Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Climbing in Red Rock Nevada

I spent a 3 day weekend climbing at Red Rock Nevada. The plan was to go to Indian Creek but at the last minute as we were all getting in the cars and commenting on how cold it was and how cold it'd be down there the decision was unanimous to go to Red Rocks instead and enjoy warmer weather. Due to our last minute change of plans we were roasting in the desert wondering why our bags were full of long sleeve shirts and thermals. Lucky for me I had some zip off pants. I was the only one who wasn't wearing long pants the whole time.
The first day we did a classic route up Mescalito on The Cat in the Hat. Here are the complete views from about 3/4 of the way up. You can look at them and imagine you were there... but without the burning sun, devil shoes, painful foot jams, sweat in your eyes, and a gear sling choking the breath out of you. But sadly you also miss all the fun, the thrill, and the excitement. These were all taken from pretty much the same spot. Who wouldn't want to climb in a place like this?
Looking to my left: Pine Creek Canyon Looking to my right: In the distance is the car and Las Vegas. At one point we could see a giant red glare coming from the Vegas strip. I asked what it was and someone said it was "decadence and sin" I don't know why but that still makes me laugh. Looking behind me: I took this picture because there were guys climbing on it, but you have to zoom in to see them. Looking down: I was in the sun so you can't see the canyon floor and I couldn't aim too well cause I was getting tired from holding on with one hand. Trust me though, I was up there pretty far, about 600 ft when I took this. Looking up: The top was just over the edge and this pod in the crack was really fun to stem up. I was cleaning for Bobby and we did 6 pitches in only three with a little simu-climbing. We ended up passing everyone that went before us. We did stop at a belay ledge once long enough to trade off taking pictures with another pair of climbers.
On the hike back we passed a foundation for an old homestead. I stood in the frame of the old front door and had this view of Mescalito, which we'd just been climbing, how nice would it have been to have lived there and had this all to yourself! After the long hot climb the day before we decided up next would be a bunch of shady single pitch climbs. Some people climbed the harder Plan F, but I climbed the easier Ragged Edges next to it. The bigger crack, not the one with the climber. The top of Ragged Edges about to rappel. In the bushes you can see one of the other girl's fairy wings she wore the whole weekend for Halloween. This is the route I wanted to climb called Midheight. I liked that it was huecos and crimpers instead of cracks. It was rated R since it has no protection till you're halfway up past a bunch of small crimper moves, hence the name, and I had a hard time talking anyone into leading it for me. Eventually Bobby consented but went around the first half so I ended up being the only one who climbed it and it was my favorite route. They missed out, those crack climbing elitists. I need to start learning to lead so I can pick what I climb more. Bobby could only place 3 pieces of gear the whole route and one was this sling which I thought was pretty cool. You don't get stuff like this climbing cracks.
This area was visable from the scenic drive and cars would pull over and watch the climbers...little did they know we were watching them back.
The last day we did another mulitpitch climb. It took about an hour to hike in across the flat desert which I actually enjoyed because I'd been reading an Edward Abbey essay about hiking in the desert, but it was hot! The route was called Lotta Balls. It had everything, cracks, flakes, roofs, chimneys for steming, aretes, and...a lotta balls. The whole middle part was a perfectly smooth vertical slab with little perfectly round marble sized balls sticking out of it. It felt like climbing on someones pimples and was a little scary but really fun.The worst part was we'd all skipped breakfast due to being sick from the turkey sandwhichs we devoured after climbing the previous day even though they'd been sitting in the hot car all day. We ended up hiking back to the car by the full moon having climbed all day with no food except the 4 packs of fruit snacks I found in my pack. I saved the day but barely.
Overall the trip was a smashing success. I got to climb really high, the weather was warm, I got to sleep in a tent for 3 nights, I didn't have to shower for 4 days, I met lots of new people, all the hikes in were great, my knees never hurt, I never fell, I read Edward Abbey every morning while sitting in the desert, I got to learn a few new climbing techniques, and I got to eat red vines while I drove my new car on it's first roadtrip. You'd never have known we were just a few miles from Las Vegas if it hadn't been for the Luxor light shining up from behind the mesas. I think I'll be going back to Red Rock again for sure. It may not be the decadence and sin that Vegas is, but it's definitely decadence when it comes to climbing.


Andy said...

That's awesome.

Andy said...

Hey, looks like you've got a fan from Kan-tuck-ee.

KATIE said...

Monkeys Eyebrow Kan-tuck-ee no less. I have no idea who they are but they win for coolest town name.

Life out Here said...

J-E-A-L-O-U-S. Who all did you go with? Bobby is cute.

Winters Family said...

Those photos make me dizzy... did I ever mention I am kind of afraid of heights?

Stephanie said...


K, I'm calming down. Looks like so much fun, but I'm such a chicken when it comes to heights.

Funny thing is, we own a communications Tower Service company.... but I do NOT climb.. LOL

You go girl!

The Bahens said...

It makes me so sad that you were in Las Vegas and couldn't come visit me. Because I don't live there anymore. More than 3 years later, I'm still sad about that one. And don't worry, that Jersey cow isn't going anywhere, so keep saving up!