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 is a Redgarden Wall classic. This was the first route put up that went to the top of Redgarden Wall. Apparently, it has claimed more victims than any other on Redgarden Wall, according to Rossiter's guide. Nonetheless, it is worth a trip up. It can get hot in the sun as a fair bit of this rock is dark in color.
This route ascends the groove/corner between the Naked Edge and the Anthill Direct walls. Due to the water and years o'traffic, some sections are a wee bit polished.
P1. This classic pitch is known as the Birdwalk. Follow a shallow, blackened dihedral angling slightly right for 60 feet. This crack has some widely spaced very positive holds and now only has 3 pins left (2nd must be threaded, if used). At the pair of pins (use a long sling), traverse left. There is a good crack for a small cam mid-traverse. From this point, you can either move up and do a foot traverse on the ledge (slightly easier but more schwing potential) or move low and do a hand traverse (reachy for shorter folks) on the ledge. A large cam (#4 Friend or #4 Camalot) will protect your 2nd/3rd nicely near the end of this traverse. Find a 2 bolt Fixe anchor on this large shelf. 70' to rap from here. 90 feet, 5.8+.
P2. Move straight above the anchor in a weird chimney up to the polished ramp. Angle up the ramp perhaps 30 feet. Find an optional belay with modern Fixe bolts (double rope rap to the ground or single to P1 anchors) in the slot/groove to the left at 90 feet or continue up to the end of the ramp below a huge, black dihedral, 5.4. You are near the Touch and Go anchors here.
P3. Continue up the groove to a short lieback, climb up the left wall past 3 pins to a sloping belay on the left. 5.5.
P4. Go up the slippery ramp left for 140 feet to a bi-level hole and belay above this at a pin (#0.5 & #1 Camalots useful). 165 feet, 5.5.
P5. Continue up past 2 more pins to a belay below the huge chockstone (#2 Camalot & #3 TCU useful). 5.7.
P6. There are multiple finishes possible here. The obvious one moves right on to the wall (a bit airy), pass 2 pins, pass a ledge, go to easy terrain and belay. 5.7.
Pitches here may be combined with a longer rope. 3 hours is a reasonable time for the climb.
Descent: East Slabs descent, carefully.
Standard Eldo rack with wires, single set of cams to 4 inches, hexes.
This was the first route I ever did in Eldo in 1983, and I recall getting a bit freaked out leading the first pitch (alternate and safer starts are possible). The upper section of the route has a nice position and is worth doing, but it seems rarely climbed these days.
The first pitch is pretty entertaining and is a good way to start Anthill Direct if Touch and Go is swamped.I don't think there are pins at the start of the traverse anymore, or at least I didn't see them.
I did the upper pitches once when a threatening storm thwarted our attempt on the Diving Board. We simul-climbed it pretty quickly, but be careful, as the polish is slick-as-snot... probably the slickest polish in Eldo. IMHO, I don't really think the upper pitches are worth doing and certainly not worthy of "classic" status. Some people will probably disagree.
Watch out for rockfall, this is somewhat of a high angle funnel.
Perhaps my judgement was clouded because this was the first route I did in Eldo, but it seemed pretty cool.
By Ron Olsen From: Boulder, CO Sep 9, 2003 rating: 5.85b16VI-HVS 4c
The first and last pitches are stellar; the rest of the climb is mediocre. Be sure to back up the old pin protecting the crux of the first pitch; I used a green Alien. This pitch gets an "s" rating because the next piece of pro after the pin is about 10' higher up at an insecure stance. I placed a #1 Camalot here. If you fall off before getting this piece, you'll land on the ledge below the pin.
Originally rated 5.7, the first pitch has been uprated to 5.8+ in recent guidebooks, probably to discourage 5.7 leaders from attempting it.
The first and last pitches are great; the rest is mediocre. The slick ramp is particularly obnoxious.
Old school 5.7, new school 5.8.
By Ernie Port From: Boulder, Colorado Sep 22, 2003 rating: 5.85b16VI-HVS 4c
We climbed this today and I lead the P1,3, & 5 and have a few comments. The Birdwalk pitch is a great pitch and protects well. I didn't have any problem with the stance placing pro above the pin. The stance is not that bad, but as Ron notes, I suppose a budding (8) leader could get wigged out right there, if they weren't confident at the grade. We went up and did the first pitch of Anthill and then traversed over to upper Redguard. Last pitch was cool...we did a harder variation to the right of the giant boulder at the top. Also, IMO the photo's below are great but, somewhat deceptive...the photographers angle make the first pitch look steeper than it really is...good route.
By Ron Olsen From: Boulder, CO Sep 22, 2003 rating: 5.85b16VI-HVS 4c
I agree with Ernie; an experienced leader will have no problem getting reasonable protection on the Birdwalk. However, if you read the accident statistics outside the Eldorado outhouse, Redguard Route is one of the top routes for accidents, along with the Bastille Crack, Calypso, and Tagger. It's not a pitch for a novice 5.7-5.8 leader.
Regarding the photos and the steepness of the route: the crux headwall past the pin is dead vertical. The stance above the pin is a little pumpy too. I look at the angle of the runners hanging from the climber's harness to judge if a photo is tilted. There may be a slight tilt in the first photo, but the other photos are accurate.
Nice line, though a bit polished. Agreed, the first and last pitches are good, though the middle pitches are long and easier. I'm afraid to ask what kind of accidents happened here. I'm not sure what pitch gets the 'S' rating as the gear was decent throughout. Very polished.
By tooTALLtim From: Boulder, CO Nov 25, 2009 rating: 5.85b16VI-HVS 4c PG13
This is definitely the slickest route I've ever touched in Eldo.
I've climbed this route 17 times starting in 1960 and forward.... There are 3 standard starts; this description is the famous "Birdwalk" start. A safer and more pleasant one is "Variation to the Lower Meadows" at 5.6+/5.7-. It is also somewhat tricky and many good climbers have fallen on it. It avoids the slick, black rock of the 'Birdwalk" start, however, and makes for a more pleasant experience. This route IS a classic.
I now realize why I have never done this before. Clearly the FA party was seeking the most viable way up the imposing wall which, unfortunately, turned out not to be the best climb in the end. The Birdwalk is basically a bunch of rotten rock.
By Ross From: Pinewood Springs Oct 23, 2010 rating: 5.9-5c17VIHVS 4c PG13
The OW on P3 was good. Surprised by all the lichen on P6. Most of the route, like climbing on glass.