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Red Rocks, NV


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Been thinking about planning a trip to Red Rocks.


For those of you experienced and familiar with the area, would you say that routes like Cat in the Hat 5.6, Olive Oil 5.7 and Tunnel Vision 5.7 would be appropriate for a person with 1-year lead experience?


I am getting comfortable leading trad 5.8 but that is up here in WA. Have been getting different opinions about rating being much tougher down south. Also, I have not done anything longer than 4 pitches.


I know the climbing will be challenging, but don't want to do something to scare myself to death and thus put an end to my short-lived leading career. Any thoughts, input would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you.

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If you're solidly leading 5.8 in the Northwest (on granite and the like) then you would have no problem on routes such as cat in the hat, olive oil, and tunnel vision. The thing about red rx is that the footholds are huge and every handhold is way positive. You often have the option of climbing cracks or faceholds because the cracks have all kinds of breaks and knobs in them. Have fun. There is loads of good climbing there. If you are feeling good and have a competent partner check out crimson crysalis. A little steeper and longer than the others but hugely classic. Just remember your warm clothing items hat/windbreaker etc (as you would in the NW). Even though it is usually sunny and warm it can get wicked cold when the wind picks up.


PS-If you're van or canopy camping and you don't want to pay for the shitty campground there is a great bivi parking lot at the Costco on Charleston. It's near the end of Charleston as your headed out to the park.

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The ratings in Red Rock vary wildly. Some of the routes feel very easy for their grades whereas others feel hard. It is my belief that the reason this has happened is because there are very few long term Red Rock locals that have put up routes over the years. In all there are probably only a dozen people who have put up more than a handful of routes. The result is that many of the routes in Red Rock Canyon have been put up by visiting climbers who have brought their ideas of grades with them to the canyon. After completing a first ascent, they then report the route based on their own regional experience with grading. I believe this is why the ratings do not feel consistant.


As far as new leaders in Red Rock, it's best to get your feet wet slowly. Many experienced leaders on granite, basalt, and limestone, come to the canyon and get a little freaked out. The sandstone appears fragile, but on the routes which see more traffic there is little to worry about. Most of the poor rock has been pulled off over the years.


You may want to start out on some of the sport routes to get used to the rock and then move onto some of the longer trad routes. "Cat in the Hat" is a fantastic route for new multi-pitch leaders. However, if you simply want to work on climbing a multi-pitch route, without committing to a popular route with many parties on it, you might try "Solar Slab Gully."


Beginning leaders have a harder time on "Tunnel Vision" because there are a few short run-outs. "Olive Oil" can be sewed up rather easily if you like. Other multi-pitch routes that should be considered by the beginning leader include, "Rising Moons," "Physical Graffiti," and "Cat Walk."


Hope this helps!



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montanapup said:

Are there any cool coffee shops or bookstores, yoga studios, Co-Op grocery stores to hang out in on rest days other than the Strip?

i caint think of 'any cool coffee shops or bookstores, yoga studios, Co-Op grocery stores' at all on the strip. there is plenty a malls to crawl (like across from the pirate themed casino whatever thats called). course you can always just go get humped in pahrump and call it good.

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that sucks! and blows all at once. i ran into some guy that said that there was someplace....Sunnydale? (suburb-bedroom community) that was ok. cant seem to find any info anywhere on the net as all of it directs me to Circus Circus or hanging out in Psuedo BumF*ck Egypt there on the strip....crap, i'm going to need a miracle!

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I've often thought of putting together some kind of dirtbaggers guide to Red Rock because these ideas (that there is nothing in Vegas except the strip) are somewhat common. There is a lot to do.


1) Libraries


Believe it or not, but Clark County has some of the better libraries in North America. The public Library system here is subsidised by gambling. As a result there are quite a few libraries, many of which have art exhibits in them and other things going on. The closest one to Red Rock is the Sahara Library.


2) Movies


The way most theatres are set up in Las Vegas is extremely condusive to seeing multiple movies at once. It's really easy to pay for one movie at most of the multi-pexes and then simply walk into other movies after yours is finished. Nobody is ever the wiser...


3) Get Drunk


Play nickle video poker in any of the casinos and make sure you tip the cocktail waitresses decently. They will comp you drinks until you fall over and can't even walk. It'll be way cheaper than buying your drinks.


Another option is the ever so popular 99 cent margarita, found both on and off the strip and the less popular casinos.


4) Trader Joes and Wild Oats


These two popular stores do exist in Vegas, but require a bit of driving from Red Rock to get to.


5) Bookstores


Yes there are bookstores near Red Rock. However, most bookstores are big Barnes and Noble type places.


6) Yoga Studios


And yes, there is Yoga in Vegas as well. There are studios in every corner of the city. Pick up a phone book, you'll find them.


7) Free and Cheap Shows


There are numerous shows at Casinos, at the University, and at local theatres that are relatively cheap or free. Pick up a copy of City Life - the areas alt newspaper - for more info.


8) Buffets


Many of the casinos provide cheap buffets which dirtbaggers simply cannot get enough of. In my humble opinon, the best relatively cheap ($14) buffet is at the Rio. Excalibur has a nice one for ten bucks as well.


9) Rock Gyms


There are currently two rock gyms in Las Vegas. One out on West Charleston and one near the University. These are good places to find current info on routes.


10) Parks


There are tons of extremely green parks in Las Vegas. Probably not such a good thing because of the amount of water required to keep them such, but they are nice places to hang out.


11) Valley of Fire, Lake Mead, and Hoover Dam


There are other interesting places within an hours drive of the strip aside from Red Rock Canyon. These places are not necessarily climbing areas, but they provide a change in scenery if you want one for a day off.


12) Hot Springs


There are hot springs near Hoover Dam. You can find beta for their approaches on the net.


And lastly, I think your friend was referring to Sumerlin. This is the community nearest Red Rock Canyon which has many of the above mentioned places around it.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I live in vegas.

it's ok..but there are not many funky coffee shops or cool bookstores with a cat sleeping on the counter.

but, we do have a new Whole foods market right across the street from my house,a very nice gym to train in on those winter nights, and just about everything that you might need 24 hours a day.

oh yeah, while you slowly grow mold all winter,today the weather is around 80 degrees and sunny.

yesterday I worked a half day, then ran some erands. on the way home,the Red Rocks looked nice so I ran out and free soloed Tunnel Vison with just enough time to watch the sunset from the top. 30 minutes later, my wife calls me in the car to pick up a pizza on the way home."I'll be home in 10 minutes..."

yeah, vegas sucks some times,.. but not today.

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hard to say, so many international visitors,some very strong,climb here every year.

More soloing got done in the old days(1980-1990's) my friend "the gambler" has soloed many long routes,epi,dream,froglands,tunnel.

Route knowledge is really important here, and framilarity for the rock cannot be understated enough.

one day,a Bacher-wanna -be cratered right in front of me and my lady friend at the Gallery(showing off for girls)

as always,this stuff is dangerous,please use your head.




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  • 2 weeks later...

you should solo the fox. good times!


As for the info on hang outs:

The strip of malls right on W.Charlseton after the 1st stop lights has Starbucks,Borders,a movie theater nearby, and a fatburger close too. Plus the rock gym is very good, I used to work there. The Hilton has a pool that's easy to poach also. Zion is very close for some canyoneering if you're not climbing.

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