Good scrambles in RR


kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 8,300

More progress today on exploring the "grand ridge traverse" of the Calicos.
Pretty much have it scoped out end-to-end. But getting worried I don't have the endurance for that much low 5th class climbing in one day.

Today started NW end at Sandstone Quarry parking. Hiked over to NE end and traversed S over Red Cap peak, then hit as many "nubs" close to the crest as possible along the way S to Tank Peak. Then returned down the maintained trail.

Rather interesting half-day adventure in itself, with several "false leads", and lots more short low-5th-class than I'd have guessed. It's rather complicated terrain. I'd do it again.

For the full traverse ... guess I need to build more endurance and wait till later in the season. (Meanwhile there's Sierra skiing to be done).

Ken

P.S. shuttle between Start+Finish?
well ... Driving out on the Scenic Loop road made me pretty sure I'm not doing the end-of-day shuttle back to Red Springs on a bicycle.


Peter Lewis · · Bridgton, Maine · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 130
kenr wrote: Wow -- that's amazing! Great that you're stretching our vision for the Las Vegas area. meanwhile, back to "mortal" scale . . .

kenr: If you're referring to my little limestone crest essay, thanks, but the praise is a bit unwarranted. My partner and I are just ordinary climbers without common sense or the ability to rightly judge our abilities and stamina, yet still prone to hubris. We did the limestone traverse on our "rest days" between long moderates up on Black Velvet and in the other canyons. And we got totally drilled. The day after the traverse we went to the Black Corridor around Noon (with several rest stops on the approach) and just laid around in the shade drinking Gatorade and occasionally falling asleep.


kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 8,300

Calico Hills -- back to Las Vegas for another fun day out exploring -- this time from the 2nd Pull-Out on the Scenic Loop Rd.

Finished connecting the "grand ridge traverse" (the section between Red Book Point and Calico Peak) in a much more "ridge-y" way than I was expecting.

Key new things for me:

* found a way to connect the main Red Book Point ridge farther NW to another ridge which connects better toward Calico Peak (by way of the "Middle Pass")
. . . (previously I had taken in interesting _gully_ down from the NW end of the Red Book Point ridge, which connected well (by way of the Middle Sand Flat) to the Calico Peak / Tank Peak Pass -- but didn't have ridges).

* found a nice "SSE Ridge to SSE Groove" route to Calico Peak summit ridge from the 2nd Pull-Out parking. Lots of fun interesting ridge climbing -- which can also be used in the "grand ridge traverse".

* SE Gully route to Calico Pk "south viewpoint" from Middle Pass (usually reached from 2nd Pull-Out parking) -- I used as a descent. Gully didn't look good from a distance, but turned out to be rather fun - (details see Branch Whitney book, Hiking Las Vegas, page 75, "Calico Hills II Overlook Route").

* made the connection between the Middle Pass and the Middle Sand Flat -- It's an obvious gully, interesting, but not so easy.

Hope I get some time soon to write up more details.

Ken


kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 8,300

Calico Peak summit ridge (N36.1602 W115.4381) -- some details of route "SSE Ridge to SSE Groove"
. . . (as best as I can remember, likely with some misleading points or actual mistakes).

From 2nd Pull-Out parking (N36.1518 W115.4374) on Red Rock Scenic Loop road, follow trail N down into wash, and traverse N a bit to waypoint (N36.1550 W115.4364) - (not far from the "Black Corridor" sport-climbing sector). Next N up the obvious gully which goes toward the "Middle Pass" (N36.1581 W115.4368) - (which could be used to connect between 2nd Pull-Out and Calico Basin parkings). But about 50 meters before reaching the top of the gully, see a wide drainage above left, with a ridge forming the right side of that drainage. Get over to the bottom of the ridge, around (N36.1576 W115.4371). 

Climb the ridge (much slabby 4th class, with a 5.4 section higher) to the top of a tower (N36.1581 W115.4372) with a chasm behind it. Down-climb delicately into the chasm then traverse Left to another ridge. Up that to another high point (N36.1584 W115.4375). W into a gully, and NNW up the gully about 75 meters. Around (N36.1591 W115.4380) turn right and go NE about 30 meters across an easy wide gully (the SouthEast gully route). Then up a ramp diagonal right to the base of a chimney (N36.1593 W115.4377). Up the chimney and N up a groove to another high point on the Calico ridge, then N up to a short overhanging groove (5.6-5.7) to pop up onto the South end (N36.1596 W115.4379) of the Calico Peak summit ridge. Ridge lovers can continue another 120 meters to the North end of the summit ridge (N36.1606 W115.4386).

Descent: Finding the SouthEast Gully route works nicely to get back down to Middle Pass and then to 2nd Pull-Out parking.

Ken


Austin Baird · · SLC, Utah · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 20
kenr wrote:

Calico Hills -- back to Las Vegas for another fun day out exploring -- this time from the 2nd Pull-Out on the Scenic Loop Rd.

Finished connecting the "grand ridge traverse" (the section between Red Book Point and Calico Peak) in a much more "ridge-y" way than I was expecting.


Could you post up a photo or a topo of this? I'm having difficulty envisioning it.


kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 8,300

NorthWest ridge traverse down from Red Book Point (N36.1558 W115.4336) to "Middle Pass".
. . . (as best as I can remember, likely with some misleading points or actual mistakes).

NW from summit along ridge about 150 meters (over various interesting nubs). Before the main ridge cliffs out, down-climb Left delicately into a gully (N36.1570 W115.4350).
. . . (then descending the gully is rather interesting and leads to the Middle Sand Flat, but instead . . . )
Step across the gully and traverse to a sub-ridge descending NW. Actually there are 3 sub-ridges separated by narrow gullies. Seems like the east sub-ridge was the most interesting and difficulty (and loses the most vertical) which the west sub-ridge is easier. (Likely one or more of the gullies could also be descended, but this is supposed to be about "ridge traverse"). At the base of your chosen sub-ridge is a gully which rises to the South. Up on rock along L (E) side of this gully to a big boulder (N36.1571 W115.4354) which forms the high point of another gully from the other side. Get onto the big boulder. Climb a little 5.6 sequence to get directly up onto the next ridge, or avoid this by descending NW, then up and around to the W and SW to get to there less directly to the SE end (N36.1570 W115.4355) of next ridge.

NW about 50 meters on this ridge: see mushroom boulders ahead. Avoid these, instead turn Left (SW) across gully to SE end (N36.1573 W115.4360) of next ridge. NW about 100 meters on this ridge to reach the Middle Pass (N36.1581 W115.4368) - a nice shade spot. 

Continuing the ridge "grand traverse" up to Calico Peak?
The easiest way is to take the SouthEast Gully route: scramble up roughly N to (N36.1588 W115.4371), then NW up thru (fun) narrow slot and continue into wider gully to around (N36.1593 W115.4378) where can exit the gully to the right to join the "SSE Groove" route to the South end of the Calico summit ridge.

The more "ridge-y" way is to join the "SSE Ridge and SSE Gully" route, by going South down the obvious gully from Middle Pass for about 50 meters, then traverse West to reach the base of the ridge (N36.1576 W115.4371).
Or possibly there might be a more direct way to connect to higher on the SSE ridge, by making a rising traverse W on a ramp up from Middle Pass, then some serious 5th class sequence of unknown difficulty to get onto the ridge. I did not attempt this today because I did not then know if the ridge was actually climb-able and I did not want to be required to reverse that sequence - (anyway it just seemed difficult and scary for me).

Ken


kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 8,300
Austin Baird wrote:

Could you post up a photo or a topo of this? I'm having difficulty envisioning it.

Yes I understand. I'll work on that.
But just now I've got to pack and prep to catch the red-eye flight to New York.

(As an entertaining exercise, try paying money to purchase Branch Whitney's guidebook, and discover that it has no route maps -- only detailed descriptions and photos and GPS waypoints -- no overall map of where the route goes to).

And while we're at it, how about complain to MP management about how to post GPX or KML tracks for climbing routes.
(which the main Euro counterpart to MP --  www.CampToCamp.org has enabled for years and years).


kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 8,300

This overview map of Calico Hills might help a little:
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/112517041 

Here's a topo photo I just put up for some Calico Peak southeast-side routes:
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/113065122

. . . (Don't think I have time to make up a "Red Book Point NW ridge connect" topo photo before my flight boards).

Instead here's one for the crux "slot" of the SE gully route:
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/113065267

Ken




kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 8,300

I've created some more 5th + 4th class route descriptions for peaks + ridges in the Calico Hills, under
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/calico-peaks/112487877

Be glad for corrections and improvements -- and more routes.
Still need to add more photos.

Routes w much more detail than the reports I posted previously​ on this forum thread are the ones on Red Cap and Tank Peak.

Other key missing piece is a description linking up the ridge segments into a single "grand traverse" of the Calico ridges from S end to N end.

Ken

P.S. eager for cooler autumn weather to arrive for more exploring -- and actually climbing some longer link-ups of traverse sections.


kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 8,300

I posted the "grand traverse" of the ridges (and highest peaks) of the Calico Hills here:
www.mountainproject.com/v/calico-peaks/112487877 
. . . (a ways down on the page, under "ridge traverses").

with links to the detailed route description for each of the five sections.

At least one short sequence of 5.6 required. Lots more short segments of 5.2-5.4.
. . . (because of my requirement to stay on or close to the crests of the ridges as much as possible).

Total effort is about
+2250 vertical feet uphill over 3.8 miles distance
. . . (+675 vertical meters over 6.1 km distance).

Doesn't sound like much to me. 

But key qualifier is that more than half of the length is 5th + 4th + 3rd class. So like
12000 feet of climbing and scrambling.
. . . (which is a 30-meter rope length 120 times).

plus Route-finding.

To me that sounds like way over my limit for a single day.

But having now done all of it one section at a time, I feel it's very interesting, and very scenic.
. . . and I give some ideas for shorter link-ups of multiple sections, without undue "connecting the ends" shuttle-setup effort.

Ken


Peter Lewis · · Bridgton, Maine · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 130
kenr wrote:

I posted the "grand traverse" of the ridges (and highest peaks) of the Calico Hills here:
www.mountainproject.com/v/calico-peaks/112487877 
. . . (a ways down on the page, under "ridge traverses").

This looks fantastic! Thanks for posting all of this stuff. Great "rest-day" adventuring in gorgeous surroundings!


Cor · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 930

following..


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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