Route of the Week: Dark Shadows, The Mescalito

By Blake Herrington, 03 September 2013

  • DATE

    03 September 2013


    Blake Herrington


    Rock Climbing

Dark Shadows is an amazing 5.8 in a park filled with classics at the grade. It begins by stepping over a babbling brook, often filled with ducks and frogs, and proceeds up a water-varnished wall. The short runout to the first bolt could legitimately be described as shallow-water-soloing, and iron-like patina huecos and cracks on the subsequent pitches feel designed for climbing steep terrain at a moderate grade. For the fullest-value experience, follow the route past its most popular starting pitches—from which many rappel—and continue to the summit of the pyramidal Mescalito Tower. The peak affords great views of both forks of Pine Creek and offers an easy descent westward and into the south fork of the creek, easily achieved with some walking, scrambling, and a short rappel or two back into the wash.

For more beta, see’s page for Dark Shadows [LINK].

Go-to Gear for Climbing at Red Rock

Women’s Enchanted Tank [LINK]

Men’s Runout Pants [LINK]

Women’s Wallflower Pants [LINK]

Men’s Echo Tee [LINK]

Women’s Echo Hoody [LINK]

Helios Sun Hat [LINK]

Blake Herrington

Leavenworth, WA

Blake Herrington learned to climb as a teenager while working for a small bakery in North Cascades National Park. His first trips into the mountains instilled in him a familiarity with untraveled alpine choss and a love for remote peaks. Now in his mid-20s, Blake has lived in Denver and Bellingham, before recently settling into the mountain town of Leavenworth, Wash. He has established over two-dozen new alpine routes or first free ascents from Alaska, to Colorado to Argentina.

Blake is also a widely-published author, having contributed articles to Alpinist, Climbing and Rock & Ice. He has climbed sport and traditional pitches up to 5.13a, but considers diverse alpine routes the most engaging and inspiring sub-set of climbing. Despite savoring the alpine cooking of many climbing partners, he counts himself among the best camp chefs he’s had the opportunity to climb with.