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The Rainbow Wall
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Sergeant Slaughter 

YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b PG13

   
Type:  Trad, 10 pitches, 1000'
Original:  YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b PG13 [details]
FA: FA: Richard Harrison, Paul Van Betten - 1984
FFA: Brian McCray, Roxanna Brock - May 1998
Page Views: 859
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Feb 20, 2015

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Sergeant Slaughter

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

Description 

Sergeant Slaughter is a burly adventure route with a few really good pitches. Though it has a reputation for loose rock, the only really bad one is the exit pitch. Great views, comfy belay ledges, and varied climbing that will demand much from the leader. This is one of those routes that feels a bit more like Yosemite than Red Rocks.

Identify the obvious right-facing corner of the crux second pitch at the far left end of the Rainbow Wall. The start is actually even further left than this, down around the corner from the massive apron of mossy slabs. Best to stay low when approaching.

P1: Climb a long, slabby crack. Lots of vegetation here but that's just the way it is. Belay at fixed nuts at the left end of a long ledge system capping the apron. 150', 5.7.

P2: Up the left side of a narrow, green pillar with good pro. Step right at the top to the first of two right-facing corners. Tips liebacking leads up to a roof. Arrange pro and step right again into the massive, steep corner. More tips liebacks that suddenly open up wide. A physical struggle ensues on the way to a bolted anchor on an exposed ledge out left. 120', 5.12b.

P3: Delicately tip toe up a pizza-box flake right of the main corner before moving up into the flare above. A bit frightening but it's over quickly. Enjoyable chimneying and thrutching leads to a steep, awkward finish at a bolted anchor. Easily linked (recommended) into the next pitch - this is just the warmup! 100', 5.11a PG13.

P4: "This pitch is called the Bitch Pitch and you will find out why," says first ascensionist and guidebook author Roxanna Brock. I have nothing to add. 60' to a bolted anchor, 5.11c.

P5: An interesting pitch. Traverse right off the belay passing a bolt, then up a crack to the Rotten Honeycomb Pillar. Careful here. Move right again past another bolt and then up easily to a bolted belay on a nice ledge. 130', 5.11a PG13.

P6: Climb a narrow, decomposing left-facing corner, then step right and continue easily up to the massive bivy ledge. Belay off a bolted anchor. 110', 5.10a PG13.

P7: Move/extend the belay far left in an alcove at the base of the gaping chimney. My partner refused to do this which led to me indulging the temptation to tunnel deep into the chimney in hopes of finding security only to get stuck necessitating a down climb. Instead, confidently chimney straight up to a lone 1/4" bolt* which can be backed up with a #5 Camalot. Shortly above this transition into a lieback and continue up and left onto the top of a blocky, exposed tower. From here, move up a right-facing corner with spaced gear and then step right (exciting) to a seam. Continue up this and through a difficult Western Rosebud tree growing out of the crack, and belay on a great ledge with a bolted anchor. 140', 5.11a PG13.

(*)The 1/4" bolt on this pitch is a bummer: If you trusted the bolt, or if it were replaced with something more bombproof, you could conceivably leave the #5 Camalot behind and go a bit lighter with the rack. Perhaps the next party up could bring a bolt kit instead of the #5 Camalot, replace this sucker, and do all future parties a huge favor?

P8: Clip another 1/4" bolt a couple feet above the anchor and immediately bust left onto the arete and face climb easily up. Move right to an obvious, attractive flake, then move right again and continue up blocky rock to a bolted anchor. 110', 5.10c.

P9: Move down and left from the belay underneath a massive hanging slab and then up onto the slab at a blunt arete via some slightly hollow rock. Clip a bolt, and continue up and left into a long, weird corner with tricky pro. Pull awkwardly over the top and belay off a pine tree on a big ledge that feels like it should be the top. 110', 5.10c PG13.

P10: Climb up the loose face behind the pine tree for about 150-200'. There is decent pro but an abundance of loose rock. 175', 5.8 PG13.

Rap the Rainbow Wall route proper.

Protection 

2 each black Alien/purple C3 to #2 Camalot. 1 each #3, #4, #5 Camalots. Stoppers, many slings.


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Rock Climbing Photo: Sergeant Slaughter Topo.
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