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Table of contents

1. Mescalito 41 routes in Crag

Mostly Trad

Mescalito is the smaller (1000') steeper red-capped peak in the center of the canyon, that splits the canyon into its north and south forks.

1.1. Mescalito, South Face 8 routes in Cliff

Mostly Trad

This is the side of Mescalito facing southwards, into the south-fork of the Pine Creek Canyon.

Routes given from right-to-left as encountered entering the canyon.

RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
1 Bed of Nails

The big chimney to the right of the first pitch of Cat in the Hat.

As you come around the south-east buttress, and start climbing up the rubble, this is the first big chimney encountered.

5.9 Trad 200ft
2 *** Cat in the Hat

One of the most popular multi-pitch routes at Red Rocks due, at least in part, to large comfortable belay ledges the whole way. Can be rappelled on one 70m rope with a bit of 4th class down-climbing, or with two ropes.

Starts below an obvious left-slanting crack.

  1. 150' 5.5 - Climb the left slanting crack, skip the optional belay at 90', up a wider crack to a ledge, then continue up the crack to another ledge. Bolted anchors are a few yards out to the right.

  2. 50' 5.5. Hike right along the ledge, boulder up to the next ledge, and up gentle slabs to a steeper wall. Re-belay from here, then up steepish black wall to a small overhang, the up a left-facing corner to a ledge with trees. End on a belay off a small group of trees.

  3. 120' 5.6. Start up 4th class terrain about 15' to a small ledge, climb a thin crack in the varnished face left of a small corner to a small roof, traverse left under the roof to another crack that continues upwards, and up this to a ledge with a large block on it. Belay off slings around the large block.

  4. 50' 5.3. Traverse right and a bit down to a ledge with a crack above it and anchors.

  5. 110' 5.6. Climb the crack, past a bolt to run-out 5.5 terrain to the anchors. Most people end here at the anchor and rappel.

FA: Harrison, Broussard, Van Betten

5.6 Trad 670ft 5
3 Cat in the Hat (all the way)

Most people climb Cat in the Hat to the top of the 5th pitch, and then rappel. But the route can be continued past this point with about 500ft of 4th class, and then a final 5.7 chimney to an anchor, then a bit of scrambling to the summit.

  1. 150' 5.5 - skip the optional belay at 90', those anchors allow for rappelling on a single 70m rope. End on a big ledge with bolted anchors.

  2. 50' 5.5. End on a belay off a small group of trees.

  3. 120' 5.6. End on a belay off a big boulder slung around the top.

  4. 50' 5.3. Traverse right and a bit down to a ledge.

  5. 110' 5.6. Most people end here at the anchor.

  6. 500' 4th class. Climb up the buttress, scramble across the notch to the main peak and up to a tree at the base of a big chimney splitting the final band of red rock.

  7. 120' 5.7. Climb the chimney to an anchor. Then scramble the last bit to the summit.

This is, also, one of the possible descent routes from any other climb that summits Mescalito -- rappel the

5.7 Trad 1100ft 7
4 Rabbit's Arete

Climb the bolted arete that goes up from the block belay at the top of pitch 3 of "Cat in the Hat".

5.10d Sport 80ft
5 The Grinch

Climbs face and cracks left of Cat in the Hat, finishing at the end of the 5th pitch of Cat in the Hat.

5.9 Trad 500ft 4
6 * Crack Rock

Up corners to a thin crack on a steep headwall several hundred feet up.

5.12a Trad 740ft
7 OB Fist 5.10- Trad 110ft
8 OB Button 5.10- Trad 220ft 2

1.2. Mescalito, East Face 19 routes in Cliff

All Trad

This is the face of Mescalito as viewed from the parking area and approach. It runs from the buttress on the left side that Cat in the Hat ascends the opposite side of, until it wraps to the front to the right edge of the formation to the cone of bushy and low-angled outcrops at the base of the north-east corner.

Routes described left-to-right (south-to-north).

Descent Notes:

Many of the initial routes (up to C11H17NO3) finish somewhere along Cat in the Hat, and are descended by rappelling this route.

RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
1 The Wasp

Climbs a deep corner/crack that splits the lower portion of the south-east buttress, almost on the cusp of the south/east sides of the formation.

5.10 Trad 300ft
RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
2 Black Widow Hollow

Climbs the first deep corner along the east face of Mescalito.

5.9 Trad 370ft
3 Pauline's Pentacle

Climb the face up and left of The Cookie Monster to anchors. Two 70m-rope rappels.

5.10 R Trad 230ft 2
4 * The Cookie Monster

On the east face of Mescalito, looking at the south side, there are two obvious big corners. This one climbs the 2nd big corner in from the south (left) side.

This finishes about 30-40 ft above the tree belay of "Cat in the Hat", an easy 5.0 not-exposed down-climb allows one to rap from there (3 raps with a single 70m rope).

5.7 Trad 340ft
5 The Walker Spur 5.10 PG Trad 350ft
6 Pine Nuts 5.10a PG Trad 240ft
7 *** When a Stranger Calls

FA: Randal Grandstaff, Steven Anderson

5.8 Trad 350ft
8 C11H17NO3

Follows an obvious corner system up the east face of Mescalito. Finishes at the 5th anchor for Cat in the Hat, rappel that to descend.

Starts at two parallel cracks about 75' left of a huge left-facing corner.


5.7 Trad 540ft 3
9 This Ain't No Disco 5.9 PG Trad 140ft
10 Welcome to Red Rocks 5.12 Trad 150ft
11 Welcome to Red Rocks Variation 5.11 Trad
12 Pauligk Pillar 5.7 Trad 270ft
13 * Y2K 5.10 Trad 510ft
14 The Next Century 5.10 PG Trad 200ft
15 Ride the Tiger 5.9 Trad 600ft
16 Bloodline 5.11 PG Trad 300ft
17 Deep Space 5.9 Trad 1200ft
18 Centerfold 5.10 III Trad 1100ft
19 Flakes of Wrath 5.10+ X Trad 450ft

1.3. Dark Shadows Wall 14 routes in Cliff

All Trad

This is a high wall rising almost directly out of the canyon floor, on the north side of Mescalito.

RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
1 Negro Blanco

First pitch of 5.11a, then lots of easier climbing to the top of Mescalito.

8 pitches plus about 250 ft of 4th class.

5.11- IV Trad 1100ft 9
2 Lethal Weapon 5.12 Trad 90ft
3 Parental Guidance 5.12- PG13 Trad 170ft 2
4 Short Circuit 5.11 PG Trad 60ft
5 *** Risky Business 5.10+ III PG Trad 360ft 4
6 Risky Business Variation 5.11+ Trad
7 * Excellent Adventure 5.11- R Trad 350ft 3
8 Sandstone Sandwich

Alternate first pitch to Excellent Adventure.

5.10c PG13 Trad 150ft
9 Heart of Darkness

5th pitch at 5.11c, rest at 5.9 or less.

5.11c IV Trad 1100ft 11
RouteGradeStyleSelected ascents
10 *** Dark Shadows
  1. Climb the slab between bolts. Stay calm, it really is easy.... (5.5)

  2. Stellar pitch up a dihedral crack system, you should try get another red cam stuck, this pitch needs more fixed gear! Can be linked with pitch 1. (5.7)

  3. A long, long and rewarding pitch, the desert paten looks intimidating, but those cutouts are just sooooo good. For a confident leader you will be running this one out. (5.7)

  4. The money pitch, but so short. Trend right off the belay over lots of air. Negotiate the offwidth, look around for gear, then fire out to the right across a series of stellar, unprotected but bomber face moves. Unreal. (5.8)

Descent: With 2x60m ropes, rappel down to the top of P2. Or, with 1 x 60m rope do 2 rappels with a hanging belay half way. From P2 anchors rappel to the ground avoiding the pool below.

FA: Nick Nordblom,Jon Martinet, 1979

5.8 II Trad 340ft 4
11 ** Dark Shadows - all the way

Continue on another 6 pitches to the top of Mescalito after the usual rappel point and the end of pitch 4. Not a trivial undertaking.

5.8 IV Trad 1000ft 10
12 Chasing Shadows

Dark Shadows variant.

5.8 PG13 Trad 310ft 4
13 Edge Dressing

Chasing Shadows variant.

5.10 PG Trad 300ft 4
14 Slot Machine 5.10 PG Trad 150ft

2. Index by grade

Grade Stars Name Style Area
5.6 *** Cat in the Hat Trad 670ft 5 1.1. Mescalito, South Face
5.7 Cat in the Hat (all the way) Trad 1100ft 7 1.1. Mescalito, South Face
C11H17NO3 Trad 540ft 3 1.2. Mescalito, East Face
Pauligk Pillar Trad 270ft 1.2. Mescalito, East Face
* The Cookie Monster Trad 340ft 1.2. Mescalito, East Face
5.8 *** When a Stranger Calls Trad 350ft 1.2. Mescalito, East Face
Chasing Shadows Trad 310ft 4 1.3. Dark Shadows Wall
5.8 II *** Dark Shadows Trad 340ft 4 1.3. Dark Shadows Wall
5.8 IV ** Dark Shadows - all the way Trad 1000ft 10 1.3. Dark Shadows Wall
5.9 Bed of Nails Trad 200ft 1.1. Mescalito, South Face
The Grinch Trad 500ft 4 1.1. Mescalito, South Face
Black Widow Hollow Trad 370ft 1.2. Mescalito, East Face
Deep Space Trad 1200ft 1.2. Mescalito, East Face
Ride the Tiger Trad 600ft 1.2. Mescalito, East Face
This Ain't No Disco Trad 140ft 1.2. Mescalito, East Face
5.10- OB Button Trad 220ft 2 1.1. Mescalito, South Face
OB Fist Trad 110ft 1.1. Mescalito, South Face
5.10a Pine Nuts Trad 240ft 1.2. Mescalito, East Face
5.10c Sandstone Sandwich Trad 150ft 1.3. Dark Shadows Wall
5.10 Pauline's Pentacle Trad 230ft 2 1.2. Mescalito, East Face
The Next Century Trad 200ft 1.2. Mescalito, East Face
The Walker Spur Trad 350ft 1.2. Mescalito, East Face
The Wasp Trad 300ft 1.2. Mescalito, East Face
* Y2K Trad 510ft 1.2. Mescalito, East Face
Edge Dressing Trad 300ft 4 1.3. Dark Shadows Wall
Slot Machine Trad 150ft 1.3. Dark Shadows Wall
5.10 III Centerfold Trad 1100ft 1.2. Mescalito, East Face
5.10d Rabbit's Arete Sport 80ft 1.1. Mescalito, South Face
5.10+ Flakes of Wrath Trad 450ft 1.2. Mescalito, East Face
5.10+ III *** Risky Business Trad 360ft 4 1.3. Dark Shadows Wall
5.11- * Excellent Adventure Trad 350ft 3 1.3. Dark Shadows Wall
5.11- IV Negro Blanco Trad 1100ft 9 1.3. Dark Shadows Wall
5.11c IV Heart of Darkness Trad 1100ft 11 1.3. Dark Shadows Wall
5.11 Bloodline Trad 300ft 1.2. Mescalito, East Face
Welcome to Red Rocks Variation Trad 1.2. Mescalito, East Face
Short Circuit Trad 60ft 1.3. Dark Shadows Wall
5.11+ Risky Business Variation Trad 1.3. Dark Shadows Wall
5.12- Parental Guidance Trad 170ft 2 1.3. Dark Shadows Wall
5.12a * Crack Rock Trad 740ft 1.1. Mescalito, South Face
5.12 Welcome to Red Rocks Trad 150ft 1.2. Mescalito, East Face
Lethal Weapon Trad 90ft 1.3. Dark Shadows Wall