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The Climbing Club • View topic - RRR - red rocks rules!

The Climbing Club

at the University of Washington
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 Post subject: RRR - red rocks rules!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:31 pm 
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UW Climber

Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:20 pm
Posts: 46
Location: seattle
Trip Report: Red Rocks 3/18/2010-3/25/2010.
For those of you with lots of time to read :)

What a fun trip! I haven’t been this happy for a long time. . .

I just spent a week (6 days) climbing at red rocks. Goals: 1. climb 6 days in a row. 2. Climb epinephrine. 3. have heaps of fun. Outcome: success! :) I found an awesome climbing partner from day one, and hooked up with another day 3. Thank you rockclimbing.com!

Cory and I met up on Friday (I got in on Thurs) at 7 am. Unfortunately after a sleepless night of Patagonia type winds, I slept through my alarm and woke up 4 minutes before meeting my new climbing partner for the first time at 7am. Ugh. Cory was awesome tho, always chill and ready for anything, so we moved my tent to the open camp spot across the way (I had to share the first night b/c the campground was full, of course) and headed off (dehydrated with a single bar for bfast…but whatever, I was at red rocks!). We headed to solar slob (5.6 or 5.7) as a warm up. We decided to simul-climb the 5.3 gully and then we headed up the top 6 or 7 pitches, swaping leads (I got first lead, winning the ro-sham-bo). We sent in about 3 hours, maybe a bit less. Cory's super fast, it's cool to watch his fearlessness and pretty inspiring for me. We passed every party we met that day. It took us about 5 hours to rappel, tho, as there were noobs everywhere around us. After the ease with which we gelled climbing together, we decided to tackle epi on sat.

We got up at 5am, left camp at 6 am, and arrived at the parking lot around 7. Got to the base of the climb around 8; we passed another party on the approach who said, “go ahead, you guys are fast”. (I love this new founded “fast” – must be the training hiking with Brian Polagye!). We started to climb a bit after 8. Cory took the 5.4 solo start and the easy pitch at the bottom. I took the warm up chimney and learned it’s a lot easier if you don’t have a pack dangling at your butt! I climbed with our pack most of the day, but gave him the pack for my next chimney lead! Cory led the next 200 feet of chimney which was quite strenuous for me, but he cruised it. Then I took the next 5.9 chimney pitch. After 300 feet of chimney in a row, I stopped at the next belay and didn’t link the next pitch (our tentative plan). Cory sailed up the next pitch and a half, and we were out of the chimneys. It was an amazing day – no one else was on the climb (on a Saturday!!) and it was warm and windless despite being in the shade. The next 1000 feet or so are just pure joy. I led the next 5.8 pitch with a little roof (but huge jugs), and we continued to swap leads after that. . . a few 5.9 pitches an then cruiser to the top. We simul’ed the last 500 feet or so of easy (5.4 max) climbing and topped out about 4:30. 2010 feet of climbing (plus another 300 to the proper summit) in about 8 hours. Not bad. What an amazing day. We caught last light at the end of the climb at the top and had a snack and our last ounce of water. The decent is long but fairly idiot proof, and we made it back to the car around 8pm. Headed straight to my favorite restaurant in the area (Agave) for some awesome Mexican food. A perfect day. And I get 4 more after this! Woo hoo!!

We were pretty wrecked after over 2000 feet of vertical climbing, so we met up with my 2nd rc.com partner Phyl (gal) at 8:30 and decided to get on something cruiser for that day. We picked Bourban Street, a 5.8+ next to Frogland. I lost the ro sham for first pitch so Cory headed up the “5.7”. what we decided was first pitch, tho, wasn’t likely a 5.7, as it was thin hands/fingers for a long ways (Phyl guessed maybe 5.9, or maybe an indian creek 5.10 ). Phyl got the “crux pitch” 2 (5.8+) since she just arrived that day, and I got pitch 3. We then swapped leads from there, for the 7 pitches. Ugh, but the rock quality sucked (think vantage, but maybe order of magnitude worse). I pulled a baseball sized chicken head clear off the wall, and headed up my 5.7 pitch with jitters galore. The gear was horrible, and I placed some pieces wondering why I was even bothering. I tested each hold several times, and on the one bulge I breathed heavily in fear hoping nothing would pull, b/c I was for sure in a no fall situation. I lost just one more foothold to crappy rock, (Cory and Phyl as well), and was so excited to reach the anchor and find decent gear to set one. I did a 4 piece anchor, due to the terror I felt coming up the pitch. I realized Cory and I had been doing a ton of “no fall” climbing in the last 3 days…the climbing went slowly for all of us leading after that – the rock quality really bad – and we topped out late, around 6:30 (about 6 hours to climb 700 feet of 5.8 – probably all of our slowest leading ever). So much for an easy, quick day and early night.

We decided to take a ½ rest day the next and went to the gallery for some sport climbing. We all just took one pitch (on lead), Phyl a warm up 5.9+, Cory a 5.11 and me a super fun beautiful 5.10 overhanging but uber juggy route. It was a fun day in the gallery with good peeps. Cory and I then headed to Vegas to steal some pool time. We decided on the Mandalay Bay since I had never been, and well, it’s supposed to be a beach theme, so the pool’s got to be good, right? It took us about ½ hour (no joke) to get from the parking to the hotel through the casino to the pool. On the way we saw a map of the ‘beach area’, including a wave pool, a floating river, and about 4 other pools. This is when I thought to myself, “we’re not getting in”. When we got to the pool we saw signs everywhere saying “hotel guests only, present key to enter”. Not stymied, we knew we had to try – it took us ½ hour on the approach after all! We told them we already checked out and no we didn’t have our key and no we didn’t have a receipt with us. But then we f’ed up by saying we could get it from the car. DOH. Ok, great. Not getting in. We walked away, but realized with the size of the area, there had to be another entrance…ah, and there was. This time we were going to be strong and not give them an out. I walked up and said we checked out and gave in our keys can we still get in please? The woman looked us up and down, probably decided we could use a ‘shower’ and said, “yea, you’re good”. We woohooed and high fived and knew she knew but didn’t care – we were in. The pool itself wasn’t as exciting as the map of the pool, but we did enjoy our shower-like experience and had fun playing in the various options of water, including 2 hot tubs, a wave pool with mini-waves and a floating river.

Day 5: Dream of Wild Turkeys (5.10a, 10 pitches). Phyl and I did a rendition of the morning of my Epi climb, getting up at 5:30, meeting at 6 at camp, driving to the parking lot (same as Epi), approach, blah blah blah and started the climb around 8. Unfortunately the weather was much less kind and the winds were uber ferocious. I led the first pitch with quite cold hands, approaching numb. Phyl led p 2 (5.9) with numb hands, super slowly and placing heaps of gear. By the time I started on follow, having belayed for a long time (over an hour, likely), my feet were totally numb, hands only slightly better. I jammed my toe in a crack and watched it twist with no pain, wondering if I was doing any damage I couldn’t feel. I took the next pitch 5.10a – a pretty easy off hands to fingers short crack to an easy ledgy traverse, and phyl tells me she thinks she’s getting hypothermic. I’m shivering as well at the belays, and we decide the climb would be much better on another day. We bail. 2 raps with 2 ropes and we’re back at the base, making a new plan for the day. Given I’ve had about 4-6 hours a sleep each night for who knows how long, I take a nap in the car while we wait for Cory to join us to do some cragging at Calico Basin. Cory’s got a great idea to climb a test piece called the Fox. It’s a 5.10d Indian creek like crack from fingers/ring locks to offwidths. We just set up a TR and all climbed it. I surprised myself by sending it first try. I’d love to lead it on a trip soon...it was a challenging set up so we didn’t have much light after we all climbed it (given we already did a long approach/decent 3 pitches), so we called it a day…about 500 feet of climbing, tho, doesn’t seem like a real rest day 

Day 6 we decided to do an ultra classic climb called Dark Shadows, 5.8+, though it feels super easy. We got behind a bunch of noobs again, tho, so it was a long day. Well, we didn’t actually leave camp till around noon, so I guess that was our bad too  Phyl and Cory let me lead almost the whole climb since it was my last day (they rule) and it was super fun…totally recommend it as a rest-day like climb.

Phyl treated Cory and I to showers at her hotel followed by Thai food, which ruled, as I was meeting my parents at the airport the next day in Pennsylvania, so I was glad not to smell like a climbing bum. Phyl did tell us we didn’t smell like homeless people, which was the nicest compliment I received that day…hmm

And that was my red rocks. Cory has offered to teach me to aid climb, so I am pondering quitting school and moving into his van. . . I’m only half joking. . . actually, I’m not joking.

Gosh I love climbing trips, and meeting new climbers. I’ve had great success so far with rc.com, in case you’re ever wondering. . . hope everyone’s had as good a spring break! Now I get to see my grampa turn 90! Sweet as. I hope I’ve got his genetics.

Christie
ps: sorry no photos i'm not at home yet i'm at my parent's house without my camera linky thingy.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:06 pm 
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Dr. Crevasse
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Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2002 11:17 am
Posts: 921
Location: Seattle
Wow! Sounds like a awesome 6 days of climbing in Red Rocks. :rock: I'm super jealous. Way to make your way into the pools in Vegas. I look forward to the photos when you get home.

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"It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid." Q


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:23 pm 
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The Shepherd
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:37 pm
Posts: 787
Location: Ravenna
without photos, it didn't happen :lol:. Just kidding, sounds like a super fun experience. I can't wait to see the photos when you get them up. The climb with the loose/bad rock sounds pretty scary. Did you find a lot of variability there as far as some stuff being nice and solid and some just total crap?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:13 pm 
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UW Climber

Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:20 pm
Posts: 46
Location: seattle
The loose rock climb is a new climb-it's only in the newest guide book. Generally the climbing at rr is super solid and awesome. It was a good learning experience, I know I'll be in that situation again (and I've been there before) so it's good to keep learning. It is sandstone so it takes some cleaning and no climbing in the rain! I'd say take care on newer climbs if you go there-only do what's in your ability in case of loose rocks. You know, the usual stuff. The rocks clean up tho, not like WA bc there's no freeze thaw bs.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 8:58 pm 
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UW Climber

Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:20 pm
Posts: 46
Location: seattle
here are my photos. not that great really, but if you're REALLY bored...



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:49 am 
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Dr. Crevasse
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Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2002 11:17 am
Posts: 921
Location: Seattle
Now it LOOKS like an awesome 6 days at Red Rocks. :lol: Thanks for sharing your photos.

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"It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid." Q


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:37 pm 
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Cap'n Wingspan
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:08 pm
Posts: 1045
Location: Wallingford
Christie,
Awesome looking trip. I'm now really looking forward to going there some time, hopefully sooner rather than later. Great photos of some excellent climbing. I especially dig the free pool action. Way to stick it to the man!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:44 pm 
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UW Climber

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 3:15 am
Posts: 129
Bourbon Street on Whiskey Peak, crossing over Frogland is a fine route. Yes, it is new. So, there is rock that has not been fully "tested" yet. If you don't mind testing rock, if you climb in the Rockies or the Olympics and love it, new lines in Red Rocks are great. In several more years it will clean up nicely, but may always have some of the "softer" sandstone on route. That said, nextdoor neighbor Frogland is an exceptional route with no poor rock to be found. Frogland is perhaps the best 5.8 in Red Rocks - truly a classic line. Think of Bourbon Street as an a great alternative when Frogland is crowded, or as another route to tick off if you're looking for 5.8's to break into the 5.9's

Nice job on Epinephrine. That's a vegas buffet of rock climbing!!


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