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OlympicMtnBoy

[TR] Red Rocks - Frogland and Epinephrine 3/8/2008

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Trip: Red Rocks - Frogland and Epinephrine

 

Date: 3/8/2008

 

Trip Report:

It seemed like a good week to start the weekend real early, so I hopped on the plane on Wednesday after work (ok, so i bought my tickets a couple months ago when they were super cheap), and met up with an old friend from the Peace Corps and hung out on the strip for a day.

On Thursday my climbing partner Brendan showed up so on Friday we headed out to the Black Velvet Canyon trailhead to warm up on Frogland, a nice 6 pitch 5.8. Problem was we couldn't find the road to the trailhead. After driving up and down the highway a few times, we finally realized that the road we wanted now lay behind a gate and a construction site. There is an alternate road, but it required a high clearance vehicle, not our VW Rabbit rental. Hey, it's only like a 3 mile walk though, so off we trudge into the sun and dust.

 

010_red_rocks_with_stewart_R0011437.JPG

Fortunately we only had to walk for 3 or 4 minutes before someone came along and stopped for my outstretched thumb and sad look. Of course they already had a truck box and two bikes and three people in the vehicle, but we crammed, me on top of the boc, and Brendan sandwiched with the bikes. We made it to the TH and picked up Josh who we decided would follow behind us and solo TR on rope we'd fix for each pitch. Brendan and I wanted to make sure our two person team was up to speed for Epinephrine, so that method was easiest and Josh would get a lot more climbing than rope soloing on his own.

 

By now it was nearly 1 PM. But we got to the base of the route without much delay. Frogland was a good solid fun time and a highly recommended route. We summited Whiskey Peak and then made our way down the descent (which is also the last 1/3 of the descent from Epinephrine) and back to the packs before dark. We stashed some gear knowing we'd be back that way early in the morning and likely hiking in.

 

040_red_rocks_with_stewart_IMG_1393_from_stewart.jpg

After a quick bit back in town we were in bed, and then out again at 3 AM. Some truck stop coffee got us to the right spot on the side of the road and we started hiking. It only took us 45 mins or so to hike to the TH and we quickly found our stashed gear and loaded up with another team just arriving in their truck. We made it to the base of Epinephrine about 15 mins ahead of another party of two but got on the route first.

 

Unfortunately I got off route in the middle of the first pitch (missed a key bolt to head towards) and the other party caught up on the alternate start. They said one of them had done the route before and they were going to do some linking/simuling so we let them go ahead (I know, I know). We followed on their heels, but without too much waiting to the base of the 5.9 chimney fun.

 

The day before, when discussing if we wanted to do Epi or not, I had volunteered to lead a block of the first 5 pitches, including all the chimneys, if Brendan would haul both our packs, so we lashed out two tiny packs together for him to dangle off a sling. As soon as the other team cleared them I started up. For me it was one of the funnest pitches of the route, fairly slick but solid chimneying, and only really runout for one section near the top. I actually missed the "real" belay and went nearly a full rope length to an alternate station.

 

From there some more fun 5.9 bulges, and a scary 5.8 runout bolted chimney that felt harder for me, finally got us to the top of that bit. Then the route changed to mostly face climbing with big patina holds and I let Brendan take over the leading for the next 5 pitches. You really get some good exposure from up there, especially since the climbing feel like the gym with such huge holds. The party ahead of us finally realized we were probably slightly faster than them and waited for us to pass (thanks guys!) at pitch 7 and we cruised the rest.

 

The last runout bit wasn't bad, then past a super juggy roof and on to the easy stuff. We mostly simuled and swung long leads for the last 6 pitches. We hit the summit, snapped a few more pics and then headed down, managing the descent in the last remaining light.

 

Back at the parking lot we could see some headlamps on various descent routes, but no one nearby, so we opted to hike back out instead of trying to bum a ride, thus making our trip "car to car from the highway". We thought that should be a milestone of some sort, at least it encouraged us for the last bit of hiking.

Chile's fed us and we camped out in the wind for a final night. Our last day was spent just hiking around and checking stuff out before heading back to town. I picked up a couple women in the Bellagio and won and lost some of their money playing roulette, but that's another story for another board.

 

All in all, a fricking awesome couple of days of climbing for my first Red Rocks trip. And the scary chimneys ended up being the highlight for me!

 

More pictures are up here (cause they aren't showing up right inline right now): http://picasaweb.google.com/brendan.mcmahan/RedRocksWithStewart

 

Gear Notes:

Nuts, double set of cams from green alien to #3 camalot, plus one #4.

 

Approach Notes:

Main road to Black Velvet is closed due to construction, take a 4WD or high clearance vehicle on the back road or hike.

Edited by OlympicMtnBoy

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Looks like it wa an awesome trip, getting two classics under your belt....great pics on the link! :tup:

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So how bad is the rerouted approach to Black Velvet? I'm headed there in a month and was wondering what kind of car I'll need to get back there.

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So how bad is the rerouted approach to Black Velvet? I'm headed there in a month and was wondering what kind of car I'll need to get back there.

 

We got out there in a Subaru WRX, loaded with gear and four dudes, but we had to be real careful .

 

Would recommend stopping by the visitors station or the camp host for a color copy of the road topo, it takes a little bit of route finding.

Edited by powderhound

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It would be possible in something like that, but you'll likely have to take some of the creek wash crossings and such out of the road ruts, meaning you might be scraping against the bushes and stuff. If you have a rent a car this can be an issue. I'd go for something with a bit more ground clearance and 4wd if you can. Or maybe the road topo lists a better route, there are roads crisscrossing that area, you might be able to patch together a decent route, but it won't be the obvious one.

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So how bad is the rerouted approach to Black Velvet? I'm headed there in a month and was wondering what kind of car I'll need to get back there.

 

We got out there in a Subaru WRX, loaded with gear and four dudes, but we had to be real careful .

 

Would recommend stopping by the visitors station or the camp host for a color copy of the road topo, it takes a little bit of route finding.

 

Well... I remember doing it in a rented Chrysler Sebring a year and a half ago. It was close but not that bad, I just had to watch where I put the wheels. I suppose the "rented" part was helpful.

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Well... I remember doing it in a rented Chrysler Sebring a year and a half ago. It was close but not that bad, I just had to watch where I put the wheels. I suppose the "rented" part was helpful.

 

Were you going back to Windy Canyon on that road? As far as I can recall the Black Velvet road was open at that time.

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Well... I remember doing it in a rented Chrysler Sebring a year and a half ago. It was close but not that bad, I just had to watch where I put the wheels. I suppose the "rented" part was helpful.

 

Were you going back to Windy Canyon on that road? As far as I can recall the Black Velvet road was open at that time.

 

Eh I don't know all these fancy "names" you locals use and I'm probably wrong.

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The main road to black velvet is closed (intermittently or entirely) while they construct the new parking lot. They are rerouting people to black velvet on a 2x4 road, which sounds like it could be a little sketchy in a rental. This is the same road that goes out to Windy Canyon.

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What's the deal on "new parking lot"? Are they constructing a parking lot for BV Canyon access, or is it for something else?

 

 

Oh and Olymtnboy, way to go. Nice job on pushing through the access hurdles and getting those climbs done.

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i found the approach moderately challenging (we did epi three weeks ago) for a 4 WD that has pretty low clearance. the clearance is more of an issue than needing 4wd. pack a cooler with some cold ones for the drive out.

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What's the deal on "new parking lot"? Are they constructing a parking lot for BV Canyon access, or is it for something else?

 

The new parking lot is for horseback riders. It will be where the mountainbike parking lot was before. There will be an outhouse there. The BV road will remain unimproved, but it will be accessed from the new lot.

 

The mountainbikers supported this new lot. In my opinion this was a major mistake on their part. No more single tack. No more seclusion. For the riders it's going to suck. For us...it probably won't make any difference.

 

Jason

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