Riki Tiki Tavi

A short post on a climb seldom done:  Riki Tiki Tavi on Colchuck Balanced Rock.

Ben, Jimmy, and I went in there a week ago to check out this line that is like the Scoop in nature.  A few throw away pitches, some thoughtful 5.10, and a killer 5.11 corner.

There is already a mountain project page for it here:  https://www.mountainproject.com/v/rikki-tikki-tavi/106863074.  Here are a few supplemental thoughts:

Approach: standard for Colchuck Rock and it seemed straight forward to find the route, but if not, see photo below.


Me leading the first pitch. I went left at the roof onto knobs to a terrace, then walked a rail back right to belay.

Pitch 1 takes a lot mostly .3/.4-.75 size.  The climbing up to the layback corner isn’t difficult persay, but between hard(er) to find gear and an interest in saving it, I found it pretty thought providing.  I found small and medium nuts helpful.  At the top of the layback, I went left onto the face, then up the left side of the corner/roof, and finally walked across the rail to the belay.  Another variation may go straight up the layback to the belay (big moves above the roof to blocks),…not so sure.  If you want to find other gear options on the lower half of this pitch, bring a nut tool.  The lack of ascents mean the small cracks are pretty filled in.

Ben and Jimmy following the first pitch. They belayed from the ledge near Jimmy (in green).

Pitch 2 is forgettable rambling up a somewhat vegetated and broken corner to California Ledge. Enough said.

Pitch 3 Ben led pitch 3.  It is in your face from start to finish, and the lack of traffic contributes to the mental challenge as the granite flakes a bit beneath your feet.  If it cleaned up, this is very similar to and just as quality as the Scoop pitch next door, though I felt it contained a distinct crux move pulling the end of the roof, whereas I remember the Scoop just being more of a pumpfest.  Then again that could just be my memory.  A #4 is helpful and worth bringing up the entire route, and you only need a single set of cams below .5 for this pitch. Beta reminder to myself for next time:  Layback with a high left foot (right hand above left, watchful for the barn door) when pulling the roof, rather than trying to jam it.  Great gear protects the whole thing.

Ben leading the stellar, long, corner pitch. In terms of any single move, it felt much harder than the Scoop to me.

Pitch 4 Fun 5.8 climbing up a wide chimney, with lots of face holds, no chimney-ing, per se.

Pitch 5 This great 5.8 hand-crack ends with a 5.9 move to pull the final bulge.  Like Pitch 3, with some action, it will clean up to be spectacular, though right now the flakiness of the rock detracts just a bit from the quality.

Jimmy leading the last pitch. It goes straight up above him.


Ben following the last pitch (5.9). Really great with a cool position.

Overall it is a worthy adventure and could be just as classic as the Scoop.   I would recommend it for a half day adventure linked with another route, or after you have worked through the other classics.

Overall notes on rack:

-Small and medium nuts,  usually I go with a lighter set (just 6 or so off-sets) but I was glad on the first pitch to have brought a few more with us.)

-Double set from blue Metoluis to #3, a red X4 and #4.

-8 or so runners plus draws (the first pitch wanders a bit)

-A 50m would probably be fine but we climbed on a 60.

-We just brought .5L of water clipped to our harnesses and food in our pockets given that the route was pretty short.


If you do not continue to the top after the last pitch, you can scramble down and climbers right.


K-mart choppers!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *