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Why do people like climbing at Red Rocks?


Original Post
Wyatt Losee · · St. George · Joined Oct 2018 · Points: 0

I've never climbed at Red Rocks before and will be climbing there for the first time next month! I have heard a lot of hype about the area from the climbing community, and am curious to hear all of your thoughts about it. I'm not really sure what to expect of the climbing there and thought this would be a good way to learn more about it and get even more excited!

* I know RR is a trad climber's paradise, but at this point I am too broke to own any trad gear and would especially appreciate opinions of the sport climbing/multi pitch scene there.

Why do you like climbing at Red Rocks?

* Just a thought: Red Rocks must be pretty awesome if Alex Honnold and a handful of other pros picked Las Vegas as a residence to have RR be in their backyard haha!  

blakeherrington · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 1,071
  • Most of the sport climbing in Red Rock is unremarkable but benefits from easy access and a "gym-compatible" style.
  • Much of the bouldering and medium or long trad climbs (especially north facing routes) are great quality and friendly in grading and style with a long climbing season.
  • Most of the single harder pitches and destination crags for top climbers in the Vegas area are not at Red Rock, but day trippable at nearby limestone.
Red Rock is a great park for climbing, but its popularity and high reputation owe a lot to its proximity to an airport with cheap flights, the cheap lodging nearby, and the high number of pleasantly climbable days each year - none of which really has anything to do with the climbs themselves. As a new climber who is limited to sport climbing, I think most of the park's best features won't really be accessible to you.
trailridge · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 20

Most climbers enjoy Red Rocks, not because of the great/scenic climbing, but rather the location is close to the Vegas Strip.  Gambling, hookers and cocaine are on the menu for most climbers traveling there.  The buffets are great too.  Skip buying trad gear but don't save money with cheap hookers,  STDs are real.  Investing in quality over quantity  will leave you with fond memories of "climbing" at Red Rocks

B L · · New York, NY · Joined May 2015 · Points: 54

I mean.. excellent multi-pitch trad is the main draw for me.. but beyond that.. It's massive, it's extremely beautiful, it manages to combine a completely remote vibe with being relatively accessible, it's extremely varied in the climbing that it has to offer.. though calico hills gets some flak for being kinda samey re: sport. Haven't really done that much sport there but I enjoyed what I did. That said.. it probably wouldn't be my first choice for a sport trip. Still.. the beauty!!! The adventure!!! I would advise hiking out to some of the further trad walls just to experience being immersed deep in Red Rock, scrambling over the car sized boulders, seeing the big walls up close and personal.. it may inspire you to get save up for a rack. I don't think you get the same experience staying on sport climbs close to the road.

Dave K · · San Diego · Joined Jul 2019 · Points: 0
trailridge wrote: Most climbers enjoy Red Rocks, not because of the great/scenic climbing, but rather the location is close to the Vegas Strip.  Gambling, hookers and cocaine are on the menu for most climbers traveling there.  The buffets are great too.  Skip buying trad gear but don't save money with cheap hookers,  STDs are real.  Investing in quality of quantity  will leave you with fond memories of "climbing" at Red Rocks 

All of that, and the burros.

David A · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 410
trailridge wrote: Gambling, hookers and cocaine are on the menu for most climbers traveling there.  The buffets are great too.  Skip buying trad gear but don't save money with cheap hookers,  STDs are real.  Investing in quality over quantity  will leave you with fond memories of "climbing" at Red Rocks

Best to go to a legal brothel (they're not legal in Clark County, go to Pahrump (Nye County); no STDs to worry about!

brian burke · · santa monica, ca · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 145
trailridge wrote:...Gambling, hookers and cocaine are on the menu for most climbers traveling there....

dang really?  for some reason my impression is that most climbers skew fairly wholesome...  maybe i'm just hanging out with the wrong/right kind of climbers? 

Andrew Mertens · · Fort Collins · Joined Feb 2010 · Points: 106

Unimpeachable groping is a fantastic multi-pitch sport route if you can't go trad climbing... you can go all the way to the top without gear with only a few runouts on easy terrain. You need 2 ropes and multi-pitch skills. The single pitch sport climbing is fun and accessible but I think the long routes are the real draw of RR.

https://www.mountainproject.com/route/105732431/unimpeachable-groping

Svvenson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 16

It's popular because there are very few affordable cities with easily-accessible year-round climbing nearby.

On top of that, it's significantly more gym-climber-friendly than most granite areas. There are huge, incut holds on the easy routes (vs. the run-out slab / dihedral laybacks typically found on <5.8 granite). The sport climbs are generally 'soft' and well-bolted. The bouldering is plentiful, gymnastic, and skin-friendly. There are a ton of well-established, easy and well-protected multi-pitch trad climbs for aspiring/novice leaders.

Plus there is some incredible ethnic food just off the strip for pretty cheap.

People hate on the strip, but it's like a contrast bath for the senses after being alone in the desert all day. Plus you can legally drink on the street, and it's worth walking/gawking at least once if you haven't done it before.

Edit: Blake nailed it above, but I already typed this so whatever.

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,070

For me personally, the biggest attraction of Red Rocks was the easy access (cheap flights/accommodations) and good climbing weather at the time when my home crag is cold, wet, and unclimbable.

I think it is certainly worth visiting if you’ve never been, even if single-pitch sport climbing is all you are going to do. 

David Ebel · · Guelph, ON · Joined May 2018 · Points: 0
blakeherrington wrote:As a new climber who is limited to sport climbing, I think most of the park's best features won't really be accessible to you.

I would agree with this. I love red rocks for the abundance of moderate multi pitches and the adventure around them. Stunning approaches and descent hikes. There is plenty of quality sport climbing and a lot of people travel to red rocks for the sport. But I'd definitely say that getting engulfed deep in the canyon and climbing a beautiful multi pitch is what keeps me coming back. 

People who are saying it's only popular because of cheap flights and proximity to vegas - maybe this is true for sport and bouldering,  but red rocks is probably the top destination in the states for moderate multi pitch climbing. 
hifno · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 25

Is there any other area in the United States that offers all of the following types of climbing in one park:
- Single pitch trad
- Single pitch sport
- Multi-pitch trad
- Multi-pitch sport
- Bouldering
all at a decently high level of quality? I feel like that pretty much tells you why Red Rocks is popular.

Dave K · · San Diego · Joined Jul 2019 · Points: 0

Many Red Rock visitors drive from California and it is a long drive for most who do. The logistics actually aren't that great because there are basically no campgrounds, and hotels in Las Vegas aren't really that cheap any more. I personally don't see it as being any more convenient than a trip to the Sierras. When I go to Red Rock, I bring an RV and camp at one of the surprisingly few RV campgrounds in Vegas. But most climbers don't have that option.

It's the climbing that makes it great. I don't think there's any crag in the US that has as much selection and diversity of moderate, accessible, multipitch.

Andrew Child · · Corvallis, Or · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 711

In addition to what others have said Red Rock is somewhat unique in that I offers a large amount of excellent multi pitch, single pitch, and boulder routes all within an easily accessible area. Climbing there really feels like you're accessing 3 distinct climbing destinations at the same time (i.e. kraft/gateway canyon (bouldering), 1st 2nd and 3rd pullouts (sport), all of the other canyons (trad/multi)).

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 10
brian burke wrote:

dang really?  for some reason my impression is that most climbers skew fairly wholesome...  maybe i'm just hanging out with the wrong/right kind of climbers? 

Those are Sport climbers...and eating disorders aren't wholesome. 

Trad daddies smoke a lot of pot, and tend to be on the heavy side of moderate drinkers, if not outright drunks. Most of my mentors were known to tip back a few while climbing, and to visit brothels where available.
crag cat · · San Diego · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 16

2 words:
SOFT GRADES

Rob warden The space lizard · · Now...where? · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 0
crag cat wrote: 2 words:
SOFT GRADES

Boy do i have some shit for you to climb

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

It's popular because Wayne Newton is nearby. And Howard Hughes.

Long Ranger · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 321
hifno wrote: Is there any other area in the United States that offers all of the following types of climbing in one park:
- Single pitch trad
- Single pitch sport
- Multi-pitch trad
- Multi-pitch sport
- Bouldering
all at a decently high level of quality? I feel like that pretty much tells you why Red Rocks is popular.

*looks outside window* 

Flatirons?

G Wood · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2019 · Points: 0
Andrew Mertens wrote: Unimpeachable groping is a fantastic multi-pitch sport route if you can't go trad climbing... you can go all the way to the top without gear with only a few runouts on easy terrain. You need 2 ropes and multi-pitch skills. The single pitch sport climbing is fun and accessible but I think the long routes are the real draw of RR.

https://www.mountainproject.com/route/105732431/unimpeachable-groping

Agreed. If you only have some draws, you definitely should climb this route.  I placed a couple nuts but I'm a trad climber, not a sport climber. ha!

brianszero · · southampton, new jersey · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 5

people tend to love anywhere with soft grades. it just makes them feel better instead of getting shut down.  

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Nevada
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