Rainbow Mountain, East Face, 5.8-5.11b

Rainbow Mountain, East Face, 5.8-5.11b

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 36.10917°N / 115.48778°W
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Fall, Winter
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On the photo above, Da Boneyard on the left, Rockingstone Groove on the right 

Da Boneyard, 5.10b*
Dow leading Da Boneyard, 5.10b*
Of the 400+ routes I have climbed at Red Rock, one of the finer highlights by far was climbing Da Boneyard, 5.10b*: a stunning 220’ sustained off width crack.  Da Boneyard is paired with a considerably more mellow wide route named Rockingstone Groove, 5.9+. Rockingstone is showed off via a large photo in Handren’s first guide edition on page 137. Although few are enticed enough by this photo or have the interest in off width to make the long hike up to these two routes, I can assure you it is a full value experience. I took everything wide but the kitchen sink for Da Boneyard and was glad I had it, this coming from someone who is proficient in running out 5.10 off width. The name Da Boneyard became evident once we reached the base of the cliff. There was a skeleton of a ring tail cat right at the base of Da Boneyard.  It was established in 2006 by Handren and he obviously was influenced by the same skeleton and/or a mountain lion is harboring its carcasses up here. In any regard, it is a well shaded surreal location secluded from any other climbing destination at Red Rock. Rockingstone Groove does not climb as impressive as its photo, but is worth climbing as a cool down or warm up to Da Boneyard. There was evidence of further route development near Da Boneyard, but this development might be abandoned.
Thus the name
Thus the name

Park at the Oak Creek trail head. There will be no established trail up the loose slopes below Rainbow Mountain’s massive east face. Hike down the Oak Creek Trail as you would for any of the routes in Oak Creek and vacate the trail at whatever point you deem appropriate aiming for the apex of ground (highest point) that reaches up the east face of Rainbow Mountain.  The routes, for the most part, are centered on the east face.  Just to the south of the apex you will locate both Rockingstone Groove and Da Boneyard. Rockingstone is a true corner climb whose fixed rap is visible from below. Da Boneyard is in a separate alcove down the hill to the south and is more of a wide splitter than a corner. It climbs a unique looking feature: the left side of an “hourglass” (photo).  As of 2017, a rope is fixed on an arete (project) just to the right.

Route Description (s)

Routes Listed Left to Right as you face the East Face

  • Tickled Pink- 50’-5.11b/

  • Wise Guys Off Size- 150’-5.10c/

  • La Muerte- 250’-5.10/

  • Little Brown- 60’-5.8/

  • Da Boneyard- 220’-5.10b*/This is an outstanding off width climb, the best of its class in all of Red Rock and I have climbed them all. This is one of Handren’s routes and usually his gear calls are overdone (in this case, triple 5” to 12”). But I racked a Valley Giant, triple 6’s and triple 5’s and was glad to have them. I also placed a pair each of #3’s and #4’s. The crux is the top roof pull you can see from below, approximately ¾’ers of the way up the pitch. But there are several cruxes. It would depend on your skill set which one challenged you the most. I can say arm bars and chicken wings were almost non-existent. There were a few knee jams higher up and the roof pull was not the most physical of the moves. The wider portions down low was where the huffing and puffing was going on. Like any good, long off-width, switching from wall to wall was essential, making sure to plan your next several meters in advance. You get rests when you need them. It truly is 200’ of full on beast mode. Someone is working a project (or abandoned it) on the arête to the right. They have placed a mid-station there that allowed me to lead the route, clean it and rap off of that station with a single 70m. I did have to do a few swings to retrieve my gear. If you have a 2nd who can climb it, obviously bring them up. There is one bolt on the route, but it is old (2017) and not needed. The station is in great shape (rap rings) as of 2017. A must do for off width aficionados, get on it! The name is appropriate as there is a skeleton of a ring-tail cat at the base. Dow

  • Rockingstone Groove- 110’-5.9+/ I have no idea why Handren gives Da Boneyard a star (it deserves it!) but not Rockingstone? For the grade it is pretty damn good although there is more than 3 grades that separate these two routes (Da Boneyard is stiffer than most other 5.10 off widths at Red Rock whilst Rockingstone was quite mellow in comparison). Handren also has this pitch at 130’ but it is easily top roped with a 70m rope and I think a 60m might do it as well. I personally did not use any large gear on it myself, but you can place a C4#5 if you want to haul it up. This is not pure off-width in that you are constantly climbing twin cracks (corner plus a face crack out right) therefore tons of stemming and the like. Maybe a few heel toes and arm bars, but quite a few hand jams as well. I would not bring the kitchen sink just for this one. Another good anchor as of 2017 but it is nylon. Dow

  • Parents 


    Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

    Rainbow MountainMountains & Rocks