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Tales from the Gripped 

YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, Sport, 3 pitches, 300'
Original:  YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c [details]
Page Views: 1,071
Submitted By: Luke Stefurak on May 2, 2014

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Right before the bolted traverse on Pitch Two of T...

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


The third pitch is what makes this route worth doing. A phenomenal exercise in red rocks face climbing. The first pitch is a hard slab with a short crux, and the second pitch is a touch loose.

P1 - 5.11a/b - 90 ft Start up a slanting seam, finger sized gear protects, below two bolts on a varnished slab. Make a hard move to the left to clipping a stance below the second bolt. Trust your feet and work through some very poor holds. Once the good horizontal are reached traverse right to a bolt a pull over on jugs. A few 1"-3" pieces protect some face climbing up and right to a nice ledge.

P2 - 5.10a - 100 ft Climb up a slab to the left with some thin moves past two closely space bolts. Move right and climb a right facing corner before you can spy some older bolts on the face. Traverse right to an obvious anchor that currently has a bunch of old webbing. Belay at an semi-hanging stance.

P3 - 5.11b - 100 ft From the belay blast up to a high first bolt and then slowly weave your way up the face. An early thin crux will make you think about the rusty hangers that I often backed up with nut placements. Work you way left to a small ledge and then go straight up the face on amazing patina. The holds start to disappear and force you right for a final houdini crux.

A few thin to finger sized pieces protect a final seam to the anchor which has a good stance. ~ 9 bolts on this pitch and a handful of medium to small nuts + thin cams.

Rappelling is possible with a 70m Rope.

The hangers on the bolts on the final pitch seemed to be home made and sometimes in poor condition. According to the guide they are 20+ years old... This would be a great candidate for bolt replacement. Most were Rawl Type sleeve bolts, that could be easily pulled.


This route climbs the varnished slab just to the the right of the first pitch of Our Father.

Route can be rappeled with a 70m rope.


A single rack of cams from purple C3 to #2 camalot and a good selection of nuts including a few RPs

Photos of Tales from the Gripped Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Psyched to clip the first bolt on the third pitch ...
Psyched to clip the first bolt on the third pitch ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pulling the roof on Pitch 1 of Tales from the Grip...
Pulling the roof on Pitch 1 of Tales from the Grip...

Comments on Tales from the Gripped Add Comment
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By Michael Kimm
From: Las Vegas, NV
May 6, 2014
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

A step up from Delicate Sound of Thunder. Pitch 1 is an intense slab crux if you're short, and pitch three is delicate and committing above the questionable hardware.
By Jon Clark
From: Philadelphia, PA
Oct 21, 2015
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

FA: Todd Swain and Elaine Mathews

An interesting route with hard and somewhat bizarre cruxes on pitch one and three (I concur with Luke's Houdini classification). Perhaps height dependent as well? I found the third pitch in particular very reachy and closer to solid 5.11.
By Kevin Dahlstrom
From: Fort Worth, TX
May 7, 2017

I'm wondering if a hold broke on P1 because the crux felt WAY harder than any other 11b/c/d or even 12a I've done at Red Rocks. For example, it felt a 2-3 letter grades harder than neighboring climb of similar style Delicate Sound of Thunder (11b). And I'm tall, which probably helps! The crux sequence is not only hard but cryptic - hard to imagine a 5.11 climber onsighting this thing. I would have rated the pitch 12a/b.
By Bolter Bot
Jul 5, 2017

This climb has new bolts on pitches 2 and 3 now, instead of angle iron.
By Jon Clark
From: Philadelphia, PA
Aug 1, 2017
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

In response to Kevin's comment, I don't think pitch 1 is approaching 12-. However, it is hard to figure out onsight and plenty hard. I do think it is somewhat height dependant and could be easier if tall. I'm 5'6" FWIW.

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