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Redgarden - S Buttress
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
A Breed Apart T 
Anthill Direct T 
Archer McLanahan T 
Back in Black S 
Backstroke T,S 
Backtalk T,S,TR 
Black Top S 
Blackwalk T 
Book of Numbers T,S 
Bulge Indirect T 
Bulge, The T 
C'est La Fin T 
C'est La Morte T 
C'est La Vie T 
Chromium Shore T 
Cleopatra Says Happy Birthday to Anthony T 
Continue-us T 
Crack Variation T 
Desdichado T,S 
Dessert T 
East Overhang TR 
East Side T 
Edge of Night, The T 
Exodus T 
Flakes, The T 
Genesis T,S 
Genuine Risk  T 
Genuine Risk Takers T 
High Noon T,S 
Horizontal Beginnings T 
Je T'Aime T,S 
La Vie d' Pansey TR 
Le Boomerang T,S 
Left Side of Roark, The T 
Mental Cruelty TR 
Night T 
Noggin T 
Original Anthill T 
PA's Variation T 
Pansee Sauvage T,S 
Pilgrim S 
Pseudo Sidetrack T 
Pseudo Sidetrack, Direct Finish T 
Redguard T 
Restless Nights T 
Semi-Wild T 
Semi-Wild Slab T 
Shades of Gray T 
Sticky Feet T 
To Night T 
Trinity Cracks T 
Vaporizer, The S 
Variation to Lower Meadows T 
Walk the Talk T 
Whistle Stop, The T 
Whittle Wall, The T 
Whittle Whisk T 


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

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 600', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c R [details]
FA: Dick Bird, Cary Huston, Dallas Jackson, Dale Johnson, Chuck Merley, 1956
Fixed Hardware: 4 Belay Bolts [details]
Page Views: 5,283
Submitted By: Leo Paik on Aug 17, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (59)
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JB on pitch 5.

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  • Description 

    This is a Redgarden Wall classic. This was the first route put up that went to the top of Redgarden Wall. Apparently, it has claimed more victims than any other on Redgarden Wall, according to Rossiter's guide. Nonetheless, it is worth a trip up. It can get hot in the sun as a fair bit of this rock is dark in color.

    This route ascends the groove/corner between the Naked Edge and the Anthill Direct walls. Due to the water and years o'traffic, some sections are a wee bit polished.

    P1. This classic pitch is known as the Birdwalk. Follow a shallow, blackened dihedral angling slightly right for 60 feet. This crack has some widely spaced very positive holds and now only has 3 pins left (2nd must be threaded, if used). At the pair of pins (use a long sling), traverse left. There is a good crack for a small cam mid-traverse. From this point, you can either move up and do a foot traverse on the ledge (slightly easier but more schwing potential) or move low and do a hand traverse (reachy for shorter folks) on the ledge. A large cam (#4 Friend or #4 Camalot) will protect your 2nd/3rd nicely near the end of this traverse. Find a 2 bolt Fixe anchor on this large shelf. 70' to rap from here. 90 feet, 5.8+.

    P2. Move straight above the anchor in a weird chimney up to the polished ramp. Angle up the ramp perhaps 30 feet. Find an optional belay with modern Fixe bolts (double rope rap to the ground or single to P1 anchors) in the slot/groove to the left at 90 feet or continue up to the end of the ramp below a huge, black dihedral, 5.4. You are near the Touch and Go anchors here.

    P3. Continue up the groove to a short lieback, climb up the left wall past 3 pins to a sloping belay on the left. 5.5.

    P4. Go up the slippery ramp left for 140 feet to a bi-level hole and belay above this at a pin (#0.5 & #1 Camalots useful). 165 feet, 5.5.

    P5. Continue up past 2 more pins to a belay below the huge chockstone (#2 Camalot & #3 TCU useful). 5.7.

    P6. There are multiple finishes possible here. The obvious one moves right on to the wall (a bit airy), pass 2 pins, pass a ledge, go to easy terrain and belay. 5.7.

    Pitches here may be combined with a longer rope. 3 hours is a reasonable time for the climb.

    Descent: East Slabs descent, carefully.


    Standard Eldo rack with wires, single set of cams to 4 inches, hexes.

    Photos of Redguard Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Myself following P1.  Photo by A. Badeau.
    Myself following P1. Photo by A. Badeau.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Kat takes the easier way - the face beside the OW ...
    Kat takes the easier way - the face beside the OW ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Starting the last pitch.
    Starting the last pitch.
    Rock Climbing Photo: The last steep pitch.  There are some loose scary ...
    The last steep pitch. There are some loose scary ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mark Kelleher on the historic first pitch of Redgu...
    Mark Kelleher on the historic first pitch of Redgu...
    Rock Climbing Photo: The first pitch of Redguard Route, aka the Birdwal...
    BETA PHOTO: The first pitch of Redguard Route, aka the Birdwal...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Yvonne D'Andrea nearing the end of the traverse on...
    Yvonne D'Andrea nearing the end of the traverse on...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Yvonne D'Andrea approaching the traverse on the fi...
    Yvonne D'Andrea approaching the traverse on the fi...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Yvonne D'Andrea cranking the crux on the first pit...
    Yvonne D'Andrea cranking the crux on the first pit...

    Comments on Redguard Add Comment
    Show which comments
    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 7, 2016
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Aug 19, 2002

    This was the first route I ever did in Eldo in 1983, and I recall getting a bit freaked out leading the first pitch (alternate and safer starts are possible). The upper section of the route has a nice position and is worth doing, but it seems rarely climbed these days.
    By Joe Collins
    Oct 11, 2002

    The first pitch is pretty entertaining and is a good way to start Anthill Direct if Touch and Go is swamped.I don't think there are pins at the start of the traverse anymore, or at least I didn't see them.

    I did the upper pitches once when a threatening storm thwarted our attempt on the Diving Board. We simul-climbed it pretty quickly, but be careful, as the polish is slick-as-snot... probably the slickest polish in Eldo. IMHO, I don't really think the upper pitches are worth doing and certainly not worthy of "classic" status. Some people will probably disagree.
    By Brian Milhaupt
    From: Golden, CO
    Oct 12, 2002

    The climbing was not very good, but since it has some history and climbs the Redgarden pretty directly, I give it one star.
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Oct 21, 2002

    Watch out for rockfall, this is somewhat of a high angle funnel.

    Perhaps my judgement was clouded because this was the first route I did in Eldo, but it seemed pretty cool.
    By Ron Olsen
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 9, 2003
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    The first and last pitches are stellar; the rest of the climb is mediocre. Be sure to back up the old pin protecting the crux of the first pitch; I used a green Alien. This pitch gets an "s" rating because the next piece of pro after the pin is about 10' higher up at an insecure stance. I placed a #1 Camalot here. If you fall off before getting this piece, you'll land on the ledge below the pin.

    Originally rated 5.7, the first pitch has been uprated to 5.8+ in recent guidebooks, probably to discourage 5.7 leaders from attempting it.

    The first and last pitches are great; the rest is mediocre. The slick ramp is particularly obnoxious.

    Old school 5.7, new school 5.8.
    By Ernie Port
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Sep 22, 2003
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    We climbed this today and I lead the P1,3, & 5 and have a few comments. The Birdwalk pitch is a great pitch and protects well. I didn't have any problem with the stance placing pro above the pin. The stance is not that bad, but as Ron notes, I suppose a budding (8) leader could get wigged out right there, if they weren't confident at the grade. We went up and did the first pitch of Anthill and then traversed over to upper Redguard. Last pitch was cool...we did a harder variation to the right of the giant boulder at the top. Also, IMO the photo's below are great but, somewhat deceptive...the photographers angle make the first pitch look steeper than it really is...good route.
    By Ron Olsen
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 22, 2003
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    I agree with Ernie; an experienced leader will have no problem getting reasonable protection on the Birdwalk. However, if you read the accident statistics outside the Eldorado outhouse, Redguard Route is one of the top routes for accidents, along with the Bastille Crack, Calypso, and Tagger. It's not a pitch for a novice 5.7-5.8 leader.

    Regarding the photos and the steepness of the route: the crux headwall past the pin is dead vertical. The stance above the pin is a little pumpy too. I look at the angle of the runners hanging from the climber's harness to judge if a photo is tilted. There may be a slight tilt in the first photo, but the other photos are accurate.
    By Shane Zentner
    From: Colorado
    Sep 6, 2007

    Nice line, though a bit polished. Agreed, the first and last pitches are good, though the middle pitches are long and easier. I'm afraid to ask what kind of accidents happened here. I'm not sure what pitch gets the 'S' rating as the gear was decent throughout. Very polished.
    By tooTALLtim
    From: Boulder, CO
    Nov 25, 2009
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

    This is definitely the slickest route I've ever touched in Eldo.
    By Rodger Raubach
    Jul 18, 2010
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

    I've climbed this route 17 times starting in 1960 and forward.... There are 3 standard starts; this description is the famous "Birdwalk" start. A safer and more pleasant one is "Variation to the Lower Meadows" at 5.6+/5.7-. It is also somewhat tricky and many good climbers have fallen on it. It avoids the slick, black rock of the 'Birdwalk" start, however, and makes for a more pleasant experience. This route IS a classic.
    By Tzilla Rapdrilla
    Aug 11, 2010

    I now realize why I have never done this before. Clearly the FA party was seeking the most viable way up the imposing wall which, unfortunately, turned out not to be the best climb in the end. The Birdwalk is basically a bunch of rotten rock.
    By Ross Swanson
    From: Pinewood Springs
    Oct 23, 2010
    rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c PG13

    The OW on P3 was good. Surprised by all the lichen on P6. Most of the route, like climbing on glass.
    By Chris N
    From: Loveland, Co
    May 28, 2015

    Rodger is right, this route is a CLASSIC. Back in the day of klettershoes and Robbins boots this was considered an awesome climb at the 5.7 level.
    By Byron Murray
    Nov 23, 2015
    rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R

    Climbed this historic route today with perfect conditions, 56F with no wind and mostly sunny. I would not recommend this route on a hot day due to the polished holds. Doubles in the small cams is recommended, tri cams and the #4 cam was useful on multiple pitches. If the R rating has kept you away from this route, go try the standard route (North Face 5.6 R) on the Maiden. If you like the Maiden and are an experienced Eldo climber, you will appreciate this route. I also recommend a partner that is competent at the same grade. Not a route to bring a beginner sport climber on.
    By D. Snyder
    From: Golden, CO
    Jun 7, 2016

    Be careful on the last pitch! THERE IS A HUGE - 1 TON - BLOCK PERCHED ON ITS NOSE ON A SLOPING LEDGE RIGHT BELOW THE CAVE ON THE LAST PITCH OF THIS ROUTE. It appears to have moved about an inch or so as noted by the grooves/scratch marks behind it. Given its position, it threatens a very large, high-traffic area below. Is there a possibility this can safely be trundled?

    Update: today (6/15/16) Gregger Man and Mike McHugh safely trundled this killer block. It exploded and peppered the approach/descent trails with blocks the size of microwaves, and a few of those made it all the way to the river. Glad it's GONE! Thank you, gents, for your efforts!

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