Quiggle’s Wiggle is perhaps the worst rock climb in Red Rock. However, the access it gives you to rap the waterfall in Icebox Canyon is worth the climb. We made a good circuit of Icebox Canyon on this particular day, one I recommend for the aspiring 5.9 trad leader. Our day included: Black Magic Panties and Sensuous Mortician on Necromancer Wall; then skirt the walls (relatively new climbers trail-2015) all the way over to Burlesque, climb and rap it; then descend down to Icebox Canyon proper and head back to the waterfall and climb Quiggle’s Wiggle which allows you to rap the waterfall itself (free air, wet rappel). These are not my favorite routes in Icebox by any means (i.e. Unfinished Symphony and Weenie Juice), but this circuit makes for a fun day of easy to moderate climbing with a bit of canyoneering (the waterfall rap) thrown in to boot.
Competent parties can solo the first pitch of Quiggle’s, but there are consequences if you fall. There really isn’t much pro on the first pitch and the description in Handren’s guide is way off. “Follow the corner to the left side of a large ledge. Swing off the left side of the ledge and belay on another ledge.” Perhaps someone was having an acid trip when they wrote this beta, but there is no “swinging” and the obvious corner ends at the right end of an obvious ledge, not the left. In any regard, outside of the short corner with a tree in it, the first pitch is rather nondescript. From the pool below, head straight up on easy slab to where you can traverse left to the base of the corner. Climb the corner through the tree and cut left at the top onto a large ledge. The second pitch in Handren’s guide references moving the belay left 80’ via 3rd class to the base of the next corner. There is no 3rd class, it is a walk on a very flat and large ledge and it is not 80’ but more like 40’. There are two old pitons set up with rap rings (2015) in the floor below the chimney above. The next pitch meanders right and involves the crux climbing (still not 5.9 in my opinion). No matter where you end it, keep moving up and right to the right side of a large mossy left facing corner to position yourself right above the waterfall where you will find a slung tree. A single 70m rope rap off of this tree sets you up for a fun and wet double rope rap down the waterfall.
Park at the Icebox Canyon trail head. Hike into Icebox Canyon as you would for Frigid Air Buttress. Hike the trial in and out of the wash all the way back to the waterfall with several pools. Quiggle’s climbs the left side above the first pool. Look to identify the short corner with a tree in it. Run up the center of the concaved faced and traverse left to the corner and climb it to a massive ledge. That is the first pitch.
Route DescriptionQuiggle’s Wiggle, 300+/-, 5.9
1st Pitch- 115’- 5.9/ This whole route is soft for the grade. I soloed this first pitch and felt it was closer to 5.7. From the pool below, head straight center of the concaved wall on easy slab to where you can traverse left to the base of the corner. Climb the corner through the tree and cut left at the top onto a large ledge. The second pitch in Handren’s guide references moving the belay left 80’ via 3rd class to the base of the next corner. There is no 3rd class, it is a walk on a very flat and large ledge and it is not 80’, more like 40’. There are two old pitons set up with rap rings (2015) in the floor below the chimney above. I made it to the base of the 2nd corner in 115’, so you could rap off those old pitons with a 70m if you wanted.
2nd/3rd Pitches- 200’- 5.9/ This pitch is the crux. Start up the easy and wide crack/chimney. At the top there is a boulder. Step on it and place some small gear as you traverse right (crux) and continue up on mossy scoops. The wall lays back fairly immediate. Keep traversing right and up to the base of a large moss laden left facing corner. Stem up and cross the corner moving right to find a slung tree that is located 115’ right over the top of the waterfall.