|Black Velvet Wall
Texas Tower Direct is a great, sustained rock climb on bulletproof rock. When linked with the upper half of Texas Hold 'Em, this makes for one of the best long, hard routes in Red Rocks -- rivaling even the Rainbow Wall.
Begin 100' right of the start of Epinephrine. Scramble 50' up 5.0 ledges just left of a huge, hanging left-facing dihedral. Belay on a large ledge with lots of bushes.
P1: Same as for Texas Hold 'Em. Pass a small roof on the right hand side and climb up an arete of sorts with marginal gear to a good ledge and bolted belay. 5.9 R.
P2: Continue up the slab above, eventually trending right to a left-facing, left-leaning corner. Up this to a bolt on the right face. Do a move above the bolt and belay at a bolted anchor out right.
P3: Where Texas Hold 'Em goes right, TTD goes up and left off the belay. Climb ledgy terrain past a small cam placement before clipping a bolt. Continue up the bolted wall above past a difficult 5.12 stemming section to an intermediate anchor at a steep stance (do not belay here). Head up and left, then back right along an interesting feature on a beautiful wall. Some balancey 5.12 in there before reaching a bolted belay. An amazing pitch!
P4: The Velvet Tongue goes straight up the left-facing corner above. Instead, step straight right past a bolt and a difficult boulder problem. Clip the first bolt on the next pitch and down climb to a bolted anchor. V6-7, 20'.
P5: Head up the interesting right-facing flare/corner passing a tightly bolted crux section (5.12d, desparate). Alternatively, break off to the right and up a green, mossy face and head back left, bypassing the crux. Either way, continue up the corner past some hand-size gear placements before stepping wildly out left around the arete and up to another bolted belay. Spectacular.
P6: Climb up off the belay to the left on gorgeous, burgundy-varnished rock. Do a difficult move to a good finger lock (5.12a), then pass a roof above. There's good gear in a hidden crack out right. Continue up, eventually joining with Texas Hold 'Em and arriving at a bolted belay at the very top of Texas Tower.
Single set from 0.3 to #2 Camalot. Lots of draws.
Looking up at the stellar third pitch of Texas Tow...
Looking down P3.
Way high up on the first hard pitch on Texas Tower...
|By Jason Haas|
From: Broomfield, CO
Nov 5, 2010
We only climbed the first three pitches to access Velvet Tongue , so I cannot comment on the rest of the route, but I felt the quality was not on par with the Original Route on Rainbow Wall at all. Personally, I felt the first pitch gets a star, the second pitch 1.5 stars (the traverse at the bolt is contrived but the rest of the pitch is fun), and the third pitch maybe gets 3 stars, maybe (the climbing is fun but the bolt job sucks on it). I thought getting to the intermediate anchor was mid-to-hard 5.11, then a 5.12- crux just past that anchor and then more 5.10 to 5.11- climbing to the anchor. Enduro for sure. I personally thought that every pitch on the Rainbow Wall harder than 5.8 would have been 4 stars by themselves if they were cragging pitches (ok well maybe the last pitch is not 4 stars, but still).
From: Mojave, CA
Oct 22, 2012
It's difficult to compare this route to the Original Route on Rainbow Wall... it just has a totally different feel. True, the first approach pitch is low quality. However, the climbing on the route improves as you get higher. P3 is very good. P4 is a cool boulder problem traverse that is difficult to read for the grade. P5(the crux) is excellent and as clean as it gets in Red Rocks. There is about 10 feet of hard climbing and the rest of the pitch is really clean 5.11. The arete moves to the anchor are interesting and fun. P6 is also excellent on nice varnished rock. The rock quality on this route is awesome starting about mid-way up the 2nd pitch.
True, this route is not the Original Route on Rainbow Wall. It doesn't share the history or the dramatic line. But this is still an excellent route. Coupled with the fact that you can link this route into Epinephrine's upper pitches makes for a truly rewarding day.
From: Golden, CO
Apr 1, 2013
Combining this with Texas Hold'em makes for a fantastic route. For those who aren't cranking 12d (or b for that matter) you can avoid the 12d crux via a bolted 5.11 variation that has fun climbing and the 12b traverse is an easy pendulum if you don't have the time/ patience to figure out the boulder problem. This makes for a very fun outing while staying at the 12a grade. Texas Tower Lite?