Blond Dwarf- 5.9
During the winter months of December-February, there can be days where Calico Hills will be quite inviting compared to its larger brethren to the southwest. During such days, the Magic Bus and the Gallery walls will draw the larger crowds. Both walls are as south facing as you can get with sun soaked belayer positions to boot, which many walls lack due to minor slot and canyon features
. At 35F when we left the parking area, after all these years climbing at Red Rocks, I finally was forced to visit both of these busy locations. Magic Bus is a good wall to get warmed up for the much more challenging Gallery routes. It has a measly six routes but requires a short hike. The few natural cracks this short wall has were left un-bolted allowing for a good place to teach a few trad skills.
From the parking area for the 2nd pullout, descend the main trail taking a right at the first opportunity. Take the first left (50yds) and continue your descent down into the wash. Cross the wash to the right and meander up the 2nd minor slot canyon to the north. Gain a red colored scrambling rib and continue east to the base of the wall.
The Routes are Listed Left to Right as you Face the Wall
- Electric Koolaid- 45’- 5.9+/ First route on the left. This is a bolted Swain route from 1994. Five bolts to shared anchor with Blond Dwarf. Solid jugs the whole way.
- Blond Dwarf- 45’- 5.9/ Second route from the left. Decent crack taking a couple smaller pieces then a 2” before running through a couple of bolts back left to the shared anchor with Electric Koolaid. Nice route on black varnish jugs.
- Neon Sunset- 45’- 5.8/
- Zipperhead- 45’- 5.8/
- Technicolor Sunrise- 45’- 5.8/ Just left of the undercut section of the wall on the right side. Another Swain route from 1993. Four bolts to chains.
- Ken Queazy- 45’- 5.8/ To the far right. Swain route from 1993. Little better than Technicolor. Book says to use some gear. I found the three bolts more than adequate. Also has its own chains now versus tying into Technicolor.
One 60m or 50m rope and half a dozen draws. Need some small gear for several of the pitches. For sport climbing at Calico, you should definitely grab Jerry Handren’s book, “Red Rocks, A Climber’s Guide”.
External LinksRed Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, BLM
Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association