During a period in February 2011, in an attempt by me to tick off the remaining routes on the Brownstone Walls, I climbed Mayday Malefactor (5.10c), Sand Castle (5.10c), Ten Minute Shift (5.11b) and Time’s Up. Time’s Up caught my attention in that Handren gave it a thumbs up in his guidebook and what little other beta there was on this route, the comments were quite positive. Yet for a route just meters to the left of one of the more popular 5.10 trad climbs in all of Red Rock, Nightcrawler (5.10c), Time’s Up sees little traffic. The Urioste’s established Time’s Up as an aid line in 1984 and the route was eventually freed by Harrison and Smith. It is a stout 5.11 bordering on 5.12 and thus we recouped a decent amount of bail biners on the crux pitch. The route was bolted well by Joanne and Jorge on the harder pitches. But with modern gear, there are plenty of options for gear. As of 2011, the majority of the fixed pro is the original typical old hangers on quarter inch bolts so it is still wise to bring a decent rack.
Time’s Up runs up the left side of the “hourglass” feature that is centered on the south Brownstone Wall. Nightcrawler runs up the right side of the same feature thus it makes sense to use Nightcrawler (much more modern rap stations) as your rap of Time’s Up. Whereas Nightcrawler will languish in its own shade during the winter months, Time’s Up receives good sun from late morning to early afternoon (February) allowing you more than enough time to climb the route in full sun.
The first pitch (5.8) runs up a fun varnished face with intermittent cracks to a fixed belay. The second pitch continues up a good corner until you need to make a few consecutive 5.10 moves to traverse right and up through a block to a small ledge below the main corner system on the left side of the hourglass feature. Then the real business begins with two stout 5.11 pitches. The first one is only 60’ to a small delicate ledge out right. The tips portion via the last couple moves is quite sustained. The fourth pitch is 5.11d bordering on 5.12 with a wide strenuous lie back leading into a chimney and then pulling a roof out the chimney into the thinnest of seams (lesser than tips). Several stiff moves of no hands stemming reaches the hanging belay below a much smaller roof versus the one you just pulled out of below. The fifth pitch backs way off with its crux move coming right above the belay, taking the small roof above via a stem move or two and then following good edges in the corner to another roof, exiting out right and back left to a ledge below a 5.9 black varnished corner. This last pitch is considered run out via the book, but if you climb the face out right and place a few small pieces when convenient to do so back in the corner, it goes relatively smooth to the top of the hourglass feature. Move right and rap Nightcrawler to the ground with a single 70m, which makes for a tight fit on the third rap and requires a bit of easy (5.7) down climbing via the fourth and final one.
I spent four days up at Brownstone Walls in a stretch of six. Seven big horn ewes were feasting on the bushes at the base of the walls and a pair of (competing or breeding) peregrine falcons made tremendous racquet during mid February as well.
The south Brownstone Wall is lit up in the morning as it mostly angles southeast and Rainbow Wall does not cut the sun off until early afternoon in mid February. The approach up to the two Brownstone Walls deters many climbing tourists, thus on most occasions, particularly mid-week, you are likely to have either of the entire walls to yourself. You can climb Myster Z or Rose Hips to the summit of Jackrabbit Buttress to access the Brownstone Wall climbs which make for a nice long day of climbing. However, you can hike up Juniper Canyon as well. I prefer to park at the Oak Creek trail head (versus Pine Creek) and head north out of the parking area for the Juniper Canyon access on the north side of the wash. Hike all the way up canyon on a decent trail and head for the left side of the hourglass feature on the left (south) Brownstone Wall. If you aim straight for it on the 3rd class slab in front of you, you can avoid much of the bushwhack associated with a faint trail to the right.
Route Description600’+/-, 6 Pitches, 5.11d
1st Pitch- 200’- 5.8/ Starting from a comfortable spot at the base of the wall makes for a full rope-length pitch. The first 100’ is 5th class. The last 100’ steepens to 5.8 climbing that leaves the obvious corner to the left and moves out right onto a varnished face. Follow intermittent cracks until you reach a fixed belay back in the corner on the left with a comfortable stance.
2nd Pitch- 70’- 5.10a/ This is a fun pitch. Run up the corner with good gear until it closes (old bolt-2011). Move out of the corner up and right on good edges and jam and mantle through the left side of a large yellow block. These last few moves are at the grade, while the first half is quite a bit easier. Continue right to the base of the main corner above and a fixed belay.
3rd Pitch- 60’- 5.11a/The real business begins. Start up the off-width stemming when possible. Eventually the corner opens up to tips and the last few moves require stemming at the grade to reach the small belay ledge out right. There is a sizable loose varnished block hanging over your belayer on that ledge, so mantle it with care. There are a ton of bolts on the left wall for these two crux pitches. They are of the quarter inch/homemade hanger variety. There are also plenty of trad placements and thus the bolts can be used more for supplemental pro if clipping them at all.
4th Pitch- 100’- 5.11d/ Right from the belay you have two choices, both are strenuous options. Jam your body into the crack and make physical moves a few meters up to convert to lie backing or begin a wide lie-back from the belay. Make the strenuous lie back up until you can switch to a stance inside the crack just below the chimney. Chimney up to the roof and make an athletic move to stem and pull it. The corner above is the crux of the route. As it closes and you mantle a hollow flake on the left wall, you will be forced to stem without much in the way of hands, using opposing pressure to move up to the fixed hanging belay below another, much smaller, roof/overhang.
5th Pitch- 100’- 5.10b/The crux move on this pitch is the first one or two from the belay to make the overhang. Stem and awkwardly pull it up and into the continuing corner. Place decent gear and continue stemming up good edges until below the larger roof above. Move out right, underneath the roof, onto the face and climb up positive holds back left to a significant ledge that leads (back right) into a heavily varnished, but thin, crack corner. This fixed belay was not set for rappel and would best be skipped if you were rapping the route with doubles.
6th Pitch- 50’- 5.9R/ Start up the corner placing a smaller C3 size piece and then move out right onto the face as the corner climbing gets blank. Move back to edges on the left face when you see them to place another piece or two, but the climbing on the face out right is quite a bit easier which comes into play if you are not all warm and fuzzy about the gear you are getting in the corner anyway. There is a fixed rap/belay at the top, but you can also go ahead and move right to set up a belay and eventual rap on Nightcrawler.
DescentRap Nightcrawler. You can rap with a single 70m rope, but watch your ends on the third one. You will also be required to down climb a few meters of easy 5.7 on the last (fourth) rap.
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