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

Type:  Trad, 5 pitches, 700', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Karl and Heidi Wilcox
New Route: Yes
Season: Winter/Spring
Page Views: 6,304
Submitted By: karl g wilcox on Apr 10, 2006

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In the tight squeeze chimney at the top of pitch 3

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


"Rawlpindi" begins at the major/obvious corner system some 30 meters left and slightly uphill from the start for "Birdland". Ascend three pitches of 5.7 up the corner (good protection,good belay stances-- a couple of short bulges make the first two pitches fun). It is likely that these first two pitches were climbed in the 1980s. The third pitch is short and ascends a weird chimney to exit behind a chockstone (tight) and unto a ledge system that extends right unto the Birdland face. After exiting the chockstone squeeze,leave the corner system and traverse about 10 feet right on the ledge system to belay.

Pitch 4 (175') ascends the main Birdland face to the right of the corner system. Climb to a protection bolt on a small white face about 30 feet above the pitch 3 belay. From the bolt go up to a diagonal ledge/crack system (good #3-4 Friend placements). Follow this ledge/crack up and a bit right 20 feet to just below and left of an overhanging black flake with white calcium deposits beneath it. There you will find a series of solution pockets/holes going straight up (steep), the pockets take medium to large size cams (#3,#4 Friends). When the solution pockets/holes end, bear right and upwards (another protection bolt) to the bolted station just below a small triangular shaped arch.

Pitch 5 (90') ascends straight up from the pitch 4 hanging belay. A slider nut or very small cam is useful to protect the first 10 feet off of the anchors (perfect horizontal micro crack). Follow various cracks straight up over the small triangular arch (well protected with stoppers in a horizontal crack at the base of the arch) to a small ledge. Avoid climbing over the arch at its apex as there is a loose block that must be avoided. From here ascend a white face with a small crack system on the left until you reach a good ledge with a bolted station. This pitch is well protected with medium stoppers. Rappel pitches 5 and 4 to the bolted anchors on pitch 3 of "Birdland." Two 50 meter ropes are needed to reach the "Birdland" pitch 3 anchors from the top of pitch 4 of "Rawlpindi". Continue to rappel "Birdland" to the ground.


"Rawlpindi" essentially climbs the corner system to the left of the "Birdland" face. At the end of pitch 3 it moves right to climb the center of the "Birdland" face to end some 40 feet left and about 20 feet above pitch 5 of "Birdland." This route is certainly as good in terms of enjoyable 5.7 climbing as "Birdland". Pitch 4 requires some expertise when it comes to placing protection. "Rawlpindi" can also be climbed from the top of pitch 3 of "Birdland", although pitches 1-3 of "Rawlpindi" are quite enjoyable.


A standard rack of nuts and cams. Some small nuts for pitch 4. Medium to large Tri-Cams or medium to large cams for protecting the pockets/holes on pitch 4 (no larger than Friend #4). A medium slider nut for protection off of the belay on pitch 5.

Photos of Rawlpindi Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Stefani Day starts by leading Pitch 3 of Rawlpindi...
Stefani Day starts by leading Pitch 3 of Rawlpindi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up the chimney of pitch 3
Looking up the chimney of pitch 3
Rock Climbing Photo: The beginning of Rawlpindi
The beginning of Rawlpindi
Rock Climbing Photo: Wendell headed up first pitch.
Wendell headed up first pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Wendell leading out on P4.
Wendell leading out on P4.
Rock Climbing Photo: Wendell Broussard following the fifth pitch.
Wendell Broussard following the fifth pitch.

Comments on Rawlpindi Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 9, 2017
By Karsten Duncan
From: Sacramento, CA
Apr 11, 2006

Sounds like an interesting route. Did you put this route up recently? You might want to include the date of your FA.
By super dave
From: las vegas, nv
Oct 5, 2006

Nice job, great route. 5.7 is right on. We easily combined the first three pitches into 2. Well protected and fun climbing.
By Jason D. Martin
Nov 25, 2006

An enjoyable outing...but those who have just started to lead 5.7 or those without excellent gear placement skills should be careful on the fourth pitch. An R rating may be appropriate here.

By Bill Gibbs
From: Wichita, Ks.
Oct 7, 2007
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Very enjoyable route! You can combine the first 3 pitches into 2, but watch out for rope drag if you run the first pitch long (185')like we did. You can escape this climb onto "Birdland" in several places if you need to rappel. Only do it in an emergency though, because the upper pitches are just as enjoyable as "Birdland".
The pitch 4 & 5 rappel slings could use replacing soon. We backed them up with one sewn sling each.
By Pete Bresciani
Jan 20, 2008

I loved the first two pitches (which I had always thought were part of "The Big Horn"), but unfortunately I did not read the route description here and missed the chimney 3rd pitch of Rawlpindi.

I went right to a nice ledge before the Big Horn crack, spying a new bolt (with a quickdraw!) on a red face 10' above the ledge. This turned out to be a choss pile that might have been 5.7 but felt like 5.9. (scary) I am an experienced sandstone climber and none the less pulled off a huge sloper that felt bomber...until it came off!

Word to the wise, forget the red face with the bolt on it and continue up the corner.

This route is a good alternative if Birdland is crowded, and be sure to do the Big Horn crack while you're there. You can rap it, and continue up Rawlpindi - through the chimney!
By Greg Barnes
Feb 23, 2008
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R

If you want, the 3rd pitch chimney can be climbed further out in combination with a finger crack/lieback on the left, and thus avoiding the tight (and a bit funky) chimney behind the chockstone. This is actually really fun climbing, in the 5.8/9 range depending on how much you stem/chimney, and it has good pro.

Also, when you traverse right to belay just above the chockstone, you actually traverse about 30 feet right on a huge ledge (great small tree as a directional above the chockstone).

The crux pitch is certainly impressive, but the rock is not the best. The solution pockets take cams, but generally not very good ones (poor rock/shallow placements/poor placements). If you want to protect that section well, and use the best pockets, you'll need larger Tricams (1.5-3), or maybe the larger Aliens (not too many people have those).
By Floridaputz
From: Oakland Park, Florida
Mar 11, 2008

I just recently climbed Rawlpindi. This climb had a few excellent sections. I found the overhang at the top of P1 to be interesting. We belayed above the overhand and made it to the chockstone ledge for the next belay. This might go easier if you belay below the squeeze chimney to avoid some funky rope drag. I thought this section was one of the best on the climb. Or finish as Greg said. I didn't notice that ! I really liked the P3 (or 4) face climb. it was a bit runout but never boring. The anchor here has some old webbing with a rap ring. It didn't look too bad, I used it. But you may want to replace or add to this. we skipped the last pitch.
By Sherri Lewis
From: Sequim, WA
Mar 29, 2009

I thoroughly enjoyed this climb. Something interesting on each pitch. On P2 I missed the squeeze chimney; I was lured right by the thin hand crack on the column/ dihedral in the center of the gully. This section was a fun and challenging variation which felt harder than 5.7 but was well-protected. The routefinding and sparse pro on P4 made for a spicy lead for my partner, especially when the rope dislodged a plate-sized rock and sent it hurtling toward the belay station. Compared to P4, the last pitch was a breeze w/a couple fun moves and decent pro long as you kept your eyes open for it.
By Tom Fralich
From: Fort Collins, CO
Feb 28, 2012
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This climb deserves way more attention and is one of the better 5.7 multi-pitch climbs in RR. The face climbing pitch is jsut spooky enough to be really exciting without being dangerous. Not a good choice for a new 5.7 leader though.
By Hendo Henderson
From: Denver, CO
Mar 19, 2013

Needs to be climbed a lot more! Almost every hand hold had sand in it. Multiple times we climbed through trees/bushes. There's also a very scary boulder about to take a plunge (I think it's on the second pitch). Additionally, you're in the shade the whole route (unlike it's popular neighbor, Birdland). Lastly, you have to make it up to the top of pitch in order to start your rappel. No anchored rapells (like Birdland). So for a 5.7 climber like myself, this was intense!
By Sean
From: Oak Park, CA
Nov 19, 2015

lots of happy jugs. some spots could use more cleaning up, but still quite enjoyable. nice approach route up to The Big Horn, with Birdland first two pitches usually clogged up
By Steve123
Mar 13, 2016

Enjoyable climb. Gear placement might be a little difficult for a new 5.7 leader.

Pitch 1: Holds are a little bit sandy. The bulge is easier than it looks from below, with some good holds on the left face.
Stopped at a small perch/stance shortly above the bulge and built a trad gear anchor.
This stance is about 50 feet up, and to the left of the first pitch anchors of Birdland which are visible from this point.
In elevation, it is about halfway between the Birdland pitch 1 and 2 ledges.

Pitch 2: Starts off with 5.6 or easier climbing on big holds. Continued up then exited right onto a ledge.
This ledge is the top of the blocks on the left side of the Birdland pitch 2 ledge.
You could escape the route here by downclimbing the blocks to the Birdland anchors.
It is approximately level with the traverse on Birdland pitch 3.
Anchor was Trad gear and a slung boulder.
This is also near the start of the Big Horn crack on the face to the left.

Pitch 3: Past the tree and deep into the chimney. Up through the tight squeeze behind the chockstone.
After the squeeze, arrived on a big ledge. Walked about 20 feet to the right and around corner to build another trad gear anchor.
This ledge is about level with the Birdland pitch 3 ledge.
Make sure you put a directional piece above the squeeze.
The squeeze is tight, I was barely able to make it through while wearing a small Camelback hydration pack and a gear sling.
Hanging these items below me on a sling would have made it much easier.
I extended my anchor so that I could watch my second do the squeeze.
You could escape the route here by leading a short traverse right to the Birdland pitch 3 ledge.

Pitch 4: Followed the description on Mountain Project (left of the big flake), not the line drawn in the picture in the Handren guide (right of the big flake).
I only used one of the pockets for gear, most seemed too shallow or brittle. There were plenty of other options.
Gear was probably PG, and there were two bolts in otherwise unprotectable sections.
Belay was a mostly hanging stance at a bolted anchor.
Due to time and an approaching storm, we stopped here and rappelled down, rather than climbing the final pitch.
This was the best of the four pitches we climbed.

At the pitch 4 bolted anchor, there were rappel rings on a collection of slings and cord of various ages.
You might want to bring some extra webbing to reinforce what is there if you do not trust it.
It would be nice if someone with knowledge of the right kind of stuff to use would replace this with chains.
We used two 70 meter ropes to rappel straight down to the Birdland Pitch 3 anchors.
When pulling the ropes, one got wrapped around a horn about halfway down.
I had to re-lead half of the pitch from the Birdland anchors, free the rope, then downclimb.
We rappelled the rest of the way down Birdland on a single 70 meter rope.
By Idaho Bob
From: McCall, ID
Oct 20, 2016
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Barbara and I climbed this twice on October 19 and 20. First day we climbed to the start of The Big Horn crack in two pitches. I think these pitches could more accurately rated as 5.7+ (or maybe JTree 5.7) as it is not typical RR 5.7.
Also suggest a rack with doubles from 0.75 to 3. No need for a 4.

From the base of The Big Horn crack we continued straight up for 65 m finding a good belay ledge. We called this pitch 5.8+. From there we exited right onto
the face and climbed a sparsely protected face (5.5/5.6R) up and left about 100 feet to the top Rawlpindi.

The next day we did the standard route, exiting onto the face earlier. Again we combined the first 3 pitches into 2 with a 70m rope. The last two pitches were fun, protect well with cams and nuts. Did not encounter any fragile rock.
By Flavaflav
From: Las Vegas, NV
Feb 9, 2017

This route is tricky for a 5.7, I wouldn't really recommend it as a substitute for Birdland unless you were interested in funky climbing. Don't get me wrong, it's fun, but some of what you're pulling on in the face pitch needs some care.

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