Abbey Road

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 36.14217°N / 115.42086°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.4 (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 2
Sign the Climber's Log


Because the 5.4 rating makes it good for beginners and new trad leaders, Abbey Road seems to be a pretty popular route at Moderate Mecca. Add in the fact that RRCNCA doesn't offer a whole lot in the easy range, and you should know to get there early. When I got there at 8 on a Tuesday morning with my son, we reached the crag just a minute before another group that was going to be setting up mock leads and thus spending hours on the route.

Abbey Road is near the left end of the crag. Most only climb the first pitch to set anchors, but a short, easy second pitch puts one in a place to scramble to the top of the crag and take in the panorama.

Some people toprope this route from the anchors, but that of course means a leader has to get up there in the first place.

Also, some use the anchors to toprope Fleet Street (5.8 R), which is a bolted route to the left of Abbey Road; the bolts are really run out, so many TR the route instead. On solo TR, I found it fun and easy, but I don't think I would have enjoyed leading it.

Abbey Road and Penny Lane
Abbey Road and Penny Lane

Getting There

Take Charleston Boulevard through Summerlin, after which it magically becomes SR 159. Before reaching the Scenic Drive for RRCNCA, turn right onto the signed road to Calico Basin. Turn left at the second major intersection. (The first has signs clearly warning about private property.) This second intersection is signed for Red Springs and is really hard to miss. Drive a short distance to a large parking lot. Don't take the main, boardwalk trail. It will get you there but will add a small amount of time and make you rub shoulders with the rabble. (Take this trail on the way back, with gear hanging from you, to show your superior genetics.)

Instead, take a trail left of the boardwalk trail. It climbs uphill, moderately at first and then steeply, but it is a short climb. Still, it might suck when you are carrying a ton of gear.

When you reach a crest, head downhill and right on a use trail. Heading left will take you steeply down. Don't. Heading up and right on what might look like the right path will disappoint; you will find yourself above cliffs and with no easy way down, and if you and another party started out at the same time for the same route, it could cost you the chance to climb first (my party found a way to make up the time, but it was tight.)

Trail to Moderate Mecca
Trail to Moderate Mecca

Route Description

First Pitch of Abbey Road
First Pitch of Abbey Road

Pitch 1-- About 100', a bit less since one 60m rope will get you back on the ground, though without much to spare. Climb the obvious crack system up and left to the small roof. Two bolted anchors are not far above the roof.

Pitch 2-- Continue up through one of two good features to easier ground and then scramble to the top of the crag. Most people skip this pitch. When I first climbed this in 2015, I did not see anchors above the second pitch, but when I climbed it again in June 2017, I noticed newish-looking anchors there, so I am not sure if I just missed them before or if they truly are new. Anyway, these anchors make the easy second pitch worthwhile since you can rap back down without leaving anything. There is also an easy walk-off from the top back to the trail and parking lot. 

Another option is a walk-off one. From the top of the crag, it is fairly simple to head down toward the parking lot with some hiking and scrambling. If you didn't leave any belongings on the ground, check out this option and maybe avoid raps entirely.

Second Pitch of Abbey Road
Second Pitch of Abbey Road

Essential Gear

Stoppers work great on the first pitch, mostly small and medium sizes. The first pitch also takes cams up to the equivalent of a BD #3.

The second pitch will accept up to a #4. In fact, if you have a medium or large hex, there is an absolutely bomber placement a few feet up from the start that will quickly reassure both leader and belayer of no Factor 2 falls at the beginning.



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