Roto Hammer, 5.10c
During the winter months of January-February, there can be days where Calico Hills will be quite inviting compared to its larger brethren to the southwest. Stone Wall is a great morning warm up for the area offering fantastic early morning sun
on tall moderate (5.10s) sport routes. One such route is considered by many to be the finest single pitch sport climb Red Rocks has to offer at its grade, Haunted Hooks (5.10c).
A variety of folks helped develop the area but David Borroughs appears to be the central character.
From the parking area for the 2nd pullout, descend the main trail taking a right at the first opportunity. Take the first left (50yds) and continue your descent down into the wash. Cross the wash to the right and continue heading north. From here there are two different approaches you can take. One is to skirt by Hunter Thompson Dome
to the left and circumvent the rock buttress on your left topping out above Stone Wall, which you then have to descend to the base of the routes. The other more direct way is to head for a narrow bushy scramble up and left before you enter the canyon (Sweet Pain Wall) with pools of water as you would for much of the area including the Great Red Book routes
. You basically ascend the next gulley over (west) from the Sweet Pain Wall gulley. The routes are up on the left.
The Routes are Listed Left to Right as you Face the Wall
- Purple Haze- 45’- 5.10d/
- Haunted Hooks- 80’- 5.10c/ (photos) David Borroughs and Alan Busby established this fine line in 1993. Jerry Handren and I agree this is no doubt one of the finer 5.10 single pitch sport routes at Red Rocks. A sustained pitch that hits a balancing/reachy crux at about the half way mark. After that it looks like it is going to ease up a bit, but surprises you in that it remains mostly sustained for the full length. Nine bolts to anchor on solid rock. Might even be a bit longer than 80’. Dow
- Roto Hammer- 60’- 5.10c/ (photos) Daryl Ellis established this obvious line in 1992. This route runs up and into a depression that creates a fun roof problem with huge jugs. The crux is not the roof, but rather a crimpy move about half way to the depression that requires solid finger strength. Once you edge your way up and into the depression, the overhanging jugs above are a blast to mantel. Route continues over easier ground for a bit more. Seven bolts to anchor.
- Nirvana- 50’- 5.11a/ Dow
- Stonehenge- 50’- 5.11b/
- Stone Hammer- 60’- 5.10c/ Trad pitch supplemented with three bolts.
- Birthstone- 55’- 5.10d/
- April Fools- 45’- 5.10b/One 60m rope and a dozen draws. You only need trad gear for one of the pitches. For sport climbing at Calico, you should definitely grab Jerry Handren’s book, “Red Rocks, A Climber’s Guide”.
- Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, BLM
- Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association
- DowClimbing.Com Red Rocks