Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
Whiskey Peak
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Amber T 
Archaeopteryx T 
Back to Basics T 
Bourbon Hangover T 
Bourbon Street T 
Canadian Club T 
Cole Essence T 
Delicate Sound of Thunder, The T 
Desert Wave T 
First Grader T 
Frogland T 
Ixtlan T,S 
Kenny Laguna T 
Matzoland S 
Mazatlan T 
Miss Conception T,S 
Misunderstanding, The T 
Only the Good Die Young T,S 
Our Father T 
Perplexity T 
Raindance T,S 
Return To Forever T 
Sand Felipe S 
Sandblast T 
Tales from the Gripped T,S 
Triassic Sands T 
Wholesome Fullback T 

Wholesome Fullback 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 210'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: 1975, Cal Folsom and Lars Holbek
Page Views: 12,529
Submitted By: John Peterson on Mar 19, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (153)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
BETA PHOTO: Wholesome Fullback

RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>


This route ascends the left side of the large pillar at the right side of Whiskey Peak. Approach from the streambed up a trail just past a house-sized boulder on the right side of the wash.

I'll describe 3 pitches but any two can be combined.

P1 (5.10a, 50'): climb a thin crack just right of a dihedral that leads up to the obvious crack higher up. The crux comes almost immediately and is well protected. Step left below an obvious hand-sized crack to belay at a bolted anchor.

P2 (5.10a, 50'): climb the handcrack to a roof. Instead of following the crack through the roof, traverse right to the next crack and pull through a hard move (5.10a) which is well protected. A hanging belay just past the crux allows the leader to recover before the next pitch.

P3: (5.8, 110'): climb an excellent hand crack to the top of the pillar.

Both cruxes felt harder than 5.10a to me (this rating comes from the guidebooks) but each was short and well protected.

Rap off the other side of the pillar. Two 60m ropes will take you all the way down. An intermediate anchor allows descent with just one rope. For added excitement you can TR Our Father (5.10d) on the way down.


Small cams at the cruxes, long fist sized crack at the end.

Photos of Wholesome Fullback Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: On the long first pitch of Wholesome Fullback. Fro...
On the long first pitch of Wholesome Fullback. Fro...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climber entering the crux finger crack after the t...
Climber entering the crux finger crack after the t...
Rock Climbing Photo: 1st pitch of 'Wholesome Fullback'. There is a  bel...
1st pitch of 'Wholesome Fullback'. There is a bel...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down on Paul Rasmussen following the first...
Looking down on Paul Rasmussen following the first...
Rock Climbing Photo: If you link P1/2 up to the wide section, you will ...
If you link P1/2 up to the wide section, you will ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Tobey Carman moving through the thin start.
Tobey Carman moving through the thin start.
Rock Climbing Photo: the thin crack beginning
the thin crack beginning
Rock Climbing Photo: The tunnel at the top of the pillar to finish off ...
BETA PHOTO: The tunnel at the top of the pillar to finish off ...
Rock Climbing Photo: P1 just before the 5.9 hand crack (photo by Jascha...
P1 just before the 5.9 hand crack (photo by Jascha...
Rock Climbing Photo: MC leading for the first time
MC leading for the first time
Rock Climbing Photo: starting up the 5.9 hand crack (photo by Jascha)
starting up the 5.9 hand crack (photo by Jascha)
Rock Climbing Photo: Jon, first pitch
Jon, first pitch

Comments on Wholesome Fullback Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 29, 2015
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 25, 2004

We did this route in one long (~160') pitch to a ledge and then a shorter pitch up the chimney/flared slot (handcrack?). The first pitch has lots of 5.9/10- moves and you need to meter out the pro carefully to do it as one long pitch. However this way you do not have to do a hanging belay. The second pitch is much easier, and although it looks to be flared weirdness from the ground is nothing to worry about.
By Larry DeAngelo
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jun 24, 2005

On the beginning of the second pitch, you can also traverse to the right before the initial hand jam. A thin crack (about 5.9) leads up the right right side of the small roof.
By Jeremy
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 3, 2006
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Both cruxes felt harder to me too. The second crux was pulling out of the traverse for me. The guidebook made it look like the crux was the traverse. Pulling out of it was funky.
By Danny Inman
From: Arvada
Oct 10, 2006
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Awesome route. did it as one 70-m pitch to base of chimney section, then one 20-m pitch to the top of the block. Rapping off we got our rope hoplessly stuck on Our Father-watch out for the velcro-like nature of the face.
By Anthony Stout
From: Albuquerque, NM
Dec 7, 2006

Agreed on the cruxes, felt harder than 5.10a. I did not see a bolted belay as described in the description (except for at the top, where you rap). Nice route thought. Did in two pitches as described in other posts.
By Aaron S
May 12, 2007

We did this with a short first pitch with a nice ledge to the left and then a longer pitch to the top. I did not see any spot that would be remotely comfortable to belay from after that early ledge.

The first pitch felt like standard 10a to me but pulling out of the roof on the second was pretty tough.
By Thomas Schmid
Mar 3, 2008
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

We did this route in two pitches. The first pitch is clearly harder than 10a. The crux was pulling over the roof after the traverse. At the second pitch, just continue on in the chimney and get over the block at the top onto the nice ledge behind it. You can only see two stripped bolts while in the chimney, but don't worry. The proper anchor is around the corner and you can't see it unless you are on the other side. That initially freaked me out a little :)
By Ben Folsom
Oct 20, 2008

Yeah, the stripped bolts at the top of the route freaked me out a little too, as I didn't see the nice anchor for a minute. Did a 70 meter pitch to the base of the chimney, and a very short second pitch to the top of the pillar. Great route, nice cracks. Other than the top anchor (at the top of Our Father), I do not remember any other fixed gear on the route.
By Mark SLC
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 8, 2009

For me also the crux was just after the traverse. Climbing was so fun I got to the end of the 60 and had to downclimb a bit on the face to backclean for a hanging belay (we brought doubles). Never found anchors. 2nd pitch was shorter through the chimney up and right to Our Father anchors. Save some gear or bring trips in hands and set up a belay on pitch 1 when you find a good stance. Great climb, easy pro.
By Jon O'Brien
From: Nevada
Apr 21, 2009
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

I've done my share of climbing:IMHO- BEST route I've ever done!! Total sandbag but for nostalgia let's keep calling it 10a! Head's up: you can lead the money pitch of 'Our Father' on the way down! ;-)
By scalparm
From: Vienna, Austria
Nov 15, 2009

This climb definitely feels harder than 10a! I did Amber(10c) which has the same start and goes left at the hand crack. Wholesome Fullback felt MUCH harder by comparison. Though I think I did it a harder way. The crux was right after the traverse. I descended with two 60m's and it took two rap stations of the three to get to the ground. Maybe to 70's would get you there in one go, though I doubt it.
By Top Rope Hero
From: Was Estes Park, now homeless
Apr 1, 2010
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Strong 5.9 climbers looking to push their game beware: This is no gimme 5.10. I reckon the grunt-fest move into the crack just after the traverse right--though certainly well protected--is as hard as passing the bulge on P2 of Triassic sands (which, to be fair, was itself downgraded to 10b in the Handren guide). And this comes AFTER the thin crack-O-doom right off the ground that will have you promising God to give up your every vice.

Still, take that first pitch, young leader, and join the club. Wholesome Fullback is a grand, if at times awkward, line.
By mousebob
Mar 30, 2011
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Great route, but beware - I would say it is much harder than .10a. Both cruxes felt harder than Triassic Sands to me. Bring small gear for the first crux. Be sure not to miss the toprope of Our Father on the way down!
By Patrick Mulligan
Nov 30, 2011

I also did this route in two pitches. IMHO you would loose out on a completely classic long pitch at the grade if you split the first section into two pitches and you don't gain much benefit. However, even with several long slings I had significant rope drag pulling up past the bulge post traverse. I was pulling up 2-3 feet of slack at a time then making the next move. Also, after leading the first long pitch, my climbing partner who had done the route before commented that he had safely led the first pitch through the thin flake to the right of the handcrack. He said that the flake was consistent with the grade, well protected with small offsets, and saved him the rope drag that I faced pulling over the bulge.
By Patrick Mulligan
Oct 1, 2012

Just redid the route (was going to climb Amber but landed behind a party of three) this weekend. We broke it into three pitches and I have to say that the climb was very pleasant that way. The upper pitch retains its punch, but at least you're not fighting terrible rope drag through the crux.
By -robin-
Nov 30, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Did with one 70 to the top, belayed from the top of the pillar from a gear anchor in the crack, best way to do it, maybe an extra #2 and 3 to make ya feel nice and fuzzy inside, but not quite runout without them. great route.
By Patrick Callery
Apr 20, 2013

This is the best single pitch of climbing I've done in Red Rocks. The splitter hands below the traverse is incredible, just too short.
We ran a single pitch to the good ledge just below the chimney, seemed closer to 180'. Rope drag was not too bad. Took a full double rack with extra #1, 2, 3 and do not regret carrying it all. We used a #4 on the 2nd pitch, but not necessary if you don't mind running it out on easy offwidth.
By Royal
From: Henderson, NV
Jun 7, 2013
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

This thing is so not 10a! I call major sandbag. the crux is short, but it's a hard SOB. I can climb 10a and I was nowhere near sending the crux. It's at least 10c/d. The first pitch seems like honest to god 10a. I liked the first pitch best.
By Eugene Kwan 1
From: Cambridge, Massachusetts
2 days ago

Amazing route that has a bit of everything. Starts as tips to Exasperator-Crack-style fingers (crux #1), then Indian-Creek-style hands, a Gunks-style traverse, a weird Red Rocks roof-with-a-crack (crux #2), and cruiser 5.8 crack to the alcove. In Squamish, this pitch would be mid 5.10, unlike many of the other routes in the area.

Rappel Our Father with one 60. On the second rappel, look for a rap station on a ledge slightly to the right at two shiny bolts. Our ropes got stuck on this rappel inside a crack and I had to lead back up the scary second pitch of Our Father. However, because we started from the right hand side, I clipped three bolts before heading up the corner and it wasn't too bad. This is no harder than the first pitch of The Gobbler, just a bit more run out. In other sandbagged places, this pitch would be considered 5.9 and certainly not R.

Wholesome Fullback itself is quite well protected if you bring a big enough rack. If you want to protect every move, I would recommend doubles to 1", 3 x #2 gold camalots, 2 x #3 blue camalots, and one #4, with a good selection of microcams for the beginning.
By yann gauthier
1 day ago

there is no bolt after the traverse(bolted belay) you have to go all the way to the top if you want a bolted belay on top of our father.
We did one small pitch to the bolted belay of Amber (Nice ledge) and when back on the route for one long pitch to the top of our father. Nice route , crux is after the traverse trying to go back on the vertical cack.

The Definitive
Climbing Resource

Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run

Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps

Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes

Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!