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Unknown climber on first pitch. Photo taken Octob...
A great route to get out of the sun. There is a little stream that you can hang out by and jump over to get to the rock in the spring. Your rope will hit the water on the way down if you don't take care. Three raps from the top get you down with two ropes 60m.
P1- 5.5s two good bolts to the anchor on the first pitch
P2- (P1 & P2) can be done as one pitch(170ft). Take the right facing desert varnished dihedral from the bolt anchor (5.7; 60ft), move left to the the belay anchors.
P3- 5.7 from the anchor continue up the great crack system with some stemming to another anchor (75ft)
P4- 5.8 from the anchor break out right onto the curving crack and follow it to the final anchor beneath the giant roof.
Careful on the way down not to get the ropes caught in the crack as you rap.
Pro is great. All anchors are bolts. There are 2 bolts on the 5.5s first pitch. Camalots 0.5-#3.
BETA PHOTO: Dark Shadows - the belay positions are marked
Looking up at p2 (or the second half of combined p...
David Franco climbing pitch 2, photo by John Riggi...
P3. Only using chocks, no cams.
Chuck just after the offwidth crux of p4
Krista finishing the third pitch, I think. The wa...
Jenny Schillinger follows on 'Dark Shadows' (5.8)....
If you go beyond 4 pitches, rapping the route gets...
Scoping out what I consider crux # 2 on p3 o...
The base of Dark Shadows. A must do.
Patrick enjoying the 3rd pitch
Taking in a view of the 4th pitch off width before...
The glorious corner on pitch 3
It's worth going to the top...
Frogs enjoy hanging out at the spring near the bas...
Starting up the first pitch on the slabby 5.5 sect...
Tiffany heading up the broken cracks at the start ...
Some of the locals checking us out. This is taken...
The pool directly below the climb. Be careful whe...
On the excellent 3rd pitch.
Beginning the 4th pitch.
Mustafa, beginning the 4th pitch
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 5 roof above above a bolt.
This is the fir...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 5. The left leaning crack above the roof.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 5 ends above the pillar on the left.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 6 climbs huecos on the right side past the m...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 6 traverses left from the piton anchor. Note...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 6 ends on the face after the leftward traver...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 7 climbs cracks to a ledge below the roof.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 8 passes the roof on the right side.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 9 climbs twin cracks and then heads rightwar...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 10: a crack leads to a roof. This is the cru...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 10 roof.
BETA PHOTO: Above pitch 10, follow broken rock for a couple of...
Climbers on the second pitch of Dark Shadows (ofte...
Zandra Lily on Pitch 2.
Zandra Lily on pitch 3.
Red Rock Water Lily ęZandra Lily. The rope-soakin...
trying to catch the rope and prevent it from going...
the infamous rope-soaking pool (all the more reaso...
BETA PHOTO: first 4 pitches
looking down P2
polished dihedral on P2
Jascha on P5
view back down the valley
happiness is a bomber nut placement
roof on P10
tunnel spider web near the top
BETA PHOTO: final ramps to the summit
3rd belay if you don't link the first two
Locals check out our ropes at the base
Brandi following pitch 3.
Dick leading pitch 3.
BETA PHOTO: view from Adventure Punks trying to scope out the ...
Nearing the top of P3.
Jonny on p3.
ian van straten combining pitch 1 and 2. nice view...
ian climbing the excellent pitch 3.
GWB climbing the 4th pitch of Dark Shadows. A swee...
Christopher Lane belaying nephew, Calder Lane. at ...
Christpher Lane topping off at the top of the 4th ...
Christopher Lane with brother Todd Lane at 4th pit...
Top of P3, viewed from P4. Unknown climber from B...
P4 Dark Shadows
Aaron fixing his shoes on the second anchor
Pitch 3 action as seen from Excellent Adventure. N...
Hailey coming up the 3rd pitch.
Topping out on Dark Shadows
BETA PHOTO: Descent beta. Follow big ledge system. Chimney u...
From: Sacramento, CA
Feb 24, 2004
5 bolts were replaced in October 2001 by the ASCA: "first pitch protection bolts, one bolt at pitch 3 belay, one bolt at original pitch 4 belay, and the protection bolt on pitch 5. Most anchors higher on route are one old and one newer bolt, and all can be backed up with natural gear. One protection bolt off of a ledge on pitch 6 is an old rusty 1/4"."
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Feb 24, 2004
The above description ignores that there are at least 6 more pitches of rock up above that are part of this great route. My memory of being on some of of those last January is not good enough to really do justive to the route, but I wanted to make a comment or two.One of my reasons for not going tha whole distance was the lack of equipment- that being which was required to replace the anchors on the upper pitches- in some cases just webbing and rings, but in all cases the stations were pretty sketchy one way or another. It should be done the rest of the way up.I ran out of webbign and rings before I finished the job. If you head all the way up, BYO.
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 25, 2004
When I climbed this route, we went all the way to the top of Mescalito. The upper pitches are quite different from the lower ones, the rock is not as good, route finding ability is needed and there were no more fixed anchors (when I did it). Thus a larger rack and sense of adventure are required. The summit is a scenic spot that is worth a visit.
If you go to the top, I would not recommend rappelling the route. From the summit, simply scramble NW along the ridge, then eventually drop down the east side into a bowl, avoiding anything harder than 3rd class. From here you can descend into the north branch of Pine Creek (same creek where the route starts). I have done this twice, taking slightly different routes, doing one rappel or two. Look for downclimbing routes as much as possible, you should not have to do more than two raps (the last one right into the creek bed). This is actually a pretty short descent for Red Rocks (taking maybe 1-2 hours back to the base of the route). Unfortunately there is no descent beta from the top of Mescalito in the new Swain guide, I think there was in the old edition.
|By John Peterson|
Mar 8, 2004
Don't miss this route! A classic.
Not sure about the "s" on the first pitch rating - seemed quite reasonable to me. There's no reason at all not to combine pitches one and two - I've done it on 50m rope with no problem. Great ledge at the top of P2.
The 3rd pitch is most definitely not 75 feet. You CAN'T rap on a single 45 or 50 meter rope from there and I've got the booty to prove it. Haven't tried a 60m from there though. The best descent is with two ropes - you can rap 3 + 4 together (plus avoid the worst of the rope eating crack) and then 1+2. I always descend the last rap in tandem, each of us carrying a rope end to keep it out of the water. When you pull the rope get your partner to stand in the pool and keep your rope semi-dry!
Both lines are good on pitch 4 - the crack on the right and the dihedral on the left. The one advantage of the dihedral is that nobody will drop a rope on your head as you pull the crux.
Pitch 5 (the overhang) was pretty good but we backed down from there in the face of easy climbing and questionable rock. The character of the route changes a lot when you leave the varnish.
A great route for photography.
Aug 10, 2004
Great route! Cool creek and crystal clear pools at and near base. While we were climbing this route we got to watch mountain goats defy gravity on the cliffs across the way. Is anybody else ever amazed that an international epicenter of hedonistic pleasure, vice, dirt and grime is so close when back in these beautiful canyons? I always am.
|By Joe Lee|
From: tucson, az
Oct 10, 2004
Climbed this route October 4, 2004. You can rappel with one 60 meter rope ONLY IF you get to the top of P4. Otherwise, bring two ropes. At the top of P4 are two sets of anchors. You need to rappel from the lower anchor to the right. The supertopo guidebook has the next rappel anchor drawn in the wrong location. It's lower down. Then rap to the top of P2 and then P1. This is also the better descent route if you have two ropes.
Oct 20, 2005
My partner and I only had the original 1970's small little red guidebook that describes this route in detail for 6 pitches and then says something like "climb a bit more to the top and then walk-off down the ravine." I will say the first 4 pitches are spectacular - some of the best climbing I've done at Red Rocks. The next two pitches were so-so and the last "bit" of climbing to the top was actually two more full rope lengths of sketchy moderate face climbing with essentially no pro. We got to the top near the end of the day and after searching around quite a bit we saw no easy walk-off. We decided it would be safe to come back down the way we knew, but the raps consisted of having to use sketchy webbing through a hole in sandstone at the top, a single old rusty bolt for the next rap (no place to put in pro), and then us having to leave a two nut anchor for the third rap until we were back to the nice bolts at the tope of P4. Do yourselves a favor and rap back down after the fourth pitch... the rest of the climb (and adventure) isn't worth it.
|By John Wilder|
From: Las Vegas, NV
Oct 20, 2005
Well, I havent been to the top via Dark Shadows, but I have summited via Deep Space, a route a ways to the left.
Walking off Mescalito is possible, but routefinding is important, so getting to the summit with an hour or two of daylight left is ideal. Basically head back and drop off to the right (north side) and then stay high, following the occasional cairn for quite a ways. A couple of short 4th class traverses later, and eventually you hit the canyon floor near a fallen tree and a large boulder. From here, its just a good, long, easy hike back to the packs and the car.
Alternatively, it is also (in theory) possible to rappel the last chimney on Cat in the Hat, then downclimb to the summit of the regular route and then rap that route with two ropes.
|By Tim Baguley|
Feb 1, 2006
Perfect route for warm/hot days. Totally shaded with a nice, cool pool of water at the base.
|By rex parker|
From: mammoth lakes c.a
Jul 21, 2007
this thing is not all in the sun thats crazy, went last monday got an early start and only pitch 4 was in the shade, if you plan to try to escape the sun and climb this in the summer dont start early the sun cooks it. the shade doesent start untill around 11 but i finally did the route the first 4 pitches. and i am impressed, i liked dark shadows, so go back and do it, is what i say..and the base is a great spot to chill out
From: Albany NY
Jun 13, 2008
What s stellar route! I led the first 3 ptches, actually linking pitch 1 and 2 together. The third pitch was my favorite. All in all, some of the best climbing I've done so far. Watch out for the water down below when tossing your rope. 2 60 meter ropes are whats needed for 2 raps to the base.
|By Josh Audrey|
From: LAS VEGAS
Aug 28, 2008
Topped this out yesterday and I think the upper pitches are awsome. Climbed the first 4 of Dark Shadows to the roof, then went through the roof to do pitches 5&6 of Heart of Darkness. Joined up with dark shadows agian to top out. Getting down sucks, but the climbing and the views are great.
|By Aaron S|
Aug 28, 2008
Upper pitches area ton of fun. Rock quality is better than I expected. Handren guide gives good directions. I would recommend staying roped up for the final 250' of "4th class".
|By Aaron Martinuzzi|
Mar 21, 2009
climbing to the top of mescalito via dark shadows makes for a really great outing. if you plan on heading up past P4, traverse right under the giant roof and belay at the bolts right on the arete, the highest & furthest right of three sets of bolts under the roof, or plan on moving the belay after finishing P4. this info is adapted from the handren guide, which we found inaccurate on some of the pitch lengths.
P5. 120', 5.7 - Follow a seam past a bolt to a roof. Continue up a widening left-trending crack, up a short chimney to an anchor on top of a huge pillar. A fun pitch.
P6. 100', 5.7 - Step across the void and climb the right side of a chimney with huecos on left wall. Go up 30' to a bolt, and continue, eventually traversing left and then continuing up to an anchor on a ledge at the base of a crack.
P7. 115', 5.7 - Climb the crack to a small ledge below a roof.
P8. 115', 5.7 - Go up the right side of the roof, through a crack to a bushy ledge. Continue to a higher ledge beneath broken cracks. Linking P7 & P8 stretched my 70m, but made for a great pitch.
P9. ~80', 5.7 - Climb the cracks to a varnished ledge with a bolt.
P10. ~150', 5.8 - Go up the right facing corner directly above the belay. Where the corner leans off to the left, climb up the face to beneath the big hueco'ed roof. Pull through the roof on good holds, and continue up the crack to beneath the top of Mescalito. I thought this was the best pitch of the route.
From the top of the route, my partner and I soloed up some 5th class terrain about 200 feet to a more exposed face to the left of the big, dark red headwall. At this point we roped back up, climbing ~70' of 5.5/6 to ~30 feet of scrambling, reaching the top.
Descent: My partner and I headed southwest along the side of Mescalito along some ridges and easily downclimbable terrain until some cairns guided us skier's right to a gully. Started off walking down the gully to find a slung tree. Rapped off this to a slung chockstone, which we rapped off to a third station. This station is best avoided, as the difficulties consist of ~15 feet of easy down-chimneying. A little more walking took us to a fourth station, a bush with long slings (our third rappel). More walking down the gully led to a steep section, with a rappel sling on the left - avoid this last rappel by walking down the ramp skier's right of the shrubbery. This puts you into ~150 feet of bushwhacking to the wash on the south side of Mescalito.
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
May 1, 2009
Rapping with a single 60m is possible, but requires caution. As Joe Lee says, you must get atop P4 and you must use the LOWER rap anchor at the top of P4. If you go from the upper anchor you are SOL.
If you rap the first two pitches with two ropes, it is almost impossible to avoid a soaked rope. Even with one rope, it'll probably get a bit wet. Good reason to go all the way to the top!
From: Las Vegas, NV
Aug 17, 2009
I don't know which book Erik got his beta from (having read the route description on here I wish it'd been from MP) but losing the route on the 6th pitch, which took us 2 unplanned-for hours, sucked! We picked the route back up but the description Erik had printed out and carried in his pocket about the route was so bad that it was hard for us to recognize if we were on the right line or not. I think route-finding is pretty important when doing the entire DS climb. I'm not sure about where the anchors are located at the top of P6 - we found the roof, but couldn't see any bolted anchor.
All things told, however, Dark Shadows had some of the best long-route climbing I've ever done! The upper pitches are just as good as the lower pitches and the two roofs you have to pull are super friendly offering good feet and big jugs. Only thing that we hadn't planned for was the descent into Pine Creek Canyon South Fork. Lots of down-scrambling and 4 rappels bring you to the bottom. It took us nearly 3 hours.
MY RECOMMENDATION (If you're doing the whole shebang and going off Mescalito Peak on the south side): Start at 0600 when the park opens, walk to the beginning of the route with just the gear you're going to climb in, take extra water, take extra water, take extra water, (3 times, not a typo) do the climb and don't leave anything at the bottom of the climb, take extra water, bring a headlamp and enjoy the views from the big ledge with the tree - it's absolutely fabulous. Don't forget: TAKE EXTRA WATER!
|By Erik Atkinson|
From: Henderson, NV
Aug 18, 2009
Made copies of the route description directly from the Handren Guide which seemed to give great info until we got to the upper pitches. Like Aeon said, we had a hell of a time with pitch 6. We never saw a piton anchor, neither of us knew what the hell a "pod" was, and the only dirty gully we saw didn't appear to be part of this route at all. We never saw where to traverse left and up to any anchors, so we just built our own and kept going UP (that is the direction that we are all supposed to be going anyway, right!) The other sections of the description seemed to be fine, just pitch 6 sucked for us. Route finding is defiantly a good skill to possess and admittedly not my strong suit.
All in all, the climbing was great and beautiful. The notice earlier that the shade sets in around 11 is great if you are only climbing to pitch 4 and then rappelling off. If you plan to summit, Aeon gives solid advice to start EARLY, especially if it's your first time climbing this route. Oh and he is really not kidding about bringing extra water. I had 3 liters of water and burned through all of it by the time we hit the summit, making the decent (in the dark) and hike back to the packs and then the car quite unpleasant.
|By Doug Foust|
From: Henderson, Nevada
Sep 13, 2009
Climbed to the top, thought it was an awesome route. The routefinding seemed pretty straighfoward. I passed the belay spot on the 6th pitch and built a hanging belay about 60ft above. This allowed Mark to link the next two pitches and we ended up topping out in 8 pitches to the big tree ledge. Definately some technical climbing left to get to the top of Mescalito. We did three more short quick pitches still roped up to get to where we could scramble to the summit of Mescalito. Took about 3 hours to hike back to car(but it was raining so we moved slow)
Awesome day though!
|By John Hegyes|
From: Las Vegas, NV
Oct 1, 2009
Okay, Gigi and I summited via this route and it was awesome. Highly recommended. I posted the beta pictures for the full route, we climbed it in 11 pitches. I preserved the pitch numbering as listed in the Handren guide, but like everyone else we linked P1 and 2. So, nine pitches to the north shoulder and then two more up broken rock to the summit. And by the way, there is no mention of the final pitches being 3rd class in the Handren book - the final headwall is definitely fifth class - easy but exposed.
We climbed it Sept 29 and we were in the shade all day. We descended in the dark, down the Cat in the Hat rappels with a single rope. Do not attempt this unless you have done the Cat summit route from the ground up (I had done it twice to get it wired). The routefinding would be extremely difficult on this exposed descent if you've never done it before and using a single rope is tricky. That said, I think the Cat descent is the fastest way off the summit. Larry DeAngelo has good beta on the Cat summit route in his book "Red Rock Odyssey".
I hope that by posting the beta, more people will consider climbing the full route. But we should all do our best to retain the full-on adventure aspect of this long route. For example, I saw a lot of unecessarily chalked-up holds. Try to exhibit "leave no trace" and don't trash this route. And please don't place any more bolts.
Jan 19, 2010
Rapped each of first four pitches with a single 70 meter rope. Pitch 3 is a stretcher to rap, knot the ends!
|By Sherri Lewis|
From: Sequim, WA
Mar 29, 2010
Lucked out to get the route all to ourselves on a sunny Sunday afternonn. Did the first 4 pitches; took three hours to climb and descend moving at a comfortable pace. Excellent climbing all the way!
Two double rope rappels w/60m rope; 1st rap to top of P2, 2nd rap to pile of rocks and bush at left side of pool. Keep your ropes in slings as you rap helps to keep the ends dry.
In the morning, we warmed up by doing Y2K, a 4P route (which gets morning sun)just around the corner from Dark Shadows. Y2K is rated 5.10a, but other than the one-move bolt-protected crux on the 1st pitch(you can aid it if you need to), none of the other pitches had any moves harder than what you'd find on Dark Shadows. They make a nice combination for a full day of fun climbing at the grade.
From: Eldorado Springs, CO
Apr 15, 2010
Description of Pitches 5-10 for full route
addenda to Handren's description in italics
To access the upper pitches you'll need to use the anchor to the right and around the corner from the usual P4 one. There are a bolt and a pin in the seam leading up to a roof just above and to the left of the normal P4 anchors. This is not the route. Also note, that above P4 the route is more exposed to sun and wind.
P5, 120', 5.7
Follow the seam past bolt through an easy roof. Continue up left-trending crack to top of left-hand pillar.
P6, 120', 5.7
Step across the void and climb chimney. There is chimney to the left and an offwidth to the right. I didn't see the bolt and piton near the chimney mentioned by Handren at 30' and 60', respectively, and it's challenging to protect. As with the person before me I opted to climb the more solid varnished face to the right of the chimney, using the offwidth for pro. The only bolt I found was on a face to the right of the offwidth. You end up in the same place, the pod mentioned by Handren. Above the pod start moving up 20' and left 15' to a (now) single bolt anchor on a ledge below a crack.
P7, 120', 5.7
Climb finger crack to flake to small ledge below roof.
P8, 60', 5.7
Head around the right side of the roof, up crack and through a series of bushy ledges until you reach the base of twin cracks (look up and left from the first ledge).
note: I combined P7 and P8, after finding my options for gear placements fairly limited for an anchor at P7, belaying just below the first bushy ledge (we scrambled up to the actual belay later). It was difficult to communicate with J with the wind, but the rope drag wasn't too bad.
P9, 80-90' (110' per Handren), 5.7
Head up the twin cracks to a ledge with a single bolt anchor.
P10, 170', 5.8
Two options here. Handren describes a right-facing corner. To your left there's an obvious white sandstone dihedral, leading up to a blank (appearing) slab, then to the roof. There's also a shallower, varnished, but likewise right-facing corner to your right, which leads all the way to the roof. Either works. After the roof head up to a large ledge with trees below the summit.
Summit (optional P11)
From the route top out go up and left to start. There's a series of ramps interspersed by short technical sections (up to 5.7-5.8?). We soloed this but it could be done on rope with mindful management.
Only one of the anchors above P4 was rigged for a rap and only b/c someone had added webbing, but did check out the possible series of rap anchors as noted by asmrz. There were some anchors visible on neighboring routes (climber's left) but they seemed to go only part way up. Handren describes 2 summit walk-off options, noted to be less than ideal. We tried to find the top of Cat in the Hat without success. Eventually we found cairns that we thought would lead to one of the walk-offs. Instead (after some time) they took us to a series of 2 double rope rap stations that dumped us just upstream from the route.
Trip report here
Apr 19, 2010
Climbed the upper pitches after climbing Risky Business. After p4 of RB, traverse R on a ledge to a crack/chimney leading to the "hueco'd chimney" described in Handren. There is a chimney on the left and a hueco'd face and OW/handcrack on the right. righthand crack is easy, to a 1/4" rusty bolt, over a bulge. The "two-pin anchor" is a baby angle and a ring angle in a horizontal crack. As of 4/18, they do not have any sort of rap hardware on them, and can be hard to see if you are not looking hard. Continue up, then traverse left to a "ledge" with one bolt. A belay can be set here with good wires. It would probably be more comfy to set a belay about 15' below there on a sloping ledge with big cams, but as hanging stances go, it's not bad. Otherwise, fossana's description is great. The roof on the last pitch is perfect for the "Cliffhanger" move - grab the jugs, cut your feet, and have the belayer snap a photo.
To find the CITH descent, you need to go up. Follow occasional cairns and 3rd-easy 5th to the west until it becomes easy-ish to cut back towards the summit to the east of you. From the summit, go directly east, following the line of least resistance (cl3/4) down to a huge pine tree out on the prow. The rap anchors are slightly down and east of this, easily seen from the last tree. A 70 puts you within a few easy moves of the pine tree at the bottom. A short cl4 downclimb to the right on slightly crumbly rock takes you to ledge systems that make their way down and slightly (skiers) left to a (sometimes) cairned line-of-least-resistance route. Stay just slightly right of the vague ridge you're following, passing various pieces of tat on boulders, etc. Aim of the slabby white prow, home of the p6 anchors on CITH. Rap station to station with a 70. Best to climb CITH to the top to dial this descent, as John mentions above. Potentially more efficient in the long run to rap Peyote Power or the standard North side descent as described above, but you need a second rope, and this way is pretty scenic and quick if you know it.
Sep 10, 2010
We started out with Chasing Shadows as our goal, which you are suppose to be able to rap with just one rope. But once I got under Dark Shadows, we decided to do the first four pitches of DS. We had the beta from Handren which says you can rap from the top of DS fourth pitch to the anchor at the top of Chasing Shadows third pitch so off we went. I saw the bolt line(s) while I was climbing but never saw anchors at the top of third pitch, swung over to look for them, no sighting. Good news is we had a 70m and you can rap single line from top of 4th, just watch carefully as you rap to top of 2nd pitch. With a 70 you end up about 3 feet above the anchors on a little ledge. Great Labor Day weekend climbing, no one there, no lines, us desert rats like it that way!!!
|By jeremy ward|
From: las vegas, nevada
Jan 12, 2011
definantly take this route to the summit! the upper pitches and decent totally make the route. plenty of great beta on the earlier posts describing both. have fun! great summer rr route.
|By Joseph Stover|
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Mar 16, 2011
On Saturday 3/12/2011, there was a serious leader fall to the ledge on the 3rd pitch (the long 5.8 corner). Please be careful, and place enough protection to keep from hitting the ledge. The rock can also seem slick.
|By Joe Cayer|
From: Mesa, Az
Jun 1, 2011
I'd had a " High Gravity " day on a prior attempt to climb this route before. I made it to the 2nd belay ledge and had to bail, mentally I just didn't have it that day!
Climbed Dark Shadows on Fri., May 27, 2011. Fantastic climb and we had the route to ourselves. I combined pitches 1 & 2, swung lead with my friend Dick and then I finished up on pitch 4. I'm so glad I went back to climb this one, I enjoyed the entire climb and will probably climb it again!
|By Sam Daley|
From: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Jan 7, 2012
After 10 days at Red Rocks this was my favorite.
|By Nelson Day|
From: Victorville, CA
Mar 5, 2012
The Handren guide book says to bring a single rack to 3". Not enough gear! At least for me. I place gear about every 7-10 feet typically on lead. I got about 70 feet up the third pitch, pulled around the roof and looked up at another 40-50 feet of climb to the pitch 3 anchor. I looked down at my rack and had only 3 pieces left, and they were all the wrong size. The upper portion of pitch 3 takes small gear (smaller than 1"). I down led back to the pitch two anchor, pulling gear as I down climbed, and then rapped to the bottom with daylight fading. Note: a typical single rack is ~10 cams... Sad! This route is stellar! Really good moves on really good rock. I would recommend a single rack to 3" with doubles up to 1" for sure. That would have allowed me to finish the climb... I linked the first two pitches together, which made for a ~150 foot first pitch, but wasn't bad. Even with my single rack. The two bolts on pitch one are adequate protection for the entire first 70 feet to the anchor. After you clip the second bolt, the slab eases up and the climbing really isn't bad all the way to the first anchor. Just clip the first anchor with a sling and continue up the dihedral to the second pitch anchor. In short, you don't need any more pro than the two bolts on the entire first pitch.
The bottom of the rope fell straight into the creek at the base of the climb from the rap at the pitch 2 anchor, but I guess that is to be expected on this climb. I was using twin/half ropes, and they dried well over night. As such, I would recommend doing this route at the end of your climbing day to allow your rope to dry out over night.
From: Las Vegas, NV
Apr 1, 2012
If you want to keep your rope dry on the last rappel hang a draw on the bolt. Pull your ropes so the draw catches and then do a little climbing & down climbing to recover draw.
|By Rob Fielding|
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jun 1, 2012
For Spring/Summer, the first 4 pitches don't get shaded until afternoon, maybe a little earlier.
Finally topped out on the route, wouldn't recommend the entire route for hotter Vegas days, you'll be baking in the sun on all the pitches and wishing you were in an ice bath.
The route is worth while to the top, lots of great pitches, you won't be dissapointed, the final 2 pitches have some shatty rock, you might want to stay roped up. As of 06/12, the South Pine Creek descent is very well cairned. You can rap it w/ a single 60m, and it goes pretty quick. Once at the wash, it's about 45-60 min back to the car.
For a rack, single to 4" w/ extras in 0.5"-2".
W/ a 70m rope, you can link 1/2, 3/4, 7/8, 9/10. If linking 3/4, you might want to bring a little extra gear.
Jun 12, 2012
Emily and Rob, We accidently walked off with your rope bag today 6-12-12 after sharing Dark Shadows with you. One of my partners thought it was mine as I have the same bag. With wet ropes, we didn't use bags for the trek out. We apologize! Please post a mailing address or send to my e-mail and I will send it back immediately! Did not post to forums because I thought you would look here first.
Dec 13, 2012
Linked first two pitches. P3 was awesome! You can sew it up (and I did), mostly with nuts. To the poster who said he needed double cams to get up the pitch....I brought a double rack to 2" with a 3", only to get to the end of P3 and find I had more than an entire single rack of cams still hanging off my harness. Good weight training, I guess.
For the first 4 pitches, single rack .3 to 3" with a full set of nuts (4-12 BD) and a few tri-cams (pink, blue, red) and I had gear to spare.
Rope got a little wet on the way down.
Good climb, but COLD back there.
|By Matt Pesce|
From: moab, ut.
Mar 11, 2013
Topped out on Mescalito in 12 roped pitches...ran 1 & 2,3 & 4 together rock up high is different but awesome in a different way. Descended CIH with 1 70m barely !
|By Nate Flink|
From: Minneapolis, MN
Mar 30, 2013
Superb route! Crowded. Easy to rap from top of 4th pitch from LOWER anchors with 60m rope. At least 3 sets of bolts at top of pitch 4, used the lowest ones I could see. Rap to intermittent anchor from Chasing Shadows, then to pitch 2, pitch 1, then ground.
|By Phil Esra|
Apr 4, 2013
Tied with Clyde Minaret and Braille Book as my all-time favorite 5.8s.
From: Oak Park, CA
Apr 12, 2013
Possible to rap from top of P4 with a 70 in three raps, if comfortable with finishing via easy downclimbing. First rap down to Chasing Shadows anchor, then to Dark Shadows P2 anchor, and from there down to the easy face just below P1 first bolt. Second the comment about clipping that first bolt and using that to keep rope dry when pulling. Linkable P1 and P2. Amazing P3 and P4.
May 2, 2013
I would like to suggest to the administrators to update the route description to 8 pitches and to include fossana's description of the upper pitches.