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Gentle Ben's Afternoon Delight

5.8, Trad, 500 ft (152 m), 4 pitches, Grade II,  Avg: 1.7 from 6 votes
FA: FRA: John Wilder, Brandon Arens- 8.05
Nevada > Southern Nevada > Red Rocks > (16) Black Velv… > Whiskey Peak > Whiskey Peak - East
Warning Access Issue: Red Rock RAIN AND WET ROCK: The sandstone is fragile and is very easily damaged when wet. DetailsDrop down


After a few weeks of clipping bolts up at Charleston, I was eager to get back to trad climbing at Red Rock and was waiting for it to cool off enough to do so. A 'cold snap' was predicted for the weekend, and so I made tentative plans with a couple of friends to do Sick for Toys up in Black Velvet. After a slight mishap at work, I managed to mangle my left index finger a bit, leaving me in no condtion to lead .10c slab, so I elected to send my friends on their way to Sick for Toys while I called up another friend to go cruise something easy- after all, it was a weekend to climb sandstone.

Upon our arrival in Black Velvet, we intended to climb Schaeffer's Delight to Lazy Buttress. Yet, while racking up, we spied a gorgeous looking handcrack a ways to the right that was begging to be climbed. My partner seemed up for it, and after thinking it over I agreed- worst case, I have to yard on a piece or two on top rope.

So, off we went and had a great time. We knew it wasn't a first ascent, as there was fixed gear on the route, but after looking around and talking to some folks, no one is talking, so we named it for future parties to enjoy.

The name of the route comes from a microbrewery in Tucson, Arizona that I spent far too much time in while in college.

This route starts about 150' to the right of Lazy Buttress and about 50' left of Crown Royal at the base of a gully system that leads up to an obvious crack in a right-facing dihedral about a ropelength above.

Pitch 1: Start in a nice right-facing corner and work your way up easy ground toward the base of the crack. A single 5.7 move marks the end of the pitch. Belay at the base of the crack (two fixed stoppers). 5.7, 180'

Pitch 2: Climb the crack, exiting to the right, then traversing left to a nice stance at the base of another dihedral. 5.8+, 100'

Pitch 3: Head left and up, aiming for an obvious ledge that comes into view after about 15'. This pitch only gains about 40' of height, but traverses about a half of a rope length. Belay on the ledge with a huge boulder on it, which is the large ledge at the top of the second pitch of the Lazy Buttress 5.5, 100'

Pitch 4: Head up and left, through a slot, then head straight up to Lover's Ledge. 5.7, 70'

Descent: Head toward the summit, then cross the gully and work your way up to a saddle. Drop into the second gully, and head left- joining up with the Frogland descent.


Take a single rack of cams to about 3", a 4" piece is nice to have on pitch 3, but not necessary.

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Crown Royal Area
[Hide Photo] Crown Royal Area

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[Hide Comment] This route has some really fun climbing, but also more than its fair share of bushes and rubble.

The fixed stoppers mentioned in the description were not to be found. Basically, set the first pitch belay at the base of the obvious corner with the cracks. Second pitch follows the crack past one 5.8 move; persist straight up through the (grabby and annoying) trees to a nice sloping stance. Third pitch diagonals left on easy ground. The last pitch is likewise very easy, pretty much straight up to Lover's Ledge -- more like 150' though, not 70' as per the description. Apr 12, 2015
phylp phylp
[Hide Comment] I have to rate this route 2* rather than 1* because we had a fun/awful time on it! There are a huge amount of dead tree branches and dead leaves in various places, especially the second pitch ledge, that adds to the jungle foraging aspect. Maybe the winter winds clean some of this up and it's better in the Spring? The route is mostly easy climbing with about 4 moves of 5.8 on the second pitch. The difficulty at the crux is more the awkward body position rather than the actual climbing, which is solid jams and great pro. The second pitch climbs straight up the crack to a belay on the aforementioned calf-deep-pile-of-dead-leaves ledge. Not wanting to stand in the dead leaves I did not exit left to the ledge but went a few feet straight up the nice crack to belay from a mostly dead tree. More fun! The third pitch is interesting. The photos of the suggested way to go are different in Handren I and Handren II. After starting up the Handren 1 direction, my partner decided to forge a third variation continuing straight up through a diabolical tree (5.6). Tree-fu at its finest! If you start climbing at 12:30 PM as we did, this variation leads to a pleasant lunch ledge about 30 feet dead right of the boulder ledge. After lunch, we moved the belay via easy traversing (5.5). The confusion on last pitch length may dependent on which variation you choose. If you take the one in the guidebook photos, it's trending left and longer than 70 feet (I've gone that way for other routes). If you go straight up the low angle face as we did yesterday, it's easy and about 70'. This variation deposits you just at the base of the climbable headwall shown in Raygay's photo from Schaeffer's Delight. Fun day, OK climb if you're filling in the not-yet-highlighted routes in your guidebook. Sep 27, 2020