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Redgarden - Tower One
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Mellow Fellow 

YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ British: E5 6a

Type: Trad, Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Suggested by Chace and R. Briggs
Page Views: 2,650
Submitted By: Steve Levin on May 17, 2001
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  • Description 

    This is another linkup for the uninhibited. Mellow Fellow combines the exciting, strenuous Vertigo Die-rect roof, the classic Vertigo, and the complete Mellow Yellow to produce a stiff bit of Eldorado mayhem.

    Begin on the West Redgarden trail, a bit beyond the popular Mr. Natural.

    P1: Climb a clean, sparsely protected offset dihedral (5.9) to a belay just below the huge roof (2-bolt anchor).
    P2: Tackle the roof (crux of Vertigo Die-rect, 5.11d) after arranging the requisite assortment of gear - a bit of a pump getting this all in. Proceed to the Vertigo ledge.
    P3: Combine P1 & P2 of Vertigo, fun, well-protected 5.9 corners. Belay at a spectacular ledge with a 2-bolt anchor.
    P4: Combine P3 & P4 of Vertigo, the crux, overhanging dihedral (5.11b) and the roof finish. Doing the dihedral and roof together creates one of the finest 5.11 leads in the canyon.
    From the summit, work north to the upper, upper reaches of the Upper Ramp, to a point 90 feet below an imposing, A-framed roof (Mellow Yellow).
    P5: Climb corners up and right under the roof (licheny, 5.9 or so), tackle the roof crux, then up and slightly right to a stance with slings.
    P6: Proceed up a corner with less-than-inspiring gear, and either climb it directly (5.11c), or find some buckets on the right edge to shoot for (a little spooky but easier, maybe 5.11b). Now punch straight up the headwall and belay.
    P7: Climb the steep, blank face above clipping a few bolts on the way. This is the crux of the linkup, a very sharp, technical bit of 5.12a (or harder). Continue up the nebulous upper reaches of the wall.

    Now do a lap on the Naked Edge to warm down.


    The usual little gadgets and stuff, including RPs, TCUs or Aliens, nuts, and cams to 3". The rock is generally sound, although a couple sections (in particular the Vertigo Die-rect roof) climb through broken, maroon bands and are somewhat fractured. Expect to climb up to 5.9 or low-end 5.10 a bit above your gear, with bad fall potential. The cruxes protect well, although placing gear can be strenuous. The technical crux (the Mellow Yellow headwall) is protected by a couple of (widely spaced) bolts...mid-'80s vintage.

    Photos of Mellow Fellow Slideshow Add Photo
    Phil Gruber pulling the 11d+ roof on Mellow Yellow
    Phil Gruber pulling the 11d+ roof on Mellow Yellow
    Josh Janes gets the big swing as he fall-ows the crux roof on Mellow-Yellow. Photo taken by Tony Bubb, 2004. (see next picture)
    Josh Janes gets the big swing as he fall-ows the c...
    Comments on Mellow Fellow Add Comment
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    By David A. Turner
    Nov 28, 2001

    Another great link-up is Suparete to Doub-Griffith to Mellow Yellow ("Hello Jello"?). David A. Turner

    By Dr. Dan
    Dec 3, 2002
    rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a

    Another link up that is fun and not as hard as the Vertigo start is to do the direct start (10b) on the Yellow Spur. At the top of P4 go right up a lose ramp until you are under a large bulge. The bulge is solid and fun and looks harder than it is (9). Once over the bulge angle right up into the big roof on Mellow Yellow. Climb the roof using the crimp on the right facing wall and reach for a pincher hold out left. Once over the roof there are ample tiny crimp holds, but no pro. Move right about 8 ft to a some fixed gear and a sling. From there work up and slightly right again to a corner and climb an 11c slot on less than inspiring pro to exit. The rest of the climb is covered as above.

    By jason seaver
    From: Estes Park, CO
    Mar 12, 2003

    Does anyone know what I might find for gear in the first Mellow Yellow roof? Is there gear in the roof itself, or do you have to gun it off gear at the top of the slab?Sincerely,Cowardly Fellow

    By Brad Bond
    Mar 12, 2003

    There is a fairly decent pin in the middle of the roof, which protects the crux getting to the lip(5.11d +). Have a 2.5 friend ready to fire into a bomber placement just above the lip, then be prepared for 10+ slab moves to the belay stance.

    By Andy Donson
    Mar 13, 2003

    Plus, if you use double ropes you can utilize an excellent nut placement (#5 I think) in the flake on the left wall before embarking.

    By jason seaver
    From: Estes Park, CO
    Mar 17, 2003

    Thanks for the info guys. I guess I have no excuse not to give it a try now......

    By Dr. Dan
    Feb 27, 2004
    rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a

    Probably a little late, but there is a good fixed pin in the vertical seam going up to the roof that is bomber (would be a nasty swing if you came off above the roof). There is a fixed nut with a sling about 8 feet to the right after you get over the roof. There is fixed gear right below the second roof.

    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    May 27, 2005
    rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a

    The swing off of the pin isn't that bad. I've taken a few bombers on it! The belay above the roof still sucks a little though. I replaced most of it last fall, but it really leaves something to consider before you want to lead fall from the 11c pitch onto it.

    By Jesse Huey
    Sep 15, 2012

    My favorite Eldo Link Up:

    First pitch of the Wisdom, 10d, to Scary Canary crux, 12b, to linking Le Toit, 10b - Plastic Jesus, 11-, up the ramp to the Mellow Fellow linking the 5.11d with the 11c, finish with the 5.12 boulder problem finish!

    Not to be missed!

    Sidebar: I took Honnold up here: he linked the entire Mellow Fellow into the Direct in a single 80 meter pitch, and he didn't seem to break a sweat, seriously amazing to watch.