Risky Business, 5.10c, 4 Pitches

Risky Business, 5.10c, 4 Pitches

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 36.12393°N / 115.49468°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.10c (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 4
Sign the Climber's Log


3rd Pitch, 5.10c
Dow leading the 3rd Pitch, 5.10c

I led all the pitches the first time I climbed this route and advise any potential leader to ignore someone’s advice on MP.com to combine them.  The third pitch has three significant traverses on it and would make for significant rope drag to combine with another.  Although you could combine the 1st and 2nd pitches, the first pitch offers by far the most comfortable belay.   MP.com also calls this route run-out (“R”) where Handren’s guide does not mention it.  There are two somewhat run-out sections, the first pitch and the last traverse on the third pitch.  But both are well below the grade.

The first pitch has a move or two at the grade and is well protected at those locations.  It is mostly face climbing on good rock to a fixed rap/belay ledge.  The second pitch is much more sustained and offers corner to face climbing.  Perhaps the technical crux “move” of the route is after you leave the obvious shallow corner and traverse right and up intricate face just left of a heavily varnished arête which leads to a semi hanging fixed belay/rap anchor.  Someone on MP.com references this 2nd pitch as being run out, however it protects well for the competent leader.  The third pitch is by far the crux of the climb in terms of sustained movement, intricate pro and some sections of run out.  An unprotected and exposed traverse up and left leads to a bolt with an intermittent seam above that offers relatively run out 5.10 climbing up to a positive horizontal.  Move right again to a more traditional crack on the arête itself.  As the crack peters out into the arete you traverse out left yet again.  This can cause serious rope drag if you did not pay attention to extending your placements on this 3rd pitch.  After the featured leftward traverse, climb another shallow corner to a hanging fixed rap/belay.  The final pitch is fully bolted for the most part and is by far the easiest pitch enroute which leads to a hidden fixed rap up and right on a ledge.  

The approach is the exact same as for Dark Shadows in Pine Creek.  Risky Business starts several meters to the left of Dark Shadows and typically some water in the creek separates the two.  The start is at an obvious short and shallow left facing corner/flake with two pro bolts above.  The fixed belay atop of pitch one is below the obvious roof above.   In April-May, the route does not get shad until almost noon. 

Route Description, 4 Pitches, 400'+/-

2nd Pitch, 5.10b
Dow leading the 2nd Pitch, 5.10b

1st Pitch- 90’-5.10b/ In May we found a significant dry patch in the creek directly below the obvious shallow corner start.  Handren’s guide calls it 5.10b and MP.com calls it 5.10- R. By Red Rock standards this face pitch is run out, but the few 5.10 moves, if any, are relatively well protected.  Don’t know if I could really identify a crux move, perhaps between the two bolts on the pitch.  I did not feel there was a “thin move off the ground” as the guide suggests.  You get the bolt clipped before making any thin moves in my opinion.  After the 2nd clip, you climb a right facing flake with a small piece of gear and make a traverse left and up on jugs to a fixed rap ledge. 

2nd Pitch- 90’-5.10b/ This pitch is much more sustained than the first and if I had to name a crux move of the whole route, I would point to some dark varnish edge face climbing with an arete on your right side aiming for a finger horizontal above.  All this climbing happens after you vacate (climb up and right from) the obvious shallow crack corner which climbs easier than it looks through a bolt and good small gear.  5.10 R on MP.com, but not sure this one can really be called run out either as  you can place quite a bit of gear supplemented by two bolts.  Semi-hanging belay at a fixed rap station.

3rd Pitch- 120’-5.10c/ There are three traverses on this pitch.  From the belay, make an exposed traverse directly out left and up to a bolt.   From the bolt to the obvious horizontal above is the crux climbing of the pitch via a closed seam with relatively (for the grade) positive varnished features.  This section is somewhat run out at the grade.  At the horizontal you get good gear (extend well) and make an easy traverse back right to an intermittent varnished crack with a hand or two opening.  Climb it with great gear until a final hand jam and where it peters out into the arete.  Make a long, run-out but easy terrain, traverse way back left to a closed shallow right facing corner with a piton (2018) and climb it up to a fixed rap/hanging belay.  

4th Pitch- 80’-5.10a/ Climb through four bolts and then traverse up and right to a fixed rap ledge.  Much easier climbing then the other pitches with no real crux.  You can get at least one supplemental piece of gear between the third and fourth bolt. 

Climbing Sequence


Rap the route with a single 60m rope.

Essential Gear

Single rope, 60m is close on the second rap.  There are several bolts/pitons (2018) on this route.  I advise pitching it out vs combining pitches to avoid rope drag, therefore a single rack to C4#2 is adequate.  The third pitch has three traverses on it, so bring plenty of slings vs draws to avoid rope drag.  Route gets good shade by noon for most of the entire year so dress accordingly.



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