Pureblind Pillar, 5.8-5.9, 6 Pitches

Pureblind Pillar, 5.8-5.9, 6 Pitches

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 36.17000°N / 115.49083°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.9 (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 6
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Pureblind Pillar, 5.8-91st Pitch- 180’- 5.7

Pureblind Pillar is a recent addition to Red Rocks climbing put in by Joanne Urioste and Karl Wilcox in 2006. The line climbs two adjoining pillars of sorts to the right of the quite popular Angel Food Wall (Tunnel Vision) on White Rock Springs Peak in Red Rocks. I can’t say it was a must climb by any stretch and is still quite dirty and loose. The color of the climb at times shows up as white sandstone, not the most secure of climbing surfaces. The climbing however was never challenging for an experienced leader. The two cruxes are the traverse via suspect rock on the second pitch and the variation we (along with others before us) added to the last pitch. Some sources have this last pitch variation rated as 5.9, although I still felt it was in line with the 5.8 route rating. Keep in mind though that it was difficult if not impossible to protect the lower one third portion of this final variation pitch.
Pureblind Pillar, 5.8-9

Park at the end of the gravel White Rock Springs road located almost 6 miles into the loop, just as you would for Tunnel Vision. From the parking area, head for White Rock Springs Peak to the southwest. Descend from the trailhead down a wide trail and turn left on an old road bed that angles directly for the mountain. Look for a cairn on the right that marks a single track trail that descends a small wash and runs up the other side. Descend again into a drainage of large boulders. This is a good spot to rack up and leave your bags since you can walk off the top of the route via the gully to the left of Angel Food Wall and therefore could avoid having to return to the base of any of the climbs that top out.

Continue up to the base of Angel Food Wall, then tolerate a little bushwhacking to your right until below an obvious crack/corner system running up the left side of a short pillar that bleeds onto a larger pillar.

Route Description

Pureblind Pillar, 5.8-9
Pureblind Pillar, 5.8-9
Pureblind Pillar, 5.8-9

900’+/-, 6 Pitches, 5.8-9

1st Pitch- 180’- 5.7/ An easy pitch up the corner/dihedral to a comfortable belay ledge with threaded slings.

2nd Pitch- 70’- 5.8/Besides the alternative final pitch, this is the crux climbing of the day. Climb up a right facing corner/flake and traverse out right via airy terrain on suspect whitish rock. By the time you reach the bolt, you already did the challenging section, thus it is not that well positioned for protection and there is no pro to be had once you leave the confines of the flake. After the bolt, move just slightly more right and then up easy ground to a huge ledge atop the small pillar.

3rd Pitch- 150’- 5.7/ This pitch requires some route finding skills. Follow the ledge out right and then up a large crack/gully to some good varnish face climbing that angles up and right. It is easy to follow the line too low as you climb over the varnish. If you angle upward as you traverse, you will find several bolts that lead into the next crack to the right. Stay high when in doubt. Follow this crack up and belay below or after a short stemming section.

4th Pitch- 180’- 5.7/ An uneventful pitch continuing up the crack to a large ledge with a fixed anchor.

5th Pitch- 220’- 5.8/ The most technical portion of the route. Head up the finger crack to the left protecting with a wire before coming across a bolt. The climbing eases. Regarding the variation, you can stay straight and continue, barely reaching a tree to belay on with a 70m rope below the nice looking wall and crack above. If you are going to follow the traditional route, you would venture out right up a 5.6 pitch.

6th Pitch- 110’- 5.8-9/ I consider this pitch a 5.8 versus 5.9 as some publish it. However, you cannot protect the first third of it and the terrain is quite dirty and loose. Move right and up a thin weak seam until you reach large jugs and a varnished crack above. Protect easily up this fun crack and venture out right below the summit to a hidden tree for the belay.

Climbing Sequence


Pureblind Pillar, 5.8-9

Climbers left is a bushy ramp that leads down via the Angel Food Wall gully. When in doubt, keep moving skiers right to descend via no rappels. Aim for the large distinguishable boulders in the drainage below if you suited up there and to catch the trail back.

Essential Gear

60m rope (70m helps with the last pitch if doing the variation). Single Rack to 4” with a set of nuts. A dozen shoulder length runners along with a few draws. North facing route, so could be cold in the fall and winter. Gets a lot of morning sun in the spring and summer. I advise suiting up in the drainage and clipping your runners to your harness for the descent.

External Links

  • Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, BLM

  • Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association

  • DowClimbing.Com
  • Red Rocks