Plate of Fate
Trad, 300 ft, 3 pitches, Grade II,
Avg: 2.2 from 10
FA: Jorge Urioste, Bill Hotz
> Southern Nevada
> Red Rock
> 12-Oak Creek Ca…
> Black Orpheus Amphith…
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).
High on Black Arch Wall, Plate of Fate is a short route just to the left of There and Back Again. For us it was the perfect choice on a frigid December day when the somewhat lengthy approach kept us warm. The route is south facing, so perfect for cooler days.
Granted there are a few brief sections of loose rock, but the harder moves are solid and well protected with either bolts or gear.
Pitch 1 (120', 5.8)
Clip the first bolt then move right into a narrow crack system. Take care as some of the rock is fractured. Continue up past a second bolt to a bolted anchor.
Pitch 2 (90', 5.8+)
From the belay go left and up. From the belay you see mostly loose plates but there is solid rock to be found once you commit. Traverse left on the varnish past one bolt then head up to a ledge with bushes. As of Dec 2009 the bush was slung with cords and a rap ring.
Pitch 3 (100', 5.9+)
Tiptoe up and left on thin, varnished holds past 2 bolts. Head up toward the brushy, bolted belay/rap station. Note the pile of loose rocks next to the anchor.
From the anchor do a single rope rap down and climber's right to the brushy ledge that marks the top of pitch 2. If you have a second rope rap to the base. If not, there is an alternate rap station part of the way straight down (not the top of pitch 1, which is off to the climber's right). We did not use this, but noted that the cordage was UV damaged as of Dec 2009.
There is a (lengthy) walk-off option. From the top of the route head up into Painted Bowl. From here go SW aiming the large boulder on the west shoulder of the ebowl. Note: you will have to contour before the (IBM) boulder comes into view. Continue west until the ramps become a vegetated terrace. Head down a steep gully and zig-zag down the ramp system. The final crux involves getting down 20' of extremely slick water-polished slab to reach the streambed. Head downstream to the trail system and return to your car.
Once on the main Oak Creek trail follow the trail up the canyon. It will eventually head downhill as it parallels the Solar Slab area. Note that there are a number of alternate trails in this area, but the key is to eventually end up in the wash. Take in the views as you hike up the wash, scrambling over large boulders for ~55 minutes.
As you approach the far end of Black Arch wall you will see some cairns marking a boulder-filled gully seemingly choked with scrub oak. On our ascent this looked improbable and we ended up continuing to a another set of large boulders that led up the hill marked by an easy mantle problem at the start. This way also went, however, the gully had fewer brushy sections.
Work your way across the slabs up and right to a brushy ledge to the right of the prominent black arch. Note that the route starts much higher than There and Back Again. Look for a large white detached flake with a single bolt ~20 feet up.
Approach time: ~1.5 hours
- Small rack to 2"
- Backup webbing/rap rings
- Extra rope (optional)
Modified photo showing Black Arch Wall routes.
Plate of Fate
Jonny pondering the crux move. Photo by Gigi. 12/3/12
Starting off on pitch 2
Following Pitch 2
Upper part of pitch 1
Following Pitch 1
approaching the final belay
approaching the P2 belay