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David_Parker

Red Rocks beta

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So I am going to Vegas November 5 and I thought I'd go out to Red Rocks for a day to scope it out. I was wondering if there is one or 2 5.6 to 5.7 multi pitch routes that don't require much of an approach? My partner is not very experienced, but enjoys rock climbing. It's just a day thing for our trip to vegas, not a climbing trip. Aalso need to rent a car...any hot tips for deals?

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Tunnel vision is a fun 5.7 multi pitch. There is quite a bit of chimneying involved, but there is also a healthy bit of face and easy crack. From my recollection, the most difficult moves were the first 15 feet getting off the ground. Approach was about 30 minutes or so and made for a nice afternoon. The climb doesn't get too much sun after lunch, which might not be a good thing this time of year.

greg

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We just got back from there last week. The temperatures were in the low 80s. One excellent climb not mentioned above that is 4 pitches of 5.6 - 5.7 is Olive Oil. The Red Rocks Select guide book errs in it's description of the approach. While it is only 1/2 hour from the car, you need to go up the 2nd gully before Juniper Canyon. Kyle Flick

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dave, i would vote for cat in the hat--it is a classic 5.6 on a great piece of rock in a great setting. you will not be disappointed, but olive oil is a nice alternate as well. just try to stay out of the casinos and strip joints the night before--an early start is very helpful with the short days now. descending by the lights of the strip is pretty cool, but with the rangers on the loop road its not worth the ticket. have an awesome time.

Jay

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Dave,

Cat in the Hat and Physical Graffiti are both 5.6/5.7 multi-pitch trad and the approaches aren't bad. Cat in the hat is about a 30min approach, 6 pitches of variable climbing (crack, face, corner)with good belay ledges. Physical graffiti I don't really remember much about approach (we did it under a full moon and climbed the route at night) but I remember the climbing being fun.

Enjoy!

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Dave,

Cat in the Hat and Physical Graffiti are both 5.6/5.7 multi-pitch trad and the approaches aren't bad. Cat in the hat is about a 30min approach, 6 pitches of variable climbing (crack, face, corner)with good belay ledges. Physical graffiti I don't really remember much about approach (we did it under a full moon and climbed the route at night) but I remember the climbing being fun.

Enjoy!

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Cat in the hat and olive oil rules as climbs but you must expect a long line at those. For that time of the year people flock to the south facing climbs (which olive oil and cat in the hat are)and most of the other good stuff is north facing. If it is relativly warm, go to frogland in black velvet canyon or lotta balls. (both north facing) If it is cold, then go do Johnny Vegas. All south facing, fun, likely to have it to yourself, bolted anchors, and about 5 pitches.

If you do Olive oil, get there before7 am. If you get stuck behind people, the going is very slow and the shade comes down to the low pitches around 11am. Also merge the first 2 pitches together (the guide book is so wrong about these lengths) and the 3rd and 4th together as well. Bring a 0 tcu.

Cat in the hat needs a early start too. same reason except never gets any shade. except at night. Last pitch goes around the corner and not up the obvious bolt line (10b).

Enjoy the red rocks and go in the casino for night time fun.

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Solar Slab is probably the warmest climb if the air temps drop. Dark Shadows, Lotta Balls, and Frogland are awesome in the afternoon shade if it's really hot (over 90).

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A note on the guidebook:

The OLD guidebook (now out of print) kicks ass.

The Falcon book by Todd Swain has a lot of routes, but many things (i.e. approach, pitch length, etc) are off, sometimes significantly. Remember to use your head and instincts (as always) rather than wandering around searching for a ledge at 80 feet just because Swain says there SHOULD be one.

goatboy

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Beware of the Solar slab rappel descent. easy to get lost & endless rappels of doom of sketchy equalized chickenheads. better to go down the descent shown for black orpheus.

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quote:

Originally posted by Dru:
Beware of the Solar slab rappel descent. easy to get lost & endless rappels of doom of sketchy equalized chickenheads. better to go down the descent shown for black orpheus.

A few years back I rapped the Solar Slab Gully after doing Black Orpheus. A slow partner (I lead all the pitches) and stuck ropes doomed us to an unplanned night in December about half way down. Plan 1.5 to 2 hours for descending that beast. I later learned of the 2 rappels and walk off via the Painted Bowl.

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Simulclimbed Solar Slab & approach gully in 2 hours. Took about 3 hours to descend via SS descent as descibed in Swains guide. At one point had to grab a boulder off a ledge, wedge it in a crack, sling it and rap off it.

Did Black Orpheus with same partner and it took us 1 hr. from top of route back to the base via the Black Orpheus descent as given in Swain.

[ 10-30-2001: Message edited by: Dru ]

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If you're in line when the ranger shows in the morning they'll usually (every time I've been there) just let you thru without paying. Also if you're going to Oak creek canyon and you're there at opening time you can drive the wrong way and save yourself a half hour drive thru the loop (my partner is nuts). It takes at least 20 minutes to drive thru so theoretically you could make it halfway before you had to dodge oncoming traffic. Easy to sneak into the pool at the Tropicana for a bath before the plane ride home. Park in the back lot and walk thru the old three story section. Rocco's New York style Italian Deli near Buffalo and Charleston. Very good and if you can eat a whole sandwich you have been climbing hard indeed!

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Well, thanks everyone, I'm off to RR. I'll let you know how it goes. Appreciate all the beta! Looks like I'll take my wife up either Cat in the Hat or Dark Shadows depending on crowds and temperatures.

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quote:

Originally posted by David Parker:
Well, thanks everyone, I'm off to RR. I'll let you know how it goes. Appreciate all the beta! Looks like I'll take my wife up either Cat in the Hat or Dark Shadows depending on crowds and temperatures.

I'm back! Vegas is a lot different than 18 years ago! We flew via San Fran and on the way out flew right next to Yosemite although I wasn't sure at the time because it was a little hazy. It was 80 degrees and my wife insisted we stayed with the 3 cylinder geo metro for $35 for 2 days. Since we had only one full day, we headed out to Red Rocks on Tuesday. Stopped at the Desert Mountain Sports climbing store which is a nice place. $189 later with a new tcu, reverso, and some other stuff we were on our way. The temperatures were perfectly delightful and we even saw a fox on the hike up Pine Canyon. After a brief discussion on whether to do Cat in the Hat or Dark Shadows (we had been told DS had a four party line up the day before) we headed right to see if it was available anyway. There wasn't a soul in site when we got to the flat boulder with a pool of water under it. The canyon is very vegitated and the leaves were golden yellow on the hardwoods. Dark Shadows is rated 5.7- and it was perfect for me to give my wife a refresher course since it had been a long time since she had climbed. First pitch was 70 ft. of slab with mini heuecos 5.6 with 2 bolts to a great ledge. The second pitch is short and steep in a dihedral with a thin crack. The rock on the left was sandstone and grippy and the rock on the right was polished varnish with occasional jugs. Pro was good and it was rjust a really fun pitch to another big ledge (75 ft.) My wife opted out of the 3rd pitch which was 125' of more dihedral but not quite as steep. She let me lead it though. This was also a 10 on the fun meter and also land on a good ledge. I pulled the rope from my gear, and rapped down cleaning it on the way. We had a little lesson on rescue issues and then she rapped down all the way to the bottom. We then took a little side hiking trip before we headed back to the bright lights of Vegas. Funniest thing we saw in Vegas was a little sign in our Hotel room requesting we turn out the lights to conserve energy!!!! We figured we did our part by sticking with the geo metro. We put well over 100 miles on that thing and it cost $2.89 to fill it up before we returned it! On the flight back, we again flew over Yosemite and this time the Nose was beautifully lit in late afternoon orange sunlight with heart ledge just jumping out. Half dome was not sunlit, but equally impressive.

Red Rocks is a beautiful place with lots of multi pitch moderate routes and a great place to be in November! I will be back!!

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