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Red Light District 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Brain and Vicki Smoot 1990
Page Views: 2,913
Submitted By: Eric Jacobsen on Jun 14, 2003

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (68)
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Jon doing the crux move on Red Light District


This route starts towards the right (eastern) end of the first section of the lower S-Curves wall. It is directly below a smaller roof about 100 feet to the right of the giant roof.

The first two bolts take you over a funky roof that seems much harder than the 5.9+ given in Ruckman's book. The holds were there, but we were a bit sketched out until we got a top-rope on it. It is possible to climb left or right around the roof, but this would definitely be off-route and not quite as fun.

After the crux, the climbing is relatively straight-forward, though many of the obvious looking holds seem to be pointing down. The route moves up to the right and finishes to the right of the large roof directly above your belayer. Once you get to the top, you'll have a fine view up and down the canyon.


Six bolts to a double chain anchor. The hangers look a bit old and most of them spin, but it didn't really bother us. The chains are solid.

Photos of Red Light District Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Peter in the surprising upper part of Red Light Di...
Peter in the surprising upper part of Red Light Di...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jon on the upper portion of Red Light District
Jon on the upper portion of Red Light District
Rock Climbing Photo: Peter starting Red Light District
Peter starting Red Light District
Rock Climbing Photo: Eric and Jon enjoying the view from the top of Red...
Eric and Jon enjoying the view from the top of Red...
Rock Climbing Photo: Atop Red Light District
Atop Red Light District

Comments on Red Light District Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 1, 2015
By Anonymous Coward
Jun 28, 2003

This is the worst of the S-Curves. If you have never been before, don't do this route. It sucks.
By Eric Jacobsen
Jun 30, 2003

I thought it kind of sucked at first as well...and I've heard that from others as well, but the more we did it, the more compelling it was. I still haven't led it, but would like to give it another go. It's fun in a scary way. I'd probably even rate it harder than 5.10a but thought I might be doing something wrong since Ruckman only gives it 5.9+.
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 19, 2003

I did this route recently. The first two bolt placements really could have been a little better thought out since they create an issue with rope drag over the lip of the small roof past the second bolt. Even though I did it after I ran up Madison Avenue, right next to it, it still only felt like stiff 5.9 climbing. It was an enjoyable route all the same. For the bold leader, skip the first bolt and clip the second one with a three foot runner to eliminate rope drag or damage to your rope. Merrill Bitter told me that he'd recently replaced the anchors to make them a little better for the descent, but they are a long way out from the last bolt so beware.
By Nathan Fisher
Jun 17, 2004
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Not nearly as bad a climb as I was led to believe. The rating seems adequate. However, that 2nd bolt is a hard clip.
By Nathan Fisher
Jun 17, 2004
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Gear Alert
Bolts 3,4,5 are spinners
By Lee Gitlin
Jun 17, 2004
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

The route has to be .10a, if for nothing more than the nature of the roof pull which is much tougher that the roof at Chorus line. Also, there are some scary times on lead in the 2nd half of the climb, not many positive holds at all through there. If this rating is at your level, I would absolutely advise getting the crux "dialed" on toprope before attempting a lead.
By D Argyle
From: Green Mountain Falls, CO
Jan 18, 2006
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

9+ imo. But I suppose I could attribute that to my ape-like arm span and featherweight classification.
By worfeus
Mar 4, 2006

I led this route in 1991, and it was rated 5 9+ then.

I fell on the first roof and hit my head pretty bad on the overhang, so be carefull. That second clip is a bitch.

Using a 3 foot runner is a good idea, but if you fall on that second clip, ouch.
By Alec
May 7, 2008
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

I really enjoyed this route. Pulling the roof is fun (tough to clip that second bolt though) and the climbing above is varied and technical. It's pretty run out after the 3rd bolt, which still spins.
By junkshow
May 31, 2009

found out that this route is quite an intimidating route. I really enjoyed pulling the roof only to find that the route stays varied throughout. pretty hairy threw bolts 3-4. nasty fall potential but well worth doing
By Tryhard
From: Sandy, UT
Sep 23, 2009
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

One of the scariest onsight leads I have done. I didn't like the old rusty spinners, so I did my best to not fall. The roof section is probably a little easier if you are tall. The upper section is challenging around the 4th bolt or so - you kind of have to go out on a limb and trust your feet. The exposure gets the blood flowing. I'd give this climb two stars if the bolts were in better condition.
By Vanessa Fabian
From: portsmouth, nh
Sep 20, 2012

geting to the second clip is a nightmare. poor placement
By dnaiscool
Apr 21, 2015

Gotta go with The Anonymous Coward on this one: Worst route in the area. That lame clip at #2 could send you on a mammoth did that happen on a rap & drill?

How about some one get the permission slip from the FA team and retro fit the bolts into the correct positions? If it took no risk putting the bolts in, then why should it tae a big risk to clip them?

Fix the route...
By bsmoot
Apr 22, 2015

At the second bolt the route goes directly under it or slightly to the's not that hard. Everybody goes right, but that's not where the original route a hero and go left. Problem is, if I move the bolt farther right, then this climb will no longer have the distinction of being "the worst route in the area". :)
By Boris Yaworsky
Oct 31, 2015

I knew this route was sketchy when almost every bolt was spinning. I knew this route was potentially deadly when my friend discovered the bolts are, without a doubt, recalled Leeper Hangers. DO NOT CLIMB until the bolts have been replaced. Make sure to check out other routes in the area as well.
By JSaarela
From: Park City
Nov 1, 2015
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13

They're not Leeper Hangers, they're SMC's (the new variety, but still seemed a bit sketchy). Bolts 1 and 2 are new, and bomber. But 3, 4, 5, and 6, were all orange and spinning BAD (to the point where the hangers would raise off from the rock when clipped). Would feel much safer with newer bolts. DEFINITELY at least bring a wrench. Climb wasn't worth the sketch factor.

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