Olive Oil, Rose Tower 5.7 R
Avg time to climb route: 2-3 hours
Approach time: 1 hour
Descent time: 1.5 hours
Number of pitches: 6
Height of route: 550'
OverviewOlive Oil is one of the best Red Rocks moderates with its excellent, varied climbing on great rock. The long, awesome crack on the second and third pitches, some routefinding on easier terrain, and a final huge stemming dihedral all add up to a great day. With some runout sections at 5.7, it is not a good climb to break into that grade.
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HistoryFA: George and Joanne Urioste, John Williamson, 2/78. Portions may have been climbed by Joe Herbst & Larry Hamilton, 1/76, during FA of Rose Tower.
John Williamson was one of Red Rocks’ original pioneers, but he had been out of Las Vegas since the early 1970s. During a visit in 1978 he teamed up with George and Joanne Urioste for several routes. Olive Oil is most notable to today’s climbers for its clean rock and moderate difficulties. In his younger days, John would often acquire climbing partners by introducing some innocent friend to the sport. Frequently they were overwhelmed by his drive and enthusiasm, so John was especially happy to meet the Uriostes, who were at least as overboard as he was.
John recalls that after Olive Oil they were driving back to town in the gathering twilight. As they proceeded along what was then a deserted stretch of West Charleston Boulevard, George ran over a jackrabbit. He brought the car to an immediate stop, backed up, jumped out and retrieved the rabbit. He took it home and cooked it (in curry sauce John recalls 25 years later!). John says, “I don’t remember that Joanne and I ate a whole lot of it.”
John probably doesn’t realize how lucky he was. George says, “I always wanted to try everything. The worst we ever had was a... [full history for SuperTopo members only!]
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