Early May climbing


Original Post
rock_fencer · · Columbia, SC · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 265

thinking of possibly doing valley or red rocks. other thoughts on different long route locations within continental US that isnt NC or NH. Too early for wind river range?

T

Dan Cooksey · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 365

May is tricky. Colorado has climbable multi pitch year round, the issue you run into is long snowy approaches in areas.

Red Rocks should be perfect though.

DMarti Marti · · custer,sd · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 0

Zion

Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 483

We too are looking for a late April/early May trip, though with the record snow, the Sierra may be great for skiing and snow friendly routes. Following, and interested in what you decide, T

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,497

Early May can be hot at Red Rock. Relatedly, the BLM campground closes near the end of the month.

Anyone know how Cochise Stronghold would be?

DanielHart · · Carpinteria ca · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 5

El portal has some of the best uncrowded granite I've ever seen and you'd be in striking distance from Yosemite and the whole Sierra if weather looks favorable.

DavisMeschke Guillotine · · Pinedale, WY · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 200

May is WAY too early for the winds. With the snow year we're having, I wouldn't be surprised if it's mid to late June before we can get into the mountains without skis or snowshoes.

rock_fencer · · Columbia, SC · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 265
DMarti wrote:Zion
I dont know much about Zion climbing or the logistics. Familiar with RR and the valley which have thier own respective issues. Any specific suggestions. Likely given how out of shape not going to be doing much more than 5.9 routes as my gf and I haven't been climbing in months now

T
rock_fencer · · Columbia, SC · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 265
Brian Abram wrote:We too are looking for a late April/early May trip, though with the record snow, the Sierra may be great for skiing and snow friendly routes. Following, and interested in what you decide, T
not sure brian. im just not in peak shape honestly and camping in the valley is such a pain in the ass. Tuolome is likely to still be closed in early May so im currently leaning towards dealing with the heat. After all i am a desert dweller by birth. I'll let ya know. We're shooting for May 1-8th as we have a wedding on april 30th.

T
JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 100
rock_fencer wrote: not sure brian. im just not in peak shape honestly and camping in the valley is such a pain in the ass. Tuolome is likely to still be closed in early May so im currently leaning towards dealing with the heat. After all i am a desert dweller by birth. I'll let ya know. We're shooting for May 1-8th as we have a wedding on april 30th. T
I can relate to the feeling that Yosemite is just too much of a nuisance. That said, Red Rocks camping isn't that much less of a hassle. And any of the higher elevation stuff in the Sierra will be snowbound, given the huge snowpack. Some applies to places like the Winds.

Red Rocks in early May is actually pretty good. The camping will be hot/sunny (get a hotel?), and anything in the sun (Solar Slab, etc) will be much too hot. Same goes for the sport climbing- too hot. But the best multipitch climbing is on the shady varnish walls anyway. For the long routes way up in the canyons, in the shade, conditions should be perfect. Plus the longer daylight in May is nice for the long routes. If you hike in early, before it gets hot, and climb long routes in Black Velvet in the shade, you’ll be happy. Great time of year for Epi (first ascent was during the summer).

There are other good options, though. Notably: Tahquitz. May is a great time to be there. The snow should be gone by then, except maybe a few patches in the gullies, and temps/weather are generally quite nice at that time of year. There’s nothing super-long like at Yosemite or Red Rocks, but for 3-6 pitch multipitch routes it is great. The rock quality is on-par with anything in Yosemite. Easy/moderate grades (5.7-5.9) are very well represented with a slew of classics. Camping is easy and convenient, and includes an official campground at the county park, and some free dispersed camping at South Ridge.

Other ideas to consider:

Lumpy Ridge, CO: Should be snow-free by then, but not yet crowded. Temps in May are nice (climbs get a lot of sun), and the summer T-storms aren't an issue yet. If you end of getting defeated by weather you can retreat to lower elevation climbing in Eldo or Boulder Canyon.

Devil’s Tower: A unique feature. Could easily be combined with a stop in the Needles (SD), which are a few hours away. Both should be nice in early May.
DMarti Marti · · custer,sd · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 0

Zion is full awesome hiking , canyonerring to go with the climbing. I only climb one route to the summit of angels landing. 5.8 or 5.9 and about 8 pitches. There was 2 more right by that one I was looking at a few low angle cruisers that we big but never got the chance to get one them. I've been dying to get back since. I've been to RR and Moab a few times over the last year and both bad ass desert climbing. Zion blew me away with how cool the area was. I've never heard anything but great and epic things about elephants perch in idaho. Classic 8 pitche route at 5.8 and 5.9. I'm hard press to decide which one to hit in may. Look into both of them and let me know what you think. Who knows we may end up at the same place.

D

PS. Not over 400ft but Custer State Park, Rushmore in SD and Devils Tower wy is prime in May. About an hour and a half apart and we'll worth a trip. I spent the last 6 years climbing there. If your a bit out of shape this could a good place. Virtually no approach, lots of 120 to 140 ft single pitchs, mixed in with multiple, no waiting in line, and plenty of things to do on a rest day. small population of climber, but they're all solid a good guys. If you head that way I can provide tons of Bata answer any questions you may have e

rock_fencer · · Columbia, SC · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 265

I've done devils tower and although a fun destination...not what im looking for on my one week climbing a year i get

Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 483

Though it's not long routes, we are leaning toward Indian Creek.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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