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Otto

[TR] Red Rocks, Nevada- several 10/1/2005

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Climb: Red Rocks, Nevada-several

 

Date of Climb: 10/1/2005

 

Trip Report:

I've had a dreamy couple of days at work thinking of the trip to Red Rocks just completed. chucK had the camera, so I hope he can provide some pictures here. We had a productive stretch of days, arriving Saturday morning, 10/1 and flying out Wednesday night 10/5. Here's what we did:

Day 1) Fly in, get rental car and camp site, start climbing at 3:00: First three pitches of Prince of Darkness. I led the second pitch which was hard for me, off the couch and out of shape. Huge relief to get a 5.10 on-sight lead out of the way so early in the trip. Successfully followed chucK up the next pitch, 5.10c, amazed to get up it.

Day 2) Did Epinephrine on my 50th birthday. Thanks to my wife for understanding that there could be no better way to celebrate. Started late, having moved to a hotel on the Strip, climbing at about 9am. But still ran into another party in the chimney! I thought it was all over, but chucK was highly motivated and negotiated passing them using two nearby anchor ledges. We got back before dark, but they probably did not! I hope they were comfortable.

Day 3) Stil in Black Velvet Canyon, did Refried Brains. Two wonderful 5.9 pitches with short off-width sections made the day a blast. We didn't go to the top as we didn't bring hiking shoes up the wall, rapped down after 6 pitches.

Day 4) Went to Oak Creek Canyon, did Black Orpheus, another classic. I got the first 5.9 crack, which was very fine jamming and stemming. chucK got the worrisome 5.9+ pitch, but it was only one move and easy for tall people.

Day 5) Went to First Creek Canyon, did Lotta Balls. They say this is the most famous pitch in Red Rocks, where you pinch these little mushrooms of desert varnish the size of marbles to golf balls. Next chucK backed off of Rob Roy, 5.10-, at the first bolt, a devious start. Then I did my hardest pitch of the trip: Gin Ricky, 5.10c. It felt harder than Sloe Children at Index. Anyway, it had me gasping and talking loudly to myself, "Come on, Come ON!". A fingertip crack in a huge dihedral leaning over a slippery, smoothly varnished wall for 20 of the 180 foot pitch. Now that we had a rope up, we top-roped chucK's Rob Roy thing, and of course it wasn't that hard and he was bummed! We finished off with the easy pitch Kindergarten Cop in the Romper Room.

 

That place is fun, but it's easy to come back broke.

 

Gear Notes:

#4 Camalot for Refried Brains.

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I'm leaving in two days for Red Rocks....I'm absolutely stoked, and reading your tr has certainly helped. We'll be doing some of the easier stuff to start with (Cat in the Hat, Olive Oil, Crimson Chrysalis), but I've heard it's the best moderate stuff in the states. I'm not sure how hard we're gonna push the grades, but probably not above 5.10ish. Any other recs for routes?

 

Cheers...

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The Chrysalis and Black Orpheus are among my all-time favorites, as are Dream of Wild Turkeys and Frogland, both in Black Velvet canyon. If there are lineups for those routes, Sour Mash is a nice longer climb nearby that doesn't get much traffic. What a great place!

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You forgot to mention one of the highlights of the trip. Our descent from Black O via the gulley right of Solar Slab. A fun canyoneering experience!

 

506704-gulley.jpg

506704-gulley.jpg.2b93e372b099cdd06f699d977fc4ca80.jpg

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Nice picture. Yes, that was great, down stemming chimneys with the pack hanging off the harness. There were rappel anchors set up for this stuff, but chucK made a game of downclimbing them instead. He made all but one, a real drop-off. The one in the picture was easy, with all those beautiful huecos on the wall.

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A correction that might make a difference to onlookers

 

We didn't get started climbing on Epi 'til more like 10:30am (we left the campground around 9am). Epi is a real cruiser route as long as you don't get freaked out by easy chimneys. We topped out around 4:30, and we had plenty of time to lazily make our way back to the car before darkness hit @ 6:30.

 

Otto is in error about us staying the previous night on the Strip. This may be of interest to onlookers as even though the Strip is much further away, we got much later starts from the windy campground. So Hotel room = earlier start. If you fly down there, it seems fairly easy to get a package where a couple nights hotel stay is basically thrown in for free.

 

Also, he got his pitches switched around on the Prince of Darkness

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That Solar Slab gully is a REALLY fun descent in the dark!

Later found that the leftward slab traverse from the top of Orpheus is much more efficient. At RR, early starts and headlamps are never a bad idea!

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yes yes, the descent down the painted bowl is much much better better, you can also rap solar slab area but why when the decent is fun fun!

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