Chrimson Chrysalis

Posted by: tallgirlnyc

Chrimson Chrysalis - 10/04/13 03:47 PM

I know it's not in the gunks but....

Any one done this route in Red Rocks?

I am going to be there in November and it's on my tick list. Worth it? Overrated? Would love some feedback if you've got it.

Thanks and H A P P Y F R I D A Y!!

Posted by: Adrian

Re: Chrimson Chrysalis - 10/04/13 04:18 PM

I've done it. I personally think it's overrated. Dark Shadow and Frogland are better 5.8 than CC. Make sure you are the first on route, otherwise, it's a freaking long wait. CC has boat load of bolts, random ones next to a perfect trad gear placement.
* Single rack should be more than enough.
* I think you need 70M or double 60M to rappel.
* CC can get super windy and cold in November. Bring something warm. Its in the shade in late fall, winter.
* November, daylight is short, if you are not fast, bail before it's dark.
* Rappel is a bitch with rope snagging. If you rappel in the dark, it'll get epic.
* Some of the belays are uncomfortable.
* If you can climb Gunks 5.8, then you should be able to cruise this route.
Posted by: fotovult

Re: Chrimson Chrysalis - 10/04/13 04:32 PM

There are better long routes in RR but for the grade it is pretty cool, accessible 1000 feet of climbing at mostly 5.8. Great little summit, but belays aren't the most comfy.

Def bring warm clothes - will be in the shade almost entirely and can get kinda windy.

Get on it early - being the first ones on is pretty key to summiting. The grade attracts a lot of beginners, who can clog the works pretty tightly on this route. Watch the wind forecast - definitely will complicate the rap situation if it is blowing.

We did it in november, and came down in the dark after getting a rope stuck on the descent. Definitely call ahead to the late check out and give them your vehicle info just in case, there is no service at the base.

We took a light rack, 70m lead line and a 70m tag, which let us skip some rap stations on the way down. We were at the gate when it opened, first on, and as a party of 2 were pitches ahead of the group of 3 behind us - I don't think they summitted.

Have a blast - there are so many good long routes in the park. I've done birdland, frogland, tunnel vision, sundog, wild turkeys, olive oil, dark shadows, crimson, black orpheus, levitation 29 - all stellar. The Eagle wall, depending on your grade, can be great in cooler weather. Long approach but stellar routes in the sun most of the day. Birdland gets sun and has great cragging nearby at the brass wall, and frogland is pretty sweet for a 5.8. First 4 of dark shadows is pretty sweet too.

Good cragging at willow springs area, and tons of sport that gets sun (stratocaster, sunny and steep, gallery) if it's too cold.

Have a blast...

Posted by: Cornell Climber

Re: Chrimson Chrysalis - 10/04/13 04:39 PM

I've done it at least five times. It is pretty straightforward, and routefinding is easy. Will feel like a Gunks 5.6 for the most part. Prepare for cold and wind and a long day if you don't move quickly. I've always rappelled with double 60m ropes. Don't know if it can be done with a single 70m. You can bail from any belay anchor if you want.

Pitches 2 and 3 link when you are leading on 60m ropes, as do 8 and 9 (but expect more rope drag if you link those two). Also, 5 and 6 will just barely link on rappel if you have two 60m ropes. So the rappel beta is 9&8, 7, 6&5, 4, 3&2, 1 which is much faster than doing 9 rappels.

Overall, I'd say that it is one of the best moderate 1000' climbs in the USA. But that is just my opinion.
Posted by: SethG

Re: Chrimson Chrysalis - 10/04/13 05:02 PM

I haven't done it but if you troop out to CC and find a bunch of parties ahead of you, I recommend you do the nearby Ginger Cracks. Great, varied climb, with no lines of waiting parties. Also Unimpeachable Groping is around the corner.

Another full-length 5.8 you should consider is Jubilant Song. I really loved it.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Chrimson Chrysalis - 10/04/13 05:57 PM

I agree with most of the comments. Potential for severe crowding, potentially cold (wear long underwear!), potentially very windy, potential for rappel epics, long enough to end up benighted. Overbolted at this point although not originally (I've done it twice about fifteen years apart), way easier than comparably-graded Gunks climbs, but of course much longer, so multipitch efficiency (not exactly the hallmark of many Gunks climbers) matters.

I don't think the actual climbing is memorable, but the formation itself and the positions are spectacular, and there aren't many routes in this country of that length and steepness with climbing so basically moderate. So overall I think it deserves its classic status, in the same way perhaps that High Exposure, with its rather uninteresting climbing, is nonetheless a classic. At nine pitches, there is no comparing CC to Dark Shadows (unless you do Dark Shadow to the top of Mescalito, which only a minority of the ascenders do). I agree that the climbing on Frogland is more interesting (and a bit harder), but the ambiance on CC is superior and it is longer. Jubilant song is a very good route, but has two pitches that are harder than anything on CC. One of those pitches is 5.9 in my opinion, with the pro beneath your feet at the crux.

The second time I did CC it was in ominous weather conditions in March, and we had the route entirely to ourselves. It was dark and chilly, and the wind gusts were strong enough to nearly blow us off our stances on occasion, but the compensation of being alone on the route made up for the extra difficulties. (I should add emphatically, however, that one should get off and stay off the rock---for as much as a few days---if it is soaked by rain. In our case, precipitation never happened.)

I think the somewhat dicey rappelling situation is best handled by climbing with half ropes. There is a real possibility of hanging ropes on most RR climbs, and if you aren't there on one of those crowded days when there are others above you who can help, you can be in for a serious epic.

This is especially true if you use a tag line and set up your rappel in the usual way, which involves pulling the tag line. If the main rope hangs on the way down, you are left with nothing but a tag line, at which point you are just a dumb tourist stranded on a cliff. If you insist on using a tag line, then learn how to set up your rappels so that you pull the main rope. Of course, this means you have a very thin tag line falling down the rock, and it is probably more likely to jam than a normal-sized climbing rope.

If you are rappelling in high-wind conditions, you need to have your techniques for that dialed---do not throw the ropes! I think the best method is to lower the first person down, but you can also have the first person carry flaked coils with them. If, like me, you use a rappel device that tends to twist the ropes a bit, then carrying flaked coils, in addition to the tangles that sometimes happen with the system in any case, can be pretty slow and clumsy, because there is no place for the twists to go to unwind.
Posted by: acrophobe

Re: Chrimson Chrysalis - 10/04/13 06:23 PM

A lot of excellent advice above. Those who think CC is classic seem to do so because it epitomizes Red Rock face climbing. The naysayers seem to object because it is so much of just that all the way up.

Remember that everyone else who wants to do this will be trying to make sure that you are not the first one on the route that day.
Posted by: ShakesALot

Re: Chrimson Chrysalis - 10/04/13 06:29 PM

If you can avoid a weekend day do so.
If you can hike fast (and don't get lost) you'll have a better chance at being first wink
Posted by: tallgirlnyc

Re: Chrimson Chrysalis - 10/04/13 06:37 PM

Thanks for all the great information and opinions guys. Really appreciated!
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Chrimson Chrysalis - 10/05/13 06:24 PM

O, if this is your first time at RR, then the approach will seem long and confusing.
Posted by: tallgirlnyc

Re: Chrimson Chrysalis - 10/06/13 12:36 AM

Nope..been ther 6 times...sage brush scramble woot!
Posted by: whatthegunks

Re: Chrimson Chrysalis - 10/06/13 03:21 AM

Hi Dana. I'll be out there starting around 11/2. It would be great to cross paths. Send a note to joe@alpineendeavors if you are going between the 2nd and 13th. J.
Posted by: tallgirlnyc

Re: Chrimson Chrysalis - 10/06/13 04:59 PM

Thanks Joe! Sent message :-)
Posted by: RangerRob

Re: Chrimson Chrysalis - 10/08/13 04:48 PM

Red Rocks is closed!
Posted by: retroscree

Re: Chrimson Chrysalis - 10/08/13 05:54 PM

not all of it. The BLM land that is not within RRNCA and stuff accessed from outside the loop road are open.

Red Rocks TR on Supertopo
Posted by: tallgirlnyc

Re: Chrimson Chrysalis - 10/08/13 07:01 PM

Hopefully the crazy fringe shut down of our government will be over by this week. People are seriously suffering, especially those living paycheck to paycheck.
Posted by: GOclimb

Re: Chrimson Chrysalis - 10/25/13 10:12 PM

Lots of good advice here. I think part of how much you like it depends on what kind of climbing you like. If you enjoy stuff that's different, thoughtful, keeping you on your toes at all times, with a guaranteed feeling of adventure, then you may feel a little let down. Also if you're a solid 5.10+ trad climber, you may feel a little let down. Or if gratuitous bolts make you seethe....

Otherwise, I think you'll have a blast.

Two tips to beat the crowds:
1 - There is a shortcut that most people do not know. I believe it is in the Handren Guide. If you don't have the guide, or just want to confirm, email me and I'll send it to you.

The one time I did the route, we set out from the parking lot about ten minutes behind another party. They took the standard approach, and we beat them to the base (and we're not especially fast) by five or ten minutes.

2 - If you have the time and the inclination, do some other routes in that canyon the day before, and leave most of your gear stashed (obviously don't leave anything the varmints might consider tasty). This allows for a really fast approach the next day. (This holds true for any of the routes in RR that benefit from a really early start)

Have fun, and dress warmly!