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ivan

winter recommendations for zion/red rawks?

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pat n' me are going apeshit w/ the relentless dark 'round here and are heading south for the last week of the year - i've only been to zion n' red rocks in spring n' wonder what you super-brains think about good winter routes?

 

in zion i've already done spaceshot n' touchstone, which i might redo as i recall they get a fair bit of sun - what else is there that's relatively warm?

 

red rocks i've done the solar slab n' olive oil n' cat the hat n' geronimo, all south facing i think - what else is good?

 

note to self: buy real beer before entering u-tard!

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Eagle Dance is more or less south=facing and also high on the wall so you get a bit more day length. I would recommend considering an overnight permit, too, so then you could have a bit more leisurely trip. Other good climbs up there, too; not sure if you can get multiple days on the permit (but perhaps). Have to check notes but I think you can get away with one 70m rope there, too. Lots of fixed gear on that climb, as well.

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My favorites:

*Chrimson Chrysalis is a classic. But very popular, get there early.

*The Black Orpheus - probably my most favorite climb in Red Rocks, fine exposed situations and good value for the grade. South facing. Descent may have some snow in it, best to check w locals

*Frogland (popular), easy walk off descent

*Epinephrine - another classsic, haven't done it, but on my tick list

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already done cc and frogland and both were in the shade most of the day as i recall - isn't epinephrine north facing too?

 

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Go do The Black Orpheus. Long, fun day out, mostly easier than 5.9. And you can simul-climb the middle pitches up to the headwall to make the day a bit shorter. Now i remember there is a descent that involves two full rope length raps (also south facing so prob won't be snow). Avoid the descent for Solar Slab as thats the one that may have snow on it. Swain describes several descents, i am recommending the one with the 'typewriter ball' as a trail marker.

 

Exposed climbing, but comfy belay ledges all the way up. Pic looking back on the belay ledge from the final pitch:

P3250114.JPG

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i recall red rock grades are pretty soft - still, i ain't a 5.10 climber - the supertaco says its a real short 5.10 crux though, but you can't cheat through it and you can't rap from there either - makes me a wee bit nervous :)

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Black O is a cruise. You should be fine - very fun route and cool position. Epi will be cold - brrr. Birdland is also good for a cool winter day but there will be crowds.

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If you need to chase the sun and want something moderate go climb Birdland in Pine Creek Canyon. Ultraclassic, 5 pitches of 5.7 climbing, good elevation gain off the desert floor, and all day sun.

Also, Armatron and Black Dagger on the Brownstone Wall are 5.9 and 5.7 respectively and get sun til mid day, start early as the approach takes about 60-90 minutes.

Purblind Pillar and Tunnel Vision on Angel Food Wall are also good but they only get morning sun.

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Ivan. Bastard, damn you and red rawks! I just got back from there :).

Stay away from the Black Velvet canyon in December as those temps are 10 deg lower than elsewhere in RR and stick with the routes that are in the sun for the most of a day.

 

I thought Birdland was a pretty good warm up, a sunny moderate 6p Beacon 5.6 :).

Rap with one 70 (a better option) or doubles (expect stuck ropes).

 

 

Horndog-Sundog link-up on the Solar Slab. A full value. In the sun all day. Routefinding on the Horndog is convoluted, very long winding pitches and a full set of tri-cams is needed for p2-3 which was kind of sketchy for people like me who never placed a tri-cam before :).

 

Tunnel Vision on the Angels Food is your carrot. Although p1 is in the shade in the morning, the new and improved 5.9 variation on the right has two new bolts through the roof. The right chimney of the P2 gets the morning sun, while the left OW is in the shade and freaking cold. We did the 5.8 left var for pp3-4, as that side is in the sun and there are 2 sets of new bolted anchors before you get to the "Tunnel". Bring the headlamp for the Tunnel - it is going to be your favorite pitch - one crappy piece of gear for 150' in the dark! The summit of the Angels Food is very cool with a very scenic descent that you don't need to haul you approach shoes for.

 

Anything on Mescalito tower from where you can tag the actual summit via the OW chimney and the open book above it - extra 700'of climbing. If you have done Cat in the Hat, there is a 5.10 d bolted arete variation to the left on P5 that stays in the sun all day. The descent off the summit was however a total suck. Out of the three available options, we chose the "best" one - involving 7 rappels, and bushwhack scrambling, that took almost as long to get down as to climb the whole thing.

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Birdland was cool. Recommend 70 meter rope.

 

Crimson Chrysalis is good as well. We were down there in late Feb or early March and it was just cool enough to keep the Californians from gang-raping it. Be mindful of stuck ropes, and bring a headlamp up the route. We started late, topped out at nightfall, rapped the whole thing at night. One headlamp did the trick but two would have been smarter.

 

If it's too cold or windy to climb skip the casino seen and drink beer in the Goldstrike Canyon by Lake Mead. Lots of cool hot springs and good scenery.

 

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do you really have to have tricams for the sundog? didn't see any wierd routes like that on my one trip out there.

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i recall red rock grades are pretty soft - still, i ain't a 5.10 climber - the supertaco says its a real short 5.10 crux though, but you can't cheat through it and you can't rap from there either - makes me a wee bit nervous :)
Kind of like the crux on right gull... Cheatable bolts, if I remember. Still, not that hard though. Course, I did almost 20 years ago so memory may not be too reliable. Awesome position and exposure! Stellar 5.9 finger cracks to cruiser 5.8 laybacks towards the top.

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do you really have to have tricams for the sundog? didn't see any wierd routes like that on my one trip out there.

No. Only for the Horndogger. And you can borrow them from me tomorrow :).

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Probably Power failure early in the morning. Crimson is going to be way too cold in Feb, unless there is some sort of heatwave. Browstone wall will have some sun on it, Ginger cracks is very good 5.9 (not easy for the grade), but again- will be too cold. Black Orpheus will be in the sun till noon- upper pitches will be cold in the shade, which will hit it by 12 or 1 pm. Impeachable Groping is a bolted multi pitch 5.10 and will have sun till about noon.

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The crux moves in question are 5.9-ish (imo) right off the belay ledge and bolt protected, though there will be a bit of a pendulum fall if you blow it. If I remember correctly, you can stand on the bolt and get a nut in above you. Or you could get Pat to lead it. Please post a pic when you get back.

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