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#37756 - 06/11/08 11:26 PM Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report!
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2467
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Good news: not on this site.

Bad news: well yes, yet another Red Rock account. Posted on Super Topo. Lots of photos. If you can stand it, see

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=613224.

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#37758 - 06/12/08 02:34 AM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: rg@ofmc]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2675
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Well done, Rich. I find it incredible how cold that place can be at times and it seems like you hit a little of that weather as well. Great job on the pics and commentary.

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#37760 - 06/12/08 02:43 AM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: chip]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2467
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Chip, I've been to Red Rocks a three or four times in mid-March (it's when I can go) and I've always had pretty chilly weather. Steve and I both wore power-stretch long underwear on every climb except Birdland, and we were never sorry. Even the Solar Slab got kind of cold as the day wore on. As you can tell from the pictures, I had a synthetic fill sweater on a good part of the time and that, together with the long underwear under softshell pants, made life reasonable.

Looking at average temps in Vegas is very misleading. The canyons can be ten degrees cooler or more, and it is often very windy, producing a cooling effect that could well be twenty degrees below the Vegas temps.

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#37765 - 06/12/08 04:05 AM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: rg@ofmc]
Mark Heyman Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1123
Loc: South Jersey (Pinelands)
Wow. Thanks RG. Great pics and great report. Thanks again.

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#37767 - 06/12/08 10:02 AM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: Mark Heyman]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
Excellent TR Rich! Rich is living proof that climbing is the fountain of youth. you are in incredible shape!
_________________________
John Okner Photography

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#37773 - 06/12/08 02:13 PM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: talus]
Ian Offline
member

Registered: 08/25/01
Posts: 106
Loc: NYC
Great fun to read RG! I haven't been to RR for many years so reading your report brought back memories. The first trip I did there was in April '96 and we had perfect 80 degree absolutely no humidity weather. The next year we went out in April again and (not dressed for it) hit hail and freezing temps almost every day. You always have to be prepared.

The other part of your trip that resonated was the urban/suburban sprawl. Taking the drive out of Vegas towards Red Rocks each year gets a little more depressing as the amount of untouched desert between the two shrinks.

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#37775 - 06/12/08 02:23 PM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: Ian]
Dillbag Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/02/06
Posts: 1130
Loc: "The Town"
 Quote:
Taking the drive out of Vegas towards Red Rocks each year gets a little more depressing as the amount of untouched desert between the two shrinks


I guess the housing bubble could slow that down... One good thing about the subprime mess maybe?

Nice TR Rich! Some very nice photos...
_________________________
...anethum graveolens cucumis sativus!

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#37777 - 06/12/08 02:32 PM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: rg@ofmc]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
Still crazy, after all these years ....

Loved it, RG.

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#37784 - 06/12/08 04:56 PM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: Julie]
GOclimb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2359
Loc: Boston
Great TR, Rich! Thanks for the time and effort, and for the heads up!

GO

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#37792 - 06/13/08 12:14 AM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: GOclimb]
BillH Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 59
Loc: Maryland
Great pics; entertaining text. Thanks for posting. Those are the kind of photos I wish I had been good enough to take on my RR trip. My favorites are the ones of desert flora, especially the little tree with snow.
_________________________
Bill Hutchins
Hutbill@comcast.net
http://www.reliclife.blogspot.com

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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: 2675
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: 2224
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 Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2467
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 Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2467
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 Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2467
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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#37964 - 06/22/08 03:24 PM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: rg@ofmc]
Cornell Climber Offline
journeyman

Registered: 07/12/04
Posts: 61
 Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
If a rope hangs after the rappel over the overhang on JV, you basically need a rescue

Our rope hung on the slab below the overhang, and it was easy to lead up and free it. I have never actually climbed Johnny Vegas, but I think it goes right of the overhang. Don't know how hard it would be to lead up and free a rope stuck above the overhang.

I'll have to try Painted Bowl again one of these days. Eagle Dance is at the top of my tick list for Red Rock, so maybe next March.

One other tip for people climbing in that canyon... you don't have to drive the loop road. You can park on 159. Great way to beat the crowds to the climbs since you can start before 6am. We never actually tried it, but the hike is clearly visible from Solar Slab. It looks like a level, well worn trail and seems barely longer than the hike from the Oak Creek trailhead.


Jeff

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#37975 - 06/23/08 04:30 PM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: Cornell Climber]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
When we did Epi we wound up loosing the trail in the dark after getting off of the summit before finding the Frogland descent gulley. The extra 2 hours wandering around on Black Velvet in the dark were not fun, but we did get down than night. From looking at your picture showing what you took it is amazing that you didn't have to haul the whole route, that is allot of gear. We made due with 3 #3 Camalots for the long Chimney pitch which was ok since you can slide a cam up with you pretty much the whole pitch. We got hammered just like you in the chimneys and cruised the rest after the black tower. Even though the upper pitches were not hard it is amazing how much you have to work on something that is normally very easy. I wound up leading a pitch that combined the Elephants Trunk and the the steep 5.9 face just after that which turned out to be what I thought was the best climbing of the whole outing. Not sure I would do it again, but if I do, no shorts and maybe bring knee pads.

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#37991 - 06/24/08 04:34 AM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: Coppertone]
Cornell Climber Offline
journeyman

Registered: 07/12/04
Posts: 61
Stories like yours make me glad we didn't try the descent at night. Wandering for two hours in the dark is bad enough, but the night we were there every gust of wind would knock me off balance. My partner weighs about 110lbs. and I was really worried she would be blown off the mountain.

Yeah, we had way too much gear. The second had a pack with water, clif bars and approach shoes. The leader had to take the entire rack, even if it wasn't necessary for that pitch. Of course, we tried to place big cams as early as possible :-) Even so, after the climb I did a mental inventory and I'm not sure what we could have done without. Maybe get rid of doubles in some of the smaller sizes and eliminate one of the big cams.

I would have HATED to climb the chimneys with only #3 cams. I'm 6'1" and not good at scrunching. So I was comfortable further out in the chimneys where they are wider. To place even the #5, I'd have to wiggle back in the chimney where it narrowed, then wiggle back out to where I could make upward progress. [For those who haven't been on Epinepherine, the chimneys have a good bit of flare to them.] There was no way I could walk a #3 up the chimney with me.

Shorts? Yikes! I had flannel lined pants and ended the climb with holes in both knees (both in the pants and my skin). Yeah, knee pads would be great. Can you get a pair with sticky rubber?

By the way, I realize that for climbers skilled at chimneys, the grades on Epinephrine seem soft. But I've never been much good at chimneys. Even the start of Layback at the Nears gives me grief. Maybe I'll work on that this summer.

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#37994 - 06/24/08 01:33 PM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: Cornell Climber]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2675
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I love the stories from far more confident climbers than I of climbing that and staying out near the edge of the chimneys in order to clip the one or two bolts placed out on the wall for the entire pitch!

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#38000 - 06/24/08 04:36 PM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: chip]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
 Originally Posted By: chip
I love the stories from far more confident climbers than I of climbing that and staying out near the edge of the chimneys in order to clip the one or two bolts placed out on the wall for the entire pitch!


Epi was actually my first chimney and I had very poor technique. Stay in tight I am sure was much harder, but being able to slide those cams up was reassuring. After the first long chimney I thought that my whole body was going to collapse. I found that pitch on Epi harder than the roof pitch on Levitation.

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#38028 - 06/26/08 10:08 PM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: Coppertone]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2467
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
I haven't done Epi, but I know that learning to move out to the wide parts of chimneys can make an enormous difference. For example, I've done the Salathe-Steck twice, and the first time we crawled into the back of every chimney and it took us 15 hours. The second time, with more confidence and technique, we moved to the outside as much as possible and cut our time (and fatigue) in half.

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#38054 - 06/27/08 02:40 PM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: rg@ofmc]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
 Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
I haven't done Epi, but I know that learning to move out to the wide parts of chimneys can make an enormous difference. For example, I've done the Salathe-Steck twice, and the first time we crawled into the back of every chimney and it took us 15 hours. The second time, with more confidence and technique, we moved to the outside as much as possible and cut our time (and fatigue) in half.


Rich we have discussed this. I wish I had you experience as it would have made those chimenys much easier. I have no problem admitting that I was a wuss and staying in tight close to the gear. I have done Epi twice and your experience on Salathe-Steck did not translate for me on Epi as the first time I found it hard and scary. This only helped to reinforce that same experience for the second time around. what would have made a huge difference was kneepads.
[code][/code]

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#38264 - 07/05/08 02:01 AM Re: Oh no, not another Red Rock trip report! [Re: rg@ofmc]
fallenglass Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 08/01/03
Posts: 276
Loc: cornwall
thanks for the tr! (i just got around to reading the recent ones) it makes me want to go there

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