Olive Oil, Red Rocks Route Photo

Olive Oil 5.7

Rose Tower, Juniper Canyon

  • Olive Oil Sun ExposureRoute quality:
  • Olive Oil First AscentJorge and Joanne Urioste, John Williamson, 1978
  • Olive Oil Pitch InfoNumber of pitches: 6
  • Olive Oil Approach TimeApproach Time: ¾-1 hour
  • Olive Oil Climbing TimeClimbing Time: 2½-4 hours
  • Olive Oil Descent timeDescent Time: 1-1½ hours to car
  • Olive Oil Sun ExposureSun exposure: Sunrise until mid-afternoon
  • About the Climb

    Olive Oil is probably the most popular route of its grade in Red Rocks. This fun and easy route features a superb mix of face, crack and chimney climbing, and all the pitches are pretty consistent. Note that even if all the difficult moves can be well protected, the easier face climbing sections are a bit runout. If you don't want to get in line, get up really early or start in the afternoon.

    In 2006, all the bolted belays on Olive Oil were removed, so older guidebooks might still show bolted belays. Currently, all the belays have to be built on gear. There are no bolts on the route.

    Don't leave any gear at the base because you'll have to scramble back up after the descent. The best option is to get ready at the car. If you don't like doing the approach with gear banging against your legs, stash your packs near the buttress at the entrance of the canyon. Alternatively, you can stash your packs where the descent trail meets the main trail, but this is tricky to find if you haven't been there before.

    Olive Oil (Red Rocks) GearLoopTopo {Olive Oil (Red Rocks) GearLoopTopo

    Low Resolution GearLoopTopo Preview

    Minimum order of 3 GearLoopTopos

    The GearLoopTopo

    Our GearLoopTopo for Olive Oil contains all the information you need for the climb, starting from the Pine Creek Parking. This parking is located near the end of the scenic drive. The described approach follows the main Pine Creek Canyon trail, but a shortcut through the Fire Loop Ecology trail is also possible.

    Possible Combinations

    The closest route is Geronimo (5.6), which is only 10 minutes south. It is a relatively short route at a similar grade and makes a good combination. If you don't want to get up too early, and want to avoid waiting in line, climb Geronimo first, and climb Olive Oil in the afternoon.

    Another option is Myster Z (5.7), which is right next to Geronimo. Myster Z has a great first pitch, but the top part has nothing special. Anyway, climbing Myster Z is a nice way to reach the Brownstone Wall, because you avoid the steep hike usually required to get up there. Combining Myster Z with, for example, Armatron (5.9) gives a great day of climbing. This combination might be too much if you also want to do Olive Oil on the same day, unless you climb lightning fast.

    After climbing Olive Oil you can also walk to Pine Creek Canyon, which takes about 20-30 minutes. Mescalito and Brass Wall have many other short classics: Cat in the Hat (5.6), Cookie Monster (5.7), Birdland (5.7+), or Dark Shadows (5.8).

    Similar Climbs

    For similar top-notch climbs with lots of varied climbing try Cat in the Hat (5.6) or start on Cookie Monster (5.7) and climb the top pitches of Cat in the Hat. Birdland (5.7+) and Rawlpindi (5.7) also have lots of varied climbing, but with more face climbing. At a bit harder grade try the ultra-classic Frogland (5.8) or the lesser known, but equally good, Purblind Pillar (5.8).

    Olive Oil and Juniper Canyon, Red Rocks Back to Red Rocks overview

    1. Power Failure (5.10b)
    2. Unimpeachable Groping (10b)
    3. Ginger Cracks (5.9)
    4. Crimson Chrysalis (5.8)
    5. Black Dagger (5.7+)
    6. Nightcrawler (5.10c)
    7. Armatron (5.9)
    8. Myster Z (5.7)
    9. Geronimo (5.6)
    10. Olive Oil (5.7)

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    Download the Olive Oil PDF file or visit the PDF Center.

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