1st Pitch- 200’- 5.7
There are two climbs that serve as an alternative to access
Brownstone Walls at Red Rocks
: Myster Z
and Rose Hips on Jackrabbit Buttress in Juniper Canyon. They both cover about the same ground (5-8 pitches) at the same grade in about the same amount of time.
2nd Pitch- 110’- 5.7
Both of the routes are recent additions to Red Rocks. Rose Hips was put in by Chris Dabroski and John Hoffman in 1999. The first pitch is the crux of the climb
, a full 200’ of 5.6-5.7 climbing. The last bit of this pitch can be a little tedius in approach shoes
as I found out. The easy face and chimney climbing turn into an off width crack which can be climbed at a higher grade or sparse run out 5.7 smearing on the right sandy face. The 2nd pitch offers the only other eventful climbing, an easy roof pull. The 3rd pitch can suck you too high as evidenced by gear left behind
. The 4th pitch involves an aesthetic traverse on a varnished ledge. On most of the route you are treated to the view of climbers on Crimson Chrysalis. From this vantage point it makes Crimson Chrysalis look like a much grander route than it really is.
I 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. Head for the southeast corner of Jackrabbit Buttress which bleeds into the wash. Descend into the wash and continue up canyon looking for a massive varnished boulder. Turn right and bushwhack to the base of an obvious long crack/chimney that runs to a roof, some 250’ tall (photo).
1st Pitch- 200’- 5.7/
Start out climbing the left face
of the chimney on easy varnished jugs with plenty of gear when you need it. Continue up the face via discontinuous cracks for quite a ways until a small roof forces you to cross the chimney to the right (120’).
Chimney up this section until it turns to off width
, then head out right where gear will be tricky
as you protect the slab moves (crux)
to easier ground where you can build a belay into the crack you were following as it has narrowed to a true crack at this point. There are two parallel cracks that take gear down low before the harder moves on that slab, but the gear placement in them takes some thought. It would also be possible to move back left and climb huge easy jugs, but run out face
, and come back into the crack from the left. That might have been the original ascentor’s intent at this grade.
2nd Pitch- 110’- 5.7/
Continue up easy ground to the base of another sort of chimney. Stem and follow cracks (crux) up to the large roof above, moving left on easy holds to pull it. Build a belay in the left facing corner above.
3rd Pitch- 110’- 5.6/
Run up this easy pitch, you can sling a feature here or there or place large gear in the crack if you want pro. Climb until right before the crack peters out.
To your right is a varnished ledge that runs to another crack that you cannot see from this vantage point. Build a station here with some medium gear. There might be some gear above you (2009) but that no doubt is from someone bailing back to this spot.
4th Pitch- 190’- 5.6/
Traverse on that small varnished ledge with no pro
for about 30’-40’ or so. You can angle up to the crack, or traverse all the way into it. I would avoid placing gear low
in the crack to avoid rope drag. Climb the crack up to a comfortable spot to build a belay as you near the end of the rope.
5th Pitch- 50’- 5.4/
Run up to the broad sloping shoulder of Jackrabbit Buttress. Un-rope, if comfortable, and continue, angling left up another crack involving 4th and maybe some 5th class scrambling to the upper left lower summit area where you can access a faint trail over to Brownstone Wall north.
I climb Rose Hips or Myster Z in order to access Brownstone Wall climbs. However, if you are done for the day, simply traverse around to the left along the southern shoulder of Jackrabbit Buttress (not going too low) and descend into the bowl below Brownstone Wall. Scramble down to the bushy bottom where you can pick up a decent trail that exits Juniper Canyon.
60m rope or whatever rope combination you need for the upper walls. Single Rack to 4” or maybe 5” and double up on some of the larger stuff if you are only a 5.8 leader. A set of wires. A dozen shoulder length runners. Southeast facing route, but Rainbow Wall does take the sun out….so could be cold in the fall and winter afternoons. Gets a lot of morning sun all year round. Will want your shoes with you for the walk off. Will hike out past your start.
External LinksRed Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, BLM
Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association