Welcome to SP!  -
East Face, 5.7-5.12b
Mountain/Rock

East Face, 5.7-5.12b

 
East Face, 5.7-5.12b

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Nevada, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 36.12333°N / 115.49389°W

Object Title: East Face, 5.7-5.12b

Activities: Trad Climbing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

 

Page By: Dow Williams

Created/Edited: Apr 30, 2009 / Feb 2, 2013

Object ID: 510217

Hits: 1690 

Page Score: 79.78%  - 11 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote

 

Overview/Approach

 
Mescalito
 

The East Face of Mescalito at Red Rocks often gets overlooked for more popular destinations on the small pinnacle of a mountain like Dark Shadows Wall to the right and Mescalito’s south face to the left. But the lack of attention for the east face is not for a lack of published routes: 22 as of 2009. Y2K , 4 pitches at 5.10a is no doubt the most popular of the east face routes. The remainder are relatively obscure lines by Red Rocks standards. And for good reason really; the routes are not that long, many being from two to three pitches, and the rock not that good on the east face of Mescalito. Only the northeast buttress routes, Deep Space and Centerfold, can reach the summit and neither receive accolades from Handren.
 
Y2K, 5.10a
Y2K, 5.10a

The east face is by far the warmest of the three faces to climb on Mescalito. Dark Shadows Wall represents quite the enclosed north face and the south face gets a lot of sun blocked out from nearby Juniper and Rainbow Peaks.

Park at the Pine Creek trailhead off of the Red Rocks loop road. In the spring and fall, on weekends, you will find an array of tourists hiking this section of Pine Creek Canyon. Hike down the trail along the creek, past the old homestead and into the wash as it heads for Mescalito. To reach Y2K which represents the north side of the east face, look for a rather indistinct trail off to the left and up from the bottom of the wash. To avoid bushwhacking, wait until you have identified the route and are basically underneath it before ascending the bushy slope to the base of the rock. This goes for pretty much all the routes. A trail does circumvent the east face, but quite a ways down from the base of the peak.

Route Description(s)

 
Black Widow Hollow, 5.9
 
 
Y2K, 5.10a
 
 
Mescalito
 
 
Y2K, 5.10a
 

Routes Listed Left to Right as you Face the Wall

  • The Wasp- 300’- 5.10/

  • Black Widow Hollow- 400’- 5.9+/
  • Black Widow Hollow is actually quite dated compared to other routes on Mescalito’s East Face. Joe Herbst and Mark Moore put it in during 1976. The first pitch involves easy 5.7 climbing that lands you on a comfortable belay ledge directly below the 200’+ chimney. Handren puts the 2nd pitch at 210’ and it is more like 220’, but it is easy to add 20’ to the 3rd pitch and still make this a 3 pitch route with comfortable belays. There is a big ledge within the chimney itself 20’ or so down from the top of it. The rope drag is so severe towards the top of the chimney that it makes much more sense to climb Black Widow Hollow this way versus topping out on the chimney for a belay which would require simul-climbing with 60m ropes. As with any deeper chimney, it is hard to protect the 2nd pitch safely. At times you will need to squeeze in, place pro, use an extended sling and climb back out, knowing that any fall will more than likely result into a slam back into the chimney Dow

  • Pauline’s Pentacle- 230’- 5.10a/

  • Cookie Monster- 340’- 5.7/

  • Walker Spur- 350'-5.10b/
  • Walker Spur was established by John Long and Lynn Hill in 1981. Why it has not seen more attention than it has, in comparison to some of the other routes nearby, I cannot say. The first pitch does have the crux move or two immediately above a potential ankle busting ledge. A well placed nut however protects the moves relatively well. There is also an old piton (2012) at basically the same spot that needs to be knocked out or reset. Once above this shallow corner, the first pitch finished on mostly a solid hand and/or fingers crack to a comfortable belay. The second pitch is one of the finer 5.9 pitches in all of Red Rock. Although the last 2/3rds of it are closer to 5.8 hand crack climbing, the airy arête and eventual roof pull at the beginning made for a stellar overall pitch on excellent rock. The last pitch is sort of your typical Red Rock 5.7 low angle finish which reaches a broad shoulder intertwined with Cat in the Hat. After a brief down climb to reach the first accessible rap station, you can rap down Cat in the Hat with three quick single rope raps. Dow

  • Pine Nuts- 235’- 5.10a/

  • When a Stranger Calls- 350’- 5.9/

  • Crunchy Cat- 150’- 5.8/

  • C11 H17N03- 535’- 5.7/

  • Mescalito Regular Route- 1100’- 5.7/

  • This Ain’t No Disco- 140’- 5.10a/

  • Welcome to Red Rocks- 150’- 5.12b/

  • Pauligk Pillar- 270’- 5.7/


  • Y2K- 515’- 5.10a/
  • It definitely felt below the grade of 5.9 and was rather anti-climactic. The rope snag opportunity on the first of three double rope rappels on descent makes this route barely worth visiting. However, if one is looking for their first 5.10a trad experience at Red Rocks, there could not be an easier objective. The first pitch has the only 5.10a moves on it and they are short lived, involving a well protected (bolt) roof mantle. The second pitch (5.8) is almost a full 200’ and will involve some run-out to avoid tremendous rope drag. The third pitch is an easy traverse into the corner which was supposed to be the crux of the route. However, I led the final pitch and found it quite easy at the grade (5.9). I also did not find the need for any RP’s as Handren suggested in his guide book. A #.75 cam along with a small nut or two easily protects the final steep section with plenty of protection prior. Dow

  • Too Many Tantrums- 200’- 5.7/

  • Splitting Hares- 225’- 5.9/

  • Next Century- 200’- 5.10d/

  • Ride the Tiger- 600’- 5.9/

  • Northeast Corner

  • Bloodline- 300’- 5.11a/

  • Deep Space- 1200’- 5.9/

  • Centerfold- 1100’- 5.9+/

  • Flakes of Wrath- 455’- 5.10dR/
  • Essential Gear

    These are mostly trad lines requiring an assortment of gear as spelled out in Jerry’s book. Many do have fixed rappel stations. Read up on which routes you are interested in ahead of time to determine whether you need to bring doubles or a single rope for the raps. Jerry’s Handren’s “Red Rocks, A Climbers Guide", is the best guide book for Red Rocks. The routes are east facing and offer good morning sun on cooler days, but lose sun rather early.

    External Links

  • Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, BLM

  • Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association

  • DowClimbing.Com
  • Red Rocks

    Images

    Yucca in Full Bloom