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|RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>|
Caveat: This is not an accurate description of the first ascent route. We (I) led us off route on the third pitch, and we had to add a traversing pitch in order to get back on route. If anyone makes the same mistake, this is an appropriate correction. If anyone climbs the route proper, feel free to augment our information.
Also, the Handren description is very inaccurate. Grades seem to be correct, but pitch lengths are way off.
This rock on this route prevents me giving more stars. You should only climb this route of you are comfortable at the grade, and are familiar with the more friable sandstone found in Red Rock.
Approach as for Western Spaces Wall. This involves climbing up fixed ropes, and quite a bit of chimneying. Arrive at the base of the climb after the last chimney. The first bolt of the first pitch should be apparent ca. 10 ft above.
Pitch 1, 140' (10cR) Climb past the first bolt, performing a sporty move that leads to a crack that runs up and slightly left. Climb to a second bolt, and up to a left-facing corner. climb the corner or arete a while to a a bolt below a roof. Traverse left, and maneuver above the roof, climbing up and slightly right to a two-bolt anchor.
Pitch 2, 120' (7+) Climb up and right past lichen-covered rock and gain a crack/corner system that leads slightly right and up. Climb to a fixed gear anchor that includes a couple of nuts and hexes.
Pitch 3, 140' (10b/cR) Climb up and right past a bolt, and face climb up to a ledge past runout flakes. Climb up to a ledge and clip a bolt up high. Climb past the bolt and follow a crack up and left to a ledge with a large pine tree and a couple of smaller trees. Belay off of the pine. NOTE: This is the pitch that we got off route. The correct belay is where the crack branches, but this was not apparent at the time. The next pitch describes how to get back on route.
Pitch 4, 120' (8R) Move onto the face of the buttress to the right. Climb up until you can get decent gear, and traverse right at the top of the formation. The rock here is very soft and unconsolidated, so caution must be taken. Belay in a right-facing corner at a small stance.
Pitch 5, 160' (10cR) Move up the right-facing corner. Pass 3 bolts and belay in a crack below a roof.
Pitch 6, 190' (10aR) Move up and over the left side of the roof, and continue straight past crack and face. Belay on a huge block at the base of a face.
Pitch 7, 190' (9) Climb up the face a short while until you reach a crack. Follow the crack up and slightly right to a low angle bowl/chimney, and belay at a stance below another obvious low-angle chimney.
Pitch 8, 100' (6) Climb up the low angle chimney to the top of the formation, crossing over a gap to the right to reach the final ledge.
Scramble down and skier's right to a tree with slings. Make 4 double rope raps to the top of the gulley, trending down and skier's right. Traverse right across the south-facing slab and follow a fixed rope path to reach the beginning of the route.
Full rack to BD#4 with a few doubles in the .5-2" range. Ballnuts were helpful, albeit not crucial, in a couple of places. The bolts on the route are in generally good shape.
By Xavier Wasiak
From: Las Vegas, NV
Sep 7, 2015
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
As Mike said, overall a great adventure. Too bad the rock quality takes much away from the climb. It seems all routes on the Western Spaces wall have an initial pitch of dirtiness as the price of admission. Also, keep in mind that all the hardware on these routes is original and placed in 1989. It all appears in decent shape from a surface assessment, but beware. I would add the following:
Pitch 3, 140' (10b/cR) Climb up and right past a bolt, and face climb up to a ledge past runout flakes. Climb up to another ledge and clip a bolt up high. Climb past the bolt and follow features on a face up and slightly RIGHT to a crack that eventually splits. You're aiming to be below a pretty obvious right facing corner. You may pass another bolt along the way of getting there. WE DID NOT GO THIS WAY but after traversing into the top of this pitch from the left, the above appears correct. As always climb cautiously.
Pitch 5 (or 4 if you did not get off-route), Move up the right-facing corner and after a couple of gear placements you'll move left onto the face, out of the corner, and climb there upward past 3 bolts. Have faith that they are there. You are heading for the crack that breaks the roof directly above and slightly left. Difficult to say exactly where the best belay option is here.
Enjoy the adventure!!! Plenty of things that break up there. Cuidado!!
Sep 20, 2015
The beginning of the "canyoneering" fun on the approach to the Western Spaces wall. There is a fixed rope to my right, but this way gets you mentally prepared for the climbing ahead.
Coming up the slot canyon. There are fixed lines at just about every technical section.
Xavier chimneying up the slot canyon approach.
Looking up the first pitch. The most difficult move of the entire route is probably just after the first bolt.
Xavier leading up the second pitch.
Following the block traverse pitch to get back on the route proper.
Back on the route proper after the traverse pitch.
Leading up the 5.9 pitch before the final chimney.
Looking up at the first rap gulley.
By Matt Kuehl
From: Las Vegas
Sep 20, 2015
Nice adventure guys. Good on ya! Looking forward to stories