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Red Rocks, Nevada rock climbing trip November 2010

Mark Folsom and I headed out to Red Rocks for the annual fall climbing trip.  I usually go climb for myself after the October guiding push is winding down.  Our plan was to climb 8 grade III routes in 8 days.  Both of us had taken the AMGA Rock Instructors Course and wanted to bang out a bunch of long routes for our AMGA Rock Instructor Exam prerequisites.  After the long day of traveling, a stop at the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, In & Out Burger, grocery store, climbing store, & camp set up, it was time to get to business.

We climbed Purblind Pillar 5.8 III at Windy Peak on or first day.  The weather was unseasonably warm which caught both of us off guard.  Every other time I had climbed in Red Rocks in November it had been cold.  Nothing but 80’s for the next 4 days. 

Day 2 took us to Lady luck 5.7 III on the First Creek Slabs.

This had been a route I attempted a couple of years ago.  It’s pretty easy most of the way.  Quiet and enjoyable.  Just like it should be.  The decent was actually pretty straight forward.  I had read on Mountainproject.com it was complicated which is one of the reasons we choose it.  With bolted rappells and a small amount of down climbing in 4th class terrain it only took an hour or so.

Day 3 brought us back to Windy Peak to climb the classic Tunnel Vision 5.7+ with a 5.8 variation.

Day 4 we climbed Fridged Air Buttress 5.9+.  This route was the best of the trip for me.  The variety on each pitch and the interesting top out made it a total blast.

Day 5 Mark and I headed over to climb Ginger Cracks 5.9.  I was not feeling the mojo on this route.  You can tell it’s fun and interesting, but I just couldn’t seem to shake the funk I was in.  Maybe it was from climbing for the 5th day straight.  Who knows.

Day 6 took us back to Windy Peak again for an easy rest day on Group Therapy 5.7 with the 5.8 variation on the last pitch.  This was more fun than Tunnel Vision.  Each pitch had a different feel to it.  If I had to do them both over again I would likely climb Group Therapy.

Day 7 we climbed Johnny Vegas 5.7 in 4 pitches to the Upper Solar Slab ledge.  We headed over to the right edge of the ledge to climb Sundog 5.9+.  We got burned on this route by the weather.  A cold front had been heading in.  The night before it rained on us in the campground.  On pitch 2 of Sundog the rain started again.  We waited it out for a while but it didn’t seem like it was going to stop.  Time to bag the route.  We called it and rapped down the Solar Slab Gully.

On our last day we hike back to Oak Creek Canyon to climb Solar Flare 5.10c in 5 pitches.  Not really a grade III route, it was one that Mark had been looking at in the book the whole trip.  We watched to non stop line of climbers on Johnny Vegas all day as we had Solar Flare all to ourselves.  Not a bad way to end a great trip to Red Rocks.

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