to update old climbs without having to do full replacements in less than 20 years. Pretty depressing to contemplate some of the short term shortcuts that end up putting people at risk mere months after the first ascent. Good hardware should go in the first time, and last as long as possible. Soapbox vacated-
By David Stowe
May 7, 2012

Really fun route. The first pitch 5.8 is nothing special, but the two 5.10 pitches after that are great. I found the hardest part to be on the second pitch in the middle where the crack peters out and you are climbing a fairly blank white face with very few holds but are protected by bolts. I did't really see the need for anything bigger than a #2 Camalot. The top of pitch 3 where the crack gets a little wider is pretty easy and you can also get small gear there inside the large crack if you need it. I would also echo the previous sentiments that there is allot of loose rock on top. This is more of an issue for those coming down from Ginger Crack or Unimpeachable Groping to rap. You never really get into that loose stuff when you get to last anchor on the route unless you go above the anchor for some reason. Also that loose stuff coming down does not really effect the climbing on the route as it falls straight down and the route comes in from the climbers right. I thought the grade was pretty accurate, but I'm also not used to that type of climbing being a visiting climber. Being a gunks climber I thought the "roof" on Y2K to be 5.8, so grade perceptions has allot to do with the type of climbing that you are used to.
By jason sartor
Nov 28, 2012

I'd also like to echo sentiments about loose rock from anyone scrambling down in the bowl above Power Failure, coming down from Ginger Cracks and Unimpeachable Groping.

I just climbed Ginger Cracks November 24th and it is very difficult NOT to send rocks over the edge down through the raps of Power Failure.

I was considering Power Failure, but won't go anywhere near it until I know conditions have changed above.

Good luck
By JC Schneider
Jan 6, 2013

The line on the Handren topo is off, the first pitch curves to the right along the line of 4 bolts - that is, don't continue up the crack (Oct 2012)
By Manderson198
Mar 19, 2015
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Climbed this with Eric. Super fun. Bring a light rack, as much of the route is bolted. The third pitch is the most "trad-y". Easy, snag-free rappelling. We even saw a ringtail at the base of the route. Enjoy!
By Kyle Goupil
From: SLC, UT
Jan 25, 2016

Route starts way right of final rap anchor. Falling rocks aren't that big of a deal. This would be a great route to link up with if doing Ginger Cracks. I would have but it started raining once we rapped down. Pitch 2 and 3 look super fun.
By Jayson Nissen
From: Corvallis, OR
Mar 16, 2016

Did this route this last weekend. It was fantastic and worked out great on our long list of alternatives below C.C. I wanted to share a few observations.

I'm pretty sure that there were only five bolts on pitch one and at the fifth I traversed far right to a belay.

I think only pitch one and the top of pitch 3 are exposed to rock fall from above. It was very easy to climb this route and rappel it before anyone else got on the raps. I think that the raps have limited exposure to fallen rock since they are a bit to the right of the bowl. hind sight being what it is I would stash my stuff somewhere a bit sheltered next time.

I think the rap anchors would be a good project for someone motivated to place some bolts. Some of them were spinners with stuck/rusty nuts. All of them are standard steel. Not to argue about it being the desert and all but the top ones were quite rusty and look like they are wet a lot since they are in the drainage.

I would recommend a rack to a #2 with doubles to .75. That is about what I placed and it felt very well protected. I could have gotten away with fewer cams if I had hunted for more nut placements but that gear worked well. Not sure about the #4 as it was very dry. The third pitch is about 150 ft and I don't remember any bolts so take enough gear to feel confident. I placed a .75 15-20 feet from the anchor. If it was really wet I'd want a higher piece. The crux was bolt protected on pitch 2 and the third pitch 10a felt very doable for 10a. I would describe the rating as not being sandbagged at all.

It was awesome to see the conga line on the adjacent routes while we had this beauty to ourselves.

I would definitely not climb this route later in the day as people will likely be rapping down it.
By Aaron Glasenapp
From: Denver, CO
Mar 28, 2017

Excellent Route! P3 Is the money pitch in my opinion. Lead it! There are no bolts on P3 but none are needed if you have enough gear. It takes all kinds of sizes so you have options depending on what rack you bring.

I believe P1 is only 100' to rappel (maybe 130' of climbing since you go over the ledge and then traverse). We rapped it with 2 60m ropes, but on the final rappel, I pulled the ropes down and both ends of one the ropes were barely touching the ground. The top 2 pitches definitely require a double rope rappel though.

Also, as noted above, the top anchor is looking a bit rusty, and it probably sees a lot of traffic from Unimpeachable Groping and others.

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