Dark Shadows, Mescalito North 5.8

 
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Red Rocks, Nevada USA

  • Currently 5.0/5
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Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
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  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.6)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
7 Total Ratings
5 star: 57%  (4)
4 star: 43%  (3)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Brock Wagstaff

Trad climber
Larkspur
Mar 19, 2009 - 01:58pm
 
If any of you find long lines on Y2K or Dark Shadows a good alternative is Peyote Power (5.9), about 100 yards uphill from DS.
The first three pitches are excellent, but probably not worth doing the last 2. 2nd pitch stretches a 60m rope. Route discription can be found in new Handren guide.
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ime

climber
Nov 17, 2008 - 02:50pm
 
i never spotted the second rappel station as indicated in supertopo, nor did party ahead of me. so i rapped the route itself.
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TIM SHEA

Trad climber
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA
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   May 24, 2005 - 03:56pm
I found the start of the climb, with the pools of water, unique in Red Rocks. I liked the 3rd pitch the best. Next time I want to do the whole climb to the summit of Mescalito. The 4th pitch is short but worth doing.
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outdooreric

Trad climber
Mammoth
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   Apr 11, 2005 - 02:47pm
With a 70 meter rope, we were able to rappel down the face directly in three rappels, thus avoiding the crowded belays on this extremely popular climb. The final rappel (115') is from the Slot Machine anchors(5.10c), makes a good TR and you end up at the starting block for Dark Shadows, which means your ropes won't get as wet.
Many people think the third pitch is harder than the fourth, mostly due to the slick OW start.
It's easy to link pitches (1&2, 3&4) if there is nobody in front of you, HA!
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JohnDoe

Trad climber
Denver, CO
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   Apr 20, 2004 - 02:59pm
As suggested by the Dark Shadows Super Topo, Risky Business (just to the left of Dark Shadows) is a worthwhile route. Actually, it's a great route. Both pitches have well protected 5.10 cruxes and sparsely protected 5.9 climbing.

Note the pitch length on the second pitch is wrong. Instead of it being 80 feet, the length of the pitch is roughly 115 feet! The Swain guide also gets this pitch length wrong. There is no evidence the anchors were moved. Bring a second rope to get off this pitch!

Climb Ohn. Wally
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jed

Trad climber
Las Vegas
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   Sep 23, 2003 - 06:39pm
The approach trail that leads to Dark Shadows was built as a cooperative effort between the Access Fund, the Las Vegas Climbers Liaision Council and the BLM. The trail was put in to avoid having the sensitive riparian habitat in the wash distrubed. Please use the trail instead of the wash, it makes the hike much easier and shorter.
Follow the directions in the Supertopo guide and you will be right on.
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JohnDoe

Trad climber
Denver, CO
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   Sep 23, 2003 - 02:58pm
I am not sure about Slammer's or Swain's approach beta. There is a good trail on the opposite side of the climb. As you are approaching the climb and the fork in the valley, take the right fork - the trail is above the streambed on the right (north) side of the canyon. The trail drops down to the streambed at the start of the climb. The Supertopo approach beta is right on. Great climb! Climb Ohn.
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Slammer

Trad climber
Boise, Id
Sep 23, 2003 - 01:07pm
 
Don't be fooled by Todd Swain's "just past the ecology trail, take a right and hike above the red band for 600 yards." Instead, follow the drainage up the canyon, then head right just in front of Mescalito. One of the best 5.8 multipitch climbs in the country! Whoever leads the last pitch, take a camera and snap a photo of your belayer after crux. Sweet picture here!!!
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malabarista

Trad climber
Boise, Id
Sep 8, 2003 - 01:57pm
 
I'd give the climb 4 stars and the setting makes it 5 stars. It's a beautiful little canyon tall trees and little waterfalls.

The 2nd rappel station only has one rap ring on one bolt. We backed it up with a sling to the other bolt (rusting, with a loose hanger but seems ok).

The second rap station can be hard to spot, and since it is about 95 ft on a 60 meter, I'd recommend tying a prussik so you can bounce around and find it.

All the bolts seem pretty good, but several have loose hangers.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Aug 25, 2003 - 11:08am
 
The American Safe Climbing Assn. may have replaced anchor bolts on this climb. To find out visit the ASCA Replacement Page

The ASCA is a non-profit organization dedicated to replacing unsafe anchors. To learn about helping the ASCA click here


DONATE NOW
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TIM SHEA

Trad climber
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA
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   May 1, 2003 - 03:51pm
Easy approach, varied climbing, Straight forward. P1 is slab, P2 layback (short)5.7, P3 is a beautiful dihedreal, the start is a little tricky, up to a overhang with a jug, then into a wide varnished crack, then incut holds on the face to the belay. Total fun. pitch 4 (the crux) is short to large slopping belay. We took 1 rope and rapped to bolted belay on 5.8+ climb next to Dark shadows (not recommended) then to each belay. That was not worth it.
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ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
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   Apr 29, 2003 - 01:15pm
Just did this route on 4/28 .. no crowds --we showed up as 2 teams of 2 .. and had the whole route to ourselves (arrived at 8:30 am) ..

.. the hike in is easy and well marked (a relief at redrocks -- after bushwacking for days!) ..

.. led pitch 1 and 4 .. i think the rating might be a bit sandbagged .. pitch 4 was as hard as the 5.8+ pitches in crimson chrysalis ..

.. the lay back 2nd pitch was a 5.7 when laybacked .. but the sustained moves on pitch 3 is more like a 5.8 ..

awesome route -- awesome exposure (its STEEP!) .. great view ... my favorite climb at red rocks ..


    ricardo
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dmitry

Trad climber
the evil empire
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   Apr 19, 2003 - 12:28pm
Delightfully exposed and engaging route!

Well protected and deservedly popular.
Pitches 1 & 2 are easily combined.

Pitches 3 & 4 are amazing.

Enjoy!
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prodigal tradster

Advanced climber
the evil empire
Dec 25, 2002 - 12:48am
 
If you have two 60 meter ropes, you can actually rappel the route in two rappels (rap 1 is a rope stretcher but it works, just remember to tie knots at the end of your rap lines). From the top of pitch 4, you can rap all the way down to the spacious belay ledge at the top of pitch 2. Just be careful if there are parties climbing pitch 3 (the 5.7 stem pitch) -- you'll be rapping down right on top of them.
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frank

Intermediate climber
the evil empire
Nov 29, 2002 - 11:13am
 

Just got back, thought the route was one of the best 5.8's ever! Did the first two pitches as one. The third pitch is sustained 5.7. Used one rope to rappel from fourth pitch to top of third pitch and used two ropes from there to top of pitch two and another rappel from there. Be careful and you can avoid getting the ropes wet at the bottom.
It is a little colder at the start and warms up as you get up higher.
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radical

Novice climber
the evil empire
Nov 1, 2002 - 12:17pm
 
This was my first multi pitch climb. The thought of leading it was terrifying to me, and I swore I would never do something so stupid.
A year later I went back to lead it. I was shaking so hard my friend thought I was having a seizure.
Hopefully when I am old, and ready to hang up my boots, it will be the final route I climb.
I thought it was a sample of routes to come. But the only thing I have ever climbed that matched its exposure and strangeness is The Good Book in Yosemite.
In my opinion it is the best 5.8 at Red Rocks, better even than the famous Crimson Chrysalis.
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Mescalito North - Dark Shadows 5.8 - Red Rocks, Nevada USA. Click to Enlarge
Dark Shadows follows a black, polished dihedral up Mescalito.
Photo: Greg Barnes
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