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South Calico Ridge T 
South Calico Traverse T 

South Calico Ridge 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 4100'
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
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Page Views: 155
Submitted By: kenr on Feb 10, 2017

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BETA PHOTO: map of Calico peaks + ridges ... . qm - Point 4708...

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

Description 

The South Calico ridge runs SE to NW in a nice setting with big views, interesting rock situations and climbing sequences, thoughtful navigation, and fairly close to trailheads.

strategy: The idea of this route is to attempt to traverse the ridge and find the most interesting climbing sections staying as close to the crest of the ridge as possible, and touch as many of its summits as possible (all about the same elevation 4320 ft).

The key difficulties along the crest of the ridge are chasms that cut across it. Sometimes the harder climbing is in getting down into the chasm, other times it's getting up out of it.

. . (A different strategy would be to avoid the more difficult chasms by going off the ridge to one side or the other:
. . . . See the route South Calico Traverse).

which direction? Likely the navigation is a bit less tricky going in the SE to NW direction. Also likely the majority of the 5th class climbing is upward while going in the SE to NW direction (but still need to have some down-climbing skill and experience).

route: The terrain on and around the ridge is complicated, so it's difficult to remember and accurately describe the details. My memory from February 2017 is that there was one chasm where I had to drop down a ways off to the SE side of the ridge in order to avoid climbing substantially harder than 5.6 difficulty. And at least one high point of the ridge crest which I skipped because I did not quickly see a low 5th class way up onto it.
. . (So likely there is a "direct direct" version of this route at difficulty greater than 5.6).

. . (Also perhaps there might be a more clever route close to the crest which holds the difficulty lower to 5.4 or 5.5 ...
. . . . but perhaps Not -- or perhaps it takes more time to find that -- and
. . . . perhaps miss out on some more interesting climbing sequence).

Some details ... starting from the SouthEast end of the rock of the ridge:
  • Got onto the rock just W (left side) from the end with an interesting 5.3-5.4 sequence, then some hiking, then scrambled around NW (left) side of a rock nub, some more hiking, then close to the crest ...
  • Interesting chimney with 5.3-5.4 crux.
  • more hiking + scrambling up to the "South summit" (N36.14535 W115.42353).
  • NW down from this soon to a wall, with a sustained exposed 5.4 sequence up a right-trending crack to get over it.
  • Looking ahead from there seemed like straightforward hiking, but then surprise encounters with chasms cutting across the way. Seemed like at least one 5.6 sequence in there somewhere.
  • Reached the "Northerly summit" (N36.1502 W115.4293) - (above the popular Panty Wall sport crag).
  • at least one more difficult sequence on the way to the "Far North" summit (N36.1519 W115.4308).
  • Not much farther NW from this I started a downward traverse onto the SE (right) side of the ridge (instead of staying on the crest to its end) - because I felt in a hurry - (had a short sequence 5.3-5.4).
  • Finally worked my way down E and SE on some sustained slabby rock (not many positive holds but not so steep) down to the obvious pass by the NW end of the ridge - (with an obvious slackline nearby as of 2016).

link-up? This route could be followed by climbing the (more difficult) "South gully + ridge" route of Red Book Point -- or even a complete traverse of the Red Book Ridge (by then descending the "NorthWest gully + ridge" route to the Middle Pass).

warning: Many loose rocks and weak breakable hand- and foot-holds on and around this route - (even when the rock plenty dry). The rock becomes especially weak for a couple of days after significant rain or snow, so holds are even more likely to break off.

Location 

- - > "sr" on the map.

From Red Springs parking (lat long approx N36.1464 W115.4189).-.(elevation 3600ft /1100m), hike up SouthWest about +200 vertical feet over 0.25 mile distance to reach the SE end of the rock of the ridge (N36.1422 W115.4207).-.(elev 3800ft /1150m).

Or if doing the traverse in the reverse direction (NW to SE), start from Red Springs parking and hike NorthWest (later gets steeper perhaps with some scrambling) to the obvious pass at the NW end of the South Calico ridge (N36.1534 W115.4323).-.(elev 4225ft /1290m) - about +625 vertical feet over 0.8 mile distance.

The ends of this ridge could also be approached from its NW side, from the 1st Pull-out and/or 2nd Pull-out on the Red Rock Scenic Loop road.

Protection 

There is no fixed gear.

Protection for Trad leading is unknown.


Photos of South Calico Ridge Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: South Ridge of Calico (from NE)
BETA PHOTO: South Ridge of Calico (from NE)

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