Byrd Pinnacle is an overlooked crag located just to the east of the very popular Solar Slab area at Red Rock. The mostly single pitch crack climbs covering Byrd Pinnacle offer a great finish to the day after climbing some of the lower Solar Slab routes
and/or combining them with the infamous Friar (5.9+R)
just to the left of Byrd Pinnacle.
Xyphoid Fever (5.10c) offers one of the better overhanging off-width problems at Red Rock and runs right up the middle of Byrd Pinnacle. Herbst
and company established Xyphoid in 1977 and the other single pitch routes on Byrd Pinnacle way back in 1973
, rather ancient by Red Rock standard. Therefore, the published grade can be a bit of a sandbag for most modern day crack climbers.
Xyphoid Fever involves a beautiful off-width roof crack with only a few hard moves at the grade with the overhang itself along with quite a bit of easier climbing before and after the roof. A fun 5.9 variation bypasses the roof to the left. Just to the left of this crack is a gem of a hand crack, Byrd Pinnacle Left (5.7+). In the right corner of Byrd Pinnacle is an average pitch called the A Crack (5.9). It is decent until it reaches its own off width roof section that is quite chossy. Whoosh is a three pitch 5.8 route to the left of the pinnacle that I really don’t recommend
. The first pitch is fun and runs up decent rock, but through several loose blocks. The second and third pitches are inconsequential on lessor quality rock.
Park at the Oak Creek trailhead off the loop road. Enter Oak Creek Canyon as you would for the Solar Slab area. The Friar is quite distinguishable up and right: a large boulder teetering atop a tower. It is immediately to the right of Solar Slab gully. To the right of the Friar is Byrd Pinnacle. The Pinnacle is attached to the wall, so it is not nearly as distinguishable as the Friar. Look for the well varnished wall to the right of the Friar and you will be able to make out the Pinnacle. Locate a wide C4 #6 crack through a significant roof: Xyphoid. I found sort of an indistinct trail leading up to the base of Byrd Pinnacle, but in reality there is a lot of braiding going on through this slope.
Route Description(s) Routes are Listed Left to Right as you face the Wall/Pinnacle
Whoosh-3 Pitches- 5.8+/ The first pitch of Whoosh is on good rock and involves fun climbing, but it also involves passing close by several significant loose blocks. The second and third pitches lack quality of rock and climbing. Build gear anchors and walk off the route via a quick gully to the east. This route starts just to the left of Byrd Pinnacle and is not actually located on the pinnacle itself.
Byrd Pinnacle Left-Single Pitch- 5.7+/ All of these single pitch lines might be a bit sandbagged for the grade, relative to most Red Rock routes. Herbst put this one in during 1973, ancient by Red Rock standards. This pitch follows an enjoyable twin crack system in stellar rock up the left side of the pinnacle. Angle up and right to join the 5.9 variation of Xyphoid Fever. All of these single pitch routes share the same fixed rap station atop the pinnacle (2011).
Xyphoid Fever-Single Pitch- 5.10c/ This wide crack is full on through the roof, 5.10c? or 5.11?; who knows. According to a few internet postings, few if any are getting the route on-sight. The first and last third portion of Xyphoid is 5.9ish. However, the Roof pull involves an interesting wide stem into an overhanging knee jam and arm bar. Then a dyno from that position to two small edges on the inside left wall will get you through the crux. If you break out left of the roof, the climbing is never more difficult than 5.9 on good rock.
A-Crack-Single Pitch- 5.9+/ A-Crack is the least desirable of the routes on Byrd Pinnacle. The corner is fun, albeit a bushy start, but then you hit an off-width chossy roof. There was an intermediate rigged rap below the roof (2011), but the roof goes with a #5 C4 or two to protect the crusty layback moves required to pull it to the shared rap at the top of the pinnacle.
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