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#35986 - 03/15/08 01:19 PM Red Rock Trip
BillH Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 59
Loc: Maryland
I just got back from a several week trip to Red Rock Canyons. I drove out and back from Maryland, lived in my mini van, climbed some of those great easy/moderate multi pitch routes (e.g., Birdland, Johnny Vegas) with locals I hooked up with via the internet, saw the Grand Canyon and Zion for the first time, and had a terrfic time. I posted periodic reports (and pictures) from the road to my blog. You can check it out at http://www.reliclife.blogspot.com if interested. To get the whole thing in chron order, you need to go back to about Feb 11 and read forward.

Bill
_________________________
Bill Hutchins
Hutbill@comcast.net
http://www.reliclife.blogspot.com

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#35993 - 03/16/08 12:25 AM Re: Red Rock Trip [Re: BillH]
ShakesALot Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 257
Loc: NJ

Nice trip report / blog Bill.

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#35994 - 03/16/08 01:25 AM Re: Red Rock Trip [Re: ShakesALot]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Thanks for sharing. Truely a great area to visit.

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#36005 - 03/17/08 12:54 PM Re: Red Rock Trip [Re: chip]
d-elvis Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/26/00
Posts: 3650
Loc: Central PA
Nice!
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#36172 - 03/31/08 12:37 AM Re: Red Rock Trip [Re: d-elvis]
Frank Florence Offline
addict

Registered: 01/05/00
Posts: 528
Loc: moved to Bend

Thought I'd stick an addition to BillH's nice report about Red Rocks.

I got back yesterday, having left the day the Mountain Gear-sponsored RR Rendezvous was getting started. Even though I left before that crush, most all the well-known moderate climbs were graced each day with a steady queue of college students on spring break and others like myself looking to jump start their season. Here are some of my experiences of what March in Las Vegas was like for us.

The most overcrowded experience of the trip took place on the day when we considered climbing Crimson Chrysalis. This is a popular 5.8 route that ascends a pretty pink arete which stands out against the skyline, giving it an undeniable aesthetic appeal. My partner and I got up early and were the first two on the trail, but I can't walk as fast as I used to, so by the time we made it to the final approach ramp, (about 15 minutes from the base), two parties of two had already gone ahead of us and two more were right on our heels. We'd anticipated this might be the case and had an alternative route in mind, Ginger Cracks, which we ended up doing. That route follows a straight line up the center of a triangular shaped buttress, beginning in a crack system and leading to a featured vertical face. It's a great climb. I was feeling satisfied with our decision, as well as our climbing, when we returned to our packs in the afternoon, but I could hardly prevent myself from feeling smug when we got a view of the route we'd originally considered. There were no fewer that 17 people on Crimson Chrysalis's 7 pitches! Climbers were situated at every one of the top five belay stations, and the ones who had already finished the route were in the process of rappelling back down the same line. What a zoo.

Lotta Balls wall was a close second in the overcrowded site category. We got up there early one day and were starting the third pitch of Black Magic when the second party showed up. They were the advance guard of a stunning parade of climbers. By the time we'd returned to our packs, Lotta Balls, Black Magic, Trihardral, and a few shorter routes all had ropes on them and lines were forming on the first two. We got our packs and left. After a quick scan in the guidebook, we traversed the sidehill over to the Lucky Balls crag, which has a couple of nice, old timey crack and chimney routes. No surprise, we were the only ones there. Later in the afternoon, when we were done, we went back to the LB wall, which had now thinned out, and did one more line before calling it a day.

To be clear, I'm not demeaning these popular climbs, each of which looks quite enjoyable. But with all the rock available in the many canyons at Red Rocks, why should anyone stand in line? I recommend to anyone who finds themselves in similarly crowded conditions to go take a hike, literally. Just as with the Gunks, there are plenty of good lines that didn't make it into someone's "Select..." guidebook or get stars or a thumbs up. When you go there, I hope you'll seek them out.

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#36174 - 03/31/08 01:25 AM Re: Red Rock Trip [Re: Frank Florence]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Well said!

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#36176 - 03/31/08 04:53 AM Re: Red Rock Trip [Re: Frank Florence]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
Frank I agree. Although I can understand waiting a short time at a place like Red Rocks if you have hiked two or three hours to get on a route and you find someone in front of you. That was the case when we did both Epinephrine and Levitation, but both times it was only one party in front of us and they were fast. Fortunately the day I did Crimson we were the only ones on the route. I don't know why you would wait in line at the Gunks with its 5 minute approaches and hundreds of climbs just a few feet away. Hope you had a great time. Red Rocks is always fun.

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#36194 - 03/31/08 07:15 PM Re: Red Rock Trip [Re: Coppertone]
BillH Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 59
Loc: Maryland
I guess February is the time to climb at RR. While walking out after my last climb, I talked to two guys who had just done Crimson Chrysalis. They said they were the only ones on the route all day. It was a Tuesday, but the weather was warm and sunny.
_________________________
Bill Hutchins
Hutbill@comcast.net
http://www.reliclife.blogspot.com

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#36197 - 03/31/08 09:22 PM Re: Red Rock Trip [Re: BillH]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
It really deends on what you are planning on doing. if you are planning on being up in the Canyons on a north facing wall you are likely to freeze. I was up on Rainbow Wall last September when you would be sweating down in the pullouts and we totally froze our #sses off (even though we hiked in without shirts on and were sweating like pigs). Go figure.....

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#36211 - 04/01/08 03:15 PM Re: Red Rock Trip [Re: Chas]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Not that i could imagine myself pulling anything on the Rainbow Wall, but I could easily see that area as being pretty cold in the shade as it starts a fair bit higher than most of the other stuff there. Sorta like Black Velvet area.
I think the real beauty of climbing there is that Joshua Tree is so close and often much warmer if you hit a cold snap in the area. I've even gone back and forth between the two areas to miss rain.

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