Site navigation

Section navigation


This is it. THE classic red rocks route. And it's just as good as everyone says it is. Original route description said 18 pitches, but it can be done in as little as 11 with some boldish soloing in the upper segments.

Pitch 1 (5.8) Start at the base of a steep, gray face Climb past a couple bolts up to a ledge with a few small trees. Continue up a white face, over a small roof, and past a slabby bolt-protected move to the belay. If you place a lot of gear, rope drag will be terrible. So, either use a lot of long runners, run it out, or do it in two pitches.

Pitch 2 (5.6) Climb up the chimney to easier terrain. This is your warmup for the more serious chimneys above. Belay at the base of the major chimney system.

Pitch 3 (5.9) Follow tricky 5.8 flakes up to the "real" chimney section. Grunt, squirm, and slither your way to the belay 170 ft above. This is probably the most cardiovascularly tasking pitch of the entire climb. Conservation of energy and minimization of effort is critical.

Pitch 4 (5.9) I think this is the hardest pitch of the climb. Paste your foot on the slippery chimney wall that's angling the "wrong" way, arm bar in the off-width at the back of the chimney, and worm your way up to a good bucket. Continue over some tricky blocks and cracks to a beautiful 15' hand crack. Belay on a nice (but small) ledge with bolts.

Pitch 5 (5.9) A tricky mantle starts the pitch off. Then, the climbing turns to "feet/knees to back" chimneying. Finish at the top of the tower. This is a really fun pitch.

Pitch 6 (5.7) Switch into face climbing mode, and cruise the bolt-protected 5.7 face above. Pull the 5.7 roof, and head right to a good ledge.

Pitch 7 (5.9) Move the belay right to the base of the "Elephant's Trunk". Head up the Trunk (5.6), past a two-bolt anchor, and up a steep 5.9 face to another two-bolt anchor. The climbing here is exquisite. There are good holds everywhere, but it's steep and really exposed.

Pitch 8 (5.9) Climb up another beautiful face/dihedral to an alcove with a two-bolt anchor. More steepness and exposure!

Pitch 9 (5.8) Follow the dihedral for 170 ft or so to a two-bolt anchor. This pitch is fun cruising.

Pitch 10 (5.9) Continue up the dihedral to a 5.9-ish roof. Pull it, step left, and belay. The roof is probably not 5.9. People think it's that hard because they're so tired by this point.

Pitch 11 (5.6) Fly up easy terrain to the end of the technical difficulties.

Pitch 12-14 (5.4) Climb up the right facing ramp to a flat, bushy ledge. Best simulclimbed on a shortened rope.

Pitch 15 (4th Class) Head across the slanted ledge to the giant pine tree. Easy but very exposed.

Pitch 16 (2nd Class) Unrope at the tree and scramble to victory.


Route History:

There is no known route history.


Located in Black Velvet Canyon approx:
Lat/Long: 36.037123,-115.468104

Route Grade Citations

5.9 IV Community registered grade
5.9 Classic Rock #28 Red Rocks Nevada
5.9 Rock Climbing Red Rocks
5.9 Scott Nelson
IV 5.9 Rock 'N Road: Rock Climbing Areas of North America

Route quality

Route quality

Overall quality score: 95%

Lead Styles

Lead styles pie chart

Comments keywords

sustained hard stoked fun fantastic good amazing great superb awesome scary exposed face easy chimney epic crazy

Learn about creating circuits.

Activity Configure

Check out what is happening on Epinephrine (note there is an unresolved system issue where ascents logged before 2010 are not displayed in the stream below). If you just want to see beta then click on view ascents with beta.