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#37793 - 06/13/08 01:37 AM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: rg@ofmc]
Frank Florence Offline
addict

Registered: 01/05/00
Posts: 528
Loc: moved to Bend
"Zombies of Slot" is an inspired description of casino clientele...and sounds like an inspired name for a climb.

Your pictures do a great job of illustrating the wide range of color in the rock. As these photos nicely show, one of the pleasures of climbing at Red Rocks is discovering the variety of hues and textures of the sandstone there.

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#37794 - 06/13/08 02:49 AM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: Frank Florence]
tokyo bill Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 793
Loc: Tokyo
Great TR - thanks! Makes me want to go back even more.

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#37798 - 06/13/08 01:30 PM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: tokyo bill]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I was most impressed that you got a chuckwalla to pose so nicely. They are usually pretty skittish.

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#37809 - 06/14/08 03:59 AM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: rg@ofmc]
Jannette Offline

Cliffmama
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 2225
Loc: Gardiner, NY
Rich - terrific report - beautiful photos, great narrative, and an important moral at the end of the story. Looks like a fun trip, nice climbs, and from the look of your summit photo, congrats on maintaining the climbing hunk physique into your "senior" years! It's difficult enough to stay in shape for someone like me who is 20 years younger than you!
You don't stop playing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop playing!

Jannette

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#37810 - 06/14/08 04:20 AM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: Jannette]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2470
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Chip, it was Steve who did both the Chuckawalla photographing and the mesmerizing. I'll ask him how he did it when I see him next week.

Janette, the reality is you play but you still get old, just, one hopes, not quite as fast. As for senior hunkitude, the appearance of muscle seems to have outlasted the function.

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#37888 - 06/18/08 03:16 AM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: rg@ofmc]
saxfiend Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/20/06
Posts: 46
Loc: Atlanta
That was a great trip report, Richard! The photos too. I was really glad to have your advice and tips on the weather before my own trip to Red Rocks; the weather is quite changeable. Now seeing your trip report makes me want to get back there. Congratulations again on Dream of Wild Turkeys after the long wait!

JL

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#37958 - 06/21/08 05:34 PM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: rg@ofmc]
Cornell Climber Offline
journeyman

Registered: 07/12/04
Posts: 61
Awesome trip report! Very well done.

I was out there for three weeks in March and had many of the same experiences. Development has nearly reached BLM land. In fact, you can see terracing for new houses that goes right up to the BLM boundary. But people have to live somewhere, and McMansions seem to be what they want to buy. Vegas is at or near the top of the nation in terms of foreclosure rates, but that will just be a temporary blip. People will keep coming, and builders will keep building.

If anyone feels like reading my trip report, it is at:

http://www.jeffdeutsch.com/albums/20080308/index.html

Story first, then pictures at the bottom.

Nothing to compete with RG's report, but there are bits that I think are funny and a few good photos. I was teaching a class for Cornell Outdoor Education part of the time, and I don't take pictures when I teach. So I'll claim that I *could* have had better pictures. Just like I *could* have onsighted Triassic Sands. Highlights of the trip report include an unplanned bivy on top of Epinephrine, shots of wildlife, and my rants against the airlines.

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#37959 - 06/21/08 08:47 PM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: Cornell Climber]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2470
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Cool report, Jeff. Sounds like you had some major adventures in climbing and baggage handling. And a bivouac on the summit of Black Velvet peak on a March night with the wind blowing---whoa, that's some serious $hit.

I think two of the other things you describe are worth having discussion about, say for the benefit others who may be considering similar choices.

1. Descending from the Solar Slab ledge. The Johnny Vegas rappels have become notorious for stuck ropes, with at least one party stranded at the bottom of a rappel and needing a rescue. I think the gully, much of which can be downclimbed, is a much better option.

2. Descending from Black Orpheus. Going 500 feet over to Solar Slab for the purpose of descending seems to me like asking for trouble. An exposed 4th class downclimb followed by---what---eight rappels and then a thrash back to the packs? All this rather than two rappels, some steep hikin', and a butt-slide down the painted bowl? My experiences in Red Rock suggest that any rappelling that can be avoided should be!

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#37960 - 06/21/08 09:52 PM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: rg@ofmc]
Cornell Climber Offline
journeyman

Registered: 07/12/04
Posts: 61
My experiences in Red Rock suggest that any commercial flying which can be avoided should be :-)

I've rappelled Johnny Vegas twice, and I agree that it is some of the worst rappelling in an area famous for horrible rappels. I think if you are willing to free solo down most of the gully, then that would be a fine choice. However, any time you pull out your ropes in the gully you can expect them to get stuck. I'm pretty sure others in our group tried descending Solar Slab Gully later that week and had stuck rope issues.

As for getting down from Black Orpheus... having done both descents, I still prefer Solar Slab. The upper rappels on Solar Slab are pretty straightforward, and the hike out from the base is trivial. I should add that we did not leave any gear at the base of Black Orpheus because we planned to rappel Solar Slab. If you leave gear at the base, that changes the equation. Walking down painted bowl took much longer and involved lots of third class walking above 500' drops. I did that two years ago in a party of three. Two of us only had rock shoes, the third had approach shoes. He didn't put on his approach shoes until after the butt slide, which helps cement my recollection of fairly serious scrambling.

So to me there isn't a clear answer to either question, but my preference is to rappel Solar Slab vs. walk off Painted Bowl and to rappel Johnny Vegas vs. Solar Slab Gully.


Oh, and after my bivy on the top of Black Velvet, I bought one of these:
http://www.adventuremedicalkits.com/kit_detail.asp?series=1000&seriesNav=&kit=4&kitNO=0140-0138

Large enough for two svelte climbers in a pinch. Seems much less likely to shred than a WalMart space blanket. And the bivy sack style should protect much better than trying to tuck all the edges of a blanket. Haven't used it yet (and hope to never have to) but for the weight and cost, I'll never leave it behind on any big routes.

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#37961 - 06/22/08 03:04 AM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: Cornell Climber]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2470
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
 Originally Posted By: Cornell Climber
I've rappelled Johnny Vegas twice, and I agree that it is some of the worst rappelling in an area famous for horrible rappels. I think if you are willing to free solo down most of the gully, then that would be a fine choice. However, any time you pull out your ropes in the gully you can expect them to get stuck. I'm pretty sure others in our group tried descending Solar Slab Gully later that week and had stuck rope issues.


You may be right, but I'd still argue for the gully. Personally, I've been down it three or four times now. Two of those times were in daylight, the last was in total darkness as mentioned in my TR. Yes, we were willing to free-solo down a lot of the gulley, but we still did, I think, three rappels, (one quite short). The last time in the dark we couldn't see anything and rappelled every foot that wasn't horizontal. Lots and lots of tangles, but no rope hangups. But note: if there is a hangup, it will be a 5.1 climb to go back up. If a rope hangs after the rappel over the overhang on JV, you basically need a rescue (which may be easy to come by if someone is still above you---but still...).

 Quote:
As for getting down from Black Orpheus...having done both descents, I still prefer Solar Slab. The upper rappels on Solar Slab are pretty straightforward, and the hike out from the base is trivial. I should add that we did not leave any gear at the base of Black Orpheus because we planned to rappel Solar Slab. If you leave gear at the base, that changes the equation. Walking down painted bowl took much longer and involved lots of third class walking above 500' drops. I did that two years ago in a party of three. Two of us only had rock shoes, the third had approach shoes. He didn't put on his approach shoes until after the butt slide, which helps cement my recollection of fairly serious scrambling.


Well, I guess this may be a matter of taste. Personally, I'd rather substitute third-class downclimbing for rappelling any day, but not any night; if it is getting dark, rappelling from fixed anchor to fixed anchor may be a better idea. But I remember the painted bowl descent as easier than third class: other than the butt-slide at the end, we hardly ever used our hands (after the two rappels). On the other hand, there is no question that the walk out is easier from the base of the Solar Slab, the price being six more rappels.

As for the Solar Slab rappels being straightforward, the rappelling is, but the slab is very featured and relatively low-angle. The ropes don't fall away from it, they slither down it. As mentioned in my TR, we had the worst rappel hang-up I'ver ever had on the Solar Slab rappels, so I guess that partially explains my aversion to them.

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