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colt45

Red Rocks: Olive Oil, Epinephrine, Solar Slab

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I went to Red Rocks about a week ago to do some longer routes. I originally posted this report to the UW climbers' forum; it was a fun trip so I thought I would post a copy of it here too.

 

--------------------

I just got back from a short trip to Red Rocks. Yuko and I were around for four days, and climbed three of 'em.

 

This developed as perhaps our laziest--and most productive--trip ever! Out of sheer decadence, we dropped $39 per night to stay at a hotel. And the big goal for the trip was to sleep in more.

 

The system we implemented to accomplish this goal involved protected simul-climbing. After getting ~150' off the ground, the leader placed a tibloc oriented such that the rope could slide up, but not down. This would (theoretically) protect a second fall from pulling off the leader. The follower then started simul climbing, attached to the rope with a gri-gri but not tied in. This allowed the second to climb faster or slower than the leader, and throttle the rope length accordingly. When the second reached the tibloc, the leader placed another one higher up. Since we had 4 tiblocs and a 60m rope, we could climb a maximum of 1,000 feet per pitch before restocking the leader with gear. The leader had an 8mm trail line, which could be used both for rappelling and for pulling up more tiblocs or gear if necessary--to run pitches of theoretically infinite length. (additional notes: we used locking ovals with the tiblocs so they wouldn't hang up, and clipped the tiblocs short to avoid runner movement from being transmitted to the leader).

 

Day 1:

We woke up around 9am, and hit Starbucks. After coffee and muffins, we moseyed over to the loop road. We started climbing at 11:30am, and did Olive Oil (7p 5.7) in a single pitch. 1 hour 45 minutes later, we were on the summit! It was nice to hike out BEFORE dark for a change!! ~4 hours CTC. We even had plenty of daylight remaining to go check out the drive and approach for the next day's climb.

 

Day 2:

This time, we got up early--4:30am. The climb: Epinephrine (18p 5.9). Since we were climbing it on Dec 22--which happens to be the absolute shortest day of the year--we wanted to start up around first light. From our hotel it was an hour's drive to Black Velvet, and then about an hour's approach. We simuled parts of the beginning and end of the route, and did the famous chimney section in two 60m pitches.

The chimneys took a long time to lead. They are fairly serious in terms of sustained difficulties with limited protection. We hauled both of our packs up the chimney section to make the climbing easier; the leader fixed the end of the lead rope while the second self-belayed with the gri-gri, so that the leader could haul the packs on a tibloc on our trail line without the second just sitting around doing nothing. Nonetheless, it still took us over 3 hours to climb these two pitches! Kind of slow when we only have 10 hours of daylight to work with. Accordingly we topped out right at dark (5pm), having completed the route in 7 pitches total, and had the 'pleasure' of doing the notorious descent by headlamp. We had some difficulty finding the start of the descent, but the rest of it went smoothly albeit slowly, because of the difficulty in staying on track. We got back to the car by about 11pm. 9.5 hours of climbing, 17 hours CTC. hmm...

 

Day 3:

Rest! Woke up at 1pm, got some food, saw the new Lord of the Rings movie, etc. It rained all night, making it seem unlikely that we would climb the next day...

 

Day 4:

Got up around 8am, and while it wasn't raining the ground was soaking wet. We hit Starbuck's, and did some last minute Christmas shopping at a couple of stores. By 10:00am the ground was still wet but there were some breaks in the clouds, so we decided to drive in and see if anything was dry in the Solar Slab area. After doing the approach we saw that the rock WAS fairly dry, and started climbing at 11:30am. We did Johnny Vegas (5p 5.7) in a single pitch; since the rock was still damp and some holds seemed brittle as a result, we climbed conservatively: 1h 30m to the terrace. We decided to keep going from there, and climbed Solar Slab (7p 5.6) in a single pitch, restocking the leader once via the haul line. This took 1hr 40m to the end of the technical climbing. 12 pitches in just over 3 hours! This was fun. We then rappelled the route (which almost took longer than climbing it...) and got back to the car just in time to avoid a ticket: 6h50m CTC.

 

The simul-climbing worked like a charm. It eliminated a lot of downtime, so that we could spend our time climbing rather than hanging around at a belay stance for at least half of the time. We could then get away with bringing less stuff, and not get cold because we were moving constantly. And our long-route 'to-do list' now has a few more entries. With only 15 minutes required per pitch, a lot of longer climbs now seem more feasible!

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And just for kicks, here's a copy of the TR from my first stint in Vegas, almost exactly three years earlier! On this trip we ALSO did Olive Oil (in >15 hrs CTC...), and the first couple pitches of Solar Slab (in 16 hrs CTC......)

 

Red Rocks winter 2000 trip report

 

Reflecting back on these experiences, I feel confident stating that moving quickly is DEFINITELY more fun.

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Yes, Starbucks!! smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif In Las Vegas, if you want coffee you have to take what you can get. It was a difficult decision, but we decided to go the conservative route and stay loyal to a Seattle-based company. Sending on the morning brew is a KEY part of any successful trip.

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Hey high-on-rock, how's it going!! It was pretty cool to run into somebody from Seattle up there. Did you manage to get any more climbing in during your trip? From what I heard, the weather deteriorated rapidly from Christmas on (ie the day after we left town).

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Nice climbing tex!,

Next trip try my Rainbow mtn. hook up:

Solar Slab to Chicken lips then run over to Black Dagger. ( 8 pitches, 10 hours CTC)

you still got go-go? fire off Olive oil or Cloud tower!

Another good link up is Crimson or Ginger cracks to Olive oil.

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Black Orpheus to Chicken Lips is a much better link up and probably faster too (plus more pitches and harder with real life cracks!).

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I just looked those up in Swain; continuing on Chicken Lips looks like an awesome link-up!! Thanks for the suggestion. I haven't done any of the routes mentioned, but Black Orpheus to Lips in particular looks hard to beat for a "full" day on the rock. This is now high on my to-do list.

 

On the same topic, can any of you suggest some climbs in the PNW that would be good a next step? ie, fairly moderate stuff that is long, continuous and doesn't wander too much where we can get some more mileage with the relevant techniques. Being more the cragging type, I don't know much about the alpine rock routes in the area but I assume that there is some good stuff to try. The only local route I have heard of that really seemed to fit the bill was Slesse but it is probably out of my league for now.

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Go do the Resolution arete and you should be fine on any long route in the cascades within your lead ability. Slesse offers enough options to make it very moderate. Go buy some guidebooks for the PNW (selected climbs, red beckey guide, waddington guide, bugaboo guide, SW BC alpine select, squamish, etc) and look at the pictures. Whatever looks cool, go do that one. A good route to me or anyone is crowded and crap to another. I go off aesthetics and guide book propaganda.

 

PS. to get to chicken lips from Black Orpheus. You head left and do some scrambling . I think we did one rappell also to like em. If just doing chicken lips, do not approach from eagle wall like swain suggests. head up the black orpheus descent instead. Black O. goes so fast it should be illegeal to call it a grade IV.

 

Have fun and say hi to Mark Limage and Gary Savage if ya know em. If you know Gary, give his dog a kick for me too.

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Thanks for the advice and beta (and if I ever meet 'em I'll keep an eye out for the dog)

 

Out of curiousity, how do you get from Chicken Lips to Black Dagger (and how long does that take?) That must have been a pretty good day!

 

Also if anyone knows some faster times for the routes I mentioned please respond! (probably almost everyone goes faster on epinephrine, I mean the other two). I emailed Bill Wright, who maintains www.speedclimbing.org , to see what sorts of times people have gotten. I'm sure that these routes could be climbed at least twice as fast while roped, even faster when soloed, and really really quickly if one were to run the approach & descent and have 'em dialed. It turns out that people have not submitted much info on red rocks times, so he put ours up there for now but it would be cool to get some real record times posted!

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i can't believe the time for solar slab was even reported, a friend and i free soloed it via ss gully in one hour and change, 7 or 8 years ago, i bet locals can run up it in 20 minutes or so...

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i can't believe the time for solar slab was even reported, a friend and i free soloed it via ss gully in one hour and change, 7 or 8 years ago, i bet locals can run up it in 20 minutes or so...

 

Yep, I didn't expect Bill to put our time on the site--I just emailed him to ask what a fast time might be. I did mention to him that our time is definitely a non-record; his reply was:

 

"I feel that way about all of my times on my site. I just put them up there because I like the route and want to draw out the real records or motivate someone really fast to do it."

 

We were NOT speed climbing by any means. We probably climbed slower than usual. What I found cool was that we cut out a lot of downtime, which made the climbing more fun. This led me to wonder what kind of speed would be possible. Hopefully by having Solar Slab at least on the list, people will be motivated to report what is really possible.

 

Of course soloing a route versus doing it roped are different games and I think it is nice to know a time for each. If you know some fast times, email them to Bill!!

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Out of curiousity, how do you get from Chicken Lips to Black Dagger (and how long does that take?) That must have been a pretty good day!

 

Climb Black Orpehus, follow the descent down the 1st rapell, and climb/solo back up into the painted bowl via a very easy corner/chimney. You should see chicken lips from the top of the Black Orpheus. Black Dagger should be combined with Nightcrawler (you mixed up the name).

It takes minutes to get from black orpheus to chicken lips and is infinetley better than doing solar slab or the likes.

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Solar Slab...2:56 car to car

Olive oil...45 min.

 

Dan M. climbed Epi in 4 hours car to car

 

Now that's more like it!! rockband.gif Are those your solo times?

Also, how did you get down from Solar Slab so quickly??

 

Bill's page has an Epi solo ascent time of 1hr15min by Josh Schwartz, but there is no CTC time mentioned.

 

How about some of the other classics--Cloud Tower, Crimson Chrysalis, Lev29, Black Orpheus to Chicken Lips, etc, etc?

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Out of curiousity, how do you get from Chicken Lips to Black Dagger (and how long does that take?) That must have been a pretty good day!

 

Climb Black Orpehus, follow the descent down the 1st rapell, and climb/solo back up into the painted bowl via a very easy corner/chimney. You should see chicken lips from the top of the Black Orpheus. Black Dagger should be combined with Nightcrawler (you mixed up the name).

It takes minutes to get from black orpheus to chicken lips and is infinetley better than doing solar slab or the likes.

 

So, re:

Nice climbing tex!,

Next trip try my Rainbow mtn. hook up:

Solar Slab to Chicken lips then run over to Black Dagger. ( 8 pitches, 10 hours CTC)

 

Have you actually done this link-up? I can see how Black Dagger and Nightcrawler could be combined, but getting from Chicken Lips to Black Dagger seems implausable. I was assuming that you were serious about this link-up (and about the times you just emailed) but please let me know if this is not the case.

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i hear mike layton also holds the speed descent record for the fox blush.gif

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The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

When you top out on CL you are on top of Rainbow mountain. You have a lot of options. go around the BACK of Rainbow mtn.

Hike down and rap your way to the top of the Gunsight notch.

Rap and hike to the base of BD and enjoy.

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thumbs_up.gif thanks for the beta.

 

I think it would be really cool to get some red rocks (and PNW) times compiled. if anyone has speed info & is willing to supply it, please post it here, or PM me, or send it to Bill Wright (his address is posted at speedclimbing.org).

 

For this it is nice to have details (date, climbers, style of ascent, split times if you have em, url if there is a trip report somewhere, etc) so others get a sense of how it all worked out. I can understand that many people might not be into contributing to this sort of resource, which is cool too, but I thought it would be worthwhile to try.

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I've done Black Orpheus in 1.5 hours and Levatation 29 in just under 4 hours. Epinepherine was 5.5 hours car to car. Even more amazing is my solo descent time from the Fox was measured at 9.8m/s, which is unbeatable as far as the law is concerned. wazzup.gif

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I've done Black Orpheus in 1.5 hours and Levatation 29 in just under 4 hours. Epinepherine was 5.5 hours car to car. Even more amazing is my solo descent time from the Fox was measured at 9.8m/s, which is unbeatable as far as the law is concerned. wazzup.gif

 

I'm surprised the (other) science weenies have left this error uncorrected for so long! It should be 9.8m/s *s!

 

And of course, your actual TIME of descent would be given by

 

square root of 2h/g where h=height and g=9.8m/s*s

 

 

AH.... I feel so much better now. Is that ankle back to 10*10% now ML?

 

 

U1L5d6.gif

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