Red Rocks vacation

Chris and I made a last minute 5 day trip to Vegas. We did things in fine style, staying in a hotel, and climbing every day. The result was a great trip filled with super-classic routes.

Day 1 was shortened by the flight and a need for supplied. Still, it was a great chance to test the waters for future shady climbs. We headed to Whiskey Peak in Black Velvet Canyon, where we climbed the short, but super classic Triassic Sands.

Day 2 was the big day for the trip, climbing Levitation 29 (IV, 5.11c). One of the the all time Red Rock classics. I thought this route was a great challenge, with numerous difficult (for me) pitches. While the quality of the rock varies a bit over the route, the steep, well-protected climbing made the climbing awesome. Chris and I both climbed the route with no falls, which I am pretty happy about. This was the most technically challenging long climb I’ve done, and I had to fight pretty hard for the crux.

Day 3 – “Rest Day” We climbed the classic 5.7 Olive Oil. I was pretty blown away by the quality of this one. It is really a beautiful climb, and a great way to spend a mellow day. The downside came when I ripped a gear loop off my harness while leading the 2nd pitch, dropping a significant amount of our already spartan rack. We still made it through, and some surly Austrians returned our slightly banged up gear to us.

Day 4 – We climbed Dream of Wild Turkey’s on Black Velvet Wall. 10 pitches of awesome crack and face climbing up a remarkably steep and moderate wall. Considered one of the world/country’s great climbs for the grade, I’d be hard pressed to disagree. On the 4th pitch we bootied 2 cams and a pretty new 60m climbing rope. Unfortunately, our luck would run out on the 2nd rappel, when our own rope became hopelessly stuck. Chris had the honor of ascending our 7.8mm ropes and fixing the problem.

Day 5 – Another late start day, with a climb of Unimpeachable Groping on Ginger Buttress. We thought the climb would be in the sun, but that isnt true if you arent there first thing in the morning. Nonetheless, we stayed warm enough. After the somewhat hollow and low-quality first pitch, the climb delivered a lot of enjoyable and varied 5.10 sport climbing, with a great 5.8 slab finish to a pretty cool mini-summit.


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