This super classic of Red Rock Canyon NCA has a little bit of everything; cracks, face, big pro, small pro and is nine pitches long. The route is at the mouth of Juniper Canyon. The access is the same for Olive Oil, but Crimson is located on the Cloud Tower, which can be identified by a pinkish tower capped by a red top. The Cloud Tower is located on the north facing side of Juniper Canyon. As you approach the mouth of Juniper you’ll see a bushy ramp that angles up and right (west) to the base of the route. Follow the climber trail up the ramp to the route’s beginning.
- Hanging belays
- Very popular route – Consider parking outside the gate and walking in, or do on weekday
- Consistently 5.8 climbing
- Slightly runout?
- Linking everything except P7 sounds ideal
- Shaded almost all the time
- Often windy
- March dawn @ 5:32, sunrise @ 5:58, sunset @ 5:43, dusk @ 6:09
- March gate hours are 6am – 7pm
- 8hrs with buffer time
- 1hr approach
- 4hr climbing
- 1hr rappelling
- 1hr hiking back
March itinerary… dawn @ 5:32, sunrise @ 5:58, sunset @ 5:43, dusk @ 6:09
- 6:00 AM – Drive scenic loop to Oak Creek Trailhead (30 min)
- 6:30 AM – Arrive at trailhead
- 6:45 AM – Hike in (1 hr)
- 7:45 AM – Base
- 8:00 AM – Climbing
- 12:00 PM – Top
- 1:00 PM – Back at base
- 1:30 PM – Hike back
- 2:30 PM – Back at car
- 2:45 PM – Out of park (park closes at 7pm)
If starting 2hr later…
- 8:00 AM – Drive scenic loop to Oak Creek Trailhead (30 min)
- 8:30 AM – Arrive at trailhead
- 8:45 AM – Hike in (1 hr)
- 9:45 AM – Base
- 10:00 AM – Climbing
- 2:00 PM – Top
- 3:00 PM – Back at base
- 3:30 PM – Hike back
- 4:30 PM – Back at car
- 4:45 PM – Out of park (park closes at 7pm)
- Single 70m rope
- 15 draws
- If linking, 18-22 draws
- Cams #0.3-3 with doubles #0.3-0.75
- Nick – Singles to 3″ + a few totem
- Thomas – Single rack
- Charles – Linked pitches with doubles 0.3-0.75 and single 1-3
- Aaron – Linked pitches, singles to #3 with doubles to #0.75
- NO walkie talkies
1.65 miles, 1,200 ft gain, 55 minutes from Oak Creek Trailhead, trail is cairned and mostly well traveled.
If parking outside the gate, adds 1 mile, 100 ft gain (so 1:20 hr total approach)
P1 – 5.7, 130′
Straight up the crack / right corner to a bolt belay. Links with P2 as 73m total (requires belayer to scramble up 10 ft on easy terrain to reach 2nd anchor).
P2 – 5.8, 90′, 4 bolts
Pitch 2 continues to climb the same crack / corner until you reach a recess with another 2 bolt belay.
P3 – 5.8+, 65′
You can link pitches 2 and 3 with a 60 meter rope. Nice jams on this pitch. Continue up past a steep section to a 2 bolt hanging belay. Links with P4.
P4 – 5.8, 90′
Enjoy the chimney above and continue on into the small cracks to a nice 1ft wide ledge to belay from.
P5 – 5.8+, 90′
Continue up the small-to-hand cracks past a bolt for 90 feet to another small ledge. Links with P5.
P6 – 5.6, 90′
Up another 90 feet angling right following 5 bolts.
P7 – 5.6, 110′
A nice long face pitch clipping 9 bolts that will end in the red rock. Do NOT link, lots of drag.
P8 – 5.7, 75′
Continue up the RR to a ramp with a bolt. Then traverse directly to your right, remember your follower, and then up the left ramp. Finish the pitch up the varnished face clipping 3 bolts. Link with P9.
P9 – 5.8, 80′
Up and right clipping 4 bolts over a small roof to the top.
Use the new rap line. From the summit anchor, rap straight down. The rap anchor is down 20ft and left 10ft of the anchor at the end of P8/start of P9. It’s at the base of a corner on a large ledge. You won’t be able to see it until you’re close. Trust.
Then just keep rapping straight down. Look for stations with two bolts and a single rap ring. Most were 33m-34m raps. Tie knots. For the last two raps (they are shorter), use an intermediate anchor from Hook Line and Wimper (left of the rap line) so you don’t have to downclimb. Look for chains left on a ledge as you rap towards the ground. Rope didn’t get stuck at all.