This route is the last one on the climber's right on the square, black-varnished wall which houses the routes Doobie Dance and Romper Room.
Pitch 1- Crux pitch. Climb the left-facing corner/crack, pulling a small overhang onto a ledge with a large bush. Scramble up to the next large bush on another ledge.
Pitch 2- Climb the low-angle crack system to a belay stance in a left-facing corner.
Pitch 3- Head up the easy crack/varnished face to a large ledge.
Pitch 4- A pitch worth of fourth class. Those that are not comfortable with 4th-class terrain may want to rope up.
WARNING: THE OLD GUIDEBOOKS ARE WRONG! Do not descend via Lotta Balls descent gully. It is long, indirect, brushy, and involves tricky ropework. THE BEST WAY TO DESCEND is to move right (west) from the top of the climb and scramble down a gully (3rd class on its west side) to a ledge with a small pine tree and rap station. Two straightforward, single-rope rappels (60m works) and a little downclimbing take you to the base of the wall just east of Rising Moons.
Re: Pitch 1
There is a rap anchor, one bolt and natural pro at the first ledge with a bush, if you choose to do only the first worthy pitch. You will need two ropes to rap. Also... you may want to bring some webbing to back up the ratty ones if you plan on rapping from pitch 1.
Standard rack to 4". Plenty of long runners.
Belay anchor at the top of the 2/3 pitch, dependin...
Top of the climb. The tree pictured here with the...
Looking down pitch 2 of Algae on Parade. By follo...
Looking down from the second bolted rap station. ...
Looking down the final pitch before pulling over t...
Looking down the excellent rock on pitch 3 of Alga...
Looking down the West descent gully and the first ...
BETA PHOTO: Overview of Algae on Parade, showing the easiest d...
The initial corner of Algae on Parade
BETA PHOTO: Romper Room Right
Looking up at the final pitch. We stayed in the l...
Joe, just past the crux of pitch 1 of Algae on Par...
Looking up at the last pitch after you pass the lo...
Looking down Pitch 1 from about the half way point...
Looking down at the top half of the final pitch an...
The bomber belay tree at the top of what I believe...
Looking down at a little down scrambling to get to...
If doing the route in three long pitches, this is ...
Third rap station. Once you are down from here, i...
|Comments on Algae on Parade
|By Larry DeAngelo|
Nov 30, 2006
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b
This is actually an excellent climb. The initial corner is, paradoxically, harder than the face climbs to the left. On the upper pitches, there are many options. Probably the best is to stay left, on high-quality varnish and aesthetic cracks. This way the climbing is generally delightful and easy. It is probably a 3-star route, but I am voting 4-stars to offset Gigette's terrible 1-star rating. She must have taken a bad variation, or suffered from the Lotta Balls descent...
|By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?|
Nov 30, 2006
It was the Lotta Balls descent, Larry. You know me well! ; )
I awarded it a one star, because the upper pitches were easy (much easier than the first pitch), and over too quickly, but the descending was a nightmare, and took longer than the climb. I guess the beauty of the last pitches was tainted by the so-called "Lotta Balls descent" (those fu#kers!) so I'll maybe bump it up to two stars, folks. I'm so glad you found an easier descent, Larry; if anyone can, you can. : )
Jan 17, 2008
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b PG13
we loved the climb. the first pitch is the hardest but something to remember on the descent, we had to rappel three times cause we only had one 200ft rope. the picture shows only two. there are three obvious belay points but you could easily skip the third if you had two ropes. maybe people crazier than me down climb the last section.
|By Karl K|
From: Phoenix, AZ
Mar 15, 2008
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b
Very fun climb. Much longer than it seems from the ground. 600'+
After the first pitch it is a romp, but a very fun romp! All pitches very well protected. This would be a great climb for a party with a newer leader as the 2nd & 3rd pitches are great practice.
First pitch was stiff 5.7 (maybe even 5.8), but had great edges for placing pro. I went to the second tree/bush: maybe 40' above the first tree/bush (which is passed on the left).
Second pitch is long, fun, heavily featured crack. Never harder than maybe 5.3. We did about 30 feet of simulclimbing to get to the sloping ledge (w/ 60m rope).
The third pitch is also 5.3 (not class 4 -- well, maybe Sierra Class 4!) and we bypassed what looked like a little 5.6 overhang by stepping right about 6 feet and then coming back to the main corner on the left. Finish up a white fin of sandy rock.
Descent info was right on, with only a bit of class 4 downclimbing. If you stretch the first rappel to the second tree (reach for it!!!) you can get down with only two rappels. If you stop at the first (smaller tree), three rappels are required. The last being about 20'.
|By Richard Baugh|
May 29, 2010
We found a substantial and very active bee hive right at the base right in the crack of the first pitch today (5/29/2010). We decided to stay away and climb something else. Maybe they will be gone this winter.
From: Salt Lake City
Oct 15, 2010
Serious bees at the bottom! Very active and dangerous bee's nest at the bottom of the climb. Calmed down after I was off the ground. Be careful if you are allergic!
|By Jared R|
Mar 18, 2011
Great route! The climb was great but the 3rd pitch is wonderful. Crux is the first 50 or so feet of the first pitch and it's well protected. Enjoy this one. it's a must do in the First creek slabs area, much better than Rising Moons to the right.
|By John Hegyes|
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jun 7, 2011
The bees are still at it. They have a nice size hive right at the base. They seemed a little agitated so we opted not to climb this route.
Nov 18, 2011
A great route! We climbed it in the standard 4 pitches - my opinions on difficulty are: 5.8 (P1), 5.4 (P2), 5.6 (P3), and 5.3 (P4). Pitch 3 was exceptional - we may have belayed at the second ledge (big one) which was at about 190'. We were there on 11/10/2011 and the bees at the base of pitch 1 were still active, but friendly enough to allow our safe passage. On the descent we found a bolted anchor (new?) at the top of the gullies (east) which we used to rappel over to the gully on climber's right (west). The west gully isn't too difficult and is likely downclimbed by experienced parties. After scrambling near the top of Rising Moons we found the bolted anchor below the tree, then three more rappels (last very short) off of smallish trees with a 60m.
From: las vegas, NV
Jan 15, 2012
Fun route with slab, face and crack climbing. The bees are not very active this time of year (we only saw 4 or 5 of them, probably due to the icy air wafting down from the top of the mountain.)
|By Vince Neil|
Feb 9, 2012
Aproach took about 30 minutes but BEE careful. Although not too active in the colder hours before noon (belayer only experienced 1 attack by a 'lone ranger'); when we returned to our packs in the early afternoon there were hundreds of bees in full mayhem mode. Although great climbing, we thought 5.7 was a tad soft for the first pitch. We also agreed that the 3rd pitch was the BEST 5.4 either of us had ever climbed at Red Rocks....a nice surprise. The west gully is a great descent..easy to find and straightforward. If you don't want to engage in potentially sketchy (especially for novices)downclimbing do double rope rappels at both anchors. Good quality climbing overall...especially for the grades.
|By Chris D|
From: the couch
Feb 21, 2012
What a fun, fun, route! The first pitch was fun and felt like 5.7. There's so many holds (and so little chalk) that you could have trouble finding the easiest holds and maybe commit to something that felt 5.8 (?)but with care it's a solid 7.
The third pitch is long and fun! Just a blast. Big holds, low-angle rock, two nice parallel splitters for cams, stuff to sling, what a romp. Send your budding trad leader up this one for a confidence builder, then finish the route unroped if you feel secure. I'd lean toward 3rd class for the remainder of the route after P3. Great outing in a beautiful setting.
You do not have to go all the way up to Lotta Balls Wall to get to this climb, as the guidebook suggests for the approach. Instead, you may want to just continue up the canyon a ways to where a cairned trail heads up the talus slope directly below the start of the route.
Saw no bees on Feb. 20, 2012 at any time between 10am and 3pm.
Jun 12, 2012
Sometime in the beginning of June we didn't dare (I didn't at least) approach the first pitch cause the bees were off the hook. So we climbed around to the right of that big pillar and found some really nice cracks. We were able to traverse left after a pitch or two to rejoin the rad pitch double crack higher up. (5.easy). Pretty fun adventure. Oh yeah, and we were in the shade by early mid afternoon (2 or so).
|By Pork Chop|
Nov 28, 2012
Climbed the route today. First pitch closer to 5.8 with minimal bees at the base. I led the second pitch and had to set up an anchor to belay my follower since we didn't have enough rope to make it to the top of the second- 70m rope is recommended. The rap anchors were old and need to be replaced. One had no rap rings or d-link, so I donated a silver Camp carabiner that one of you is gonna steal. We moved west from the top of the last pitch and ended up doing 4 rappels down. Overall- awesome rock! Great spots for pro, and pretty obvious routes (up and down). Anyone know why the single bolt is on pitch 2? Didn't seem necessary. Maybe because someone climbed the first pitch only with a 60m rope and used it to rap down???
|By Chris Francy|
Jun 1, 2013
The bees are still there. However, you really never have to get within 15 feet of them. You can climb the face about 20 feet left of the bees then traverse over into the corner.
First pitch feels difficult. I found best gear options to be nuts at all of the cruxes on P1. Bring a set if you aren't confident at the grade.
The roof people are referring to is about 50 feet above the nice sloping belay ledge (after the twin hand cracks pitch). Its a right facing corner. Basically, from the belay stance it is an optical illusion and looks quite difficult. It passes at like 5.4 or 5.5 on bucket hand holds if you just stay left in the corner. You can go all the way to the top easily from that sloping belay ledge belay with a 70, also I believe the same would be true for a 60.
Afterwards, climbers right on faint trails to the gully. There's a cairn about 50 feet below that marks the first set of rap bolts. We did three total raps with a 70m rope, I have no idea how anyone did it with 2 rappels unless you did a lot of downclimbing. 60m also works fine for the three raps.
From: Las Vegas, Nevada
Oct 1, 2013
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b
Climb was a lot of fun. Had the perfect day, great temperature and almost no wind. We did it in three long pitches with a 70m rope. Bees are still at the base of the climb, but didn't give us any problems.
Pitch#1- Thought this pitch was excellent and every bit of 5.7. A few spots where things got a little thin, but I thought the gear was excellent and allowed you to place quality pieces where you needed it. We passed the first bushy ledge that had slings for a rap anchor and continued up another 40 feet to a comfortable ledge with a bomber tree for a belay anchor.
Pitch#2- This was a fun pitch that took great gear and was very straight forward. The rock is somewhat brittle in spots and I did break off a small foot hold, so definitely be thoughtful of what you are pulling on. IMO as a 5.7 leader, I thought there were a few 5.6 sections on this pitch, and my partner who leads at the same level had the same thoughts. We ran this pitch out and only had about ten feet of our 70m rope left. There are definitely places to set up intermediate belays.
Pitch#3- We went straight up the right facing corner and went through the bulge, which I think is 5.6+ - 5.7. I believe you can avoid the bulge by swing out right around it and that may be the intended path. we thought the bulge was what made the last pitch interesting and it protects excellent. From the top of the bulge, we continued up the pillar and than traversed right to the top of the climb.
Overall we had a great time on this route and found it very enjoyable.
We descended down the gully west of the climb. We did it with a single 70m rope with three rappels, and a mix of some down climbing and scrambling. Be cautious as the first rap requires about ten feet of down climbing if you are on a single 70m.