Geronimo, Jackrabbit Buttress, South Face 5.6
Red Rocks, Nevada USA
Avg time to climb route: 2-3 hours
Approach time: 1-1.5 hours
Descent time: 2 hours
Number of pitches: 4
Height of route: 500'
OverviewGeronimo is one of the best routes of the grade in Red Rocks. It has steep, juggy climbing up successive tiers of rock. With face, crack, stemming, and aręte climbing, often with incut edges and jugs, Geronimo is a joy to climb. Huge belay ledges and a wild finish up an exposed aręte just add to the appeal. The rap route stays right of the climb, reducing tangles. Despite its quality, it is a relatively new climb, and there are many large holds which are somewhat thin and delicate, especially on the first pitch.
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HistoryFA: Bill Cramer, Michelle Cramer, 5/92.
StrategyLines are fairly common at Geronimo, but as the rap route is separate from the climb, and the belay ledges are huge (except the third), other parties are not much of a headache. It is common to climb Geronimo in combination with another route, such as Olive Oil or Crimson Chrysalis. Two 50m ropes are required for the descent, but a 60m rope is an advantage for the long pitches.
RetreatRetreat by rappelling the rap route (see topo). It is easy to gain the rap anchors from the second and fourth belays, but at the first and third belays, gear would need to be left to rappel.
ApproachFrom Pine Creek Trailhead, hike on the main trail down the hill and up the main trail up Pine Creek. Go past the Fire Ecology Trail (two entrances, it is a short loop), past an unnamed trail on the left, to the main Arnight/Knoll Trail (just past the prominent concrete foundation of the old homestead—about 15-20 minutes from the car). Cross the creek, go right for 150 feet, then follow the nicely graded trail left and up the far bank. Hike on the trail for about 10 minutes, then take the right trail heading toward Cloud Tower. The first prominent trail on the right is the approach to Rose Tower and the Northeast Face of Jackrabbit Buttress (the descent trail from Rose Tower intersects earlier, but it is hard to see from the main trail). To continue on to Crimson Chrysalis, Geronimo, or anything up the main Juniper Canyon (Brownstone Wall, Rainbow Wall), stay on the left trail. After another few hundred yards, a trail heads left across the rocky wash toward Cloud Tower (Crimson Chrysalis, etc.), while the main Juniper Canyon trail heads up the canyon. At the mouth of the canyon, a small use trail heads up and right—this is the approach for Geronimo.
DescentRap from the top with two ropes. Once at the big ledge after the first rap, stow one rope and rappel four more times with a single rope, using care to keep the rope out of the cracks. Rope snags are common, and if needed, you can use the second rope to re-lead and retrieve the rope. The last three raps are from trees or slung chockstones, and extra long webbing may be needed to replace old webbing.
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