"Tinaja Peak"-- The Way NOT To Go (Warning: Route Information)

First, let's clarify-- the dramatic peak that dominates this scene is not "Tinaja Peak"; it is Turtlehead Peak. As you approach Tinaja Peak, you will notice a sandstone ramp beneath an overhang (seen here just below center) and think it looks like a nice, and the only reasonable, way to access the upper sections of the peak. Reaching the ramp and traversing it are, in fact, easy to do, but the ramp is going to be a red herring for most climbers. If you look at the right side of the picture, you will see a short slot-like canyon seeming to lead straight from the point where the ramp will have to curve left around the side of the peak. When the ramp curves, you will find yourself facing the slot instead of an easy continuation of your route. The slot is narrow enough for most athletic adults to leap, but it is an "uphill" leap and you will land on sloping sandstone, where a slip and fall are likely. An experienced climber could drop into the slot (it is maybe 8 feet deep at this point) and use stemming or chimneying to climb out-- had I not had my four-year-old son with me, I would have tried this, but it is not a good option for the return, as you would have to climb back up the spot you dropped down, and that wall is smooth, smooth, smooth. The leap across on the return would be easier since it is a "downhill" leap, but the slope you will be landing on is steeper. If you fall, there's a good chance you will break a leg or worse. The best way to climb is to stay below the ramp and move right (east) through some narrow, brushy washes until you find a good way up. Expect Class 3 and 4 moves with some moderate exposure in places. Red Rocks, Nevada-- April 2009
Bob Sihler
on Apr 26, 2009 9:52 pm
Image Type(s): Informational,  Scenery
Image ID: 509047


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