Advice for trip to Red Rocks


Original Post
Thomas Constantino · · MA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0

My partner and I are looking to go sport climbing at Red Rocks.
We booked our trip from Jan 28, to Feb 1. What should we expect in terms of weather? Where should we check out?

We are looking to lead 5.9 / 5.10a and tons of classic/warm-ups.

BrianWS · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 770

It's going to be cold as shit that time of year. Chase sun by staying out of the canyons and sticking to south facing areas. You might be able to get by if you have full sun, no wind, and temps above 40 degrees.

No specific route recommendations at your requested grade range, but get the Handren guide.

will ar · · San Antonio, TX · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 215
Thomas Constantino wrote:My partner and I are looking to go sport climbing at Red Rocks.
Was halfway done typing up a response then realized I was giving you info on the wrong area. In common climbing usage "The Red" is Red River Gorge, KY.

I used to live in vegas and we climbed year round at Red Rocks, but you definitely want to be in the sun that time of year. I recall winter days often being clear and sunny, but a little on the chilly side. If the wind picks up it may be a little uncomfortable.

If you want sport calico basin has a good concentration. Most of the classic routes in the 10a or lower range are probably going to be multipitch trad and sport options really open up when you get into the 10s. The Handren guide is a great resource and you will have plenty to keep you busy regardless.

Not the advice you asked for and it sounds like you've already put down money, but Red Rocks would probably not be at the top of my list for a trip that time of year or for a primarily sport climbing trip. I typically research areas/weather before I put money down on airfare.
John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,500

It should be fine for sunny sport climbing in the afternoon that time of year if it isn't raining.

Most of the best easy sport sees alot of shade, unfortunately, so your selection will be limited.

Walls to check out (south to North)
Jessica's/Dantes
Civilization
Panty
Ultraman
Magic Bus
Hunter S Thompson
Meet Up
Gallery/Wall of Confusion

Also, you may want to change the title of the thread to Red Rock, not the Red. The Red is in Kentucky and not awesome in January.

Thomas Constantino · · MA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0
John Wilder wrote:It should be fine for sunny sport climbing in the afternoon that time of year if it isn't raining. Most of the best easy sport sees alot of shade, unfortunately, so your selection will be limited. Walls to check out (south to North) Jessica's/Dantes Civilization Panty Ultraman Magic Bus Hunter S Thompson Meet Up Gallery/Wall of Confusion Also, you may want to change the title of the thread to Red Rock, not the Red. The Red is in Kentucky and not awesome in January.
Thank you for title change (Just realized) & the advice.. what do you think our weather is going to be like? I'm looking at 60s?
Thomas Constantino · · MA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0
will ar wrote: Was halfway done typing up a response then realized I was giving you info on the wrong area. In common climbing usage "The Red" is Red River Gorge, KY. I used to live in vegas and we climbed year round at Red Rocks, but you definitely want to be in the sun that time of year. I recall winter days often being clear and sunny, but a little on the chilly side. If the wind picks up it may be a little uncomfortable. If you want sport calico basin has a good concentration. Most of the classic routes in the 10a or lower range are probably going to be multipitch trad and sport options really open up when you get into the 10s. The Handren guide is a great resource and you will have plenty to keep you busy regardless. Not the advice you asked for and it sounds like you've already put down money, but Red Rocks would probably not be at the top of my list for a trip that time of year or for a primarily sport climbing trip. I typically research areas/weather before I put money down on airfare.
Thank you, all our investments are moveable. She's been before and says climbing Red Rocks in March was hot & dry. We're keep our foot down and packing a jacket. Looks like I'm ordering Handren Guide.
FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15
Thomas Constantino wrote: Thank you for title change (Just realized) & the advice.. what do you think our weather is going to be like? I'm looking at 60s?
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=red+rock+national+conservation+area+average+temperatures
BrianWS · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 770

March is variable, especially in the desert. You can bake and sweat in the sun if temps are in the 50s, and then freeze your ass off in the shade just around the corner. You should be bringing more than just a warm jacket, especially if you plan on belaying. Hand warmers in your chalkbag are nice for winter climbing, and you'll definitely want gloves for the belay.

Check monthly averages for the area. Lows can be in the teens and twenties, highs might creep into the 60s if you're very lucky - I think the average high is in the low 50s or high forties that time of year. Also keep in mind that the rock needs time to warm up and any wind or moisture is going to make things unpleasant.

Thomas Constantino · · MA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0
BrianWS wrote:March is variable, especially in the desert. You can bake and sweat in the sun if temps are in the 50s, and then freeze your ass off in the shade just around the corner. You should be bringing more than just a warm jacket, especially if you plan on belaying. Hand warmers in your chalkbag are nice for winter climbing, and you'll definitely want gloves for the belay. Check monthly averages for the area. Lows can be in the teens and twenties, highs might creep into the 60s if you're very lucky - I think the average high is in the low 50s or high forties that time of year. Also keep in mind that the rock needs time to warm up and any wind or moisture is going to make things unpleasant.
Right on, so we're going from climbing Rumney, NH in the Fall, to climbing Rumney, NH in the summer. Haha
JK- · · SLC · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 13

Red Rock is my very most favorite winter destination. I've not been in January, but in December the temperatures are awesome. Belay in a light jacket, climb without sort of temps.

The Martin guide focuses mostly on climbs in your range and is well done.
http://stores.sharpendbooks.com/fun-climbs-red-rocks/

Ratings are pretty soft, so it's a good place to try climbing a grade or two above your average. Also has tons of moderate, easy to protect, looong trad routes. If you climb trad they're worth the trip all by themselves and IMO worth taking a day off of sport climbing. If you don't climb trad its worth trying to hook up with someone to drag you up one of them, or even hiring a guide (some of which also offer great educational experiences learning trad)

Some of my favorite areas in RR are The Hamlet, Panty Wall, Ultraman, Black Corridor (could be cold that time of year)and Sandstone Quarry (which has lots of areas... But many good).

Some specific routes to check out:
Little Red Riding Hood (Sport, 5.9, three pitches... Or one REALLY long using every inch of a seventy meter rope on lead)
Unimpeachable Groping (Sport, 5.10b, four pitches... A couple of small cams are nice but not mandatory)

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,500
JK- wrote: Little Red Riding Hood (Sport, 5.9, three pitches... Or one REALLY long using every inch of a seventy meter rope on lead)
I think you mean Big Bad Wolf
JK- · · SLC · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 13
John Wilder wrote: I think you mean Big Bad Wolf
Yes... Right. It's riding hood wall. That's what I get trusting my lame brain to remember stuff.
MrZ · · Colorado · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 10
BrianWS wrote:It's going to be cold as shit that time of year. Chase sun by staying out of the canyons and sticking to south facing areas. You might be able to get by if you have full sun, no wind, and temps above 40 degrees. No specific route recommendations at your requested grade range, but get the Handren guide.
Definitely false, it has potential to be cold (as low as 20'-30's). However odds are if there is no wind there won't be any issues at all. You may want to chase sun but definitely bearable in the shade if you are used to climbing in colder weather (less than 50)

Past five years I have been there around that time there was only a 3 day stretch when climbing was not possible due to cold (low 40 degree temp/ with 20-30 mph winds).
BrianWS · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 770

http://www.climbingweather.com/Nevada/Red-Rocks/averages

False in your experience, not in mine. This person came looking for others' experiences and anecdotes, that's what he's getting. No need to discredit mine because you had a good streak of weather - winter weather is not consistent, and most of the casual clip ups, which the op is looking for, are harder to find in comfortable condition given aspect and shade.

Froze my ass and fingers off half the time I was there and had some awesome days with mild temps and good sun. Advice still applies - chase sun, avoid shade, prepare for uncomfortable temps but don't rule out decent conditions.

Thomas Constantino · · MA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0

Maybe I'll review my trip insurance and see if I can push back a month, or forwards a month.

Either way, consulting the Handren guide when it ships will be nice.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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