Requiem for a Tad Pole and Armatron, 5.9, 5 pitches
, are pretty comparable routes on the north Brownstone Wall
at Red Rocks
. Where Armatron gives you an incredible 5.6 pitch on the infamous brown brick stones via its 3rd pitch, Requiem for a Tad Pole provides a stellar 5.8+ variation of the 4th pitch on the same stellar quality brown rock, but in arête form.
These are two fun moderates that could be combined for a full day of climbing in upper Juniper Canyon. The north Brownstone Wall is lit up as it mostly angles east and Rainbow Wall does not cut the sun off as early as it does for South Brownstone Wall
3rd-4th Pitch- 200’- 5.8+
As before mentioned there is a variation pitch to Requiem for a Tad Pole that is more in line with the route and offers the best climbing of the day, the 4th pitch, which can be done via a bolted arête up the right side of Armatron. This was a stellar pitch with fixed and trad pro on incredible brown rock. You can almost combine the first three pitches into two full 60m rope pitches.
We fell just short, but still could set up a belay on a comfortable ledge near the top of the 3rd pitch. If you map out the route this way, it makes the 4th pitch variation a full 200’ and thus the entire route only four pitches versus five. The last pitch is the same finish for Armatron from the Humerus Ledge.
The approach up to the two Brownstone Walls deters many climbing tourists, thus on most occasions, particularly mid week, you are likely to have either of the entire walls to yourself. I prefer to climb Myster Z
or Rose Hips to the summit of Jackrabbit Buttress to access the Brownstone Wall climbs which make for a nice long day of climbing. However, you can hike up Juniper Canyon as well. I also prefer to park at the Oak Creek trail head (versus Pine Creek) and head north out of the parking area for the Juniper Canyon access on the north side of the wash. Either hike all the way up canyon on a decent trail and head for the right side of the north Brownstone Wall or climb Myster Z or Rose Hips to the summit of Jackrabbit Buttress and traverse left over to the base of the north wall. Requiem for a Tadpole is located on the far right side of the north wall in a whitish crack. There is only one other route to the right of it, some obscure.5.6 climb called Birthday Cake.
Route Description1st-2nd Pitch- 185’- 5.7/
Follow the crack and stop where you want basically. All easy climbing. We went a full 185’
and were at a comfortable belay about 30’-40’ below the first bushy ledge.
2nd-3rd Pitch- 180’- 5.7/
The route gets more enjoyable the further up you go. Continue up the crack to just below a bushy ledge. Looks like you could go either way, left or right, to avoid the bushes. Both options are just a little run out. I chose left to access the ledge, threaded my ropes through the bushes, and continued into the 3rd pitch which is a nice hand crack slightly to the right.
Place gear at will if you want as you approach a small roof to pull. Follow the crack up the right side of the roof and mantel up to another bushy ledge. There is a sandy crack there to build a 2” belay.
Variation from Original Route
3rd-4th Pitch- 200’- 5.8+/ This is the payoff pitch.
Continue up a short crack and mantle to the next large ledge. It would be best to not place pro here
if you want to go the distance without serious rope drag. Toss your ropes to the left and start up the fantastic brown rock arête. Clip approximately seven bolts which you can supplement with some gear if you want
(.75”) and make stellar arête move after move, left and right and left again, following the bolts to just below Humerus ledge where you can build a semi hanging belay.
4th Pitch- 165’- 5.9+/
From Handren’s book. From atop the ledge below the arête, move left into a big black chimney. Climb the chimney 70’ and step right onto the brown slab. Climb the face just left of the arête (sporty) to reach Humerus Ledge.
5th Pitch- 130’- 5.6/
Move the belay left over to the next arête. Mantle up onto the large block and clip a bolt on the face and continue up the arête, clipping a few more bolts, moving out onto the right face to finish on some run out, but easy terrain. This is the same final pitch for Armatron. There are rap chains out and right above the face and below the subsidiary summit atop the route.
You can walk off or rappel straight down the wall. I have not done the rap, so don’t know the sequence for that, but have seen the stations. Start with the rap chains atop the 5th pitch. The walk off is quite pleasant and quick. Move north and make a down climbing move onto a sloping slab. Cross over to a bushy ramp that angles up left and then turns back right to another, steeper ramp, with some exposure. Follow this ramp past a tree to the summit of north Brownstone Wall. The true summit is to your right and has a summit register (2009). Move down and north until you reach a gully that abruptly turns back southeast for the descent. Follow this gully down as it doglegs right and returns to the base of the climb. 70m Rope
would be useful if you are following my plan of combining pitches. Single .3 to 3”, double .75” to 3” if you want to protect the long combined pitches well. Full set of wires although we did not set any and at this grade normally don’t. Half a dozen shoulder length slings, half a dozen draws. Shoes for the walk off descent. The north Brownstone wall is fairly protected from winds and receives good sun until late afternoon. You are at a higher elevation then most routes however. Dress accordingly.
External LinksRed Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, BLM
Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association