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Jackrabbit Buttress
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Geronimo 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: Bill Cramer, Michelle Cramer, 5/92.
Page Views: 13,895
Submitted By: Jake Wyatt on Dec 28, 2003

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Starting P3.

Description 

A relatively new, but already quite popular, climb. (Makes you wonder how many other nice unclimbed routes there are further back and higher up in the various canyons....)

Approach as per Crimson Chrysalis, but before reaching the gully which separates the canyon, take a trail up towards the base of the buttress. The trails to the base of the climb aren't as well defined as the main trail, but are certainly easy enough to stay on. Like so many of the approaches in Red Rocks, the difficulty is often deciding which of the various trail branches to follow.

The climb starts at the base of the face, at a prominent crack.

P1: Climb a long pitch up the face (surprisingly steep in places), with generally good pro in the crack. The pitch ends at a huge forested terrace. Belay at or near the boulders.

P2: Negotiate your way to the back of the terrace, and climb a crack just left of the huecoed face. Climb up to an intermediate platform with a huge boulder (possible belay), or (if you have a 60m rope) stretch it out another 50 feet to the next large terrace. Watch for rope drag if you skip the intermediate belay.

P3: Again relocate to the back of the terrace, and begin climbing a crack in the face. This face itself has a second tier, so use long runners to avoid rope drag. Aim for left of a left facing, arching dihedral. You'll go up (and well out of sight of your belayer) beyond the top of that arc, past a couple delicate stemming moves, to a small stance in another dihedral. Be careful of your anchor placements here, because one of the cracks is bisected with a flexing flake.

P4: Go up and slightly left from the belay, then up and right, hugging the exposed arete 50' to the summit of the pinnacle. The gear is a little sparse on this last pitch.

Descent: Do a double rope rappel from the summit to the top of P2, then a series of single rope rappels down the chimney that winds up 50' right of the start of the climb.Avoid the temptation to use your second rope to get down the chimney more quickly, as several sections of the chimney look to be hungry.

Protection 

Standard rack.


Photos of Geronimo Slideshow Add Photo
Honey smile for the humans
Honey smile for the humans
Looking at Geronimo from the East (outside of the canyon). This is on the North side of Oak Creek Canyon.
BETA PHOTO: Looking at Geronimo from the East (outside of the ...
The start of some runout face climbing, our pitch 6.
The start of some runout face climbing, our pitch ...
John leading pitch 3.
John leading pitch 3.
First pitch
BETA PHOTO: First pitch
At the end of pitch three.
At the end of pitch three.
The start of the second pitch.
The start of the second pitch.
Taken at the end of the pitch shown in John Hegyes' photo.  The summit in the upper center of the photo is the normal end of the route (top of pitch 4).
Taken at the end of the pitch shown in John Hegyes...
John starting up pitch 1.
John starting up pitch 1.
Kansas Party topping out!
Kansas Party topping out!
Stellar first pitch of Geronimo
Stellar first pitch of Geronimo
Looking up pitch one of Geronimo.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up pitch one of Geronimo.
The top of the first pitch.
The top of the first pitch.
Portland climbers, 3/28/07.
Portland climbers, 3/28/07.
second pitch
BETA PHOTO: second pitch
Climber from Portland approaching P2 belay, 3/28/07.
Climber from Portland approaching P2 belay, 3/28/0...
Ross leading pitch 2.
Ross leading pitch 2.
The locals greeted us on our way out from Geronimo
The locals greeted us on our way out from Geronimo
John on the first rap.
John on the first rap.
Kim at the 3rd pitch belay about to follow the 4th and final pitch.
BETA PHOTO: Kim at the 3rd pitch belay about to follow the 4th...
Leading the last pitch of Geronimo
Leading the last pitch of Geronimo
Geronimo start
BETA PHOTO: Geronimo start
Tanner climbing at the top of Pitch 3...
Tanner climbing at the top of Pitch 3...
After topping out on the four-pitch Geronimo, we just couldn't stop climbing. The pitch pictured here went at 5.6 or 5.7 and featured stellar quality rock. The final pitch included fun but runout slab followed by a chossy 5.8+ chimney. This led to the summit of Jackrabbit Buttress and a walkoff by way of Brownstone Wall.
BETA PHOTO: After topping out on the four-pitch Geronimo, we j...

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 23, 2014
By Scott Conner
From: Lyons, CO
Feb 25, 2004

This is a fun route. It can be done on a fast Olive Oil day if you're looking for more 5.6/5.7 climbing...

Try to leave yourself plenty of time to deal with "snags" on the descent. It's probably the crux of the whole climb.
By John Peterson
Mar 8, 2004

Maybe this has gotten better over the years. Maybe it hasn't. But all I remember are wandering, unmemorable pitches, breaking off holds, crawling through holly bushes, and the worlds worst descent line. If somebody installs a better descent I might try it again but until then I'm not going to risk losing a rope in the bottomless cracks at the back of the chimney. If this is a 2 star route then Olive Oil is a 5 star route.

John
By ScottN
Mar 18, 2004

The climbing is okay, the descent sucks. When we climbed it we were stuck behind a SUPER slow party on the last 2 pitches. This party proceded to get a rop stuck on EACH chimmeny rappel. They ended up cutting 2 different ropes because of this. Luckily, we learned from them and didn't get any ropes stuck, however I find it a miracle that we kept both ropes intact. Either way there are better climbs in RR with shorter approaches, better rock, and more mellow descents. I'd give this route one star, nice setting, but horrible descent.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 18, 2004

I've not done this route, but can you scramble over the top and drop down left into Juniper Canyon as stated for MysterZ? This probably takes at least as long as the raps, but at least spares you the aggrevation of stuck ropes ...
By Larry DeAngelo
Administrator
From: Las Vegas, NV
Mar 26, 2004

You can continue up to the base of the Brownstone Wall with a few more pitches-- maybe 1 or 2 in the 5.7 range, then easier until you reach the third class. This gives you the advantage of missing the rappel, but also allows a fairly logical linkup with something like Black Dagger. This would be a good long day of climbing at a pretty moderate grade.
By Woody Stark
Apr 7, 2004

Why oh why doesn't someone put in some rational rap anchors away from that sh...y crack. I'm not going to climb it again so it won't be me. The crack's a graveyard for ropes.
By Jake Wyatt
From: Longmont, CO
Apr 8, 2004

Actually, Woody, I think that process may have already begun. When I was on the route last December, the rap point on one of the intermediate rap stations (anchored off of a tree) had been extended down about 20 or 30 feet. It made getting on rappel a little awkward, but the rope pulled relatively cleanly.

I feel your pain, though. The raps on this route aren't fun.
By Kurt Arend
Jul 16, 2004
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

The route is a great route. On the descent stay out of the chimneys! Some nice soul added two bolts on the top of the terrace so its 1 50m rap to the tree at the end of the raps. then just on more rap to the ground. very easy and quick.
By Chris Michalowski
Nov 27, 2004

Having climbed cat in the hat, johnny vegas and geronimo all in the same week I would say geronimo is by far my least favorite simply for the horrible descent. The rock is also pretty fragile and makes me cringe just thinking about it. The one redeeming quality of this route is the consistent steepness (minus the huge belay ledges) and the last short pitch is pretty cool. The exposure will pull at your spurs ha. If you ever have the chance to let a soloist climber rap down with you take it. On our second rap he volunteered to climb up and unstuck our ropes which was nice while I sat on my ass and ate food.
By Howie
From: CALGARY
Aug 24, 2005
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Climbed this last March. Three of us thought it was a great little route. Wonderful big holds but yes steep in places. No problems with rap if you are very careful when pulling ropes.
By Michael Allen
Jan 22, 2006

Climbed this route yesterday (Jan. 21, 2006) and thought I could provide some updated info.
(P1) There is now webbing and cordage, equipped with one quick link and one biner, slinging a very large boulder at the top of pitch one.
(P2) The next large terrace at the top of pitch two now has a two bolt belay/rappel anchor. (Some people end pitch two at a smaller ledge approx. 50 feet below but this is totally unnecessary if you're using a 60 meter rope, although it is almost a full rope length to the anchors with a 60m.)
(P3) No changes. Build your own anchor at the small, sloping ledge approx. 60 feet below the summit.
(P4) No changes. Two bolt belay/rappel anchor at the summit.
(Descent) Here's the best news. You can now get down to the base of the climb with just three double rope rappels. From the anchors at the summit rap down to the terrace at the top of P2. From the anchors at this terrace you can rap to the terrace at the top of P1. From there you can rap from the aforementioned webbing and cordage to the base. When you pull your ropes after each rappel, get as far away from the cliff face as possible and this will make it almost impossible for your knot to get hung up. (P.S. Before each rappel check to be sure there are no parties coming up your rappel line as this climb has the potential for several variations of ascent.)
(IMO) I gave this route two stars but would have given it two and a half if given the option. Fun, relaxing climb with great views. I did not rate this climb for difficulty but would have no argument with someone who thought there were some moves harder than 5.6.
By Matthew Fienup
Administrator
From: Ventura, CA
Feb 24, 2006

As an experienced climber who was new to Red Rocks, the rock quality on P1 simply scared the crap out of me.

I do not recommend this route to anyone who isn't already super comfortable on Red Rocks sandstone. Also, this is far from a beginner's route.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 26, 2006

We linked this last week to Armatron, and found this combo to be great fun! However, I would warn people about continuing past the normal end of the route. Significant routefinding is required, and it is more runout and difficult than anything on the first 4 pitches. If you thought p1 was scary, do not continue past p4! Yes, the rock on p1 is fragile, but at least you can get pro in as often as you like.

We followed the route described by John Hegyes in his beta photo, at least for one long pitch. Just getting to the base of the pitch in his photo is nontrivial and involves some scary bushwhacking above drop-offs. John's tongue-in-cheek comment "The final pitch included fun but runout slab followed by a chossy 5.8+ chimney" should not be taken lightly. I think we did the same finish, although we found a way to avoid the (squeeze) chimney, but still experienced some pretty run-out 5.8 face climbing.

Depends on which way you go, though, maybe there is a well protected 5.6 finish, we just didn't find it.
By Anthony Anagnostou
From: nyc
Jun 1, 2006

honestly, i dont want to join the stick-in-the-mud crowd, but i think this route just isn't special. there is nothing memorable on it. it doesnt (via normal ascent) top out. there is no line. it'd beyond me why so many people slog out to climb this thing.

do olive oil instead. or johnny vegas. or cat in the hat. or birdland. or black dagger. or physical graffiti. or the great red book.
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Mar 27, 2008
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I cant believe how popular this route is given that it is probably only mediocre in terms of overall quality and aesthetics compared to the other classic 5.6/5.7s in the park!

At any rate- pretty decent route. Definitely avoid the gully of doom by doing three double rope rappels essentially straight down the route.

I also noticed enough tat around that I think you could do single rope raps to the top of pitch 1, and then double rope down to the ground, but I wasnt productive enough to test it.

Also, watch the pull on the last rap- its a beast because the rap station isnt extended far enough.
By Steve123
Apr 4, 2008

This is a fun route but both rappel lines are unpleasant.

From the pitch 2 ledge you can rappel back down the route in 2 double-rope rappels, but be prepared to re-lead the route to free up your stuck ropes as both rappels are rope-eaters. (I watched two parties do this and their ropes got stuck on each rappel.) The standard descent line from the chains on the pitch 2 ledge can be done as two double-rope rappels or four single-rope rappels. This gully/crack system is also a rope-eater. Our ropes got stuck when doing the standard descent with double-rope raps, but not with single-rope raps.

Starting the rappel from the second (if double-roped) or third (if single roped) standard rappel ledge can be quite unnerving for inexperienced climbers, as the rings are extended a long distance (10 feet or so) away from the anchor tree.
By Michael Collins
May 5, 2008

I don't understand some of the comments about this route, we thought it was great.
It doesn't top out: There are plenty of quality routes in RR that don't top out.
There is no line: I can only remember the second half of P2 not following any line. The P4 arete was pretty straight forward. Besides, I can recall route wondering and needing to read route descriptions to not go wrong on many climbs. The Olive Oil traverse for example.
Rock quality on P1: No problems with quality. Perhaps it is because we are not experienced with Red Rocks sandstone? We didn't know we were on bad rock?
Unpleasant rappel lines: Michael Allen's descent description is spot on. With those big ledges I don't see why anyone would stand right in front of the cracks/chimneys when pulling the ropes. Can't comment on single rope raps though, we used doubles.
Overall we loved this route. Nice easy steep climbing on P1. First half of P2 was a nice crack/face climb, on the second half I got some pretty bad rope drag. P3 was great, I loved it all the way, it just got better and better with a nice passage ending it. P4 was short but I loved the exposure on the arete.
Maybe it's because we are from Sweden... We just don't have routes like this back at home.
Or maybe it's because we had no expectations of a great route due to the comments here. In that case I might be giving future readers great expectations only to dissapoint them? Hmm...
I've changed my mind! This route is garbage! It's crap!! If you climb it you'll be disappointed!
By BJ Sbarra
From: Carbondale, CO
Mar 24, 2009

I agree, this is a fun route. It's a mellow romp up a nice cliff, and makes for a great day of moderate climbing if you link it with Olive Oil. The 2nd rap was a little difficult to pull, be sure to move your knot as close to the edge as possible. Also, there was no bad rock anywhere on this route. And I'd probably link the last two pitches with a 70 if I ever did it again.
By OliverS
From: Las Vegas, NV
Dec 5, 2009

Inadvertently bypassed the belay station at the top of pitch 3. Ended up 10 ft short of the bolted anchors at the top and built my own anchor using the nice crack just at the top. With a 70 m rope, it would be easy to combine pitch 3+4. BTW: Jerry Handren's book lists the last 2 pitches at 160' + 90' for a total of 250'. That is obviously wrong - otherwise my 60 m (200') rope wouldn't have gotten me as close to the bolted anchors at the top as it did.

Did 3 raps with double ropes and although I took every precaution, we got the rope stuck twice. Free soloed 20 ft up pitch 2 and rope soloed all the way back up on pitch one (tails from the EDK got wrapped around a flake during pulling - can you believe it?)

I still enjoyed the exposure and big holds this route has to offer.
By Jesse Morehouse
From: CO
Dec 9, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Fun route and I thought it was pretty well protected. Must have cleaned up in the past few years? We combined P3 & 4 with a 60m rope- just used a few double length slings in places and had a little rope drag at the very end. Rapped the whole thing with a single 60 using the intermediate rap station on the first rap which was a great anchor extended from a tree and a chockstone. Followed the rap line down to the gully. What a lot of raps! We were patient and did all the short raps with no rope issues. Patience grasshopper... The interminable little raps would be the one reason Id not do this again but the route was fun.

Regarding the grade, if Johnny Vegas and Solar are 5.6 then this was 5.5. Steep in places sure but way easier climbing and Im not sure if I ever had to make a move with no insanely positive jug more than one move away!
By Floridaputz
From: Oakland Park, Florida
Mar 23, 2010

We went to do Mystery Z but a super slow party forced us over to Geronimo. The climbing was pretty easy but the logistics of the route could be a little tricky for an inexperienced party. Yes, the rap's were a pain in the ass. This would be good route for new trad leaders to gain experience. Route finding, pitch length and the rap's all add up to make a good adventure.
By Jay Holland
From: Henderson, NV
May 16, 2010

Nothing special on the way up, nice long pitches. Very possitive holds , good belay stations. Hot in the sun, would have been a good early spring choice. Should have tried the double rope rap down original route. The gully Suuuuuuuuuuucks.
By RedRockRat
Nov 9, 2010

Any thoughts on topping it out? I saw the one beta picture, any other thoughts, comments, rants, etc.?
By Larry DeAngelo
Administrator
From: Las Vegas, NV
Nov 11, 2010

Hey Rat, the topout makes the route a bit bigger and more adventurous; definitely worthwhile. When I have been up there, we climbed the crack system about 50 feet up and to the right of the line marked in the John Hegyes photo. It was also a click or two harder than the lower route. If you just want to get up to the base of the Brownstone Wall, it is easier to go up Myster Z.
By Josh Cameron
From: Moab, Colorado
Jan 12, 2011
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

I have to agree with Michael Allen; this is a super fun route. I enjoyed this more than "Cat in the Hat." It's a good beginner route or a mellow day for the more seasoned climber. The climbing just gets better with each pitch, with pitch 3 being my favorite. Due to the abundant face holds, it's like climbing a ladder. Also, this route has cleaned up nicely, though my partner did break a foot hold on the arete last pitch.

Instead of belaying at the standard third pitch belay with the hollow flake in the crack, when we got to the clean stemming corner we did a short and easy traverse to a small ledge on the left and built a belay in horizontal cracks. The lower crack takes #2 C4's and the upper crack takes medium and smallish cams. This makes the last pitch longer by only 20 feet or so and seemed to offer a better belay anchor.

For rappeling, we did three double rope raps back to the base. I followed some of the advice here and walked all the way to the far side of the ledge when I pulled my ropes and had no problems until the last rap when my ropes got stuck around a knob. Luckily, a party showed up right then and tossed our ropes down for us.

I'm calling it a 5.5, not a 5.6.
By Sam Stephens
Mar 28, 2011
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I'm pretty sure I topped this route out all the way to where there were anchors to rap off of. First pitch was straightforward up the crack to a huge ledge. Second pitch, up the face and crack to a ledge, then head off again bypassing that belay stance to another large ledge. For the third pitch we went up to a left facing corner where I got a belay in a flake with some .75-1 size pieces on a small ledge. After that I headed just a little off to the right from the belay and then straight up the face and arete. We definitely topped out. Here's the photo of us on top. The party in front of us went up the face about 100 feet right of the line up to the left facing corner and had a fun time finding their way to the top. We had a blast on this climb and I'd definitely recommend it for an easy relaxing day out. Seems like it has definitely cleaned up a lot since the first comments about it.
top of geronimo <br />
top of geronimo
By Mike Caruso
May 4, 2011
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Started up this for a fourth time only to have my partner fall and injure his ribs on P2 when a hold broke off. Thanks to DJ, Rose and Jen for letting us share your raps.
By Jared R
Feb 27, 2012

Great Route! The first pitch was an amazing lead and was not to be missed. Great gear the entire way and like Markk said great lunch spots too.
By BruceB
From: Reno, NV
May 2, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

This is a fun romp, steep with big holds. Except for the crux which requires a couple of slabby/stemming moves on pitch 3, but even here there's some good holds just where you'd want them. Pitch 4 is a bit runout, but it's straight forward.

The thing that spoils this climb is the decent. We did the double rope rappel down pitch 3 and 4, then the 4 singles down the chimney. It's not the time rquired to do this, but the anxiety that's an issue. On 3 of the 4 rope pulls the rope got a bit stuck, but fortunately pulled free with some effort. The 3rd single rope rappel station is kinda crazy - 12 feet horizontal first over a gaping chasm. I'm amazed the rope didn't disappear into it when we pulled it.

There are rap stations to do double rope rappels down each of pitch 1 and 2, but those faces are so featured they don't seem any better. Maybe they are?

For 5.6, this is noticably easier than Cat in the Hat.
By Mtnfly
From: El Segundo, Ca
Feb 4, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

Fun climb. No stuck ropes. I thought the end of pitch 2 was runout over some white rock with very limited protection. The climbing is very easy, but it was very airy and I wish. I had some pro, because I was nervous of breaking off friable rock.
By Travis Spaulding
From: Las Vegas, NV.
Feb 20, 2013

For what it's worth, many people on this route tend to get into trouble by following the guide book, which states to descend via the gully. There have been rap stations added since the route was put up, that didn't make it into the Handren guide.

It's still a rope eater either way, but being aware of your pull location and certain edges will help. I have rapped this with two 60s, but 70s make for a nice cushion.

From the top, a long two rope rap takes you to the top of P2. On the right (North) side of this ledge, is another rap station. Place close attention to the tat nest at both of these stations, I cut some of it out the other day but it still has some trash left. When you pull, it's best to do so by walking the ropes out towards the edge of the ledge. Make sure and give a good tug as the rope comes loose, as it can catch many small flakes on this pull.

Another long rap will take you to the large ledge at the top of P1. Again, you should walk the ropes out away from the wall before your pull. The final rap station is the large boulder that has slings placed under it near the edge of the ledge.

The final rap will be to the ground. It's best to keep well left of the giant rope eating crack, and on the pull you should walk the ropes across the draw and pull as far away as possible. For this rap, if you have the rope length, it will help to batman the knot down about 10 feet past the edges under the station. This is the rap that I have had the most trouble with.

All in all, it's a fun route at the grade that gets better as you go. The approach can be a bit of a bear, but for a moderate climb with good exposure, it can be worth a go.
By saxfiend
Administrator
From: Decatur, GA
May 12, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

This was a thoroughly enjoyable route from start to finish. Mostly easygoing, but there's something to keep you interested on every pitch. I'm guessing the route has cleaned up a lot with traffic since the early comments were posted as we encountered no loose rock or breaking holds.

Not sure why anyone would have issues with the descent. It's easily the most casual and straightforward one I've encountered so far back in the canyons. A minimal amount of effort will keep your ropes from getting snagged when you pull after rapping.
By alleyehave
From: San Diego, CA
Jan 20, 2014
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

This was a super chill route that we did as two groups with a couple of newer climbers. It is a great route for anyone looking for an introductory to multi pitch climbing with ONE caveat. We had zero issues with rapping the route. But be aware of your direction of pull, walk out on the ledge as far as you safely can and be cautious. If you take the time and use your head you'll have no problems.

I'd recommend it, but it is becoming more popular due to its lax climbing and relatively easy approach....
By Fan Z.
From: Washington, DC
Apr 7, 2014

Climbed with JH on 4/5/14. Moderate temps, but cold when cloudy. Fantastic exposure for the grade, especially P4, which was relatively harder to protect than the other pitches. Did a double rope rappel to top of P2, followed by seemingly infinite (4) single rope raps with a 70m down the gully/chimney. Pulled rope carefully each time and didn't have any stuck rope issues, but the endless raps detracted a little from what was otherwise a fantastic moderate climb.
By Royal
From: Henderson, NV
May 23, 2014
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Oh wow. The holds are HUGE on this route. Jugfest anyone? It might be more like 5.5 with small bits of 5.6 than anything else. Fantastic fun.
By Gustavo Bemfica
From: São Paulo, Brazil
1 hour ago

Found someone's belongings on the route. Please contact me if it is yours.