American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Nevada, Red Rocks, Various Activity

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2001

Red Rocks, Various Activity. Due the vastness of the area and the cracks and faces that characterize these pinnacles, several new routes have been added to the throng of classics gracing Red Rocks’ flame-colored features. Roxanna Brock and Gary Fike put up one such climb on the east face of Rainbow Mountain. Power Failure, a three-pitch 5.10c put up by Jorge and Joanne Urioste, is the approach to Somewhere Over the Rainbow (IV 5.11d). Atop Power Failure is a massive ledge. Traverse to the far west side. The climbing begins with thin cracks on varnished faces for the first several pitches. At the fourth pitch, things go vertical on a 5.8 R/X face with three pieces of pro—Fike’s 50th birthday present. As the cracks widen and steepen, they lead to the crux, an awkward offwidth that moves over a bulge while changing to one inch and then three and a half inches in size. The last pitches involve bushwhacking up slippery offwidths. The ten-pitch route is the first known technical ascent of Rainbow Mountain.

Shortly after Brock and Fike’s ascent, Brian McCray and Mike Lewis put up a new route on Mt. Wilson. The huge face has sparked the interest of many climbers, but few dare take on the trials of the approach and descent, much less the rigors of ascending the wall. With years of difficult sport and traditional climbing under their belts, this team was primed for the task. Though they hoped their line, Dogma (IV 5.11c, 15 pitches), would yield more difficult climbing, it turned out to be on the more attainable side.

Dogma begins left of Resolution Arête and climbs the south side of the massive varnished face above an obvious ledge, midway up Wilson’s east side. Mike Lewis describes the route: “Climb Levitation 29 to a wonderful, biviable ledge. Kick back and check out Vegas for a while under the huge evergreen. Then climb Rainbow Wall (the original route), ending with a mantle onto the summit of Mount Wilson.”

On Bridge Mountain, around the comer (north) of the Brass and Straight Shooter walls, Tom Beck added Flight Path (5.10b, three pitches) and Pattizabzent. Flight Path begins in a varnished comer and climbs through a roof crack, and Pattizabzent is the route directly to the right, rated 5.9 with a 5.10b variation on the second pitch. Both routes are descended by rappel.

Roxanna Brock, unaffiliated

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