The Panty Wall is a very popular crag for climbers due to its proximity to the park entrance. Yup, “Panty Wall.” Climbing crags and routes have strange names!
Red Rocks has a lot of terrific crags and this is one of them. One disadvantage to climbing within the park boundaries is that the road through the park is a one-way, 21km long loop, and parking at the crags can be a bit of a problem. For this crag, you park at the first pull-out. As a result, it is quite popular.
Many climbers stop at the first pull-out, if there is room, to make sure they have access to a crag, rather than drive, say, to the third pullout, find out its parking is full, and be forced to drive the while loop to come back to the start, and then to the first pull-out again.
This wall is a beauty on which to get your slab feet and fingers under you… it’s a terrific place to start climbing at Red Rocks, and its colour is beyond belief! With its red walls, its steeply angled belay buttress ramp, its large patches of cracked varnish, its numerous low-grade routes and its large, flat-topped airy rest boulders that overlook the canyon and its valley it is scenic, it is other-worldly, and it is seriously fun.
This crag is also high enough up from the valley bottom and the parking lot that you do not have gawkers coming up to watch, as it is a bit of a climb up to get there, but it is close enough that you’re not hauling your heavy gear too far.
There I climbed beautiful routes, like “Silk Panties” (5.7), “The Last Panty” (5.7), “Boxer Rebellion” (5.7) and “Brief Encounter” (5.8). For the uninitiated, the naming of the routes will sound ridiculous, but the humour and the themed nature are one of the things I love about climbing. Route names are outlandish and meant to make you chuckle. And this themed wall certainly does that!
Day one in Red Rocks, you need to get on the red rock. And this crag is an excellent place to begin with routes that have good flow and a fun backdrop.
Not all of these photos in my Red Rocks climbing posts are mine. Some of the credit goes to Chris Schell, an amazing rope runner and inspirational, very experienced trad climber … and to Greg Funk, a most determined climber who can power up walls like nobody’s business with skill and an impressive amount of sheer force of will and determination! It was an honour to climb with, and be inspired by you both! Thanks for letting me share your pics!