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colt45

Red Rocks: Cloud Tower et al.

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I was back in Red Rocks March 12-20, and finally got around to assembling a trip report!

 

Here's the breakdown for those who do not have sufficient time or motivation to click on the link:

 

Day 1: Saturday. Sour Mash (7p 5.10a) with Merrick & Yuko

Day 2: Sunday. Triassic Sands (4p 5.10c) with Merrick & Yuko

Day 3: Monday. am: Sport climbing at the Gallery. 10b, 10a, 10d, 12a (work).

Day 4: Tuesday. "rest day". bigdrink.gif

Day 5: Wednesday. Cloud Tower (7p 5.11+) with Loren.

Day 6: Thursday. The Fox (5.10d), Caustic (5.11b) with Merrick, Loren, Yasmeen.

Day 7: Friday. Simul-climb Johnny Vegas/Solar Slab with Merrick (13p 5.7; about 4.5 hours to summit).

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the 2nd 5.11+ pitch is a good corner crack and is more strenous than technical. It's pretty big the whole way up, clean falls likely. The 1st 5.11+/12a pitch is easily aidable but you need a bunch of thin aliens.

watch out on rappel.

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It is also worth noting that my photos do not do justice to that final pitch. It's huge, steep, and smooth. There are three overhanging bulges encountered on the way, and the last one is the crux. But as layton said, it's endurance.

 

The rappel was not bad, I think that some bolts may have been added recently. The longest rap we had to do was ~150' (you rap straight down a gully, not down the route). There are some trees where the rope might get stuck but we didn't have any problems.

 

One more thing worth noting is that the Todd Swain topo mentions a "5.10+ scary offwidth". This is BS. That section of the route is 5.8 or easier. This section involves a tower where you need to tunnel behind it to get to the final pitch. If for some reason you climbed up the side of the tower instead of climbing through it might be an offwidth, but that would involve going the wrong way b/c you would need to downclimb the other side to get to the belay!!

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Yeah, that O.W. was easy.

What was SCARY was the pitch below that. A rope stretcher 3.5 inch unvarying crack. It may have been easy, or hard. I wasn't paying attention. I was more keyed into the fact that I had no gear for 200 feet.

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