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[TR] Snow in the Desert - Mt. Potosi and Red Rocks - 3/3/2015

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Trip: Snow in the Desert - Mt. Potosi and Red Rocks -


Date: 3/3/2015


Trip Report:



I flew down to Las Vegas to spend some time with Audrey and climb a little, maybe get some aerial shots and take a few photos. Also maybe visit Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond...I wasn't sure if we'd have enough time. We made it out to Mt. Potosi (just a bit south from Red Rocks) Sunday where there was a healthy chance of precip. The Clear Light Cave is pretty sheltered from the rain, so the worst that would happen is that we'd get soaked on the Tiger Cable Trail-esque approach. I didn't pack any rain gear on this trip. I didn't even pack any pants. I guess I thought worse case I'll make a waterproof shell out of cactus skins and pants out of a cyote or wild donkey hide. I didn't count on cacti being so sharp or donkeys being so hard to catch.


Elevation at the Clear Light Cave is probably around 5200ft, and it was cold. Audrey and Keoni got on the warm-ups (easiest are in the mid/upper 11s), then they both did a few harder routes. Keoni has been working on a climb Audrey has done previously called Power Windows (5.13d). I TR'd one of the warm-ups and bailed after my fingers felt like they were going to break off from the cold. After trying it again post-warming up it wasn't nearly as bad, I guess I just needed to get the blood flowing (or quit being such a p#%@y).


It started snowing pretty heavily about an hour in. Big flakes made a curtain in front of the cave, and landed on some of the desert cacti. Keoni and Audrey kept climbing a bit while I got some footage and explored some other vantage points outside the cave. There wasn't much wind, so you could stand there and listen to the snow flakes hit the rock, interrupted only by the occasional sound of draw clipping, which would echo in the cave.


I didn't have much time in Vegas, but I made it out to Red Rocks proper after a storm the next day while Audrey got a massage. Nobody was climbing due to the weather/damp sandstone. Things looked pretty empty outisde of the tourists driving the loop + using the scenic pull-outs. Stormy skies hung over textures and colors of the park and surrounding mountain, and the red against the snowy backdrop reminded me of fiery, late fall larches in the Enchantments. I headed back as it got dark, thinking again about how much I like the landscapes out here. I think most people that visit Las Vegas miss the best part.


You can click on any pic to see a larger version.















Copied from my blog.

Edited by lukeh

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