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Route development in Red Rock Canyon

Original Post
KrisW · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 89

Hello everyone,

I'm looking for input on the current state of route development best practices within the conservation area. I've read what the gov't website has to say on the matter, and am under the understanding that at present is is considered illegal to place fixed anchors within the area. Routes are obviously still being created, so where does the balance lie? (Is it like "the first rule of fight club" ?)

I've been climbing in Vegas annually for over twenty years, but have never had the time to devote to route development there.

If any of you with experience in this area could contact me with thoughts, it would be appreciated. Pm me if you feel like that would be more appropriate than posting it on here. I come with a solid background of new route development in my home area of Squamish, and a reverence for the spectacular area of Red Rocks.

Thanks for any and all input.

Kris Wild

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530

Fixed anchors are illegal in Wilderness areas of the park, which include, for the most part, all of the canyons and the north side of Kraft Mountain. There are some other areas, so it's always good to check the maps at the local blm before bolting.

Bolts are legal in non wilderness, and several developers are active putting in new sport crags annually. Stainless 5 piece is the preferred bolt for development, although there's no mandate that requires this.

If you have any other questions, contact the local council, and they'd be happy to put you in touch with local developers.

KrisW · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 89

Thank you for the response John. That's pretty much the extent of the information I found online.

What "council" are you referring to? I'd appreciate speaking with or emailing with experienced route developers in the area.


KrisW · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 89

Ok, I found the red rock climbers liaison council website. Is this an active group? There doesn't seem to be much fresh content on their site since 2014.

Weston L · · Summerlin, NV · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 853

Kris - the local Climber's Council is the Soutnern Nevada Climber's Coalition.

Regarding new route development, John's statements above are correct. Bolting in wilderness is illegal (hence the many anonymous first ascents in the guidebooks) and puts you at risk for hefty fines, bolting in the Calico Hills and non-Wilderness (federally designated) areas is legal.

EDIT: I should have read Wilder's post a bit better. NEW fixed anchors are not permitted, however, the replacement of fixed anchors by hand are permitted in the wilderness areas in the park.

Hope this helps.

KrisW · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 89

Thank you Weston.

I figured that might be the case by looking through the last two Handren guide books and seeing so many uncredited newer FA's. If you able to put up a route without any fixed pro within those areas you're fine, but any fixed pro is a hefty gamble, and getting caught would be very expensive.

I'll look into the SNCC for further advice too.


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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