is an attractive black varnished wall located across from Frigid Air Buttress
in Icebox Canyon. It is a short and sheltered wall with a quick approach and thus can be quite popular on a windy day. The Necromancer Wall takes the form of a triangle with Atras being the only route actually off the main wall and in a corner to the left of the descent gully. None of the routes are over 2 pitches in length (albeit the pitches are long), but the quality of these trad routes attract climbers just the same.
Atras is the left most of these two pitch wonders and perhaps the least attractive of the group. Atras is actually to the left of the descent gully used for the Necromancer Wall. The first pitch offered two decking opportunities via ledges that were hard to protect. The first pitch of Atras was athletic in that it offered a variety of climbing, off width, crack, face….some huffing and puffing for sure, but somewhat dirty as well. This route rarely sees any action.
Park at the Icebox Canyon trailhead. Proceed west towards the canyon on the well-marked trail and be patient to avoid bushwhacking
. My partners on one trip ran into a rattlesnake because they were a tad impatient and ventured off of the trail from the right side of the wash too early. Wait until you are directly across from the wall and then descend into the wash and find a faint trail on the other side that meanders up the hill to the base of Necromancer. I was racked up by the time they bushwhacked their way to the base.
Route Description240’+/-, 2 Pitches, 5.8
1st Pitch- 120’- 5.8/
Once through a fun stemming crux move that is well above the two potential deck ledges before mentioned, follow the dirty crack with several trees growing out of it to a large ledge on your left. Belay off of a tree on this ledge below a large roof.
2nd Pitch- 120’- 5.8/ You have two options to finish the route.
You can go left via a squeeze (5.8) move on fragile
rock through the roof, or right of the roof by way of easy face/chimney climbing (5.7) to the top. This pitch is not near the climbing the 2nd pitch is, either in rock quality or sustainability.
Use the gully to the east (where you started) which requires 3 short rappels and a little down climbing. Start with a small tree with rappel slings to the right of the top of the gully. You can use a single rope, but that 2nd rappel will require a little down climbing if you do it in three rappels total whereas the first and last rappels are quite short.
Single 60m rope works as long as you are comfortable with the descent described above. Handren’s guide book calls for a single rack to 5” because of the off width section
, but a 4” would suffice for a competent and experienced climber. Could double 3” to 4” as the book calls for. A dozen shoulder length runners. North facing route, so could be chilly in the winter months, but nice summer objective. This is called Ice Box Canyon for a reason. Dress accordingly. You will easily return to base, so you can leave your shoes and packs below.
External LinksRed Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, BLM
Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association