Only the Good Die Young
Trad, 750 ft, 5 pitches,
Avg: 3.3 from 71
FA: Uriostes, year unknown
> Southern Nevada
> Red Rock
> 16-Black Velvet…
> Whiskey Peak
> N Face
Red Rock RAIN AND WET ROCK: The sandstone is fragile and is very easily damaged when wet.
Holds rip off and climbs have been and will continue to be permanently damaged due to climbers not respecting this phenomenon. After a heavy storm, the rock will remain wet, sometimes for several days. PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB IN RED ROCKS during or after rain. A good rule of thumb is that if the ground near your climb is at all damp (and not powdery dry sand), then do not climb. There are many alternatives (limestone, granite, basalt, and plastic) nearby.
HUMAN WASTE Human waste is one of the major issues plaguing Red Rocks. The Las Vegas Climbers Liaison Council and the AAC provides free "wag bags" in several locations (Black Velvet, First Pullout, Kraft Mtn/Bouldering, The Gallery, and The Black Corridor). These bags are designed so that you can pack your waste out - consider bringing one to be part of your kit (just like your rope and shoes and lunch) no matter where you go. Once used, please dispose of them properly (do not throw them in the toilets at the parking area).
Kudos, again, the the ASCA folks who rebolted this climb, taking from an obscure, old-rusty-bolts-that-will-snap scarefest to a super-safe, super-classic climb. Don't let the 5.11 grade scare you off, the cruxs are very well bolted with big, fat, new, shiny ASCA hangers. This climb is so well bolted, the cruxes could easily be yarded through (A0 style).
Anyhow, get to the route by first finding Wholesome Fullback. After you find this climb, hike climber's right for roughly 300 feet. As you go ascend slightly, you will be heading up into the mouth of a narrow canyon that splits Whiskey Peak and Black Velvet Wall. Keep your eyes peeled up for a bolt 10-15 feet off the deck; this will be the give away for the route's start, and will be on the same wall as Wholesome Fullback, that has now become the left side of the narrow canyon you are heading up. Again, the route will be between 300 and 500 feet climber's right of Wholesome Fullback. As you look up at the super-shiny new hanger, you will see several (3-4) other bolts about 40 feet up, twisting around a corner. Here you are looking at the second pitch, to give you a good idea of how short the pitches really are. So now you have found the climb.
The first pitch goes in Supertopo as 10d, but I felt it was more 10bish, a one-move wonder. Place some cams, and go up to the first set of anchors.
Pitch 2 is the business at 5.11 plus, with bolts right there the whole time. This is a super-steep, super-fun portion of this climb; a few of the holds are climbing gym-esque. As you reach the second anchor, you will already be getting psyched for the great-looking third pitch.
Begin this pitch with easy slab moves, progressing into several 5.10 moves to the belay. As the pitch continues, so does the difficulty. Thank goodness for those incuts...Here we go, this is the crux.
Pitch 4, you can see the three shiny traverse bolts, where the climbing is the most difficult right at the beginning of the traverse, and eases as you get the overhang, which are really jugs. Use long runners on the first and last traverse bolts, or suffer the consequences of severe rope drag. Also notice the original Urioste bolt...don't both clipping it, I talked to the dude who rebolted this and he said they barely hold body weight. After the overhang, do some .10 slab moves, and then, belay if you want, or just launch into the 5.6 (at most) patina haul to the top.
The descent isn't pretty. You need to scramble back down the canyon that the climb started in (via some 4th-classing climber's right from the summit), the one dividing Black Velvet and Whiskey Peak, but be wary as the canyon forks, as we found out. You will need to do one short rap of like 70 feet once you get close to your packs. Thanks again to the ASCA, they are really doing climbers a service.
Bolts protect the cruxes, and the anchors are new as well, but don't roll up with just a rack of draws and a rope -- no, no, no, you will also need a single set of cams to #2 Camalot (I am not sure what SuperTopo says to bring, but that is what we had, and were fine). Only one rope is necessary, and a 50-meter rope would work fine -- the pitches are all super short. The only reason a longer rope might be desirable would be if you wanted to run the last few pitches together, not a problem as after the route's crux, the difficulty eases way back to 5.6 patina pulling. Backing off this route would be easy.
Deanna sending the 3rd pitch right before she onsighted the crux fourth pitch.
Rico at the crux. Photo by Darshan Ahluwalia.
Me leading up the 10b pitch
Jay Smith on Only the Good Die Young (5.11c), Red Rock Photo by Paul Obanhein
Elated to be just past the crux
P3 is stunning
Erik climbing after the P2 crux
The way down ... stay on the right on the gully to get back at the base of the route.
Spectacular view down from pitch 2.
Austin after the crux on P2
Mike following pitch 1