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Sherri

[TR] Red Rock, NV - Prime Rib 3/1/2010

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Trip: Red Rock, NV - Prime Rib

 

Date: 3/1/2010

 

Trip Report:

Looking to escape the crowds enjoying lovely weather at Index last week, I flew to Vegas in time to catch the tail end of yet another storm soaking the desert there. El Nino has made it tough to catch a good weather window at Red Rock this winter. I knew the forecast looked bleak, once again, but I was desperate for a sandstone fix so I decided to chance it. My gamble paid off.

 

PR_Summit.jpg

 

 

On March 1, a sunny, mild Monday, Argus played hookey so we could meet up with Maurice Horn to climb Prime Rib, a new 5.7 multipitch put up by Maurice last winter on Disappearing Buttress(aka Illusion Buttress). The 500ft buttress is located outside of the loop and is accessed via the same desert track used to reach Illusion Crags and Windy Peak, off of Hwy 160. Handren's Red Rock guidebook has a good map of the approach. The track is rough in spots, and I'm not known for my driving skillz(I've run over a few cars)but it was good enough for my little Suzuki rental car.

 

*All photos courtesy of Argus*

 

As the name implies, Prime Rib follows the prominent rib up the south face of the buttress. (Great winter or cool weather climb!)

Prime_Rib.jpg

 

 

P12.jpg

Maurice and his partner John started up the first pitch, which is 115' of mostly 4th/5th class, to a belay ledge with with a pine tree and some finger size cracks for gear. Beware of loose/soft rock on this pitch. A foothold blew out from beneath me just after I placed my first piece. The route is still "maturing," as Maurice puts it.

 

Maurice has been excited to see this new route attract increasing attention, envisioning it becoming perhaps another moderate classic here. Case in point: we were no sooner off the ground before another party of three showed up behind us(though they chose not to follow after indicating that they thought our pace was too slow. Oh snap.)

Maurice.jpg Maurice belaying John at the base of P4

 

Argus took the lead on P2, 115' of 5.7 steep face climbing around a small roof with some runout sections. Again, watch for fragile rock.

P2.jpg

 

Pitch 3 was my lead, about 100' of pleasant 5.6 climbing on good rock, trending right of the rib following a curving crack up the face, with plenty of nut-placements available between varnished plates and a few bomber handsize cams. You could also climb directly up the rib(which Maurice and John did) but pro is a little more sparse going that way. We belayed atop a pillar of soft white rock on the arete.

P31.jpg

 

Pitch 4 was probably the best one of the route150ft of steep 5.7 face climbing up beautiful varnished plates which gradually traverse up and right, then straight up. Argus did a fantastic lead.P4.jpgPR_P4.jpg

 

The last pitch was a short easy one up a water chute/gully to your right then up left of a large boulder.

Last_pitch_of_Prime_Rib.jpg

 

This route could be easily broken up into more or less pitches, though rope drag could be a factor if you stretched the pitches too much.

 

The descent is a relatively mellow walk-off across the slabs to the climbers left, working your way down and left around the base of the buttress, passing beneath "No Country for Young Men" before returning to your pack. The trail is loose and bushy in places yet, but should get better with more traffic.

 

This a beautiful area with a remote feeling(compared to the Loop) and plenty of good rock for everyone. Don't be surprised if you are stuck behind a first ascensionist.

 

 

 

Be sure to bring along beta for the other routes here(a growing list which includes No Country for Young Men, 5.8; Varnishing Act, 5.9.), as well.the Handren guidebook which includes Illusion Crags in case you want to round out the day on the shady single-pitch lines there.

Mountain Project--Disappearing Buttress

 

 

 

 

Gear Notes:

60m rope, several long slings, standard rack to 3".(Our #4 Camalot was placed but not essential). The face sections are protected primarily with nuts and Aliens (if you still carry them.) Helmets are a smart idea.

 

 

Approach Notes:

We parked at the pullout for Illusion Crags, though you could also park at the next pullout(toward Windy Peak) for a more direct start to the hike.

 

The hike from the pullout to Disappearing Buttress took about an hour. The trail to DB is indistinct initially(do not stay on the obvious trail veering left toward Illusion Crags), but trend high then right watching for scattered cairns which cross a waheventually funnel you up a more obvious trail leading left to the base of DB and start of Prime Rib.

 

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Good call on escaping the crowded crags of the PNW. While at Index and Vantage over the weekend I actually lost track of where I was. I thought I was at Bellvue Square Mall for awhile. Looks like fun!

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P4.jpg

Way to get off the beaten path, Sherri! Looks like a sweet Epinephrine-style chimney variation possible on Pitch 4?

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Looks like a sweet Epinephrine-style chimney variation possible on Pitch 4?

 

It would be hard to justify getting into that chimney after seeing the steep sweet jugs out left.

 

There's a very nice chimney on the frontside of Disappearing Buttress. It's the 1st pitch of Missing Nothing and is a tad bit easier than anything on Epinephrine, but would be good practice. There's also a tree at the top that you could set up a rappel.

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