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 canyonís 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.
Rossiter's description is accurate because it is so vague - finding Vertical Smile is not obvious. Head towards the start of the Lower Ramp but before reaching it bushwack (or find a faint trail) to the SW and skirt around the Lower Ramp to a smaller ramp that runs alongside a large roof system - here you'll see the fairly obvious line that is Wave Rave. From here, scramble up the ramp until you are only 10-20 feet from the end of it (you should see a tree you can rap off of to the west on the far side of Redgarden Wall). Look up past a 20' high rotten section for a thin crack that leads to a small tree - visible at the top of the route.
The climbing is fun but the first 20' of rotten rock is really bad and not very protectable. I recommend climbing in from the left or right to avoid as much of it as possible. Once you're in the crack system, the climbing is decent.
I had hoped to climb this and Quo Vadis (which I could not find - any ideas?) this would be a good warmup pitch for Ruper as it deposits you at the top of the Lower Ramp.
I felt the climb deserves two stars (good) and agree that this would make a good intro to Ruper. Route finding wasnít that difficult, but if you get to the base of the roof climbs then you have gone too far. Back track about 100 feet and traverse the slope to the west to that big overhang.
Take a shoulder length sling and wrap it around the enormous horn for the belay at the start of the climb. You canít miss it; itís about head high when standing on the broken ledge near the top of the ramp. If you have two #1 Camalots, then you can place a bomber cam about 10-12 feet up past the broken section and another one a couple moves past that in the dihedral. If you only have one #1 Camalot, I suggest saving it for the second possibly placement in the dihedral. Watch out for the flake on the left side of the dihedral and stem as much as possible. When you get to the really nice figure crack above the dihedral, resist the temptation to grab the big thick vertical flake on the left faceÖit is deceivingly not attached very well and will rock back and forth if you grab it. This section was the crux for me as I had to work my feet up really high to where I could reach a nice figure-locking jam (avoiding the flake).
With the exception of those two flakes, and thanks to the previous party that cleaned it up a bit, the climbing was actually fun.
I felt this climb's only redeeming value was late season afternoon sun, with the climbing on junk rock with only a couple of interesting moves. The top is very near, or may coincide, with the top pitch of Slimy Spoon. As for Quo Vadis (1 of 2 with that name in Rossiter's guide), it seems that either it doesn't exist or it's the same as Vertical Smile.
A few months ago a friend and I did what we thought was Quo Vadis. To get to it, we went to the top of the ramp, and there's a dihedral of bad rock. We went up this, and it quickly gets better, and had some fun stemming moves on it and felt 5.8ish to me, so maybe that was it?? but it may of been the second pitch of Slimy Spoon also...
Paul, I'm pretty sure you were on P2 of Slimy Spoon. It climbs a chimney/stemming slot into a left-facing corner. I looked at it the other day when we did what we thought was Vertical Smile. There are no other features on the left side of the wall that could be Quo Vadis.
Rossiter's description of this climb as a "Bastille-like crack" is misleading, if not false. The crack is not large and obvious, and its quality is not Bastille-like. I would definitely recommend approaching by climbing the first pitch of Slimy Spoon (despite its chossiness), rather than bushwacking and scrambling up the diagonal ledge. The Vertical Smile is the first crack system to the right of the large corner that is P2 of Slimy Spoon. Climbing both of these would make it worth climbing P1 of Slimy, but a rappel or downclimb from the Lower Ramp to the diagonal ledge would be required. Quo Vadis does not exist. Does anyone know if there is a rappel from the top of the lower ramp to the ground?