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The Texas Wall / West Velvet Wall
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Texas Tower Direct T 
Twixt Cradle and Stone T 
Velvet Revolver T 
Velvet Tongue, The T 
Velveteen Rabbit, The T 

Texas Tower Direct 

YDS: 5.12d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 500'
Original:  YDS: 5.12d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b [details]
FA: John Rosholt - 1997
Page Views: 5,893
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Nov 7, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (10)
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The awesome 12a 6th pitch

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


Texas Tower Direct is a great, sustained rock climb on bulletproof rock. When linked with the upper half of Texas Hold 'Em, this makes for one of the best long, hard routes in Red Rocks -- rivaling even the Rainbow Wall.

Begin 100' right of the start of Epinephrine.

P1, P2: Scramble 50' up and left across 5.0 ledges just left of a huge, hanging left-facing dihedral high above. Optional Belay on a large ledge with lots of bushes, otherwise: scramble left through the bushes to a small left-facing corner, up this and then traverse back right across a slab to a higher, small, left-facing corner/arete. Up this, passing a bolt, and continue more easily to a great belay ledge with bolted anchor. 130' to this point and a good place to stop and belay. From here, continue up the slab above, then diagonal rightwards across the slab (#2 or #3 Camalots in horizontals, and higher a thread) until reaching the previously mentioned huge, hanging left-facing dihedral just above a tree. Climb this to near it's top where there is a bolt up and left and another one up and right (the righthand one is situated above a shelf. Either way goes, but I find the righthand variation both easier and more direct. Belay just above at a good ledge with a bolted anchor. 260' to this point.

P3: Where Texas Hold 'Em goes right, TTD goes up and left off the belay. Climb ledgy terrain past a small cam placement before clipping a bolt. Continue up the bolted wall above past a difficult 5.12 stemming section to an intermediate anchor at a steep stance (do not belay here). Head up and left, then back right along an interesting feature on a beautiful wall. Some balancey 5.12 in there before reaching a bolted belay. An amazing pitch!

P4: The Velvet Tongue goes straight up the left-facing corner above. Instead, step straight right past a bolt and a difficult boulder problem. Clip the first bolt on the next pitch and down climb to a bolted anchor. V6-7, 20'.

P5: Head up the interesting right-facing flare/corner passing a tightly bolted crux section (5.12d, desparate). Alternatively, break off to the right and up a green, mossy face and head back left, bypassing the crux. Either way, continue up the corner past some hand-size gear placements before stepping wildly out left around the arete and up to another bolted belay. Spectacular.

P6: Climb up off the belay to the left on gorgeous, burgundy-varnished rock. Do a difficult move to a good finger lock (5.12a), then pass a roof above. There's good gear in a hidden crack out right. Continue up, eventually joining with Texas Hold 'Em and arriving at a bolted belay at the very top of Texas Tower.


Single set from 0.3 to #2 Camalot. Lots of draws.

Photos of Texas Tower Direct Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Way high up on the first hard pitch on Texas Tower...
Way high up on the first hard pitch on Texas Tower...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down P3.
Looking down P3.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the stellar third pitch of Texas Tow...
Looking up at the stellar third pitch of Texas Tow...

Comments on Texas Tower Direct Add Comment
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By Jason Haas
Nov 5, 2010

We only climbed the first three pitches to access Velvet Tongue , so I cannot comment on the rest of the route, but I felt the quality was not on par with the Original Route on Rainbow Wall at all. Personally, I felt the first pitch gets a star, the second pitch 1.5 stars (the traverse at the bolt is contrived but the rest of the pitch is fun), and the third pitch maybe gets 3 stars, maybe (the climbing is fun but the bolt job sucks on it). I thought getting to the intermediate anchor was mid-to-hard 5.11, then a 5.12- crux just past that anchor and then more 5.10 to 5.11- climbing to the anchor. Enduro for sure. I personally thought that every pitch on the Rainbow Wall harder than 5.8 would have been 4 stars by themselves if they were cragging pitches (ok well maybe the last pitch is not 4 stars, but still).
By ACassebeer
From: Mojave, CA
Oct 22, 2012

It's difficult to compare this route to the Original Route on Rainbow Wall... it just has a totally different feel. True, the first approach pitch is low quality. However, the climbing on the route improves as you get higher. P3 is very good. P4 is a cool boulder problem traverse that is difficult to read for the grade. P5(the crux) is excellent and as clean as it gets in Red Rocks. There is about 10 feet of hard climbing and the rest of the pitch is really clean 5.11. The arete moves to the anchor are interesting and fun. P6 is also excellent on nice varnished rock. The rock quality on this route is awesome starting about mid-way up the 2nd pitch.

True, this route is not the Original Route on Rainbow Wall. It doesn't share the history or the dramatic line. But this is still an excellent route. Coupled with the fact that you can link this route into Epinephrine's upper pitches makes for a truly rewarding day.
By Monty
From: Golden, CO
Apr 1, 2013

Combining this with Texas Hold'em makes for a fantastic route. For those who aren't cranking 12d (or b for that matter) you can avoid the 12d crux via a bolted 5.11 variation that has fun climbing and the 12b traverse is an easy pendulum if you don't have the time/ patience to figure out the boulder problem. This makes for a very fun outing while staying at the 12a grade. Texas Tower Lite?
By Choncho
Jan 21, 2015

This route is good. Really good rock, except for maybe the first pitch, but after that it's all good. There is a 15ft section on P5 that is pretty baffling.
By Brad G
From: 1994 Honda Civic
Apr 30, 2015

The p.4 traverse felt totally impossible. I couldn't figure it out.
By Brandon Gottung
From: Moab, UT
May 6, 2017

I wonder if this has ever been freed. Seems like 5.12d AO to me.

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