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Good training area in Red Rock


Original Post
Clifford Meece · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 146

Hi all,

I've only been to Red Rock once, so I only had a sampling of the area, but I will be back in June and would like to know if there is a good area where I can teach two newbies to rappel.

I'm an AMGA SPI, but this won't be a commercial outing...just teaching a buddy of mine and his daughter to rappel (may include some climbing).  Ideally I'm looking for an area that has as many of these qualities as possible:

1) a short approach hike
2) easy scramble access to the top of a route suitable for rappelling
3) a generous ledge/bench at the top so I can introduce the concepts. I can teach on the ground as well, but I'd still like a generous bench to get them rigged in comfort.
4) bolted anchors or area for pro set well back from the edge (like many of the routes in Joshua Tree)
5) a route that isn't too steep or long for their first go
6) nearby to a route with a little more exposure if they are up for it
7) In a little shade or shade nearby for part of the day when I can give the lesson
8) near some easy climbing routes if they are up for it.
9) ideally the anchor is bolts or large objects to sling....I have no problem with active or passive anchors for this activity but I find clients are put more at ease if they see a large tree, giant boulder or big shiny new bolts as the anchor(or all three lol).

I've taught the father to rappel before, so it's just a refresher for him.  I also took his daughter climbing and she struggled a bit, so I want to really ease her into this.  Their goal is not to become climbers really, so this is more of an 'experience' day, but the father does do some canyoneering and is just getting into the technical canyoneering side now, which is why I am focusing on rappel instead of say, climbing movement.  The daughter is a very strong hiker and becoming a decent scrambler, so this should also help her getting used to what technical canyoneering may be like for her if she decides to continue her training.

Thanks in advance.

Mike Knight · · Canton, Mi · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 50

cannibal crag. you can scramble up the back to get to the top. 

l rs · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 405
Mike Knight wrote: cannibal crag. you can scramble up the back to get to the top. 

I believe this will only be in shade in the early morning and/or evening in June so not the best option, IMO. Willow Springs is a good choice as it meets most  of your criteria and will be in shade most of the day. Also the Cowlick area is used by many groups to teach rappelling.

Clifford Meece · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 146

Thanks, that looks pretty good.  Bonus is that it has Caustic, which was on my todo list but I couldn't get there last time, so maybe I can get the tick while I am there. 

Jeremy Saqr · · Southern California · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 45
https://www.mountainproject.com/route/106337029/the-plays-the-thing

A mellow 5.5 with anchors you can scramble up to from climber's right. There's a comfortable standing ledge at the top with anchors around waist/chest level, perfect place for teaching the rappel setup! The hike in isn't too bad, either. The climb itself is pretty low angled slab, so the rappel is almost walking down, but this is still a great starting point considering the standing conditions at the top.

Once you're done there, hike up to the top of Lower Hamlet for a more exciting rappel! (using the bolts for Undiscovered Country or What Dreams May come mountainproject.com/photo/1…)  
John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,535

Cannibal LATE in the day *might* be okay in June. You'll need the sun to drop below the top of the Calico Hills for it to even be remotely tolerable- I'd guess that won't happen before 5pm in June.

I'd second the Willow Springs choice- its backed up much closer to the higher mountains in the escarpment, putting it into the shade much earlier in the day. Ragged Edges area will work well, has a really short approach and you could probably be out there around 2pm and it'd be pretty shady. 

Clifford Meece · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 146
Jeremy Saqr wrote: https://www.mountainproject.com/route/106337029/the-plays-the-thing

A mellow 5.5 with anchors you can scramble up to from climber's right. There's a comfortable standing ledge at the top with anchors around waist/chest level, perfect place for teaching the rappel setup! The hike in isn't too bad, either. The climb itself is pretty low angled slab, so the rappel is almost walking down, but this is still a great starting point considering the standing conditions at the top.

Once you're done there, hike up to the top of Lower Hamlet for a more exciting rappel! (using the bolts for Undiscovered Country or What Dreams May come mountainproject.com/photo/1…)  

Wow, thanks!  That looks about perfect.  I can tie them in on one end and munter hitch belay them as a backup, and set a releasable rappel, let them rappel  down the other strand and climb back up to me. 

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,535
Clifford Meece wrote:

Wow, thanks!  That looks about perfect.  I can tie them in on one end and munter hitch belay them as a backup, and set a releasable rappel, let them rappel  down the other strand and climb back up to me. 

Yeah, this would probably be horrible in June unless you were out there at 6am and could be done by 9am at the absolute latest. The Hamlet sees full sun all day.

Clifford Meece · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 146
John Wilder wrote: Cannibal LATE in the day *might* be okay in June. You'll need the sun to drop below the top of the Calico Hills for it to even be remotely tolerable- I'd guess that won't happen before 5pm in June.

I'd second the Willow Springs choice- its backed up much closer to the higher mountains in the escarpment, putting it into the shade much earlier in the day. Ragged Edges area will work well, has a really short approach and you could probably be out there around 2pm and it'd be pretty shady. 

I climbed mostly at first pullout and then Jubilant Song on Windy Peak last time, but I drove by all the major areas.  I remember Willow Spring being nice and cool in the shade and the picnic area was nice.  If it's too hot for The Hamlet, or I can't get the timing right on Cannibal, I think Willow Springs would be a great idea.  I like that it is further back and has a more remote feel than stuff around 1st/2nd pullout/Red Springs/Calico.

Clifford Meece · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 146
John Wilder wrote:

Yeah, this would probably be horrible in June unless you were out there at 6am and could be done by 9am at the absolute latest. The Hamlet sees full sun all day.

oh, well, maybe that's out.  We will be there because we will just have finished hiking 45 miles through Paria Canyon, which we do most years (this is my 8th time through), and are a little more tolerant of sun than some people, but I don't want to roast anyone either.

The last 12 miles of Paria Canyon is an oven, with full packs even worse, so on the one hand, we'll be used to it...on the other, we might be fed up with it.  We'll see...

Christopher K. · · Summerlin, NV · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 170

Existential Crag (not far from Cannibal Crag in Calico Basin) fits the bill in all respects as long as you go in the afternoon after about 3, and you'll probably have the are to yourself.
https://www.mountainproject.com/area/106411283/existential-wall

Jeremy Saqr · · Southern California · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 45
John Wilder wrote:

Yeah, this would probably be horrible in June unless you were out there at 6am and could be done by 9am at the absolute latest. The Hamlet sees full sun all day.

Very true, I didn't consider sun exposure at all.  

phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 617

In Willow Springs, north side, 2 things come to mind:

Tonto 5.5 (walk to top from right, slung tree rappel), Ragged Edges area

Mitten’s Revenge 5.8 has a bolted anchor at the top. Can walk to the top from the right. Might need a 70 for this one, and if you want them to climb it, throw in 1-2 pieces. Children’s area. 

Clifford Meece · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 146
phylp wrote: In Willow Springs, north side, 2 things come to mind:

Tonto 5.5 (walk to top from right, slung tree rappel), Ragged Edges area

Mitten’s Revenge 5.8 has a bolted anchor at the top. Can walk to the top from the right. Might need a 70 for this one, and if you want them to climb it, throw in 1-2 pieces. Children’s area.

Very nice.  As a first rappel, the overhang might be a little scary for her, but overall that route looks like it satisfies the greatest number of my requirements.  Thanks very much for the suggestion; this might be the winner.

phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 617

Just saw my late night typo, these routes are on the north-facing side so will have more shade.  
I don't remember an much of an overhang on Tonto.  I took my niece on it for her first climb.  But it was a long time ago.
With both of these areas, IIRC, there might be a little exposure on the traverses to the top of the routes.  If it's just you going up there to set it up, of course that won't be a problem.  Have fun.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Nevada
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