Straight Shooter Wall is part of Pine Creek Canyon that is a winter watering hole for trad climbers. It, along with Spectrum Wall, Brass Wall and other various walls collect full sun on the lower southeastern flank of Bridge Mountain in Red Rocks. The Straight Shooter route (photos), a short single crack pitch, is no doubt the most popular of the eight published routes (2009) on Straight Shooter Wall. However, Orange Clonus, seven pitches at 5.10d, is the real gem in this area of Pine Creek.
Straight Shooter Wall along with many other lower varnished walls make up the climbs along the lower east face of Bridge Mountain and is thus located down Pine Creek Canyon across from the north and east faces of Mescalito (Dark Shadows area). The Straight Shooter Wall is a small heavily varnished face forming a half circle that is hemmed in by a significant corner to the right. It is centered between two gullies that have climbs in them, Beer and Ice Gully to the left and Stick Gully to the right. Outside of Orange Clonus which obviously climbs way above the face, the other seven routes are all single pitch, the tallest of which is 100’ (Forget Me Knot, 5.11a).
If you find yourself seeking these walls out, it is no doubt due to it being a cool morning. A great combination is to climb on these south facing routes during the morning and head for the Dark Shadows Wall after the sun starts to irritate you a bit. On a typical spring/winter day, we are talking about going from short sleeves in the morning to wearing a decent jacket in the afternoon. A short hike will make that much difference in Pine Creek Canyon.
Park at the Pine Creek trailhead off of the Red Rocks loop road. Hike down the trail along the creek, past the old homestead and into the wash as it heads for Mescalito. Before the trail drops down into the wash heading for the Dark Shadows area, turn right, up hill, on a fainter trail. This trail skirt an obvious red cliff band to the right. By following this trail all the way to the walls above, you basically head directly for the Straight Shooter section.
Routes Listed Left to Right as you Face the Wall
- Orange Clonus- 550’- 5.10d/ Joe Herbst and Tom Kaufman established Orange Clonus in 1977, which gives the route seniority by Red Rock standards. However, it has avoided much traffic over the years which was evident by loose holds here and there. The belays are all gear or tree belays as well which can be unusual for Red Rock. There is no fixed gear on the route beyond the first pitch. The first and sixth pitches involve the crux moves of Orange Clonus and the last pitch is the most enjoyable (hand and fist crack to the top of the route). The middle pitches are best soloed in my opinion. The rap is via trees and bushes down Beer and Ice Gully. Dow
- Forget Me Not- 100’- 5.11a/
- Slabba Dabba Doo- 45’- 5.11b/
- Straight Shooter- 45’- 5.9+/ A fantastic finger crack that gets cruxy about 2/3rds of the way up. If you have larger fingers, you might think of this lead as a grade higher. I thought of Wall Street near Moab when I led this piece. This is a great lead for someone ready to push into 5.9 multi pitch trad routes. At first the wall helps you with foot features to the sides of the perfect splitter crack. Then it forces you to dig your toes in and trust your fingers for a move or two. Good stout stuff for Red Rocks 5.9, single rack to 2” is all you need. A Joe Herbst classic from 1975. Dow
- Sidewinder- 45’- 5.11c/
- Crispy Critters- 45’- 5.7/
- Captain Crunch- 45’- 5.7/
- Lazy Fireman- 45’- 5.11a/
- Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, BLM
- Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association
- DowClimbing.Com Red Rocks