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.
This section of the cliff is the right most end of Redgarden Wall. It is arbitrarily cut off after the large, obvious, dihedral system which is called Redguard. We will call this South Buttress.
This section of the cliff is characterized by challenging route finding, slickened rock, and sparse protection options. Perhaps, this is part of that which helped to link the adjective "spicy" with Eldorado Canyon climbing. If close protection is what you require to enjoy climbing, you should climb elsewhere. Routes vary from 30 to 600 feet in this section.
This is an amazing section of the Redgarden Wall when considering the early history of climbing in Eldorado Canyon SP. History emanates from the rock here and some of it is documented in B. Godfrey's & D. Chelton's Climb! Given the crude equipment available in the mid 1950s, it is awe-inspiring to imagine our climbing forefathers wander up these cliff as they did. In 1956, Dick Bird, Dallas Jackson, Cary Huston, and Chuck Murley climbed what had then be considered unclimbable, Redguard, with Dick Bird leading the first pitch, dubbed the Bird walk, and Chuck Murley deciding to give the last pitch "one last go" on their 3rd and finally successful attempt. There is also the story of the amazing Layton Kor in 1957 getting stuck on these walls requiring a rope from Ben Chidlaw to rescue him. Kor & Chidlaw that year followed this by ascending the very runout route, The Bulge. Subsequently, Kor rappelled down for possibly Colorado's first rap-bolted, retrobolt when others encouraged him to make his line safer for the masses. Thank you, Mr. Kor! Genesis, originally climbed with RURPs in 1962 by J. Turner & B. Culp, became one of early Colorado routes trained for specifically, and was freed by the indomitable Jim Collins in 1979 after training to the point of blood blisters for this specific climb (as documented in G. Randall's Vertigo Games.
Descents vary. Those routes going to the top of the wall typically involve the East Slabs Descent. This can be exposed and intimidating when wet. Also, the last bit can be challenging in the spring with a wet slab finish or funky downclimb down a chimney. Routes that partially up the wall will typically involve rappels.
Some come and play here, but bring your honed skills and verve, and enjoy!
To access this section of Redgarden Wall, you should park at the east end of Eldorado Canyon SP, hike uphill briefly, cross the bridge. Here you may choose one of 3 approaches depending on your exact line and preference. To access the furthest R routes, you go up the trail along the downstream side of the 150 ft tall crag, The Whale's Tail. To access routes behind The Whale's Tail, you can hike either around either the L or R side of the The Whale's Tail with both requiring 3rd class-ish moves (though the L side may be a bit harder). To access the furthest L of the routes in this section, you continue upstream, cross the concrete pad, follow the trail, take the right fork and you arrived nearly at the base of Redguard.
This is a superlative pitch just left of the much safer Back in Black on the Blackwalk Wall around the east side of Redgarden. Jeff Achey's ground-up lead on the first ascent took a whopping four hours -- a fine display of mental control and patience that surely ranks as one of the great leads in Eldo history.Climb the chossy ramp as for Back in Black, moving up and left an additional 8-10 feet from where you would clip the first bolt on Back in Black. Place imaginary p...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
ALTERNATE DESCENT BETA FOR ROUTES FINISHING ON THE TOP OF THE SOUTH BUTTRESS...
There are at least two classic routes--Anthill Direct and Redguard--that finish at the top of the south buttress of Redgarden Wall. The current guidebooks, and the beta on this site, all suggest that the east slabs are the ONLY viable descent from these, and other, routes that top out on the south buttress. This fact alone caused me to resolve some time ago never to climb Anthill Direct again, even though I consider it among the best routes I've ever climbed. Anyone who has descended the east slabs knows what I mean--they are at best extremely annoying and at worst extremely dangerous.
Here's a far superior alternative: Find the cairn marking the beginning of the east slabs descent at the flat spot just north of the top of Anthill Direct (or, if you've topped out on Redgaurd, in the cleft between tower 2 and the top of the south buttress, look south for this flat spot with a cairn). Go there. Climb UP the 3rd class slab perhaps 75 vertical feet to their top, traverse around the west (left) side of a small pinnacle, and you'll find yourself due east, and about 50 vertical feet above, the saddle between tower 1 and tower 2 (this is where Ruper tops out). From here proceed (some 4th class) to the chockstone chimney/vertigo rappel route, the best description for which appears in the first comment (by Charles Vernon) in the Yellow Spur beta on this site.
One caveat re: the chockstone chimney/vertigo rappels: if you are not familiar with them, it can be challenging to find the bolted rappel anchors. Either have done it before or make sure you study the beta carefully, otherwise you may have difficulty finding the anchors.