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Angel Food Wall
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Sandy Hole 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 400', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: Betsy Herbst, Joanne and George Urioste, 1977
Page Views: 1,977
Submitted By: matt carpenter on Jan 1, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (14)
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BETA PHOTO: Looking up the awkward P1 of Sandy Hole

Climbing in Red Rocks after heavy rain can permanently damage the rock! MORE INFO >>>


This route is a blast and deserves more attention! Though the climbing is relatively easy it feels like a great adventure.

Pitch 1 - Start in the corner system 30' left of Tunnel Vision. Climb past the bulge and wander up and to the right on big holds. Pass old bail webbing and climb into the huge chimney. There is more old rappel webbing here; ignore that and build a gear anchor. (200')

Pitch 2 - The deep dark chimney. You will know you are on route and heading in the right direction once you hit the "Sandy Hole /Ledge". Head straight up from here; once level with the glowing light, make an easy traverse over and out passing a rusty bolt with a homemade hanger. Build a gear anchor near the exit of the chimney. Be mindful of rope drag. (120')

Pitch 3 - From here I climbed up and right clipping a bolt, eventually linking up with the "Tunnel Pitch" of Tunnel Vision. (90')

Pitch 4 & 5 - Follow Tunnel Vision to the top.

On pitch 3 the original line climbs up and left however I suggest linking with Tunnel Vision to continue the caving adventure.


30 feet left of Tunnel Vision


Doubles to BD #3, nuts

Photos of Sandy Hole Slideshow Add Photo
Nick finishing the 1st pitch.
BETA PHOTO: Nick finishing the 1st pitch.
looking down the chimney from a good rest stance
looking down the chimney from a good rest stance
Cool features at the start of the 2nd Pitch, the c...
Cool features at the start of the 2nd Pitch, the c...
You know you are on route when come across the san...
BETA PHOTO: You know you are on route when come across the san...
Looking out from inside the chimney
Looking out from inside the chimney
continue climbing up until you become level the gl...
BETA PHOTO: continue climbing up until you become level the gl...

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By Doug Hemken
Jan 2, 2008

We got about halfway up this route the first time we visited Angel Food Wall. It took us about 3 pitches to figure out we were not on "Tunnel Vision!" What we did of it was fun.
By steve edwards
From: SLC, UT
Nov 24, 2008

So maybe I've done this route. If so, it was great. Began left of TV, climbing an easy crack to a juggy roof. The crack/groove above narrowed until it squeezed shut under a dark chimney. Ascended into the darkness to a ledge, then traversed right towards some light. Exited a small hole with a bolted belay.

I think the route goes straight up from here but, for full value, we traversed right across a nice face to the base of the tunnel pitch on TV. Compared to the dark abyss on our route, the TV "tunnel" was light as day and a cake walk.

I thought this was one of the coolest routes I've done at Red Rock, and I've done a lot of climbing here. Way more interesting than clipping bolts up Levitation, in my mind. Plus, we were back to our car in about an hour. Fun stuff.
By marc g
From: San Francisco, CA
Nov 28, 2012

This route looked fine for a starter at RR, but we had a late afternoon start and belayed off the first rap anchor, where we should have gone to the second rap anchor. After that, it was suddenly 3:30 when I was scrambling into this deep, poorly protected dark chimney filled with bat guano. It didn't look like anyone had been thru it, and I wondered if the route was out on the face to the right. The dark chimney was the proper route, but we decided it was crappy and we bailed, as our second group wasn't going to make it before dark. While just rapping from the 2nd rap station to the first 50 feet lower, rope got stuck and had to climb up to free it and then rap down again. Then, the team after us got their rope sucked while rapping down from the first rap anchor so they had to commit to coming back the next day to do the route again... and it made their whole next day suck. But, that's a story they can tell you. Thankfully, after 1.4 pitches of this turd, we did Tunnel Vision and were partially redeemed.

TL;DR, Sandy's Hole is a bat shit filled rope-eater.
By prod.
From: Boulder, Co
May 14, 2013

I do not get how the administrator can rate a route that he does not know if he was on it or not? As well as a guy who bails after 1.4 pitches?

We climbed this route a few years ago and found it pretty damn fun for 5.6. Go up and through the squeeze chimney that is full of shit, but you stay right of the shit, top out where the chimney stops and head to the light to the right, the route heads to the left to the walk off, or you can head up and right the the Tunnel pitch of Tunnel Vision. This gives you 2 interesting Tunnels.

By Lizzy Trower
From: Stanford, CA
Dec 2, 2013

We recently climbed this route, having arrived at the base of the Angel Food Wall to find 3-4 parties on all the other routes. We read the minimal beta in the guidebook and set off for a "quick" climb so we could do one of the other routes.

It did not end up being quick, but it was a definitely a classic Red Rocks adventure. You will know you are on the right route when you head up the sandy hole in the dark chimney. We did not find there to be that much poop, although it had just stormed recently so maybe we got lucky. We pitched it out like this:

P1: climb into base of chimney, belayed above the 2nd tatty rap station. 200+ ft pitch (we had 70m ropes).
P2: tunnel through sandy hole in back of chimney, horizontal ledge traverse back out of chimney.
P3-4: wandery climbing on jugs diagonally up and left. I think we ended up finishing near the top of Tunnel Vision, although we could have escaped left on a ledge about half a pitch lower.
Walk off.

While this route isn't gonna make it into the SuperTopo any time soon, it was good quality fun and a great and fairly mellow adventure. Plus we didn't have to deal with the hoards on the other routes. It's totally worth doing once.
By verticalworldtraveler
From: Midvale, UT
Mar 24, 2014

+1 for steve and lizzys comments. for a 3 pitch 5.6 this did turn out to be quite an adventure. one of the most unique bits of climbing I've done crawling through that tunnel, way more intense but just as easy as tunnel vision. as steve says, easy to link over to the base of TV tunnel for a good day of vertical caving. great alternative when other routes are busy. don't be afraid, just keep heading up into that darkness!
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