Beginning Feb. 1st each year, a seasonal wildlife closure will be in effect on Redgarden Wall in Eldorado Canyon State Park to protect nesting and roosting sites of the canyon’s falcons. The closure is in effect through July 31st unless lifted early due to early fledging or inactivity.
The closure includes the following climbing routes: The Naked Edge (last 3 pitches only), The Diving Board, Centaur, Redguard (last 3 pitches only), Red Ant, Semi-Wild, Anthill Direct (last 3 pitches only), and The Sidetrack.
Psychosis is on the W/SW face of Redgarden Wall, and thus it gets morning shade and afternoon sun. The route begins from the same ledge as The Yellow Spur and Vertigo, and is more or less half way between the direct starts of these two routes.
Go up the Redgarden Wall trail from the Streamside trail until a metal ladder takes you up just beside the large boulder against the wall. The dihedral just above the ladder on the wall, behind the boulder, is Schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a 5.8** approach pitch to Psychosis and will deposit you more or less at the base of the route.
If you do not want to climb Schizophrenia, continue up several switch-backs until a broad ledge appears as for the approach The Yellow Spur. Cut back S/SW on this ledge at the base of the rock to an impressive looking evergreen (Douglas Fir). Just down and right of the tree is a weakness in the large roof, some 15' or so from the ledge.
P1) Climb up and over this roof on small but positive holds with poor protection (10a/b, S). This is essentially a mantel move with one high reach. Short climbers will find this more difficult than those who are tall. After that sequence, some gear can be had here and there for the rest of the way up, the now more moderate pitch. A belay is reached soon, as this is a fairly short pitch.
P2) Climb up and left to a junky and nondescript right facing dihedral to a ledge, which can afford a belay, the position of which will depend on how you will do the 3rd pitch, so that is where the belay is described. Better yet, don't do this pitch at all and instead do the 2nd pitch of 3 Old Farts Young At Heart (10d) which adds challenge and quality to the line.
P2a) Climb up directly above the belay on P1 through a crack. This crack splits a short dark section of rock which passes through a small roof (crux, 10d). This pitch consists of good rock with good gear.
P3) The standard finish of Psychosis. From the top of P2 ledge, move up and left on the ledge, then up again to a good stance to belay. From the belay, traverse down and right (5.10d) to a 5.10a handcrack, which goes to the op of the wall and deposits the climbing party on the top of the upper ramp. Some people find the traverse frightening due to its position and lack of gear.
P3a) The better finish of Psychosis. From the top of P2, arrange the belay as if directly above P2a. There is an enormous overhanging wall which a handcrack and pockets galore directly above you. Climb it (5.11a) until the angle eases off to where the standard finish merges with the crack at the end of its traverse. Continue to the top on the handcrack (5.10a). There is a little questionable rock on the overhang, but the holds for the climb and the crack are good and take good gear; it is better and probably safer than the standard finish, although harder.
From the top of the route, some length and quality can be added by finishing your day on Italian Arete or Body Tremors.
The protection in some places leaves a little to be desired. Take a standard Eldo Rack and make sure you have small gear with you. Some of the runouts can be avoided by taking the harder alternate pitches of "3 Old Farts..." and the 5.11 finish instead of the 5.10 finish.
I just did this route for the first time monday 11/12/01 and was very impressed. As described, we did p1 of psychosis; p2a, which is '3 old farts. . . ' (the last pitch of that routye looks very good!); and the direct .11- finger to hand crack 'variation' described as p3a.Next time I'll combine the two lower pitches into one as they were rather short. Fun, diverse climbing with nice position and increasing difficulties as you ascend. We were surprised that this route doesn't have more of a reputation as the gear is all very reasonable, and overall we thought it to be more sustained and every bit as good, if not better, than Vertigo. A great addition to this site.
It is possible to test your rope management skills by leading Psychosis in one pitch with a 70m rope (or 60m rope with the 2nd simul-climbing a little). I tried this once, and did not exactly pass the test. It was, however, rather entertaining for my belayer.
I just did this route for a second time this morning. It is stellar! Do the variations as described above and in the above comment. The protection is good at the cruxes and the clmibing is just so good. I think this is a three-star route.
By Joe Collins Oct 5, 2002 rating: 5.10d6b+21VII+21E3 5b
As good as Vertigo. If the Vertigo roof is benchmark-11a, then the roof on this one is considerably easier... yet I thought it was way more fun. The 10a at the start deserves an "S"
An excellent 3-star route. I recommend climbing P1 of Psychosis then combining P2a of 3 Old Farts Young at Heart with P3a. Belay at a tree on the first ledge above the overhanging crack to minimize rope drag from knocking rocks on your partner, then take it another 20 ft to the top. A #1/2-green & #3/4-yellow alien was useful on the P1 roof . Its also convienently tops out next to the Upper Ramp rappel station between Vertigo and Psychosis requiring two single rope raps back to the ledge.
By Ivan Rezucha From: Fort Collins, CO May 9, 2004 rating: 5.10d6b+21VII+21E3 5b
Since the late '70s, I've been attracted to Psychosis and its neighbor Neurosis, but also afraid of them. Afraid partly due to the names of the climbs, partly due to my unfamiliarity with that part of Redgarden, but mostly due to the stature of the first ascent climbers. These climbs were physically within my ability but psychologically out of reach. I finally did Psychosis, and it was anticlimactic. Great climb, but nowhere near as hard as I had expected and not at all scary.
On our first attempt a few weeks ago, we did the original 5.9 second pitch. It's very steep and impressive but very hollow. Lots of gear, but most of it in the hollow flakes. We wanted to do the original 10d variation to the last pitch. The description, "traverse right to the hand crack" confused us. We were looking for a long traverse and unknowingly did the last pitch of Neurosis, despite that traverse not ending in a hand crack. Turns out the Psychosis "traverse" is just a couple of moves right off the ledge. Obvious now....
On our second attempt, we did the 10d Old Farts' second pitch. It's intimidating from the ground. The rock is black and smooth looking. Once on the route, it is indeed a bit intimidating pulling over the ceiling. You can't tell where the next good pro or stance will be. The crux for me of the entire route was the 10 feet or so above the second pitch ceiling.
The third pitch 11a crux seemed quite easy. Huge holds, good gear, although I was expecting a better rest above. I struggled more on the 10a hand crack that followed.
The first pitch crux is well protected and easy, if you're of medium height or taller, with the right sequence and body position. We had 3 cams at the lip, two of which we bounce tested. The rock there is a little suspect, but you are top roped for the crux reach. The gear on the easier slab above (5.8 or 9 in places) is fair to poor. You can get in a lot of pieces, but few are reliable.
Did this climb Saturday on the suggestion some climber I met in Eldo -- can't remember his name. He described it as every bit as good as Vertigo and other such classics. I would heartily concur. I ran the first two pitches together, doing the 3 Farts variation, and I see no reason not to do this other than that you are carrying 100+ feet of rope on your harness as you do the crux 10d moves. The rope runs straight, and there is no drag to speak of.
I found the pro totally adequate for the first roof move. At the 3 Farts roof and above, I would call the pro adequate again, but not necessarily plentiful.
Belay on the obvious ledge directly below the 11a overhanging crack. My partner lead this pitch, and it is stellar.
The 3 Farts variation and overhanging crack are some of the most classic rock climbing Eldo has to offer. Do it!
Karin and I did P1 of Psychosis to the belay at the start of the crack on P2 of 3 Old Farts. I thought P1 was safe - 1.5F behind the undercling flake at the .10- crux, looked like it would stay, especially since you're toproping the move - rest of pitch is typical Eldo. We then did P2 of Old Farts directly into Psychosis P3 in one long pitch. The steep part at the bottom of Psychosis P3 - I think it get's .11a - was way easier - no joke, I'm thinking 5.9 - as long as you don't try to crack climb but istead use all the buckets. If this is .11a, then the roof on Vertigo is 12b. Protect this whole bottom section with a #4 camalot placed high in the flare. Overall, this is quite a good pitch.
I think the second pitch is getting unfairly dissed. Althought it's true that P2 of Old Farts is much better, the second pitch of Psychosis is no looser than many passages on Eldo classics, and the climbing is steep, well-protected, and fun. Do Old Farts if it's your first time in the area, but don't rule out doing P2 of Psychosis on a return visit.
Please check your spelling of my last name. And it was Bob Hritz, not Chris Reveley completing the foursome.
By Chris Archer Jun 1, 2009 rating: 5.10+6b+21VII+20E3 5b PG13
I hadn't done this route in over 15 years until Saturday and it was terrific. Much better than I remembered with the 3OF 2d pitch var. While 11a for the 3d pitch start seemed generous, 10a for the upper hand crack seemed quite stout. A blue Camalot was the biggest piece of gear we took and it came in handy protecting the crux moves above the roof on 3OF as well as the flare on the 3d pitch direct start. The rest of the rack consisted of RPs (optional), Nuts 1-6, and 2 sets of cams: Aliens - gold Camalot, (1) Blue Camalot. This is probably more than most folks will need, but we managed to place most of it!
By Guy H. From: Fort Collins CO Jul 1, 2009 rating: 5.11a6c22VII+22E3 5c PG13
There is currently a very sleepy or very dead bird in the third pitch. Maybe a pair of BBQ tongs should be added to the required equipment list. Please extract this bird and give it a final flight.
The direct 3rd pitch variation is one of the better ways to get air between your legs at Eldo. Wild!!!
By Danny Inman From: Arvada Aug 14, 2010 rating: 5.11a6c22VII+22E3 5c R
The direct third pitch roof is better than the roof on Vertigo, IMHO.
The jug in the middle of the roof crack on P3 is now gone! I was quite surprised to see this when a buddy and I did the route a couple of days ago. Feels just a tad harder to climb and definitely harder to get the no feet hero swing that used to be part of the P3 fun :-)
This route is now my favorite Eldo pitch. I did it in one pitch through the direct roof, passing the rope management Levin test without knowing there was one here! The second pitch is not perfect rock, but it really fun and steep. The third pitch is more sustained than Vertigo and much more fun.