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Red Rock Newbies - Recommendations?
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By Kowboy
From Washington
Sep 22, 2011

My wife and I will be in RR through the week of Oct 3-7 and I'm looking for some recommendations. I have done a lot of research but welcome input! We sport climb up to about 5.10b and want to try some trad climbs in the 5.5-5.7 range. We're looking for some options for shade and possibly walk-offs, although we will bring two ropes.
I'm looking at Willow Springs area for what looks like shade options, but I know there are north facing options in some of the canyons. Don't mind hiking in the sun, just don't want to bake on the rock. Thanks! Kowboy


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By Edwin Rowan
From Vancouver, BC
Sep 22, 2011
Made it! Great payoff to a long hard day!

Hey Kowboy,

for my first trip down there, I did Geronimo & Birdland. Not walk offs, but they were a great intro to RR and really fun climbs.

Ed


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By Matt Marino
From Georgetown, MA
Sep 22, 2011
Haul Bag

I'd check out Angel Food Wall, you have options in the 5.5-5.7 range: Tunnel vision, group therapy, sandy hole (some others), purblind pillar is a fun 5.8 (soft 8, try the others first)plus Angel Food Wall is in the shade early in the day. The walk off for Angel food is pretty straight forward during the day but I did run into a group trying it at night without headlamps and they were having a hard time (before anyone asks yes we did the right thing and got them down safely; as a rule I always bring a headlamp anywhere in RR). The walk off doesn't go right back to the base so go fast and light if you can.

Stay away from the easy stuff on solar slab if you want to beat the heat. I thought Birdland was fun but wouldn't do it again because of the crowds, 4 people at a belay station while one person is leading and another person is rapping above them is a little much for me. Have fun Red Rocks rules.


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By smassey
From CO
Sep 22, 2011

www.mountainproject.com/v/frequently-asked-red-rock-question>>>

This sticky is really useful for folks that haven't been here before. It answers a lot of questions. The above options are all great. Birdland is best rapped with a 70 - two ropes are a PITA. There are also some good moderates on the left side of Whiskey Peak (Shaeffers, etc.)that shouldn't hopefully be too hot at that point. If you don't already own it, buy Jerry Handren's guidebook at Desert Rock Sports desertrocksportslv.com/ when you get here. PM me for specifics if you'd like.

Also, if you'd like some long and somewhat committing, but easy and sometimes runout, multi-pitch the First Creek Slabs is an excellent area. Be prepared for runouts in the 5.5 range, but depending on the route, the harder terrain is protected. (Lady Luck, Hot Flash, Sunset Slab)


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By Darren in Vegas
From Las Vegas, NV
Sep 22, 2011
Skiing around.

smassey wrote:
www.mountainproject.com/v/frequently-asked-red-rock-question>>> This sticky is really useful for folks that haven't been here before. It answers a lot of questions.

If I add a thread that references the sticky to the thread that is the sticky, does it tear a hole in the space time continuum?

Cross your fingers, we're going to find out.


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By Princess Mia
From Vail
Sep 22, 2011
Chillin' at City of Rocks

Cat in the Hat - rap route
Dark Shadows - rap route
Solar Slab -long fun walk off or rap the solar gully
Tunnel Vision - walk-off
Frogland - walk-off
Ragged edges (the first pitch is 5.7, the second 5.9 if I recall right) - walk-off
Olive Oil - walk off

Cant remember all the ratings but they are all pretty easy and awesome and multi-pitch. If you sport 10b they should be pretty easy for you. In october you should be able to climb in the sun unless it is unusually hot.


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By smassey
From CO
Sep 22, 2011

Haha! Well put, sir. Isn't Vegas already a hole in the space-time continuum though?

Ragged Edges is great. It can be done in a long pitch if you want, bring a 4,5 camalot. It's 5.8, but the OW is not that bad. If you do that, do a top-belay TR on Chicken Eruptus, the 10b gear-protected face just to the right. It's outstanding, and a good example of the unique style of climbing here.


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By Kowboy
From Washington
Sep 22, 2011

I have checked out the sticky and it is quite helpful...but there is SO much information, I just wanted opinions from those who've been there, done that...like the tidbit from smassey about a 70m rope for rapping Birdland. Taking one rope instead of two would be a really nice bonus! I'm planning to bring our regular 60m cragging rope and then a brand new (I almost hate to use it) 70m 9.4 skinny thing that would be perfect for linking and rapping long pitches. We'll hammer on the 60 at the sport crags and bring the 70 for the trad leads. Thanks everyone - if you think of anything else - it's all appreciated!


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Sep 22, 2011

Kowboy wrote:
I have checked out the sticky and it is quite helpful...but there is SO much information, I just wanted opinions from those who've been there, done that...like the tidbit from smassey about a 70m rope for rapping Birdland. Taking one rope instead of two would be a really nice bonus! I'm planning to bring our regular 60m cragging rope and then a brand new (I almost hate to use it) 70m 9.4 skinny thing that would be perfect for linking and rapping long pitches. We'll hammer on the 60 at the sport crags and bring the 70 for the trad leads. Thanks everyone - if you think of anything else - it's all appreciated!


one of the neater things about red rock is the ability to rap most routes here with a single 70m line. its well worth bringing.


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By Kowboy
From Washington
Sep 27, 2011

Thanks John, and everyone for the input. Looking forward to the trip - just one more day of work to get through! :)


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By -sp
From East-Coast
Sep 27, 2011
Buenos Dias!

Mia Tucholke wrote:
...Solar Slab -long fun walk off or rap the solar gully...


Is there really a long, fun walk-off? I've never done them, but I was under the impression the both the gullys were long and not fun at all.


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By smassey
From CO
Sep 27, 2011

Sort of. Unless your idea of walk-off includes downclimbing 5.4, both descents from the top of solar slab involve rappelling. There are plenty of alternate ways down, but they're not the type to recommend to nOObs, unless you're an evil sandbagger...
The solar slab gully ends at the terrace at the start of the Solar Slab proper. It is the typical descent for anyone just doing one of the lower routes, or rapping from the top of the 7th pitch of SS.
The walk-off is "fun", in a sense, since it is a nice tour by the base of the Eagle Wall and it saves you having to get your rope stuck on the SS raps.


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By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From Los Alamos, NM
Sep 27, 2011
Climbing at the Belvedere crag near Nago with a great view of the northern end of Lake Garda and the town of Torbole sul Garda below. June 2013.

Darren in Vegas wrote:
If I add a thread that references the sticky to the thread that is the sticky, does it tear a hole in the space time continuum? Cross your fingers, we're going to find out.


Whoah. I don't know the answer but I do know it blew my mind!

Seriously, though, that sticky is great. Well done.


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By -sp
From East-Coast
Sep 27, 2011
Buenos Dias!

smassey wrote:
Sort of. Unless your idea of walk-off includes downclimbing 5.4, both descents from the top of solar slab involve rappelling. There are plenty of alternate ways down, but they're not the type to recommend to nOObs, unless you're an evil sandbagger... The solar slab gully ends at the terrace at the start of the Solar Slab proper. It is the typical descent for anyone just doing one of the lower routes, or rapping from the top of the 7th pitch of SS. The walk-off is "fun", in a sense, since it is a nice tour by the base of the Eagle Wall and it saves you having to get your rope stuck on the SS raps.


"...both descents from the top of solar slab involve rappelling...." Do you mean both gully descents?


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By Jonny d
Sep 27, 2011

Get ahold of Jason Martin's Fun Climbs Red Rocks here: www.sharpendbooks.com/cgi-bin/store/agora.cgi?p_id=00087

Jason was the American Alpine Institute permanent guide in Red Rocks, took tons of new and moderate climbers out on a regular basis, and knows this place like the back of his hand. Get the guidebook-- it'll give you the real deal. You won't be disappointed.


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By sqwirll
From Las Vegas
Sep 27, 2011
Cool snow formation at the base.

-sp wrote:
"...both descents from the top of solar slab involve rappelling...." Do you mean both gully descents?


Scott is talking about the painted bowl descent to the west. There are a couple different ways to do it, but either way you'll end up doing 2-3 raps.


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Sep 27, 2011

-sp wrote:
"...both descents from the top of solar slab involve rappelling...." Do you mean both gully descents?


no- scott is referring to both of the painted bowl descent(s) and possibly the east gully descent that no one ever does. all require at least one rappel, but you only need a single line for them.

for more beta on all that, see Black Orpheus's page on the site.


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By smassey
From CO
Sep 27, 2011

It's so good to be understood... Glad to see that my predecessor/boss's book is getting some press. For a visiting moderate trad climber, Jason does a great job of giving detailed beta on a good handful of classic and more obscure routes.


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By -sp
From East-Coast
Sep 28, 2011
Buenos Dias!

John Wilder wrote:
no- scott is referring to both of the painted bowl descent(s) and possibly the east gully descent that no one ever does. all require at least one rappel, but you only need a single line for them. for more beta on all that, see Black Orpheus's page on the site.


Thanks John, I didn't think there was an easy way off without rapping.


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Sep 28, 2011

-sp wrote:
Thanks John, I didn't think there was an easy way off without rapping.


Well, if you're strong and dont care, you can downclimb the raps at 5.4ish into the Painted Bowls- take the upper descent and it results in about, oh, 100' of downclimbing that matters, give or take.


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By Joe Cayer
From Mesa, Az
Sep 28, 2011
Torchraker!!

Kowboy,
If the weather is right, here are my recomendations.

  • Olive Oil - 5.7 - 70m to link pitches 2+3 = walk-off
  • Cookie Monster / Cat in the Hat - 5.7 - 2, 60m's = Rap CITH
  • Crimson Chrysalis - 5.8+ = Rap with 2, 60m's / I've done it with one 70m. Some down-climbing was required.
  • Geronimo - 5.6 - 2, 60m's = rap
  • Johnny Vegas - 5.7 - 1, 60m to rap the gully
  • Fold-out - 5.7
  • Dark Shadows - 5.8


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By SexPanther aka Kiedis
Sep 28, 2011
Thumbtastic

For your purposes, a good idea might be buying the Greg Barnes Supertopo guidebook. Nothing against anyone who takes time and effort to put out a guide, but I bought Jason's and wasn't all that thrilled. It focuses on the easiest, most beginner-friendly crags, which pretty much means that without having any criteria to base your choices on other that that book you'll likely get stuck at gumbied-out crags with doo-doo rock (Hamlet, Cowlick Co Crag, etc) that are not very outstanding from an aesthetic standpoint. If I lived here and was starting from square one I'd be psyched on Fun Climbs Reds Rocks, but if you only have a few days you don't want to end up spending your vacation time on a 5.7 sandy TR wall in Calico. There are great easy climbs out here that didn't make it into that book, and I think the Supertopo book gives the most accurate info, light weight, nothing more than you need to rage around here for a few days. Handren's is hands down the best guide to the area and the one to get if you intend to come back a lot; on the other hand between Supertopo and MP you're getting the best deal for your money and the book's small enough that it'll actually end up on the route with you. My 2 cents. The routes suggested by others above are all pretty good or better.


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By Kowboy
From Washington
Oct 12, 2011

Thanks for all the great feedback - nice to know this site is still dedicated to positive comments and reinforcement to those who like to climb! We were first to the wall 10/7 at Birdland, with a 2nd party (and 3rd and 4th) soon following. Great climb! 5th pitch protection is definately the crux, although 4th pitch early-on is a bit run-out, but easy climbing...all pitches had their cruxes for a 5.7 leader, but nothing scary. Truly a great outing on a beautiful day in RR!! The whole trip was fun with lots of other climbing as well, a 10.d sport was my personal best, though not clean, I made it up eventually! You desert rats have it made...Kowboy


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