During the winter months of December-February, there can be days where Calico Hills will be quite inviting compared to its larger brethren to the southwest. However, Tiger Stripe Wall is more of a passing fancy than a destination. It sits right along the Grand Circle Trail and has only five established single pitch routes, one of which is fully bolted and one whose description includes “a serious lead with poor protection”. Tiger Stripe wall is completely south facing. It is obvious why it was named Tiger Stripe. The wall is mostly white sandstone with thin bands of red rock coursing through it. Obviously the rock quality is not the best and this wall is thus no destination to be sure. However, I do suggest climbing A Fraction of the Action as a good 5.10 warm up before you continue on to your destination. It was put in by Paul Van Betten and Don Welsh. Dan McQuade did one of the other routes.
From the parking area for the 1st pullout, descend the main trail taking a left at the Grand Circle Trail. Follow the trail as it rises and the Tiger Stripe wall will appear obvious up and to the right. The routes actually start in a corridor below the wall which affords some privacy from the crowds on the trail. The wall gets good winter sun from mid morning on.
The Routes are Listed Left to Right as you Face the Wall
White Tiger- 50’- 5.11b/
Action by the Fraction- 60’- 5.10c/
Fraction of the Action- 105’- 5.10b/
A decent route, worth doing for sure. A nice 5.10 warm up to start the day. The rock is better than it looks on this route and it is well bolted. The crux move is between the 1st and 2nd bolt on crimpy face moves. The climbing is at a lesser grade from that point on. You pull over a well featured bulge above, but with plenty of positive holds. The route is longer than the guide book suggests and you are best served with a 70m rope. But someone has in fact left a bail ring on the first bolt to help you make it to the ground if you can’t get your 60m to stretch enough. (photo)
You need large gear for Bengal, up to 7”. Just draws and a 70m rope for Fraction of the Action. As with all climbing at Calico, you need to plan your day from the parking area. For climbing at Calico Hills, you should definitely grab Jerry Handren’s book, “Red Rocks, A Climber’s Guide”. Very well done guide book.
""You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.""