Mushroom People- 110’- 5.10d
Brass Wall is part of Pine Creek Canyon that is a winter watering hole for trad climbers. It, along with Spectrum Wall
, Straight Shooter Wall
, and other various walls collect full sun on the lower southeastern flank of Bridge Mountain in Red Rocks
. Three of the more popular moderate routes on Brass Wall include Topless Twins (photos), a 5.9 crack pitch, Varnishing Point (photos), a two pitch 5.8+ that requires a double rope rappel (by a bees nest in 2009) and Mushroom People (photo), a nice long crack pitch at 5.10d.
Brass Wall along with the other lower varnished walls make up the climbs along the lower east face of Bridge Mountain and is thus located down Pine Creek Canyon across from the north and east faces of Mescalito (Dark Shadows area). The Brass Wall is one of the broader walls featuring a total of 25 published routes
(2009) and starts via the left on an obvious arête route known as Ripcord
, a stellar four pitch 5.12a route. Brass Wall is capped on the right hand side by the Beer and Ice Gully climbing section.
If you find yourself seeking these walls out, it is no doubt due to it being a cool morning. A great combination is to climb on these south facing routes during the morning and head for the Dark Shadows Wall after the sun starts to irritate you a bit.
On a typical spring/winter day, we are talking about going from short sleeves in the morning to wearing a decent jacket in the afternoon. A short hike will make that much difference in Pine Creek Canyon.
Park at the Pine Creek trailhead off of the Red Rocks loop road. Hike down the trail along the creek, past the old homestead and into the wash as it heads for Mescalito. Before the trail drops down into the wash heading for the Dark Shadows area, turn right, up hill, on a fainter trail. This trail skirts an obvious red cliff band to the right. By following this trail all the way to the walls above, you basically head directly for the Straight Shooter section. To reach Brass Wall, stay on a lower trail away from the wall and keep circumventing west. Varnishing Point is an obvious route on Brass Wall that utilizes a significant treed ledge for its first belay.
Bush Pilots and Fungus Folks also use this ledge. It is easy to indentify as it is centered on the tallest varnished portion of Brass Wall.
Routes Listed Left to Right as you Face the Wall
- Freefall- 160’- 5.11c/
- Ripcord- 430’- 5.12a/
- Freebull- 90’- 5.11b/
- Cut Away- 100’- 5.10d/
- Sea of Holes- 435’- 5.10bR/
- Black Hole- 170’- 5.10c/
- Drop Zone- 100’- 5.10d/
- Frap- 60’- 5.10bR/
- Sky Dive- 140’- 5.11b/
- Arachnoworld- 40’- 5.4/
- Zen and the Art of Web Spinning- 40’- 5.4/
- Sniveler- 60’- 5.5/
- Heavy Spider Karma- 60’- 5.6/
- Raptor- 410’- 5.10aR/
- Topless Twins- 70’- 5.9/ A cool pitch, but looking up from the base of the route it does not look that exciting. At about 2/3rds up are a couple of fun moves staying in the right crack. Start up an easy corner and eventually you come to several cracks. The right goes at the grade, but you can protect in the left crack a time or two as well. The one hard balance move makes the pitch worthwhile. Traverse left to a shared rap station. Single rack to 3” is adequate pro. Photo(s)
- Mushroom People- 110’- 5.10d/ (photo)
- Bush Pilots- 70’- 5.10a/
- Fungus Folks- 60’- 5.11b/
- No Laughing Matter- 110’- 5.10a/
- Serious Business- 100’- 5.11a/
- Varnishing Point- 160’- 5.8+/ Watch the damn bees on rappel. They were mad as hell in early March. There is a bee hive in a hole in the wall on your left. Stay right and be ready to rap a little faster than usual. They will follow the rope down if pissed off. The first pitch is an easy 5.4 just to avoid rope drag. The 100’ 2nd pitch is fantastic for the grade. Start up the easy corner, traverse left and build a station at the bottom of the next corner left. Run up past an awkward mantel move to easier corner climbing above. Finish on top of a pedestal at a fixed belay, or to save time, just put a draw here and down climb to the fixed rappel chains on the other side of the pedestal and bring the 2nd up that way. Single rack to 4”. Photo(s)
- Go Greyhound- 120’- 5.11a/
- One Stop in Tonopah- 150’- 5.10c/
- Simpatico- 130’- 5.10a/
- The Bus Stops Here- 130’- 5.8R/
These are all trad lines requiring an assortment of gear as spelled out in Jerry’s book. Many do have fixed rappel stations. Read up on which routes you are interested in ahead of time to determine whether you need to bring doubles or a single rope for the raps. Jerry’s Handren’s “Red Rocks, A Climbers Guide", is the best guide book for Red Rocks. The routes are south facing and no mountain cuts off the sun until late into the afternoon, thus one of the warmer spots to climb at Red Rocks.
External LinksRed Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, BLM
Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association