ApproachFollow the directions on the main page under "Getting There" section. Once you're bushwacking below the east face of Mescalito, continue until you round the corner of Mescalito. The route starts about 75 feet left of a prominent chimney and about 50' right of a bushy gully. Look for an obvious left slanting crack.
Route DescriptionThe route is typically done in 5 pitches. A two 60m ropes are recommended for descent (a 60 m rope also makes the ascent easier).
Pitch 1: 5.5, 150 feet. Climb the slightly left leaning crack through a small chimney. Move right atop the chimney onto a nice ledge. At this point you'll see a rappel station (2 bolts) on a nice balcony. Optional belay. Move up a left leaning crack till you reach 3rd class spacious ledges. You can belay from doubly bolted rap anchors on the lower ledges or continue up for 15-25 feet higher and set up a gear belay (keep in mind these ledges are pretty much flat).
Pitch 2: 5.5, 60 feet. Move right across the ledges to the foot a large chimney (Swain calls it "right, center" of the ledges). The crux move here comes in the beginning of the chimney. Climb the chimney to a mid-sized tree on a nice ledge. Belay.
Pitch 3: 5.6, 110 feet. Climb up the black wall with a nice hand crack in it. Follow the crack (great gear placements!) to below a small roof. Step left and catch another (thinner) crack. Climb that crack to a ledge with a large horn with rappel slings around it. Belay here off of some slings. Enjoy the view of Vegas. From here you can see a bolted (sparsely) line up the black/gray arete. Difficulty uncertain - this is not where you're going.
Pitch 4: 5.3, 50 feet. This is a traverse pitch. Step down slightly from the belay ledge. The belay ledge you're leaving is actually about 20 feet higher than your next belay position. Climb down right at the beginning of the pitch (easier!). Make your way across to the next belay ledge - it looks like a 'hole' surrounded by boulders on 3 sides. Was able to sling about two horns when I did the traverse (but I mistakenly took the 'higher' traverse option).
Pitch 5: 5.6+, 100 feet. Climb the nice crack in the center of the black rock face. The crack runs out about 3/4 of the way up when you reach whitish rock. Climb the face (about 20 feet from where the crack ends) to a bolt. This face climb is the crux of the climb (it puts the "+" in the 5.6+ rating). Going gets easier past the bolt. You top out on the route shortly thereafter. There are three bolts at the top for rappelling.
D1: Double Rope 110 feet. Do a double rope rappel from the top back to the ledge where you topped out on pitch 3. This is a bit tricky if you're rapping off in the dark - tendency is to rap off too far to the (climber's) left; ledge is further right (climber's right).
D2: Double Rope 110 feet. Do another double rope rappel down to the tree where you topped out on pitch 2.
D3: Single Rope 60 feet. Do a single rope rappel from the tree down to the upper portions of the spacious ledges. Downclimb to the rap anchors (lower portion of the ledges). Variation: Do a double rope rappel from the tree all the way down to the rap anchors. It takes a LOT of luck not to get your ropes stuck here though!!
D4: Double Rope 130 feet. Rappel from the bolts on the ledges down to the ground.
Note that it MIGHT be possible to rappel the route with a single 60m rope (have NOT tired this first hand, nor have I read of anyone doing it). On the first rappel listed above, there is a doubly-bolted station about 1/2 way down (hanging station). Also, the fourth rappel listed above can be broken up - you'll pass a doubly bolted station (on the nice 'balcony' mentioned in the photos on your way to the ground). The big unknown is the second rappel mentioned above. If really pressed, you could most likely rig up a single rope rappel with some downclimbing. This info. is provided for the minimalists and those who might need to abandon the 2nd rope if they should get it stuck.
Also note that Joann Urioste's book claims that you can reach the summit of Mescalito from top of Cat in the Hat via some 3rd and 4th class scrambling (some 5th class moves) but provides no details other than to say "retrace the route" on the way down.
Essential GearA set of cams (did no use the small stuff); full set of wired nuts; a few mid- to small-sized hexes. The first 3 small tricams work well (pink, red, blue). Don't use QD's but rather slings w/ biners to avoid rope drag. Bring about 12-14 of those including some triple length.
Long Range Route Photos
Internet LinksA pitch-by-pitch description (with a few nice photos) can be found here.
More Route Photos
Additions and Corrections[ Post an Addition or Correction ]