Park at the Pine Creek Canyon trail head (see directions on the main Juniper Peak page
). Follow the "standard route" until you reach the vicinity "candy striped boulder" (see description on the main Juniper Peak page
). Then head uphill on one of the many rough climber trails leading to the tree filled gully to the left (southwest-ish) of the Rose Tower, which is a formation with a pinkish top. Scramble up the gully for a couple hundred yards to the base of Olive Oil.
This route is a little contrived, but it's a fun outing for those who want to climb Olive Oil
, one of the best 5.7s in Red Rocks, and bag a nice summit in a single jaunt. I imagine that I was not the first to climb this route, but I have never heard of anyone else doing it, and I saw no signs of any previous parties. I'm calling this route "Olive Oil Plus" for lack of a better name.
Start at the base of a ramp to the left of an ugly chimney. There is a small tree 150' up that is obvious from the ground. Some guidebooks say Olive Oil
is a 7-pitch route, but just about everyone does it in 5.
(5.7 PG) Climb up the ramp to the tree. There's only a single 5.7 move on this pitch. The rest is about 5.5. This is the least aesthetic pitch of the whole climb.
(5.7) Now the fun begins! Climb the beautiful, sustained hand crack until you run out of rope. Belay in the crack. (Note: As of 3/12/02 there are a number of fixed pieces at a fairly well established belay station about 150' up the crack.)
(5.6) Keep going up the crack until you naturally move left into the right facing corner. You can belay on a ledge just above and left of the corner (110 ft).
(5.5) Traverse right 15' on huge jugs. Be sure to look down and admire the exposure. Go up the easy crack/face for a while and then angle up and right to a huge ledge (150 ft).
(5.7 PG) Mantle up onto the lower angle face using some huge holds, then angle right to the chimney/dihedral. Go up, utilizing holds on both sides of the dihedral. The crux is about half-way up. If you're facing the correct way, it's barely 5.7, but if you're facing the wrong way, it can be tricky. I'll leave it to you to figure out which way to face ;-) Stretch the rope to the top of the chimney.
You have now completed Olive Oil
, but you have a long way to go to get to the summit of Juniper Peak! Most people take 2-4 hours to climb to this point, but it can be done a lot faster (my personal record is 10 minutes, 45 seconds -- free solo).
Scramble up slabs for about 100' to the top of Rose Tower, then walk west into a notch (a couple moves of Class 4 down-climbing). The standard Olive Oil
descent follows the Class 2 gully to the right. (Variation
: You could take the gully up to this point and bypass Olive Oil
completely, but I don't know why you'd want to do that!)
From the notch, the route is pretty broken, and there are probably a lot of different possible ways to go. The following is approximately the way I went. The difficulty was never greater than 5.4. From the notch, scramble up onto the Class 3, light-colored ridge, and follow it until you can traverse left. Bushwack and scramble along Class 3/4 ledges up and left until the ledges run out. Then head up to the left of the thick bushes on 5.easy terrain to the top of a "tower." You'll see a varnished, plated slab about 100 ft high in front of you. This is a truly magnificent piece of rock. If you can pull yourself away from it, go around it to the left. If you have time to kill, I'd recommend trying out a few lines on the slab. Continue scrambling up and left until you reach a gully that leads up to the right of the summit. This gully is part of the standard route described on the main page. Follow the cairns to the summit.
It took me about 45 minutes to go from the top of Olive Oil
to the summit. Most roped parties should plan on taking 2-4 hours. Descend the standard route.
Most people will want to bring a standard rack and a 60m rope too. The 60m rope is helpful for Pitch 5 of Olive Oil
If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.