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 Fold Out and Sensuous Mortician being its most sought out climbs. Fold Out runs up the right side of Necromancer and then makes a radical traverse left on its way to the top of the wall. 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.
Fold Out was put up by Tom Kaufman and Joe Herbst in 1976. Although not near as interesting as Sensuous Mortician, Fold Out is no doubt the most popular route on Necromancer due to the ease of the climb. The first pitch involves a nice 5.7 crack/corner. The second pitch involves a cool traverse across varnish and a small roof section.
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 Description290’+/-, 2 Pitches, 5.8
1st Pitch- 130’- 5.7/
There is an obvious corner-crack on the right side of Necromancer. This is Fold Out. Climb up the corner, turns into easy crack, placing gear at will to a fixed station.
2nd Pitch- 160’- 5.8/
A fun pitch. Make a neat traverse out left and then up a water streak and pull a small roof that gives the route an airy feel (directly above Sensuous Mortician). Climb a thin to blank section, thus looking for a bolt in the void of white rock above. It is more to your right as you follow the natural line versus your left.
Clip the bolt with a double length runner and continue traversing left until into an easy angled crack. Place gear at will. There is a tree with rappel rings attached where we stopped and rappelled the route. But you will need Sensuous Mortician’s fixed anchor to make the 2nd rappel. Please don’t do this if somebody is climbing Sensuous Mortician. Just exit the normal Necromancer gully.
Use the gully to the east 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.
You can rappel the route, but make sure nobody is on Sensuous Mortician. End the 2nd pitch at a tree with fixed for rappel (inspect the webbing)
and make a short rappel down to Sensuous Mortician's fixed anchor. Takes doubles to rap from there or you can stretch a single 70m with a little downclimbing. I believe they have placed an anchor down low so one can use a single 60m to rap Sensuous as I recall but you need to verify if that is your plan.
Single 60m rope works as long as you are using the descent gully. If you are rappelling the route, you need double ropes to reach the ground from Sensuous Mortician’s anchor (although I believe they have fixed another anchor close to the base of Sensuous Mortician if you want to make three single rope rappels). A single rack to 3” seemed more than adequate. 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 can easily return to the base with either descent option, so you can leave your shoes and packs below.
External LinksRed Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, BLM
Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association