Tiers of the Setting Sun
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BETA PHOTO: Tiers of the Setting Sun
|RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>|
This adventurous line, when combined with any of the First Creek Slab routes is one of the longest lines in Red Rocks providing 2500+ feet of boltless climbing. The route is similar in nature to Resolution Arete but with better rock quality.
The first pitch begins to the right of a striking hand and finger crack. The start begins about 30ft to the right of a crack with many huecos.
P1 5.9 Take the crack to a ledge at 30 ft with a large bush. Continue up the chimney to a right facing corner, pull a 5.9 roof and belay on a sloping ledge. (55m)
P2 5.9 Continue ascending this corner as it widens to an offwidth using the crack and edges on the face to a belay in a sheltered alcove under a huge block on the left. (55m) This pitch is R unless you bring big gear.
P3 5.9+ Continue up and right through an easy squeeze to a 5.6PG ramp. Continue up the ramp to a stance below a spectacular dead vertical 5.9+ hand and fist crack with lots of lichen. Follow the crack up and onto a ramp to the best belay stance you can find at the end of your rope. (55m)
P4 5.9 Continue up the ramp and onto some 5.7R face climbing on poor rock past a bush through a 10 ft section of 5.8 crack to a large ledge with a tree. Climb some awkward 5.9 moves to get to another ledge 25 ft higher on the left. The final headwall will stretch above.
P5 5.11 or A1/5.10 PG13 Take the mossy finger to hand crack starting on this ledge that splits the spectacular headwall to a good size bush for the belay (55m).
P6 5.10+R From the belay traverse down and right on 5.6R face moves and traverse right 50 ft (no pro!) to gain a 5.7 crack. Continue up the crack as the difficulty increases to 10+ and the gear options decrease. The crack turns to stemming then OW/ Squeeze and ledges out at the base of an OW/Squeeze. (~60m)
P7 5.9+ Climb the OW/Squeeze to some 5.7R face climbing to reach a ledge (~60m)
P8 5.5 Scramble up 5.5 terrain for 30m to the top.
From the summit take the first narrow gulley down and left (east). Scramble and rappel down the gulley for about 1000ft. When the gulley opens up on the left (north) side take the second obvious gulley on the left. Downclimb under a huge chockstone and downclimb a 5.7 OW to a large forked pine tree on a level ledge system. Take 1-2 double-rope rappels back to the ledge system atop the first creek slabs. Scramble down slabs descent just to the right of Rising Moons. From the top of Rising Moons one double-rope rappel and a little 4th class will get you back on the ground.
2 x 60m rope, Standard rack of doubles to #4 camalot larger cams or big bros would be useful too. There are no bolts on the route and all anchors are natural.
By Andrew Gomoll
From: Las Vegas, NV
Nov 16, 2007
We simul-climbed the original Herbst line now called Sunset Slab to reach the upper wall. Climbing with no drill or bolts we launched into uncharted territory with a behemoth double rack from brass to #6 Friends and optimistic attitudes. Topping out with about 1 hour of sunlight left we began an epic descent after finishing our last sips of water. As darkness set in we encountered many obstacles including dense scrub oak, sketchy downclimbing, and multiple stuck ropes. As the sun was rising the next morning we found ourselves arriving back at our car. Overall the route took almost exactly 24 hours from car-to-car.
From: Sacramento, CA
Dec 14, 2007
This route is definately an adventure. The climbing is generally on good rock and protects well. However, you need to be ready for the mega-traverse that is totally unprotected but easy climbing. Most pitches are very long in length and bailing off this route might take your entire rack. Expect a Resolution Arete type of climb with better rock but slightly less spectacular position.
By Joe Allen
May 16, 2016
Dow Williams and I climbed this route on May 14, 2016. It didn't look like anyone had been on it since the FA. Many of the cracks were full of moss and the entire route was covered in lichen. It's definitely a bold line and an adventure climb. It's similar in length to Resolution Arete on Mount Wilson, but the rock is far worse. It took us 18 hours from car to car. We found a cairn at the base of the route to help identify the first pitch. The first pitch isn't super obvious. Take a good photo with you and stand way back away from the base to spot the route. We got off route near the top. We climbed the 5.11-/A1 pitch...which was scary and full of moss, but Dow missed the belay and missed the 5.6 traverse into the crack that's 50' to the right. We were at a point of no return so we decided to stay in the main crack system. We pushed through a big improbable looking roof and made it to the summit. Surprisingly, that roof was the best pitch on the entire climb. It was very airy and exposed, but the climbing went at a reasonable 5.10. It had lots of huecos and a good hand crack to pull the roof. The only problem was that white sandstone is soft and it was covered in lichen, which made for slippery feet. If this route gets another 1,000 ascents and is cleaned up, it could then be on par with the Resolution Arete, but until then, it's a bold adventure climb with a fair amount of poor rock. We took a single 70m rope. For the descent, don't go into the first drainage to the southwest that you come to. We started down it and turned back. It was choked full of brush and was nearly impossible to pass through. Instead, bypass that first tiny drainage and continue to the southwest until you come to a big open bowl that funnels down into a slot canyon. Go down into the big drainage via some easy 4th and 5th class down climbing to get to a nice bolted anchor. Spring 2016 was a wet one, and this slot canyon was full of water. We had several sections of waist deep water. Our 70m rope allowed us to descend back to the middle tier and the base of the route, but it did come up short a few times and required some easy down climbing.
Well done on the FA. That's some bold terrain to venture into without a bolt kit!