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[TR] Red Rocks, NV - Rainbow Wall, Original Route, IV 5.12 7/21/2013

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Trip: Red Rocks, NV - Rainbow Wall, Original Route, IV 5.12


Date: 7/21/2013


Trip Report:

After two weeks in a row of failing on big routes I was feeling the need to send. But not just to send for the sake of sending, but to send something sick. I only had one day off, so originally we had planned a big link up at Tahquitz, but a giant wildfire had the San Jacinto Mountains pretty much on evac, so I mulled over our options...a big, difficult route, doable in a day from San Diego. Too hot for the Valley, too much approach for the High Sierra...ahhh...the Rainbow Wall in Red Rocks became the perfect choice.

Nevermind a forecast for 100 degree temps and thunderstorms, when I was finally off work Saturday evening we were headed towards Vegas.


En route we drove through a gnarly thunderstorm with lightning flashing through the rain squalls...pretty much something right out of a hollywood movie. When we finally rolled into our secret Red Rocks roadside bivy shortly after midnight, I was sort of doubtful of our chances for climbing in the morning because of the weather, nonetheless, after setting up our air mattress in the back of Trish's car, I set the alarm for 4:30am just in case...


After a couple measley hours of sleep the alarm was buzzing in our ears, and we quickly packed up and drove to where the Red Rocks loop road exits. We brewed hot coffee and made oatmeal and then set off on bicycles to the Oak Creek trailhead, and were hiking towards Juniper Canyon shortly before dawn.


Trish, wondering just what she's signed herself up for this time



The approach is pretty mellow, up a nice desert canyon and up into some endless slabs to the base of the wall...about 2 hours from the car





Trish up the fixed line on the steep slabs



endless sandstone slabs



finally, geared up and ready to go





we took the 11c variation to the first two pitches



trish following some super fun moves



then I linked the next two pitches into one long ass 11d featuring some laybacking, techy face and balancy but powerful movement

Trish busting some moves



The next pitch went up the corner and then around the roof...way fun 11b



Trish about to get her roof game on



Then I linked the two 5.10 corner pitches together...the pitches on the Rainbow wall are all short so linking is the way to go...why climb a short 80' corner, when you can climb a 160' corner?



then you wander around on some ledges, chimneys and slabs for a while



then traverse over this way



and eventually you are deposited below this...a steep, devious 11d corner



at the jug, and about to get funky



Trish following





after which, you get this...an even steeper, thinner 12a corner....so good!



Trish sorting out the powerful sequences



and then, just in case you thought it was over, you get a sweet 11b roof to top it off





Trish topping out



Vegas from the top



obligatory summit shot...damn it feels good to send!



glad to be done rapping



before long we were hustling down the canyon to beat the oncoming darkness, and to refuell with serious amounts of caffeine for the long drive home


Oh and two big thumbs up to our new Sterling Nano 9.2 70m rope...prob the best rope I've had






from on the beach



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WOW! That's the marquee route at Red Rocks for the few that can rock it. I climbed for a few days with Leo Henson the guy who did the First Free Ascent of the Route and he was talking about Alex Honnold who had just Free Soloed it. I asked him if he sent Alex a note to congratulate him? He said he hadn't but would.

I'm congratulating you, excellent send.

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