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Return To Forever 

YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 200'
Original:  YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Richard Harrison, Paul Crawford, Paul Van Betten, Sal Mamusia
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Page Views: 2,289
Submitted By: Matt Kuehl on Apr 24, 2012

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (6)
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BETA PHOTO: Return To Forever is the hard to miss center crack...

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


Return to Forever is an impressive and continuous offwidth crack that splits the wall to the left of Ixtlan. This less travelled line features no protection bolts and requires a lot more commitment, large cams, and cajones than its bolted wide crack neighbor Ixtlan. The climbing demands an array of offwidth technique as well as some creative use of occasional face holds. A truly enjoyable climb with great exposure and just a little bit of an odd ending.

Pitch 1: 175' Start in the flaring hand crack above the large chockstone. Climb the long wide crack eventually pulling a roof. Build a belay 20' above the roof when the crack narrows and just before it juts left.

Pitch 2: 30' Traverse right from anchor to gain the finger crack (airy). Climb this left-trending crack to a bolted anchor. Rap to the ground with two ropes.


The awesome crack to the left of Ixtalan.


Single Rack to #2, double #3-6, additional #3.5-#5 optional

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By Cunning Linguist
Apr 24, 2012

Wendell Broussard: "Those quarter inchers are suicidal, they were bad when the route was new." Fun route, I don't know if Matt saw this or not, but the Punks tried to drill under the roof and broke a bit, which STILL sticks out of a hole right by the crack. I'd reccommend trying other routes until the top anchor gets replaced (ran out of time last day in the area). One option is TRing from Mazatlan anchor til then, but if you fall you'll pendulum a bit. I think some people have rapped Miss Conception with 2 ropes but again top anchor is no bueno+mandatory traversing on crunch rock is a sure thing.
By Matt Kuehl
From: Las Vegas
Apr 28, 2012

I saw the broken drill bit below the roof, it was my high point after running out of gear on my first attempt. The second attempt proved more successful and I finished the whole thing. The anchors at the top should be replaced, but luckily some other bolted lines exist near by the bail from if you don't mind a little airy traversing. This is certainly a heads up route, with great climbing! I think a bolted anchor/rap above the obvious end of the wide crack would be a pretty ideal pitch, making the last pitch optional and avoiding the old quarter inches all together.
By Dan Birman
From: Berlin, Germany
Apr 21, 2014

No more worrying about the quarter inch bolts, they have been replaced (by somebody else, THANK YOU!!). We recommend linking to the anchor, a hand size piece protects the last moves.
By David Aguasca!
From: New York
Apr 22, 2014
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

I did this with Dan (above) mid-April 2014 and I agree with him, a 60m will link the two pitches for one awesome megapitch.

If you do this, it would be nice to have 2 #5 and 2 #6 camalots, as this is the size of the crack most of the way. Be sure to save one of either as they are the only thing that will protect in the crack before the traverse to the right-hand crack, where you can get a hand-sized piece. In addition, bring a heap of long slings, I had to back clean a bunch of them and it was kind of a pain.

Anyway, lots of helper holds, soft for the style, but way cool in terms of position and length.
By Josh Janes
General Admin
Sep 15, 2014
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

I updated the description to indicate that the bolts have been replaced.

I was nervous getting on this with a single set of big cams, but excited to climb a 10d "continuous OW". Fortunately, or unfortunately, this is like most Red Rocks "crack climbs": it's really a face climb. Rests throughout and I can't remember doing a single offwidth move on the whole pitch = not continuous. Despite that, this route is enjoyable (though way easier than rated) climbing with good position.

Worried about not having pro to protect the traverse that David A. mentioned, I back cleaned my #5 and #6 all the way to the top; as it turns out, a #3 or #4 protects the traverse just fine and I ended up having the big cams still on my harness at the anchor.

Easy to rap down Miss Conception in three raps with a single 60m rope or down Mazatlan in two raps with a 70m rope.

Benchmark 10d OW, in my opinion, is the OW pitch on Abracadaver in Cochise Stronghold or the Monster OW on the Freerider. Kuehl, steer me towards a more challenging one in Red Rocks!

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